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Doing The Armed And Dangerous Shuffle

Thursday, May 16, 2013

We’re really just a few days out of Primary Election 2013 – an election that shapes the things to come.

You might not realize just how important this election is. I do, and want you to understand the importance as well. The quality of life in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties depends on the outcome.

With good reason, most of us still do not trust public officials – particularly county judges.

That’s why the judicial race in Lackawanna County is crucial.

So far, Patti Grande Rieder and Jim Gibbons have distinguished themselves – not as good candidates, but as people who do not rise to the level of judgment we need on the bench.

Rieder babbled her way through a recent on-air interview with me, refusing to tell voters what happened when she got fired and then re-hired as a county judicial clerk. She also defended and downplayed the role of a suspended lawyer who works on her election campaign. She also seemed to flat-out lie about an audible  "whisperer" telling her the answers to my questions.

Gibbons left me a telephone message defending a well-known lawyer and member of his finance committee acting as moderator for the only debate of the season – a clear conflict of interest and obvious appearance of impropriety – which is a precise violation of the state judicial code of conduct. Frankly, because Gibbons is a magistrate, I believe an ethics violation might very well have already occurred – before he even becomes a county judge – something voters must make sure does not happen.

Another big race is the Scranton mayoral contest.

No matter how many candidates aspire to the job, only two have a change – Democrats Bill Courtright and Liz Randol.

Neither will get my vote.

Courtright has botched his job as the Scranton tax collector and Randol lost a loaded handgun that turned up on a city sidewalk a block away from an elementary school. Intelligence must be measured by more than academic degrees. If anything, Randol’s Ph.D. should have taught her discipline and responsibility, two traits lost in her armed and dangerous shuffle.

Scranton needs common sense whether or not you have a doctorate.

Another dandy race in Scranton is “Little Billy” Gaughan’s run for city council.

Gaughan is the ticking time bomb candidate who I believe accosted me and my WILK News Radio colleagues two St. Patrick’s Days parades ago with a barrage of foul language and homophobic slurs. He was clearly under the influence of recklessness and made a complete fool of himself as we watched in awe. In a bizarre on-air interview with me, Gaughan said he could not remember the encounter. He did not deny the episode that at least a dozen eyewitnesses observed. He just said he could not remember.

Gaughan went on to use his mental prowess and local Minooka section of Scranton political connections to obtain a job as a teacher in the Scranton School District – which makes all sitting school directors who approved his hiring – including Bob Lesh and Bob Sheridan, who are running for re-election – incompetent to serve the public and not fit for public office.

Gaughan seems to have more signs on the street than numbers in his IQ yet seems to be a favorite to win. Scranton is in for trouble if this young lout takes a city council seat. He’ll be great for the news business and terrible for the city.

But Scranton is used to misery.

And, of course, misery loves “Little Billy” Gaughan & Co.

Down south in Luzerne County, sitting county Controller Walter Griffith is in trouble since the district attorney accused him of illegally recording telephone and other conversations. Griffith has not been arrested but the attorney general’s office is investigating. As a result, Walter refuses to talk with the press or even give a deposition in a lawsuit filed against him and the county.

As weird as Luzerne County politics has been, and it ranks right up there with the worst that can happen,. Griffith is to my knowledge the first candidate running for re-election who refuses to answer questions from the press.


I no longer trust Walter Griffith.

I used to trust him but no more.

I used to trust Liz Randol.

But no more.

Politics is getting scarier and nastier in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

In too many ways, we’re on our own.

So let’s shake hands and come out voting.

Life could get better.

Or not.

Tags :  
Locations : LackawannaLackawanna CountyLuzerneLuzerne CountyNortheastern Pennsylvania
People : Bill CourtrightBob LeshBob SheridanJim GibbonsLiz RandolPatti Grande RiederWalter Griffith

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05/16/2013 11:25AM
Doing The Armed And Dangerous Shuffle
Please Enter Your Comments Below
05/18/2013 11:39AM
I feel sad for you
It must be difficult for you to be so perfect while everyone around you is flawed.
05/20/2013 12:03PM
Wrong about Gaughan
Steve, You are totally wrong about Mr. Gaughan. Please get your facts straight before you spew your hatred towards him. He is a substitute teacher in the Scranton School District. The School Board has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the hiring of substitute teachers. Mr. Gaughan has a Bachelors degree and a Masters in Secondary Education from the University of Scranton. He holds a dual teaching certificate in the state of Pennsylvania. Again, get your facts straight. The only bizarre thing about Mr. Gaughan's interview was your attitude towards him. You are not a journalist. You are a great entertainer and an absolute fool.
05/20/2013 12:06PM
Get facts straight
Steve, Mr. Gaughan is a substitute teacher in the Scranton School District. I thought you would at least research this before writing this hateful article about him. He was not appointed by the School Board. He is state certified and filled out an application just like everyone else. You are everything thats wrong with radio and journalism in this country. Get a life.
05/20/2013 12:59PM
Enjoy Commenting while you can
It is evident that his blog post is NOT supposed to allow comments, it is up twice. Steve Corbett rules the WILK internet with an iron fist that would make Hitler, El Duce' and Stalin proud. These comments will be gone shortly and if he finds out who you are, you will be banned from the entire internet because disent is not allowed.
05/21/2013 1:28AM
Get a life and then a haircut and seriously shave those pubes off your chin idiot
05/23/2013 2:33PM
Your perspective
Other than a beer muscle confrontation two years ago on St. Patrick's Day, you don't seem to know very much about Billy Gaughan. I taught him in both his sophomore and seniors years at Scranton High School. He is very bright and was extremely well-liked by both his peers and the faculty. The only person who didn't like him was the student council moderator since she had been promoting someone else for senior class president. In spite of the fact that she did everything humanly possible to minimize his visibility at that time, he remained polite and respectful and never became confrontational. Other students would not have been quite so diplomatic. Other posters have pointed out that any certified teacher can sign up for the per diem substitute list. Because there are so few on the list and some substitutes work for multiple districts, any substitute can work as often or as little as he wants. Your case against him was weakened by this assertion since it was patently false. I don't doubt that you were in a confrontation with him on Parade Day. There are many such incidents when the booze is flowing. All you have to do is read the arrest reports on the following Monday. However, your recollection of the homophobic content of Gaughan's exchange with you may or may not be accurate. Who provoked whom? What kind of shape were YOU in? I have seen you in the state store on Meadow Avenue with a shopping cart. You pride yourself on being broadminded and liberal in your thinking. Condemning a young person who is half your age for a single unpleasant alcohol induced exchange is rather narrow minded. Billy is not Public Enemy #1. He is not stupid. He is not responsible for the current mess in which we find ourselves in the city. Your using character assassination to discourage people from voting for him obviously backfired. If anything, it created sympathy for him and also gave him free publicity. He more or less has it in the bag for the general election. You are not as influential as you think you are.
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