Hot fun in the summer sun often takes a back seat to work.
That’s why countless college and high school students – as well as unemployed adults down on their luck and in need of a paycheck – need summer jobs.
Government jobs in municipalities across Pennsylvania offer that chance.
But the deck is usually stacked in favor of those who are connected to politicians who have the power to hire.
As long as the game is rigged, those with connections trump those without. A new generation of insiders is born every summer as more and more people take jobs simply because of who they know. Unless and until that unfairness stops, little will change the culture of corruption that strangles progress in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton is a political prince of insider trading.
News broke a few days ago about paid internships for his daughter, niece and work for a nephew on the city payroll.
Leighton, true to form, tried to deflect responsibility for the hiring, blaming his human resources director. But Leighton signed off on the hires by scribbling his name on an executive order.
Thus, Leighton hired his daughter, niece and nephew.
Keeping the gravy all in the family is a time-honored Wilkes-Barre tradition.
Whether that family be the Democratic Party or the immediate family and friends of an elected official is simply the way elected officials have always hustled for themselves and those they love.
That goes for Luzerne County hiring as well.
Let us not forget Lackawanna County and Scranton in this surreptitious sewer of selfishness, where nepotism, political cronyism and patronage rules supreme. But today’s story is a Wilkes-Barre story because Leighton is up for re-election.
If ever an issue existed that could be exploited all the way up to Election Day, this is it. Too bad a lackluster yet well-meaning Republican candidate faces Leighton in November.
So we the people must begin an immediate search far and wide for a knight in shining armor who will lead the charge and command a write-in campaign for the job. More than ever, a dark horse can ride from the shadows and unseat the evil Leighton who oppresses the peasants from his lofty throne in the castle of doom.
Enter the tow truck.
Enter dragon slayer Bob Kadluboski.
Armed and dangerous, Kadluboski once threatened to blow up City Hall.
Yet, he has reformed – as much as he possibly can – and now takes on the role of community activist and inside agitator who stands the only chance to throw the rascal out.
But Kadluboski has not agreed to the leading the charge. I’ve asked him on the air to enlist and today I’ll ask him again. I’ll even say “please.” And that doesn’t happen very often.
Leighton simply must go.
Four more years of Leighton lunacy will kill the city.
And, as wild as Kadlubosky is – and he is, indeed, wild, I’ll take him over Leighton any day.
Leighton is the same man who wrote a letter on behalf of his longtime admitted criminal friend, Bill Brace, when Brace faced prison for taking a bribe when he served as a county official. Then Leighton tried to mislead the public and the press by refusing to admit that he wrote the letter. I even cornered him on Public Square and asked point blank if he wrote the letter before he refused to answer and ran away with a smirk on his face,
But the truth came out during a debate when Leighton was running for state senator, a job he lost last year by a huge margin - even getting hammered in the city he supposedly leads.
Leighton’s family members resigned their summer jobs yesterday.
But Leighton still faces ethics complaints for hiring a member of his immediate family - an act that is strictly prohibited by the state ethics law.
For that he must pay.
Now is the time to set the city straight. Give me a rogue tow truck operator who carries a loaded gun and captures violent criminals in his spare time while winning a federal civil rights lawsuit against Leighton and the city.
Wild as he is, Kadlubosky is all Wilkes-Barre has left as far as candidates are concerned. That sounds dismal because it is. So let’s start fresh and from the ground up.