The LuLac Edition #43, July 16th, 2006
HAZLETON ORDINANCE PASSES………….As expected, the city of Hazleton passed the Immigration ordinance on Thursday. The wall to wall coverage was provided by Hazleton’s own WLYN channel 35. National outlets also covered the meeting like CNN and Fox News. It will be interesting to see how various aspects of this thing plays out. Questions abound like, 1. Will this have a negative effect or positive one on Mayor Barletta? 2. Will this change the dynamics of any major races like the U.S. Senate race pitting Rick Santorum vs Bob Casey, Jr.? 3. Can it spur on Hispanic residents in Hazleton to register to vote and possibly field a slate of candidates in future Hazelton elections? 4. If Barletta succeeds in proving that there are illegal aliens causing the crime, (a recent drug bust in Hazleton on Friday night reflected that) will the heat on him simmer down? 5. Or if Barletta fails in proving his point, how much money in legal fees will Hazleton be shelling out? These are all legitimate questions with answers that will certainly make the future of Hazleton interesting and compelling.
CASEY SANTORUM MONEY RACE HEATS UP. Democrat Robert P. Casey raised $2.8 million in the last three months as he narrowed the money gap with U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum in the U.S. Senate election.Casey reported t having $5.17 million in the bank as of June 30. Santorum raised $3.6 million during the same period and had $9.5 million in the bank. Santorum has enjoyed a 2-1 cash advantage but Casey has led in the polls by nearly 18 points.This campaign is set to be the costliest Senate race in Pennsylvania history.
RENDELL AND SWANN SPENDING FROM MAY 2ND TO JUNE 5TH
Rendell: $2.36 million
MEDIA WATCH...........Kudos to Service Electric Cable for airing the entire coverage of the Hazleton Council meeting on Thursday night. The meeting was aired over WLYN TV Channel 35. Service Electric airs select WLYN programs on Channel 21 in the Wilkes Barre service area.
PCN (Pennsylvania Cable Network) doing an all day tribute Sunday July 16th to the late Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo in a series of interviews entitled RIZZO REMEMERED. The shows start at 3PM and continues until well past midnight.
CIVIL UNIONS, GAY MARRIAGE DEBATE
During the last few years, there has been much debate about the issue of gay marriage, civil unions and the constitutionality of all. The most succinct and commonsense comments to me anyway came from Senator Vince Fumo on the Senate floor on July 21, 2006. Here they are in their entirety:
Senator FUMO. Madam President, I just have a few simple comments. I do not want to belabor the debate either. This amendment does, as Senator Mellow said, exactly what the reversion. Does. You can get up here all you want and say you are not against taking away anyone’s benefit, but you want to make sure that they do not get them, and then cite a case that has been decided under the Constitution of Pennsylvania, without this amendment. If this amendment goes in, as in the fashion of the Gordner amendment, then you would be taking away benefits. I am not even going to talk about lesbians and gay men, and all that. I am talking about senior citizens who live together because they choose to do so, because if they got married they would lose Social Security benefits. This would harm them as well. If you are really worried, and I do not know why you would be, but if you are really worried about the Supreme Court saying that marriage is something other than one man and one woman, therefore overturning the statute that was passed in this General Assembly, then this constitutional amendment, in its current form does that. But if your real agenda is discrimination, if your real agenda is to set up two categories of people, then you do not want what is in this amendment. I heard a lot of talk in the House debate, and thank God, I have not heard much of it in here yet, except for Senator Regola, about the, quote, "sanctity of marriage." If we are concerned about the sanctity of marriage, I do not know how it hurts a marriage, anyone's marriage in this Chamber, if some gay couple in Philadelphia is living together. If your marriage is in that bad of shape that you cannot withstand that challenge, then I question your marriage. Who are we kidding here? Mind your own business. Stay out of the bedroom. You know, the great conservative Republican philosophy was get government off our back. I never heard the extra phrase, and into your bedroom, You live your life in your house, you live your life in your bedroom, and let other people live their lives in their bedrooms. That is what America is about, and as far as the Majority wanting to do something like this, our Founding Fathers feared the tyranny of the majority. Our Bill of Rights wag not designed for the majority, it was designed to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority, and that is what Constitutions are about. That is why you have them, because they defend everybody's rights, whether you agree with them or not. If it was a legislative decision, we would still have slavery in the South, maybe even in Pennsylvania. If it were a legislative decision, and not a court decision, we would still have segregation in schools. That is not what this country is about. This country, on a conservative level, is about minding your own business and not worrying about your neighbor's business. This kind of legislation and this kind of constitutional debate says, oh no, I want to worry about your business because it is going to affect my business, When I hear about the sanctity of marriage, why do we not pass a constitutional amendment that says you cannot get a divorce in Pennsylvania? Now that would hurt me twice, and it would hurt some others once or twice, and there are a lot of people in here, when we talk about the sanctity of marriage, who could not live under that. It would be a lot less expensive, I have to admit. If you want to talk about statistics, let us talk about the statistics of marriage in America, where I believe at last count one in every two marriages ends in divorce. That is not because of some gay couple in Philadelphia. In fact, I submit to you that from everything I have seen, homosexual relationships last a lot longer. If we would let them get married, our national statistics would go up. We would look like a better country. When you talk about the sanctity of marriage, worry about your own marriage, and if your marriage is in trouble because a gay couple in Philadelphia lives together and they love each other and they have lived together for a long time, and if your wife or husband is going to leave you because of that, then you have deeper problems than this amendment is ever going to solve. Madam President, I ask my colleagues to vote "no" on this amendment. If you are really about what you say you are about, the language is in here. We want to prevent activist courts, the ones that gave us Brown vs. Board of Education, even the one that gave us George Bush as President. That was an activist court, but if we are worried about that, then just leave it the way it is. It says clearly to our Supreme Court that marriage is between one man and one woman. That is enough. But if you are really about discrimination, if you are really about going after people who you may not like or whose lifestyle you may not like, or if you are about putting religion into the Constitution, something our forefathers feared, then do all this other nonsense. You know, a long time ago, and I believe Thomas Jefferson and James Madison have been quoted, but I want to read something to you from Alexis de Tocgueville, who in the 1830 ~ wrote a treatise called Democracy in America, and it has been cited many, many times, and I quote from that. "If ever freedom is lost in America, it will be due to the omnipotence of the majority driving minorities into desperation, forcing them to appeal to physical force. We may then see anarchy, but it will come as a result of despotism. "The big fear was, all in all, and many times over in the Federalist Pagers of our Founding fathers, the tyranny of the majority. The majority, and yes, we are a country that gives the majority power and gives them certain authority, but we are also a country unique in the world with the Bill of Rights that says the majority cannot discriminate or hurt the minority, simply because there are fewer of them. We recognize certain human rights in this country. We do not use a constitution or an amendment process to discriminate against anyone. We use it to protect everyone's rights. So, Madam President, I do not even support the bill as it is, and I will be honest about that , and I will have more to say about that later, but let us not kid ourselves about this amendment. This amendment does the same thing as the reversion, and do not cite to me Supreme Court cases that have already been decided, because you cannot use them as precedent if, in fact, you pass this constitutional amendment. The whole ball game changes. So if you are saying that you are not against taking benefits away from people, then leave them alone. Do not take a pound of flesh, take what you are afraid of, a marriage is between one man and one woman, and if you are really about the sanctity of the preservation of marriage, let one of the righteous people on that side of the aisle, more than me, because I am not qualified on this, but somebody over there should offer an amendment making it unconstitutional in this State to dissolve a marriage contract once it is entered into. That will get you the sanctity of marriage. Thank you, Madam President.