The LuLac Edition #93, Nov. 18, 2006
PHOTO INDEX: LUZERNE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS STEVE URBAN, GREG SKREPENAK AND THE DEPARTING TODD VONDERHEID, THE LATE CONTROLLER JOSEPH TIRPAK ON ONE OF HIS ELECTION PALM CARDS, NBC COMMENTATOR CHRIS MATTHEWS AND ROMAN POLITICO AND DICTATOR CINCINNATUS.
IF TODD IS
THEN WHO ARE THE
Todd Vonderheid's withdrawl from consideration has local Democrats scrambling to get a major advantage to be added to the 2007 ticket with Greg Skrepenak. Early speculation has county Controller Mary Ann Petrilla wanting to jump to the Commissioners Chair. The Dems should be very cautious about letting that happen. The Controller's Chair was held by long time Demo kingpin Joe Tirpak for years. After his death, a huge primary fight ensued with Exeter resident Tom Pizano winning the seat. Two years later, Pizano jumped to the Commissioner's office to run with Tom Makowski. Andy Reilly, then Mayor of Luzerne was appointed to the seat. He was defeated in the primary by independent firebrand Steve Flood who became a burr under the saddle of his own party. If Pizano had stayed where he was for a full term, there would have been no Steve Flood and perhaps Atty. Makowski still might be in office. The Democrats have to choose wisely and pick someone qualified but not at the expense of losing an ally in a row office as important as Controller.
In the meantime, Vonderheid's decision to come in, do his work and go home is refreshing in this day and age of political hanger ons who have to be pried from their positions with either a crow bar or an electoral defeat. Vonderheid has become the modern day Cincinnatus, but without the dictatorial tendencies.
Here's our history lesson for today:
Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus (519 BC) was an ancient Roman political figure, serving as consul in 460 BC and Roman dictator in 458 BC and 439 BC.
Cincinnatus was viewed by later historians as one of the heroes of early Rome and as a model of Roman virtue and simplicity. As a persistent opponent of the plebeians, he resisted the proposal of Terentilius to draw up a code of written laws applicable equally to patricians and plebeians. He lived in humble circumstances, working on his own small farm. His career has become so tied up in legend that extracting actual events is nearly impossible; he is a semi-legendary figure.
Cincinnatus' first term as dictator began when the Aequi tribe from the east and the Volscians from the southeast began to menace Rome. The Roman Senate pleaded with Cincinnatus to assume the mantle of dictator in order to save the city.
According to analysts, Cincinnatus had settled into a life of farming and knew that his departure might mean starvation for his family if the crops went unsown in his absence. He assented to the request anyway and within sixteen days had defeated the Aequi and the Volscians. His immediate resignation of his absolute authority with the end of the crisis has often been cited as an example of good leadership, service to the public good, and the virtue of modesty.
He came out of retirement again during his second term as dictator (439 BC) to put down a revolt by the plebeians.
If the plebians or any other political group acts up, you can be sure Vonderheid will re-enter the fray to fight to preserve what he accomplished in his tenure in county government. He will be greeted with open arms too!
Chris Matthews made some intriguing Presidential picks on a Cable TV show where he was a guest. His picks for 2008 on the Democratic side are Hillary Clinton for President and Governor Tom Vilsack of Iowa for Vice President. His reasoning is Clinton can carry the east while Vilsack, a centrist Democrat will help her in the more conservative midwest. On the GOP side, Matthews picks Senator John McCain for President with Miss. Governor Haley Barbour as Vice President. This strategy will enable the GOP to win the west and with Barbour's help take most of the South. We shall see but at this point in time, these predictions are as good as any I've heard.
MORE VIETNAM COMMENTS
Again, from Vietnam Vet Pete Cassidy: How ironic, Geo Bush and Bill Clinton are the only American Presidents to visit Vietnam, while in office, and noboby tried harder to avoid the place! "W" shoulda taken 5 Deferrment Dick Cheney along for some Vietnamese duck hunting out in the paddies. Cheney is now the Expendable Man on vacation for the next two years with nothing to do and less to say.