John Cole Cartoons

John Cole has been The Times-Tribune’s editorial cartoonist since April 2005. He draws five to seven full-color cartoons weekly.

Drip, drip, drip …

Drip, drip, drip …

As if the financially strapped Scranton School District needs yet another fire to douse, it turns out the district apparently ignored warnings about lead contamination in the plumbing systems in many of its school facilities. Given the relative age of many of the district’s schools, it’s not surprising to find something like this. But teachers and parents want to know why the district did not aggressively address the issue when the problem was discovered in 2016 and 2018, under the district’s previous administration.

Openness and transparency

Openness and transparency

Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti has a lot on her plate. The city faces a perilous financial situation in the face of a lawsuit alleging that it over-collected taxes in violation of Act 511, in addition to others involving the sale of the city sewer system and the administration of garbage-collection fees. It’s therefore understandable that Cognetti and her team would want to develop an orderly way to conduct business while dealing with each challenge. However, their wrong-headed plan to require the press and public to jump through a series of bureaucratic hoops before addressing the mayor or members of her administration flies in the face of transparency, accountability and open government.

Big spender

Big spender

Give Trump credit for a rare instance of truth-telling. As he promised during the 2016 campaign, he is not accepting his $400,000 annual presidential salary. He instead has been donating it to various federal agencies involved in homeland security and fighting opioid addiction. So, good on him. However, some have pointed out this feel-good gesture pales in comparison to the enormous taxpayer-funded tab he’s running up on golf outings at properties he owns and presumably profits from, a sum that’s estimated to more than double as time passes.

All that is hidden

All that is hidden

Trump is the guy who promised America during his 2016 presidential campaign that, unlike Barack Obama, he would be so busy that he wouldn’t have time to play golf.  “I’m not going to have time to go golfing, believe me,” he said in August of that year. “Believe me. Believe me, folks.”

As it happens, though, Trump has spent one out of every five days since taking office on one of his own golf courses, accruing better than $100 million in travel and security costs, all paid for by U.S. tax payers. Probably sensing that a full cost-accounting relative to the Secret Service details accompanying these outings would prove embarrassing to Trump as he lumbers through his 2020 re-election campaign, Treasury Secretary Seth Mnuchin wants to hide those numbers from public view until after election day, the latest example of the administration’s contempt for transparency and accountability.

 

About John

John Cole has been The Times-Tribune's editorial cartoonist since April 2005. He draws five to seven full-color cartoons weekly.