Come January, Lackawanna County‘s political menu will no longer offer “Cheese and Crackers.”
Democrats and Republicans voted with their churning stomachs Tuesday, roasting Commissioners Pat O’Malley and Laureen Cummings and setting the table for an epic food fight between a pair of well-seasoned traditional dishes and two flavors of the week.
O’Malley and Cummings predictably blamed The Times-Tribune‘s coverage of their misadministration while reinforcing the nicknames it inspired. “Cheese” stuck to O’Malley because he seems to believe his main job as commissioner is to be photographed from breakfast to bedtime. “Crackers” stuck to Cummings due to her penchant for saying dopey things like bicycles are a gateway drug to medical marijuana.
After four years of photo-ops and fairy tales about the phantom horrors of reassessment, voters on both sides were hungry for something with fewer empty calories. Even the food at the after-parties reflected a distinct shift in appetites.
Republican winners Mike Giannetta and Chris Chermak‘s spread included hummus and flatbreads. Victorious Democratic Commissioner Jerry Notarianni and unsuccessful running mate George Kelly served roast beef and campaign-stamped chewing gum.
O’Malley and his victorious running mate Debi Domenick countered Notarianni and Kelly’s gum with lollipops and nail files. Cummings and her supporters commiserated over cold pizza.
Cheese and Crackers lost Tuesday, but they still have seats at the table through December, which will make for even more awkward commissioners’ meetings. What whine goes best with roast lame duck? We’re about to find out.