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‘Politicizing football’ has 11th foes on attack (Kanjorski's snub of JoePa)
Times Leader (Wilkes Barre, PA) ^ | 8/11/2010 | Bill O'Boyle

Posted on 08/11/2010 7:46:10 AM PDT by Born Conservative

HAZLETON – Responding to criticism from his political opponent, U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski on Tuesday said his focus is on jobs and the economy, not “politicizing football.”

Kanjorski, D-Nanticoke, responded to Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta’s criticism for not supporting Penn State football coach Joe Paterno’s nomination for the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest national award that can be given to a civilian.

Paterno, 83, was nominated by 5th Congressional District U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, a Republican who represents Centre County including State College, and 17 other members of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation. The nomination letter was sent to President Barack Obama on Monday, ESPN reported.

Kanjorski, seeking his 14th term in Congress, is only one of two members of the delegation who did not sign the nominating letter.

Barletta, 54, is facing Kanjorski for the state’s 11th Congressional District seat in November.

Kanjorski’s office issued the following statement in response to Barletta’s criticism:

“Joe Paterno is a hero of Pennsylvania,” the statement said. “His dedicated work and leadership both on and off the football field is of great service to both Penn State and the commonwealth. In addition to his many feats on the field, he has encouraged one of the highest graduation rates among college football players showing his dedication to both academics and football,” it stated.

“Joe Paterno has fostered great pride in Penn State from all Pennsylvanians. At this time, Congress should focus its efforts on creating jobs in our communities and reviving the economy, rather than politicizing football. This is where my focus has been and where it will continue to be. Just today, the House will vote, with my support, to save 12,000 jobs in Pennsylvania, but we still have much more to do.”

Shawn Kelly, spokesman for the Barletta campaign, said he found it “hard to comprehend” that Kanjorski did not sign the nomination letter.

“Even the most die-hard fans of other teams recognize Joe Paterno’s place in the history of college sports,” Kelly said. “By failing to sign this letter, Kanjorski shows once again how out of touch he is.”

Ivan Maisel of ESPN-U, wrote on his College Football Nation Blog:

“Two Pennsylvania congressmen, Democrats Paul Kanjorski and Chaka Fattah, did not sign the letter. I’m sure they have their reasons. But isn’t that akin to declining to endorse Santa Claus?”

Paterno will take the field this year for his 45th season as the Nittany Lions’ head coach. He is the winningest coach in major college football, with 394 victories.

Created in 1945 by President Harry Truman, the Presidential Medal of Freedom has been awarded to sports figures such as Hank Aaron, Muhammad Ali, former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden and former Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: joepa; kanjorski; pa11

1 posted on 08/11/2010 7:46:12 AM PDT by Born Conservative
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To: Tribune7

Kanjorski’s district is heavily sports/football-oriented; stupid move on his part.

2 posted on 08/11/2010 7:49:27 AM PDT by Born Conservative ("I'm a fan of disruptors" - Nancy Pelosi)
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To: Born Conservative

JoePA is a conservative republican. He has donated more than a million dollars to the library system at Penn State. He and Sue even have a wing of the library named after them. How many athletic coaches can claim that?

When Bob White (black kid from the inner city) was recruited by Penn State, Paterno told him he could have a scholarship if he read a book every week in the summer and wrote a report which Sue, an English tutor, would grade. Obviously Penn State was the only school to make such a “silly” request of a high school all-american. Bob White signed with Penn State, and went on to become a two-time national champion.

Yes, Paterno is one of a kind. No wonder the dems didn’t endorse his honor.

3 posted on 08/11/2010 7:53:45 AM PDT by Tulane
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To: Born Conservative

Too busy to endorse JoePa? Seriously? I’m a Pitt guy but I’ve always had great respect for Paterno. For Kanjorski to use such a transparent lie to cover his failure to support a Republican is reprehensible but not unexpected. Congress has its big nose in everything these days, he has the time but lacks the integrity to explain his real reason for not doing this.

4 posted on 08/11/2010 7:54:43 AM PDT by hometoroost (McCain is a Ron and Nancy Republican: Campaigns like Reagan, governs like Pelosi)
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To: Owl_Eagle; brityank; Physicist; WhyisaTexasgirlinPA; GOPJ; abner; baseballmom; Mo1; Ciexyz; ...

Say goodbye to Kanjoke ping

5 posted on 08/11/2010 7:59:45 AM PDT by Tribune7 (The Democrat Party is not a political organization but a religious cult.)
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To: Born Conservative

The following person, is who the Dem decided not to endorse (excerpt from Sports Illustrated):

As a three-sport star in high school, Bob White was wooed by a dozen major schools. But when Penn State talked to him, Paterno said something outrageous: that he would give White a scholarship if, over the spring and summer, he would agree to read a dozen novels, assigned by Sue, and file a two-page book report every week.

To White, this was an insane proposal. Nobody else was complaining about his grades. He had a 2.0, which will get you a scholarship and maybe a Firebird most anywhere else. Why should he hit the books in the summer, for crying out loud, when everyone else was hitting keggers? Why should somebody be so worried about him? So, of course, he agreed. Sue’s first assignment was Huckleberry Finn. It became the first book White ever completed. Today, White is a B student in administration of justice, a team leader and a lover of books. “I’m so happy about the way things turned out for me,” says White. “There was a time I never really thought I’d get through college.” Call it the Paterno Plan, and it has worked dozens of times.

6 posted on 08/11/2010 8:06:45 AM PDT by Tulane
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To: Tulane

Great story.

7 posted on 08/11/2010 8:53:42 AM PDT by Born Conservative ("I'm a fan of disruptors" - Nancy Pelosi)
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To: hometoroost

Same here from a lifelong Buckeye and father of another. His real coaching days are long past but Joe Paterno is a national treasure. He deserves to be honored while he’s still around.

8 posted on 08/11/2010 8:57:54 AM PDT by katana (American greatness: So hard won and so easily and quickly being pissed away.)
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