Making of Strategic Sourcing, part one

Columnist : Albert Paschall

Watched part of the Academy Awards the other night and now I know what Pennsylvania lacks. We need a big screen box office winner about the state. Something smashing that will produce at least three sequels and lead to at least one prequel with DVD rights for the next thirty years. When we get those Academy Awards companies will be lining up from Erie to Valley Forge to break into the big time in the Keystone State.

I decided I’m going to write the screenplay. A vehicle for big stars. Probably get a couple of real headliners in the lead roles like Stockard Channing and Martin Sheen if they can take time off from running the country.

Right now its’ tentatively titled “Strategic Sourcing, Part One.” Usually you don’t call them part one. I think you’ve got to get a couple of Oscars before you do that. But my kid told me that the popular thing today is to film the sequels and something called prequels at the same time so you can save a lot of money. Though so far movies made like this seem to end up being out of sync, over budget and downright cheesy.

Anyway the plot goes like this. There’s this benevolent Don who was boss of Philadelphia and in a surprise move takes over the boss- of- all- bosses job in Harrisburg. His name is Don Rendelleone and he’s beloved for wanting to do good things.

The Don’s got a big appetite for cheese steaks and spending. Museums, job training, hospitals or schools, there’s nothing that the good Don doesn’t want to buy. But his underbosses are starting to worry. There’s not enough juice coming into the state treasury to pay for everything.

To thicken the plot the good Don has something of an uncontrollable dark side. He likes subsidies for things like cable monopolies and stadiums. He figures the way to pay for them is to borrow here and there to get the job done, figuring he’ll be long gone when the bills come in.

But some of his underbosses don’t think they’ve got enough street guys to wiggle the vig through the Senate in Harrisburg. So they figure they can go squeeze a little here and there to sweeten the pot. So they decide to corner the state’s furniture rackets.

They figure there are 300 or so little furniture families all over the state. Mom and pop shops riding around in their mini-vans and pick up trucks selling file cabinets, desks and chairs to state offices, schools and colleges. The underbosses figure if they can squeeze them all out they can pick up a couple a million a year. The tale takes strange twists and turns as they try to figure out how to create a monopoly and still save money. It gets worse when they figure out they’re going to have to have their own pickup trucks and minivans to deliver and then set up the stuff after they takeover.

To add some treachery this is all going on behind Don Rendelleone’s back. When he figures it out or the Senate blasts him on it will Strategic Sourcing die? Does the benevolent Don disrespect his own underbosses and make peace with all the little families? Or will he turn a blind eye until the next election when all the little families gang up on him? Stay tuned the sequel is already being written: “Strategic Sourcing 2: Revenge of the Senate.” Someday that could be my Oscar.

Albert Paschall
Senior Commentator
The Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research, Inc.
[email protected]