We are putting the Bats in the RackMrs at the bat and I are getting separate Blogs,( but we are still sharing the same bed )
Some of you may have noticed some perspective issues in this blog, so now the Mrs. and I are giving this one up. She has moved on to Lehigh County Redneck, I will be moving on to Musings from Mudville. This way, she can do her "Ann Coulter, Hillary Clinton" thing, and I can do my "James Carville, Paul Begala" thing. It will still be fun, just different names, and no more arguments over content! See you real soon!!!!
The New Lehigh County Democratic chair is:Rick Daugherty!!!!This is the result of some brilliant, tactical behind the scenes maneuvering by three of Lehigh county's elected Democratic officials, County Exec Don Cunningham, State rep Jen Mann, and A-town Mayor Ed Pawloski.This deflated an attempt by the wizard of Northampton county, Joe Long (AKA, the Lord of the Rings) to reach his tendrils into Lehigh and influence the local vote. Joe Long attempted with his surrogate, and our Congressional write in nominee, Charles Dertinger, to inflate support for Sam Bennett. Some members of the Lehigh Valley Democratic coalition also played along, sending out a letter to all committe members listing the 30 or so "true" Democrats who supported Sam, and inviting them to call and get put on the list.Let me make this very clear: Sam Bennett would have made an outstanding party chair, and still might some day, but some of her supporters became overly aggressive in demanding support, even labeling some who refused to support Sam as "Not true Democrats". It was getting out of hand, and getting nasty, and Don Cunningham, excellent leader that he is, stepped in and made the players see the whole board.Making Rick Chair, Sam 1st chair, and Matt Croslis 2nd chair, gives Lehich County Dems 3 1st team starters in positions that lets them play off of their strengths.With Local Republicans reeling on their heels following the 2005 general elections, it was absolutely imperative that Democrats put forth a united front and mobilize behind their candidates at all levels. Now it can be donewith no useless bloodshed. The only questions in the back of my mind are these: Joe Long's dream of a greater Lehigh Valley Democratic party with him at the helm has been thwarted for now, and will this failed attempt to insinuate himself into Lehigh County Politics embolden more folks in his home Northampton county, like John Stoffa, to challenge his authority? What about Charles Dertinger, will Lehigh Dems really put their heart and souls into helping him defeat the hated Charlie Dent, now that Mr Dertingers"Patron" has been cut off at the pass?Finally, what does this bode for the liberal "Impeach Bush" wing of the Lehigh Dems? Has the Lehigh Valley Democratic coalition, in getting into bed with Joe Long, damaged their credibility, and will they mute themselves, so the party can recruit and register in Lehigh, or will they keep diverting important resources and effort into their fruitless, yet I do agree worthwhile to some extent radical causes?One Thing to remember, Howard Dean is our party leader, and he has us on a good track, but his image is one of "Yeeeehawwww!!!!," and it is tough for many prospective Dems and Rinos to get past that. Whether we win in November depends on this choice: Will Dems put ourselves forward as a party of fairness, reason, and fiscal responsibility, or will we allow the lesser Angels of our being (I.E.those who vow revenge on Republicans) to be our public face, a face that when seen by those we wish to convert, comes across as a choice between the devil you know and the devil you don't? It's gonna be a long hot summer, so come Labor Day, I can't wait to see who is still standing.
Allentown PD Blue This weeks episode is titled: Guns and golden parachutes When is a gun a toy, and when is it a dangerous weapon? According to Allentown Police investigators and Lehigh County D.A Jim Martin, A pellet gun is a dangerous weapon in the hands of a teenager, but in the hands of a trained Law enforcement officer, who accidently shoots another officer with it, it is just a toy. Lets play a little game I like to call: What If? What if I had accidentally shot a police officer with a pellet gun? What charges would I be facing? Lets see, after calling the S.W.A.T. team and negotiating my surrender for a bowl of spicy chili, the D.A would probably charge me with numerous counts of inciting a riot, disrupting public safety, assaulting a police officer, not to mention the attempted murder charges, and no bail while awaiting trial. Now, if I am a member of the Allentown P.D.,and I accidently shoot a fellow officer, I get to retire with my overly generous pension plan, and an apology from the D.A. for putting me through the unfair scrutiny of an investigation. And I thought Northampton county was the home of the Ernie Preate Memorial School of Law Enforcement!!!! Now there is a branch in Lehigh County as well Golden parachutes!!! These aren't just for CEOs of big companies, they are for Allentown Police Officers as well! Some of the figures of what these folks are making in retirement are staggering, and projections of a $150 million dollar liability for Allentown are mind boggling. This is all thanks to Mr. power point, "smoke and mirrors" presentation himself, former mayor Roy Awful bach. Now a retired Federal judge from Philly is going to mediate the dispute between the city and the cops. Good luck to Ed Pawlowski on this one. I am a strong supporter of Union Rights, but even I think they might have went a little too far in taking advantage of someone as feeble minded as Roy apparently was.
There's Good News....and there's Bad News....and they are one and the same...... The Morning Call confirmed today that Charles Dertinger has indeed, in all likelihood, successfully executed a write-in campaign to be the Democratic Candidate for Congress in the 15th District. The good news is Charlie Dent will have to publicly defend his record as a "Rubber Stamp" for Bush. He will also have to spend that vast war chest, courtesy of his corporate friends, on himself, instead of helping local and state level Republicans in their races. The Bad news is Charles Dertinger is the best the Dems could find willingto take him on. I want to give credit here, to those who made the best of a bad situation, executed a "Mission Impossible", overcame tremendous obstacles, and got a candidate on the ballot. I have to give a shout out to Sam Bennett in Allentown, for organizing and pushing a program that got 2000 write in votes in Lehigh County alone. That's the kind of effort that wins races in November. Joe Long, for all the griping about him, took action, and got a candidate while others sat on their hands. Mr. Dertinger is going to take a lot of hits for being a party man, but what about Dent? He lives in a glass house on that issue as well. This race will boil down to turnout and voter mood on election day, with a side order of Economic reality, as in, "Is the Valley job situation as rosy as today's Morning Call says?" I don't think so. Good, Union wage paying skilled jobs declined, while hotels and servant sector jobs exploded. I don't know of too many parents who are hoping that their kids grow up to clean rooms, work at Wal-mart, or deal Blackjack at a Casino.Paradise Lost? That's the issue people, the Loss of The American Dream. For the many former Lucent, Bethlehem Steel, Agere, and now Tyler Pipe folks who have watched their jobs, benefits, and the long term promises made to them in seemingly unbreakable Union wage contracts shrivel up and blow away, maybe the promise of a secure future was all just a dream. The fact is, right now, for many, working twice as hard for half the money in one of many new Servant sector Jobs isn't just the reality of their day to day life, it is their walking nightmare. Then they have to watch as their promised Medical benefits are erased by a faceless judge in a Corporate court, and get insult added to injury as a CEO gets a Hundred million Dollar bonus for doing such a good job of dismantling their company. Then they turn on the news and see the Economy in Southeast Asia is Booming, It ought to be, that's where the corporations are outsourcing their old jobs to. Meanwhile, their elected officials give theselves raises and increase THEIR pensions. Talk about not being in touch with your constituents!!!! This is what the policies of the Republican Party has given us in the past twelve years, at both the Federal and State level. I know some Dem candidates might not be that great, but do we really want to sit on our hands and let the Republican greedmeisters have two more years? I don't.
As Deep Throat told Woodward and Bernstein:"Just follow the money"The Morning Call published another article this morning concerning unethical activities by Republican party hacks. This time concerning an Upper Macungie Engineering firm operated by Barry Isetts. County Commissioners must approve nonbid professional services agreements of more than $10,000. They did approve contracts with Isett's firm, in 2004, when none other than TOM GORR, Upper Macungie Supervisor, was also holding a job as the county's director of General services. Barry Isett said: "We've never had any quid pro quo in anything we've done." Here's a helpful hint for all those would be investigative reporters out there: Go down to the Lehigh County board of elections and ask to see the campaign finance reports of Jane Ervin and Tom Gorr for their respective election campaigns in 2005. Isn't it interesting how everybody who gives to them either had a job, got a job, got contracts with the respective municipality where Tom or Jane worked, or has business pending to a board where they might rule. NO Quid Pro Quo?!!! Yeah, right.Tom Gorr is not having a very good May, first he gets exposed for misusing a Township credit card, then the Morning Call Editorial board chastises him for succumbing to "Too much Temptation", and now he's entangled in this. Tom has been making a lot of enemies in the last few years, and his opponent made him sweat to get re-elected last November. A cat has Nine Lives Mr. Gorr, as Satchel Paige titled his biography, "Don't Look Back", I think there is a Tractor Trailer full of Fogelsville Residents bearing down on you, and they've got their foot on the gas, not the break.Rich Grucela's great idea!It is called H.B. 2250, and would allow school districts to charge impact fees to developers for all the homes they build. It would be measured at $2500.00 per bedroom, with the first one being free, but if you build a 4 bedroom house, the fee would be $7500.00. fees would be reduced or eliminated for developments that include only homes for adults without children, low income housing, energy efficient homes, projects that preserve open space, Tepees and Igloos.(Just Joking on the last two) Grucela is trying really hard to squeeze just a little of the developers profits out of them, to help pay for the corollary costs they inflict on some local school districts with their home construction Gold Rush. Even if this were to pass, developers would just pass this cost onto the buyer of these Mc Mansions, who would willingly, yes gullibly, pay it. Yet Doug, "Dudley-do wrongly" Reichley, can't or won't say he supports it, probably because he has to check back with his masters, both in Harrisburg and the land of developer Oz, to see how they want him to play it. The end result is, this bill is a good idea, it is fair, it is reasonable, and it puts some of the burden of ever bulging school costs directly on the prime cause, ergo,IT IS DOOMED.
It's Time to reform, Stupid.I have been reading many of the opinions posted by professionals about how the inner party war between moderate republicans and their conservative far right is leaving the door open for Democrat gains in PA come November. I think they are wrong. The Republican right, by ousting so many involved with the pay raise, are making the case that they are the ones who are serious about reform in the State house. They are truly cleaning out the R.I.N.O.s. Meanwhile, Dems like Mike Veon and Bill Deweese breathe a huge sigh of relief as they survive by stroking their base.
The Republicans can now portray themselves as a party willing to reform, while painting we Dems as just spouting the same old political rhetoric.
If I were the Dems, my main campaign issue would be reform, period. Voters are tired of the same old Harrisburg blow-off, Dems can be portrayed by Republicans as protecting the status quo, they will be seen as part of the problem by the voters. Ed Rendell will be re-elected Governor, but unless Democratic candidates are willing to take a stance for items such as lobbying reform and a true realistic and tough realignment of how PA funds schools, Fast Eddie's coattails won't be very long. Ed Rendell needs a Democratic controlled house. Is he willing to expend the political capital in individual House races to get it? I don't know, but I know one thing I would Love to see: Bob Freeman, Speaker of the House. Then Everyone would know that Democrats are serious about reform.
Don't Cry for Me Lehigh ValleyPaul Semmel gets his walking papers. and that is not a bad thing, at least not for Paul.
Besides getting a full pension and free medical care for life, Paul can relax and enjoy a new career after a while. The profession is LOBBYIST, and it sure beats the hell out of milking cows on the old dairy farm, now doesn't it?!
The true bloodbath will be waged in the fall by Archie Follweiler and Carl Mantz. Kutztown hasn't been big enough for these two hombres, and it will be interesting to see if Arch can make waves in Lehigh county. I hope so, because I plan to vote for him.
I was shockedThat Jubelirer and Brightbill both went down by wide margins. Looks like folks in the Berks Lancaster region want their conservatives to actually walk the walk, not just talk it. It will be interesting to see if moderate and conservative Republicans can unite behind the newcomers.
Opportunity is knocking at the Dems door, will we answer it?Biggest Loser: Anthony RybackThe green of his name is for the envy he must be feeling for Jose Rosado, who was a class act in defeat, and Joe Brennan, who punished him in the polls. That thud you heard at * PM last night was your political career dropping dead. Goodbye! I suggest cremation, there has to be some way to rid the 133rd district of the stench from your campaign.
Last but not least....The new voting Machines worked pretty well, but I still think human error factors into this just as much, otherwise how do you explain the following?: In Lower Mac 8, approximately 60 Democrats voted, and Bob Casey got 45 votes, Chuckie P got 10 votes, but Alan Sandals got.... 70?!!!!
Mrs. at the bat had no problem with the machine, but came out talking how easy it was to write in Charle Dent for Congress. She truly got confused, and I have forgiven her, but if that one vote costs us,... we might have to move!!!