Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sandy McClure and her Wandering Ways

Sandra McClure, Lamont's wife, is a full-time Northampton County Assistant District Attorney. In fact, the DA's office is a big Lamont fan. DA John Morganelli kicked in $1,500 last time MCClure ran . . . and lost. A detective threw in another $500. Cha ching!

Sandra McClure is one of those over-worked DAs we read about, fighting gangs while stomping on undocumented immigrants reported to Morganelli by local unions. She probably has no time for politics. Right?

Wrong!

McClure has somehow found the time to visit every courthouse office for signatures to her husband's nomination petition. John Morganelli, Godfather of one of her children, doesn't mind. But county workers do. One told me she was approached and told, "sign this," with no explanation.

Another courthouse worker posted this comment.

Well, I just wanted to comment on McClure's wife wandering around the courthouse, having the nerve to ask the "severely" underpaid county workers (who have not seen a raise in 4 years) to sign the petition to get her husband voted in. (I do hope this was on her own time and not county's.) Yes, we were definitely "not" impressed, especially when she had the nerve to say that her barely present husband is concerned about the plight of the county workers'--and then further claimed that "everyone" had a cost of living raise (can I parade my measly, pathetic paycheck to prove her wrong??--me and my coworkers never know whether to laugh or cry over the entire mess). Maybe someone should tell them that if Lamont wants in on the council that he better start learning about the county and its' workers before even asking for votes--and perhaps showing his own face instead of sending the wife to do his dirty work. Talk about insert foot in mouth!!!--real intelligent.

Northampton County Democratic committeemen will meet this Saturday to endorse primary candidates. They will almost certainly endorse Lamont. To them, democracy is too important to be left to the voters.

Update and Clarification: About five minues after this post published, DA John Morganelli told me Sandy McClure is a part-time assistant DA, not full time, and has no set hours. I stand corrected. LVDem popped on this post just a few minutes later to say "someone" had told him much the same thing. So what's the big deal? She walked into every courthouse office to solicit signatures and interrupted public employees at work, taking them away from their jobs. That violates the Home Rule Charter, which forbids most employees from "political activity while performing the duties of [their] positions with the County ... ."

12 comments:

LVDem said...

I've been told that she is part time in the DA's office (correct me if I'm wrong on that front) and that the day she was circulating it was her scheduled day off. If that's true, there is nothing improper in my mind (unless of course there are policies in place that prohibit such activity, which is possible). I've asked co-workers to sign petitions, and vice versa. All that my supervisors have asked is that I do it when I'm not being paid to be there (like during lunch or after the doors are locked).

Point is that there may be nothing inappropriate in doing this based on the policies in place and Ms. McClure's part time status.

Chris Casey said...

I think if the Buddy Christ asked to sign a petition, I'd sign!

Rising Sun said...

I am supporting Buddy Christ.

Gort said...

What office is Buddy running for?

Chris Casey said...

It's not too late to get him on the ballot. How many sigs we need to get him on as DJ in Nazareth?
Hey, I bet we could run him in Lower Mac!

R moshki said...

They will almost certainly endorse Lamont. ---To them, democracy is too important to be left to the voters.---
--------------------
"Ain't that America?" (John Cougar Melencamp)

Bernie O'Hare said...

You are right. McClure is part-time. I'm adding a clarification. But she interrupted county employees at their desks with political activity, and there IS a policy against that. It's called the Home Rule Charter. Am I the only one who reads it?

LVDem said...

Yes Bernie, I have the damn thing book marked (Article VII, Section 1.8-809):
"Each member of the career service may participate or refrain from participating in political activity but no member of the career service shall engage in political activity while performing the duties of his position with the County or serve as the county chairman or county leader of a political party."

A clever lawyer will say that signing a petition can occur during a break or at any other time that the person is deemed to be not performing the duties of his position (like over lunch). Again, I think the county personnel policies will have to clarify exactly how that transpires. Now, I don't have the policies in front of me, but reasonable legal interpretations can be made about the language of this part of the Home Rule Charter.

And I would be extremely careful about exactly how you want this enforced. A similarly clever lawyer could easily say that visiting blogs that discuss politics is a political activity. If signing a petition during a momentary break or over lunch can't happen, then I would think that the lawyer could say that reading blogs is a similar political activity.

Now, I'm not a lawyer (nor have I consulted one about these matters... others yes) and I don't play one on TV (Denny Crane), but I think reasonable arguments can be made. To provide certainty, I'd be more comfortable casting judgement based on employment policies rather than the line in the charter. I just don't think the charter is as clear cut as you claim. I'm not discounting your interpretation, but it would be a stronger force if there was language somewhere in employment policies.

Bernie O'Hare said...

LVDem, There's no doubt in my mind that a county employee can do whatever he wants during a break. There's also no doubt in my mind that employees should not be besieged with requests to sign petitions every time there's an election. Ms. McClure was NOT waiting in halls to speak with people or catching them at lunch. She marched from office to office, in a very concerted effort to obtain signatures, pulling people from behind their counters and desks. I don't know how much more plain this can be. She thumbed her nose at the charter her husband swore to uphold. It would be like me or you marching from office to office, demanding employees to turn on our blogs and read them while we wait. I have a nomination petition for someone, too. I work at the courthouse. And I have not visited a single office like that. It's wrong. And people feel intimidated, especially when they're reminded that McClure's husband is "concerned" about their plight. I doubt anyone will make an issue of this, because that would require asking some of these folks into court, and I sure don't want to do that. But there is no doubt in my mind that McClure's methodology is illegal. What's even worse, it's tacky. I don't see McHale doing it, or Branco or Dowd or Power.

Rising Sun said...

To Chris Casey:

Buddy Christ, a native of Nazareth, born in Bethlehem, and probably hung in New Jerusalem, could almost certainly win in any of those municipalities. Obviously he could get on the ballot in either Macungie, as it seems you guys are letting all kinds of characters into your government.

Rising Sun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dating said...

I am supporting Buddy Christ too!