Monday, March 12, 2007

Allentown's Pawlowski Administration Denies Favoritism to Political Contributors

I posted last week and again today concerning swirling rumors that Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski is showing favoritism to property owners who make political contributions. This morning, I heard from public information officer Joe McDermott. Joe's a distinguished former Morning Call reporter who has covered both Easton and Northampton County.

He flatly denies that Mayor Pawlowski plays favorites. In a telephone conversation this morning, he also asked me to relay his message to other bloggers who have posted this topic. I appreciate Joe's prompt response, and am posting it here.

Bernie,

I'm sorry you weren't referred to me when you called the mayor's office. Next time, ask for me by name. As you note in an earlier comment, there are some things we can't comment on, such as personnel decisions, for legal reasons I'm sure you understand.

However, I want to make it clear on behalf of Mayor Pawlowski that he values integrity above all else.

He does not and will not play favorites. It doesn't matter who you are, whether you are a contributor or not, if your building is unsafe you will be cited and taken to court, if necessary, to ensure the safety of the people of Allentown. This is why the city is hiring seven new inspectors this year.

Again, I will not because of potential litigation name any specific building owner on this blog, but as for the allegations that charges were dropped in the case cited on-air by Mr. Angle, that is untrue. The case was continued and as of today is scheduled to be heard April 4 by DJ Karen Devine. I'm sure that if you ask this particular property owner -- who, yes, made a contribution to the mayor's campaign -- he will not have many pleasant things to say about the mayor right now because the codes are being enforced.

Finally, please remember that this is an election year. There will be all sorts of mud flying before November ends, and much of it will be thrown by people who have nothing better to do because they can't come up with any solid criticism. I urge you to consider the source before publicizing these allegations.

This administration is focused on integrity, on the positives, on the things that need to be done to make Allentown a city we can all be proud of.

I enjoy your blog and I enjoy many of the other local blogs. Bloggers often report what the mainstream media either ignores or cannot get to. But like any reporter, you have an obligation to find the truth before publishing. I will always respond to your calls, and if I cannot give you the answer you seek, I will do my best to tell you why I cannot.

13 comments:

Billy Givens said...

Beware ex-newspaper staffers who retire or resign their fourth-estate, public watch-dog positions of responsibility to work for politicians like Ed Pawlowski and State Theatre Executive director shelley Brown (also formerly in the news industry as an employee of WLVT-39 PBS television.

Indeed, an Excess-Times editor recently left that position to join the State Theatre staff.

Years earlier, the host of WEST-AM's radio station weekly shoe, "At Issue," left his position to become Eston Mayor Tom Goldsmith's PRO.

The Morning Call Girl and Joe McDermott are especially suspect The Call Girl, the smallest of the Chicago Tribune's 14 newspapers (and TV stations, exact number unknown), is on the brink of bankruptcy - a fancial collapse that the Chandler newspaper family of Los Angeles, which owns a large share of Tribune stock, attributes to the Chicago syndicate's aggressive, too-rapidly expanding campaign, of media consolidation through the ownership of both print and electronic media outlets (a subject on which former downtown Easton business owner and operator David Clark have published on the www.billybytes.com website.

The Tribune's financial straits explain why The Call Girl's procurers Bill White and Chuck Ayers write glowing columns and "news" articles boosting the Sands BethWorks LLP casino-centric project on the banks of the Lehigh River in South Side Bethlehem.

The Call Girl, and the Excess-Times, both need the casino's advertising revenue.

Billy Givens said...

The Morning Call has in its sights bagging either WFMZ-69 TV, or, likelier, WLVT-69 TV, in line with the media consolidation effort sweeping the country, favored by former Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Powell, son of retired Armed Services Chief-of-Staff and Secretary of State Colin Powell.

The Democratic Party has finally waked up to FOX cable TV and its chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, fallout from his recent racial slurs against Barak Obama and in retaliation has announced it will not participate or endorse the FOX telecast debate scheduled for August 14 of this year.

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Billy Givens said...

Gert Bruhn, like Mark Pilarski, is a nationally, and internationally, recognized authority on casino gambling.

For those interested in the pitfalls of casino gambling, both Bruhn and Pilarski may be "Goggled."

In addition, Bernie, I will be forwarding to you and my other internet subscribers an e-mail I received from anti-gambling activist Diane Berlin quoting another anti-gambling activist who has appeard on Ron Angle's "At Issue."

Anonymous said...

From my glimpse of the top of the A-town food chain, I would say that Mr. Weiss's only flaw is that he is TOO by-the-books...and perhaps brings that 30-year-chip on his shoulder, that so many long time residents have. That chip leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the most righteous residents when the go to 4th floor of City Hall.

Glad to hear there will be 7 new inspectors... fresh blood and perhaps some positive outlooks... just what we need.

Rising Sun said...

The most famous of the "4th estate" to politics defectors is the press secretary of one Lehigh Valley Congressman.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Rising Sun, True. But he also drives a Jeep wrangler, and that makes him a real man.

Billy Givens said...

For further evidence of The Morning Call carrying the water for politicians, refer to www.billybytes.com article titled "Media Control" dated September 15, 2003, and co-authored by Billy Givens and former Allentown and Easton business owner and operator David Clark.

Following are three paragraphs excerpted from the article:

"The tail end of 1991 marked the worst recession in reent times. The owners of Park-N-Shop, who had been offered $3.5 million for their lots by Colonial Parking five years earlier when the economy was robust, feared the value of their lots would drop to a giveaway. Since Colonial wanted to offer a lower recession recession price, the owners then went to then-Mayor Joe Daddona. They talked him into having the Allentown Parking Authority buy the lots for the full original offer of $3.5 million, the figure they had been offered erlier when the economy was strong.

"At the time, The Morning Call editorialized that this was a great deal for the city. Before long, an opposition group of 75 people organized. The group viewed the sale as a bailout, an unreasonable land-grab by the government, a tremendous loss of tax revenue, and a destroyer of future development downtown. David A. Clark, an Allentown merchant at the time, told city council, the body that voted on the sale, that if the sale went through, they would see no new development downtown other than that subsidized by government for the next 10 years.

"The lone city council member voting against the sale was the late Emma Tropiana, whom The Morning Call ridiculed for not falling in line behind Daddona and the other council members. Does Allentown want a newspaper with the additional armament of a TV station to launch its vendettas against dissenters like Emma Tropiana? Competition between media is a healthy situation that can be disrupted by allowint news outlets to join under one ownership."

The Morning Call's main water-bearer in the attack against Emma Tropiana was its reporter-columnist Bill White.

Who is The Morning Call's former reporter Joe McDermott carrying the water for - Mayor Pawloski or Mr. Weiss?

I don't know the answer to this question, either, but let's find it.

Billy Givens said...

Bernie,

After my 5:02 comment to your post "Allentown's Pawlowski Administration Denies Favoritism to Politcal Contributor," I read in today's edition of The Morning Call that the Easton Historical Commission last night approved the Arcadia Properties-Easton Parking Authority Riverwalk project on Larry Holmes Drive in the Delaware River-Bushkill Creek floodplain.

That article sent me running back to the www.billybytes.com website and the second "Managed News" article published there on July, 29, 2002.

Just as my 5:02 AM comment exposed The Morning Call's influence on Allentown politics, the July 29, 2002, article exposes the corrupting political influence of former Easton Mayor Thomas Goldsmith, his public relations officer Mike Moore, and The Express Times in the Riverwalk project.

In fact, Goldsmith, Moore, and The Express-Times committed fraud, as I show in the July 29, 2002, article: They doctored the official press release issued by Pennsylvania's U.S. Senators Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum re the Senate's approval of funds appropirated for the Allentown and Easton Intermodals, the Easton Intermodel or parking garage-luxury condiminum complex being the Riverwalk project.

The deceptors dis this to give the public the impression that the federal funds were appropriated for a parking garage or Intermodal to built next to the Hotel Easton."

In fact, the appropriation specified no sight, and in fact the site selected for Riverwalk was the site of the subdivided parking lot behind the Northampton County-owned Governor Wolf Building, a KOZ site, as recommended by the Easton Area Industrial Land Development Corporation.

The assertion in today's The Morning Call article by Ardadia Properties executive Shawn Langen, another College Hill Brahmin, that the Riverwalk project does not require federal approval is a lie.

Riverwalk lies not only in the downtown Local Historic District, but also in the National Historic District, and as such is protected by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1982.

Langen and the other blue-blooded Brahmins from Easton's silk-stocking College Hill neighborhood, like Danny Cohen, whom I identified in my comment to your March 9, 2007, post re Bethlehem's Broughal School, are playing political games with Easton's historic districts, of which there are more than two.

If the City of Easton wants to avoid a law suit, I advise its lame-duck city council, on which three seats are up for grabs this year, to hold off on any decisions re Riverwalk until after a new council is seated in 2008.

LVDem said...

Billy Given's strikes again. If you had just stuck to the line about "Beware the former newsman" you would have been fine.

That said, I accept Joe's response. Pawlowski has demonstrated his integrity on many occassions in allentown and I have no reason to doubt him here.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Billy posted 5 comments on this post alone. At ungodly hours this morning, he was pecking away and adding posts to today's topic as well. None of his comments had anthing to do with the topic. I finally have had enough. He monopolizes this blog, and kills comment threads. I deleted his comments to today's post.

Look Out Lehigh Valley said...

wait, whose blog is this, anyway?

Thanks for the good ORIGINAL post, BO'H.

R mosh-kee-kee said...

Billy is uh, different.

As for 'Quick-Eddie P' and all pols, it is only news when they DON'T show favoritism.