Thursday, March 29, 2007

An Epistle From Joseph of Bethlehem: Dem Boss Long Denies Elections Problems

After six very public meetings, the Northampton County citizens' advisory committee decided to take its show on the road. It has been soliciting opinions in surveys mailed to candidates, poll workers, party officials and voters.

Northampton County Dem Chair Joe Long, who calls himself Boss Long, likes things the way they are. He's a machine politician used to smoke-filled back rooms. That's the way he ran meetings at the Bethlehem Housing Authority, until member Larry Kisslinger blew the whistle. Long was miraculously "reelected" as party chair before committeemen were even certified. And he clearly has an inside connection to the local elections office. First, his daughter worked there. She was hired by former county exec Reibman as a part-time employee in April 2002, and stayed on board until July 26, 2006. Second, when Congressman Dent called with some information about HAVA, the elections office actually referred Dent to Long! Third, the goofy lawyer used by voter registrar HRH DePaul as "a buffer" from "the falsehoods and basic lies," was actually recommended by Long. Fourth, he uses strongarm tactics against elections office critics. That may work in totalitarian regimes, but has little place in a democracy.

Boss Long has responded to the citizens' panel with a snotty letter. I pulled it out of a garbage can. Really! I thought I'd share Joe's thoughts with you.

At the last "Citizens meeting", it was discussed to do the surveys, but, they would not be anonymous, they would be signed. It should be in any minutes, if they in fact were recorded. [Minutes were taken and are posted on this blog. There was no agreement to require that the surveys be signed.] Why does it state that "The results of this survey will be made public during a meeting of the Northampton County Citizens Advisory Committee? If comments on the survey are mentioned, they will be used anonymously. There is no need to sign the survey." Please don't accept unanimous [I think he means anonymous] responses to the survey you sent out. People should be accountable just as you wish the voter registration office to be.

As I stated before, this is nothing but a witch hunt. If there are personnel issues to be addressed, they should be done privately and only with those it affects, not in a public venue. John Stoffa stated he was upset because the results were not ready sooner, and they were not correct. I told him the law takes precedent over what he is upset with. He stated he didn't care what the law said in our meeting with Larry Otter and Bill White, March 15th. I guess he thinks he is above the law. I have attached the election calendar for 2007 and if you check, results are unofficial thru May 22nd, and then they start the count of absentee ballots. June 4th is the last day to file with the State the returns from the primary election. The time frame is the same for the General Election in November and has been the same for a number of years.

I have been involved in the election process for over forty years, and understand that all counts are unofficial and in most cases over those same years, inaccurate. Official results are not required until 3 weeks after the election. This gives the election board time to certify the election properly. This is why I didn't have a problem with the registration office, as I understand the election laws and knew the "official results" took some effort. Perhaps those that are complaining should study the laws before they start their witch hunts.

I did not and do not have a problem with the voter registration office, because as a County Chair, it is my responsibility to be in that office more than the average citizen, in order to get absentee ballot requests, voter files, street lists, voter registration cards, verify addresses for polling places and any other need I would have for the election process.

I don't know what the opposing party chair does as far as his responsibilities are concerned. Perhaps if he spent some time in that office, he would know instead of get second hand information as to how that office functions.

I have attached the election calendar for 2007, perhaps some of us should study it and they would not have to form committees to do the job that they are responsible for.


Joe Long, Chair
Northeast Caucus, PA Democratic Party
Northampton County Democratic Party

21 comments:

Larry Kisslinger said...

I particularly like Boss's 2nd last paragraph here! Sounds very familiar to me from "an only one who knows it all guy"! The Boss once e-mail around "after" I e-mailed a list of approximately 15 questions I posed "at Staff's request" for the Congressman to answer for BHA's information. Boss suggested that if "I" would have attended more HA related seminars and conferences, that I wouldn't have to ask the Congressman for answers...as if he (the Boss) already knew the answers. If Boss did know the answers, why didn't he just advise us instead of taking a cheap shot at me. Go figure! In all fairness, I forgot more than Boss will ever know about elections or public service. I suggest many
other folks know more than "he thinks" they do as well.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, do you remember the 2002 Congressional election, where Long had people voting on the mcall.com online poll instead getting real voters to the polls?

Anonymous said...

I think I was wrong it was 2004 not 2002

LVDem said...

ah Joe long!

r mosh mellow-muff said...

Larry The K had a nice radio show on WGPA-- was a guest a couple of times.
It seem Joe and Jolly Joe might............ you fill in the blank-ee.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mr. Mosh Mellow,

Larry Kisslinger is a stand up guy. He did have a pretty nice little radio show, and I wish I could have heard you as a guest.

Funny thing. This is something that Kisslinger may not like me to tell you. Joe Long sits on BHA bc of Kisslinger. It was Kisslinger who recommended to then Mayor Cunningham that Long be appointed.

I'm glad to know I'm not the only person who gives bad advice.

Larry Kisslinger said...

I greatly appreciate your kind comments Bernie. Also would like all to know when I make a mistake, I admit it. I apologized, a month before I resigned as a BHA commissioner, to now Lehigh County Executive Cunningham for asking him to consider Boss Long before I knew more about his current thinking. I knew Mr. Boss from Little League and decades later met him at the 50th Anniversary of our League which he organized to his credit. After that I saw him at a campaign headquarters for five minutes then figured he was active in the community and might be a good choice for public service. Didn't know how wrong I was is why I apologized to Don for my error in judgement. Bad advice indeed, and now our community suffers. Apologys to all.

Bernie O'Hare said...

No apology neede. Boss Long gives me lots of stories.

Dennis Brennan said...

I 2nd that Larry is a stand up guy!

Bernie O'Hare said...

But Dennis, there's another Boss Joe. Boss Joe Brennan. He tries to boss his family around and they just laugh at him. He's about 90 feet tall. Ever hear of him?

Anonymous said...

Bernie!

As someone who loves Larry and appreciates everything that Joe has done, I just have 1 question:

WHY CAN'T WE ALL GET ALONG?

This kind of shit only serves to divide us and distract us from our real purpose.

I'm relying on YOU, Bernie, to pronounce them Man and Wife once and for all and put an end to this fighting... it only scares the kids and leads to everyone in the family having to take sides.

Peace, Love & Understanding,
Bernie Takes No Prisoners

Bernie O'Hare said...

What is our real purpose? Is it to get Dems elected even if they are terrible? Is it to promote a scond tier congressional candidate like Sam Bennett? Is it to boss a state senator around, telling her what to do? Is it to make decisions behind closed doors? Is it to have the party machine decide on endorsing candidates BEFORE the primary?

Long is a machine pol. He's using union tactics to run a local party. His tactics have alienated a good number of reform-minded Dems and have made the local party look like Tammany Hall.

The best service Long could do for the party would be to step down as chair.

I don't believe the Democratic party stands for any of the things Long represents, and that includes the attempted intimidation of people who get in his way.

What he really doesn't like is that he is now being watched and called on his excesses. It is his excesses that cause the division.

And in a climate in which reform is no longer a dirty word, he plans on backing a candidate who regularly has thumbed his nose at the Sunshine Act and takes money from KOZ kings like Atiyeh. I'm referring, of course, to Lamont McClure, the dude who helped depose Ann Mchale as council VP. Getting a dude like that elected is our real purpose? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Bernie!

Look, I know it's been hard on you because you can't buy your meth from the school principal at Nitschman anymore...

And "Inflatable Girl" senses a dramatic decline in your libido...

BUT... why do you ONLY pick on the Dem County Chair? I've been an avid reader of your blog for 10... 20 years now... and I can't recall A SINGLE POST where you ripped the GOP County Chair (and I have no fucking idea who he or she is) as often or as much as you have ripped Joe Long.

Just wondering...
Bernie Takes No Prisoners

Bernie O'Hare said...

If I had a reason to dump on Roy Schuman, I would. Has he been a repeat violator of the Sunshine Act? Has his daughter worked in the elections office? Was he illegally elected? Please giove me a reason. I'm an equal opportunity offendor.

And I'm consistent. You're not. One day you'll trash Long and the next day he's your best friend. I can pull out your comments spewing bile all over Long if you'd like. Right now I suppose you're trying to be his buddy bc he didn't like some of your earlier comments about him and Sam Bennett. Whatever your reason, I like you much better when you're honest. Don't worry, I still love you.

You haven't answered my questions. I think you've been infected by all those Harrisburglars and only think in terms of getting people elected, polling and political strategy. You've forgotten that some of us think in terms of good government. To some of us, that's more important than party affiliation. You avoid those questions, but that's what it's all about to me. I won't back a Dem if he stands for bad government. And Joe Long doesn't have a clue when it comes to good government, and that shows in the candidates he selects as favorites.

The fact that Roy Shuman is in the background should tell you something. That's where party chairs belong. They are not agenda setters. Their job is to get their party members elected. Take a look at LC's Dougherty for an example of a party chair who avoids being divisive. Long drives people away instead of attracting them, the exact opposite of what he should be doing.

The best service Long could render to his party would be to step down and assume some other role.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, Bernie, Bernie!

1) You can pull out any previous comments of mine that you want and I will stand by them. That doesn't intimidate me in the least;

2) Ray Schoolman is probably laughing his ass off right now;

3) All those words and all that venom says it all; and

4) Imagine there's no parties, no division, too... I hope some day you'll join us... and the world will live as one...

Yours In Christ,
BTNP

Bernie O'Hare said...

And I am yours in Buddy Christ! Now if you'll excuse me, Billy is waiting. He does amazing things with his bullhorn.

LVDem said...

Buddy Christ. That was the most disturbing exchange in posts I've ever read.

Bernie O... tell your love doll to stop texting me. I'm not interested in her immoral activities.

Anonymous said...

LVDem!

So that inflatable slut is cheating on me with you????

I should've known! You got a lot of splainin' to do....

BTNP

Anonymous said...

At the March 31, 2007 meeting of the NorCo Dem Committee meeting in Nazareth, before allowing Democratic candidates in contested primaries for this year (2007) to speak, Mr. Long spent a good (it was actually bad) 10 minutes stating why the committee needed to endorse the first and only thus far Democratic candidate to announce a 15th Congressional bid for the year 2008. His bias and deception to his own committee was confirmed not only with the time spent trying to persuade the poor sheep there, and by its prioritization in the meeting itself, but also by the gross exaggeration on Sam Bennett's election history. He stated that while she lost 2 bids to become Mayor of Allentown, she lost both times by less than 50 votes each in those primaries. Well, Truth Telling Will Power corrected him and stated that Sam lost her second bid for mayor by triple digits, and that it was "more like 445" than the 40 something he just quoted to the poor sheep that were there listening to his misguided manefesto. Amazingly, I heard only one voice say something like "that's right" in response to my comments, which like many other truth telling comments at that meeting were labeled out of line. I later checked the Lehigh County Voter Registration website to confirm my outburst in response to another Joe Long lie / half-truth and I saw that Sam Bennett lost the 2005 mayorial primary by 538 votes. Hence, I lowballed her margin of defeat, and by mistake was off by almost 100 votes in stating what her margin of defeat was.

But was Joe Long's statement a mistake, or are his patterns of deception so obvious that more people need to wake up and smell the coffee? To me, as an elected committee member, I find such half truths and lies shameful. And when I can proove I'm right, you can bet I'll point out the lies others in positions of authority tell, because they are just the tip of the iceberg, and there are so many other lies beneath them that are not so easy to proove and expose that you got to speak when the obvious lie is being told. And for the Chairman of a Committee to lie in order to sell his ideas, and to misquote figures by more than 10 times the correct figure...well that sounds to much like George Bush and Dick Cheney to me...and stuff like that would surely have you fired and out in the street if you did that stuff for a real company or business.

But what happened later in that meeting??? I, the one who spoke the truth was asked to leave the meeting...

You'll get to read more later...

Written by Will Power

PS: I think I made a mistake when I later called Joe Long a "smart ass" in that meeting after he interrupted me several times, and it would have certainly been more appropriate to say "that he was acting like a smart ass" in some nicer way. So allow me to apologize for that to Mr. Long and all who heard me call him a name. I do have the truth on my side though, not just in what I wrote above, but in all other things I spoke of at that meeting, and I hope Mr. Long is honorable enough to apoligize for his lies and half truths that he has told in return...but I won't hold my breath. And if any one at that meeting wants to see the proof I refered to about the other thing I spoke of, you can call me.

Larry Kisslinger said...

How many Party committee person positions are there in the County of Northampton? My memory is 300 plus! Now, how many attended the 3/31/07 meeting to represent D's?
R's are no better while meetings are very poorly attended in the same numbers, is my opinion. Moreover, how many positions are vacant that the Party Chair is responsible for filling with qualified folks to represent their neighborhoods? Political parties are a thing of the past, unless a very civic minded person is in charge always trying to have "more" people involved in decision making at the Party level. If few people desire to make decisions and/or dictate to their Party members is tunnel vision. I was County R Chair '86-'88 and when I promoted more to attend meetings was rebuked by nonsensical advice by some, still in charge, to stop doing so. "Why do we need "all" of these people here, we used to do things with only a few of us attending"?... was their mantra...I resigned since nobody wanted input from all! My "guess" is a dozen or so of the 300 plus attended Boss Long's dictatorial meeting of 3/31/07! Anybody know the real attendance figures? I'm a staunch R on the National level but know many local D's are R's in sheeps clothing due to registration numbers. Boss Long is best friend of anybody who he "does not" promote for public service. He can't deliver 10 votes to anybody, in my opinion.
Trust me, I've been around a very long time. The Bible says...the more you know, the more you worry! I worry a lot! Go figure!

Anonymous said...

Written by Will Power

Nice post Larry. I certainly agree with you. If you check back here, let me ask you to also comment on Bernie's April 2 post on that 3/31/07 meeting.

Written by Will Power