Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bethlehem City Council Candidates to Debate Tonight

Seven Dems are fighting for the nomination to just three Bethlehem city council seats. Incumbents Gordon Mowrer, Bob Donchez and Magdalena Szabo face some serious opposition. Fiery Dana Grubb is a long-time former city employee. Affable Ron Heckman is Northampton County's former Director of Human Services. South side resident Ismael Arcelay previously served on city council. J. William Reynolds is the only newcomer.

The Bethlehem City Democratic Committee and Moravian College Democrats are sponsoring a Bethlehem City Council Debate tonight at 7:30 at Moravian College's Prosser Auditorium. This will be the second of three "debates" for city council hopefuls. In their first joint appearance, candidates agreed about everything. Tonight's setting, Moravian College, is an appropriate venue. Maybe they can all buy a Moravian lovefest candle.

Correction: I've just been informed that Ismael ("Izzy") Arcelay is not a south side resident, but lives in East Hills. I apologize for any confusion.


Anonymous said...

Izzy does not live in the southside... he lives in the East Hills area.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'll correct that immediately.

Anonymous said...

This could be an interesting race. I think that Donchez and Mowrer are safe but Szabo could be in trouble. Heckman and Reynolds have a real shot to beat her. Reynolds is Steve Samuelson's aide and seems to have a buzz about him. Arcelay could not get re-elected and Grubb has that fist fight in City Hall hanging over his head.

LVDem said...

I would guess that Heckman is a lock. Reynolds, good guy and all, and his boss is beyond reproach, has to deal with the fact that Samuelson just doesn't curry alot of favor in Bethlehem. His lackluster fundraising has never built a major network that he can pass on to a protege. This contrasts dramatically to a situation in Allentown where Jennifer Mann's COS Peter Schweyer is running for city council. Jennifer Mann has put a lot of effort into building a network in Allentown that carries some weight. But I'll point out that Peter is going to win not b/c of Jennifer, but b/c he has built is own network and has a reputation as being a major part of Allentown's fabric. And he was doing that long before working for Jennifer Mann. To win, Willie needs to have a network like Schweyer's in place. I don't know if he has it or not... I hope so.

Again, love that he's young, eager and smart enough to serve, but being Steve's aide isn't a huge deal in Bethlehem Democratic circles. Not until Steve has built a network that can deliver money and votes to other candidates. To my knowledge, Steve's endorsement has never won an election on its own.

Bernie O'Hare said...


I'll tell you, I wouldn't want to have to predict who is going to win this one. They say Szabo may be in trouble, but I'm pretty sure they said that last time, too.

Three capable legislative aides are running in the three cities. Bethlehem has Reynolds (from Samuelson), Allentown has Schweyer (from Mann), and Easton has Warren (from Boscola). I'd rate all three as blog favorites. I certainly like them all. Schweyer and Warren will certainly win, and the large field of candidates might help Reynolds.

Anonymous said...

LVDem, while I respect your opinion, I have to disagree with your assessment of Steve Samuelson's weight in Bethlehem political circles. While he may not have a huge fundraising network, he has more capital invested in the personal connections with his constituents and local leaders than any other local legislater. The people of his district love him. And that carries more weight than money because the people vote.
The local party leaders like Jack Burke also support Steve Samuelson without question.
Being Steve's aide alone may not get you elected, but it will not hurt Reynold's chances.
I also do not believe that any of Steve's aides who have run for office in the past have run for an office that includes most of his district.

Anonymous said...

I think the nasty campaign tactics of the Reynolds camp may catch up with him. It is understandable, he has no experience so they trash the candidates that do. I know most of these people and I had a few favorites. Reynolds his youth, Heckman on Human Services, Donchez his experience. Now I just don't know.

Anonymous said...

Nasty Tactics? Do elaborate? Who got trashed? Was it at the debate?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Nasty politics in Bethlehem probably means Reynolds forgot to hold the door open for Heckman. You want to see nasty politics? Watch Angle and Dertinger roll around in council chambers any Thursday night. They should sell tickets.

Politics is blood sport in most parts of Northampton County. Bethlehem is often an exception. After one city council meeting, I know why. Its council has a lot of class.

Anonymous said...

I re-read a bunch of e mails from a few days ago. The one about trash radio,and newspaper people, who savage others they disagree with, was interesting. Even you gave it a thumbs up. Anonymous hit it on the head-almost, EXCEPT that remark about Bobby Gunther Walsh on WAEB. His show and the rest of their weekday shows make me want to put my finger down my throat, but,as the writer said,in a 180 degree turn, their weekend shows are very entertaining. Ron Angle may be everything we don't want on the radio, but, Gunther?? I don't think so. I assume Rush Limbaugh is the other fanatic the writer was referring to. Isn't it amazing that all these broadcasters and columnists who make their living tearing people down, usually land up getting hammered and smeared themselves. Its dirty business. Limbaugh and his buying pills from his maid, Angle being fired from WAEB for racist comments,and, Gunther,involved in that ugly family situation.You better be absolutely pure as the driven snow if your going to hurl rocks. The only one that hasn't been nailed YET is Bill White from the Morning Call. Bill is a casual friend of mine.Until about a year ago, I enjoyed his columns, but, lately the nastiness has become apparant, not only to me, but, to others. The many people he has attacked, I'm told by more than a few friends of mine, are lying in wait to return the favor.That's unfortunate. Bernie, imagine getting up every day in those jobs wondering who you can tear down on the air, or in a newspaper column. Something tells me, however, that these same people have also got to be concerned that one of these days they are going to open up their mail,and, voila, their life will drastically change.I don't know how you feel, but, I'd rather be on a garbage truck and have peace of mind, than live that way.But,if these people continue to do what they do, they should remember that old adage- "live by the sword-die by the sword".