Friday, April 20, 2007

Will Mike Fleck Fleece Easton?

Yesterday, I briefly told you about Sal Panto and Mike Fleck, two mayoral candidates duking it out for Easton's democratic nomination. Last time Fleck ran for mayor, just four years ago, he claimed to be both a Moravian College grad and a business administrator at some used car dealer. Both claims proved to be false.

Now there's a new reason to be wary. Here's why. This time last year, Fleck was the political consultant to Archie Follweiler's state house campaign. But according to an anonymous comment, Fleck just soaked Follweiler. "Fleck took the money and ran. Literally." Last night, a Lehigh County Democrat confirmed this anonymous accusation. "We had several talks about Fleck in Dem circles, about how no one should hire him. We called him Mike FLEECE!"

I've checked Follweiler's campaign finance reports, and they confirm that about $21,000 was paid to Fleck in just eleven weeks. Follweiler started using someone else in June. I've listed the payments, and you can decide for yourself whether Fleck fleeced Follweiler. (March 6 - $1,000.00; March 11 - $5,199.46; March 17 - $1,000.00; March 20 - $1,000.00; March 22 - $500.00; March 28 - $1,000.00; April 4 - $1,000.00; April 5 - $22.50; April 11 - $1,000.00; April 18 - $500.00; April 23 - $1,000.00; May 2 - $1,000.00; May 10 - $1,000.00; May 16 - $4,500.00; May 25 - $291.93; June 1 - $1,000.00; June 1 - $2,412.80; Nov 1 - $1,939.36. Total payments - $22,843.55.)


Gort said...

Great research. The campaign finance reports for local offices in Luzerne County are not available online.

LVDem said...

archie ran an amazing campaign. He ran in the toughest of the state house districts for democrats and almost won. I don't think people realize just what kind of race he ran. And it's a shame he didn't win. PA lost out on a great state representative.

Instead we got grandpa simpson.

Anonymous said...

way to slander fleck based on anonomous accusations.

Anonymous said...

Gee looks to me like the campaign finance reports back that one up pretty good. I don't think it is slander to question someone's track record. Mr. Fleck's is there for all to see. He was exposed 4 years ago for his questionable assertions about himself. What grandiose statements would he try to pass off as true as mayor?
Would you want someone so self involved managing the affairs of your community?
People have a right to know the quality of person who wishes to represent them.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 7:46, If all I had was one anonymous comment, I would not be posting anything. But two people I know, both from LC, make these statements. They aren't even associated w/ Panto's campaign. Follweiler's campaign finance reports speak for themselves.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Local reports aren't online for local offices in the LV, either. I think they should be.

Anonymous said...

This is slander, asshole. How much did Panto pay for this?

Anonymous said...

If I wereFleck, I'd be happy that people were visiting my weird ass website! All Fleck, All the Time!
Hey is he related to "flicK" from a Christmas Story?!

Bernie O'Hare said...

1) Last time I saw Sal was about a year ago, when he was eating spaghetti in an Italian restaurant. I was afraid he might bite me if I disturbed him while eating.

2) It's libel, not slander. Get your terms right, damn it.

3) I'm comfortable with what I posted. In addition to the anonymous post, I was contacted by two different Dems from LC, neither of whom knows Panto. And the finance report is there for all to see. I have no axe to grind w/ Fleck.

Chris Casey said...

Leave it to Bernard Osama Bin Laden O'Hare to stir up trouble in the Easton Mayoral race. I know this much, a young man named Kyle Scanlan did a hell of lot more for ArchieFollweiler in one day for a hell of a lot less than Mr. Fleck would have done in ten years.

Anonymous said...

fleck didn't just try to fleece one campaign last year he tried to fleece several of them at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 12:33, could you give us some hints of which campaigns he tried to Fleece?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 12:33, That's a very fair question. Several at the same time? Please name them.

PA progressive said...

I noticed this in Archie's campaign reports last summer. I took him aside and aske dhim why he was paying this guy so much money. As a political consultant myself I was concerned that this guy was robbing him blind. There's just no way you charge $20,000 for a state hosue race, for crying out loud.

My conversation with Archie was confidential so I'm not going to disclose what we discussed, but, yes, I have to agree with Bernie about what transpired here. Also, yes, Kyle Scanlan did yeoman work for Archie as did Dick Horton. These two worked their tails off while Fleck took the money and ran.

If Archie had had that money for something productive he'd have won that seat.

Anonymous said...

Has Fleck worked on other campaigns? He mentions that he did work for Palowkski and Rendell...did he? If so, do they feel like he took their money and ran?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I know Fleck worked Pawlowski's campaign. I also know his "help" was unappreciated.

Anonymous said...

I worked on Pawlowski's campaign and (to a lesser degree) with Follweiler's campaign, and Fleck was no upgrade for Ed's field team. He inherited a race that was already won, and did a decent job finishing someone else's hard work. Fleck was a useless cash pit for Archie, a good man who The Valley deserved.

eastonpride said...

let's talk about Fleck's real shortcomings -- lack of any real work experience and lack of any management experience let alone leading a city out of the doldrums. He claims to know finance and introduced an amusement tax that he said would bring in more than $700k per year and is actually bringing in less than $300k and hitting the successes in Easton -- the State Theatre and Crayola. No experience in management and no life experiences - add that to the shortcomings.+

Nun Yuzz said...

Well, I've read all the assasins crap and I'm wondering exactly where all you fucking people were when Ed's campaign was in the doldrums and Fleck kicked it into gear and won the race. Whoever said "someone else's hard work" has the facts completely wrong. That race was far from already won and if you weren't there in the midst of Bar Johnston's insanity and batshit, you don't knwo a fucking thing about what Fleck did. I'll tell you what he did - he got everybody focused and that's what won the goddamn race.

As to pa progressives comments - sorry john but that's bullshit. I left Archie's campaign long before Mike did - I told Archie to fire Dick Horton because he's an asshole. It damaged Archie and Archie, driven by the pussy whip his bitchy wife used on him, caved into everyone's demands but Mike's. If you want a reason Archie lost, look no farther than the Grim lady. She so pissed off that fat guy from Whitehall or N Whitehall or wherever he was from, he left and never came back. And he was the one who first got Archie in the race. The race was in Lehigh County in the northern burbs and Archie thought it was in Kutztown? How many campaign appearances, house parties, or press conferences did Archie do in Lehigh County? One? Ad that was at Leaser Lake. Gimme a fucking break - all of Allentown goes out there on cold rainy days riught? Gang up on Fleck all you want for his faults, but don't repeat bullshit and innuendo unless all you want to be is bullshit and innuendo repeaters.

Oh yeah, and if any of you knew what you were talking about, you'd know that Fleck recrutied that kid Kyle. So, if Kyle did anyhting, it was what Mike hired him to do.

OK, whatever. Go fuck yourselves.


Anonymous said...

Some of these postings are ridiculous. While I don't agree with Bernie O'Hare a lot of the time, facts are facts people. And the proof about someone's leadership and record are facts too. So quit your whining.

Who ever the idiot is who enjoys using the colorful language, why don't you pipe down a bit and come up with an educated response.

Here's the overall picture we need to look at in this Easton mayoral race. Fleck outraised everyone 4 years ago, and he still came in 3rd place. That says a lot. If you don't think so, you're blind to this process.

Anonymous said...

...oh, and if Fleck was so instrumental within the Rendell for Governor campaign, why hasn't Rendell awarded his hard efforts and politically savvy knowledge with a job. Same with Ed's campaign. It's baffling, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

ah yes, and those of us that know Mike heard him BRAG about how he was getting a big job with Ed's new Administration. Hmmm, that Ed guy must be pretty smart and a good nose for character ---- or lack thereof.

PA progressive said...

Nun Yezz,

I think you missed my point. I said I caught the 20 grand Archie was paying Fleck and got concerned. He was giving him $1,000/week and that's ridiculous for this level of a race.

I was worried Archie was getting fleeced and aske dhim about it. I'm not going to talk about that conversation because it was private.

I do know Fleck left the campaign though I'm not aware of any of those circumstances. I only commented on what I knew, which was that this guy took way too much money for this level of a campaign.

If you go through the campaign finance reports you'll see how much personal money Archie and Ginny put into that campaign. Fleck got most of it. Ginny had a right to be intimately involved considering how much of their money was invested.

These were my concerns and those I commented on. I wasn't involved in this campaign and only had intermittent contact with it so I can't comment on the rest of what you said. My comments are supported by the facts readily available online at the Dept. of State website.

Kyle Scanlan "The Kid" said...

I am one of the few people involved who can speak with direct knowledge of the Fleck/Follweiler situation. The truth is, Fleck is a liar and Archie allowed the wool to be pulled over his eyes. Yes, Mike was overpaid. Yes, Mike is a politician who's glossy shine will wear off after a short while to reveal his lack of integrity and ability. He works very hard to his credit, but only does so to advance his own career. Mike would not make a good mayor of Easton, but this situation was not all his fault either.
Without discussing the financial particulars, Mike was hired to create and run a campaign. He delivered on half that promise. He created a detailed campaign plan that Mr. Follweiler did not want to follow. There were disagreements over who the swing voters were, and where the best place to spend money was. After communication broke down, Mike left with his money. Archie felt like he had been robbed. It was Archie's faith in people vs. Fleck's killer instinct and self-interest.
More importantly, we lost to CARL MANTZ??? reallY??? Maybe instead of this infighting six months after the fact we should make sure we don't lose to such an undeserving candidate like that again.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Kyle, I don't believe I've ever had the privilege of meeting you. If you have time, please drop me a line at I'd like to confirm that you are, in fact, the person who posted the comment under your name.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a very simple solution for the folks in Easton. Elect ABF (Anyone But Fleck) and be know as Pennsylvania's Gateway city. Should he win (heaven forbid), I guess it makes Easton Pennsylvania's asshole.

As I said, very simple.

Anonymous said...

Hard to imagine he can win when so many democrats don't like Mike Fleck.

Yes, he is a liar and out for himself. But what do you expect from a used car salesman?

I have had some experience with Mike Fleck on the Pawlowski for Mayor Campaign, where he took credit for all the work Bar Johnston did in raising money, pulling together the democratic party and controlling a skitzo candidate.

He will never get elected Mayor of Easton. Fleck will never get another job running a campaign because everyone knows he is a liar and doesnt know how to win.

Bar Johnston said...

Got a call from a friend. Was told there existed a web site with postings about all the Valley Hacks.... some kind and some not so kind. No big shocker really… just never really read it – so I spent some time and learned volumes about our issues.

What is the story with the Democrat on Democrat violence?

What is the line...

I have seen the enemy and it is us.

And the fantastic anonymous post (I assume by my friend) about how I did all things amazing and Mike Fleck was filler – is not entirely the case.

Fleck and I have obvious differences in approaches – but he does have good GOTV skills and I did need a Field Organizer. I can understand how he says things out loud that don’t necessarily match reality – but that is an affliction of nearly all hacks. Part of the problem with hacks is – they all have huge egos and want to tell you how good they are… even if they suck all the oxygen out of the room.

Would I hire Fleck again – Not really – and for the record – I didn’t hire him the first time – and there was a lot of blow back. I got a lot of flack for Fleck – but that is life. You have to use what you got - and he did his job - a little rogue, but overall produced - with the help of a lot of people over a lot of time.

As for the conversations about political talent in the Lehigh Valley. I believe there exists a pool of good talent – and a pool with the honorable distinction of lack of talent. The important thing is knowing running campaigns is a science. You just need a lot of discipline and help. There is no magic dust to running a race – there is only working hard on the plan, raising a mountain money and playing by the rules. A trained monkey can do it – as long as he or she is well trained.

I encourage you to write a thread - or - blog shot on the hacks. It would be interesting. Maybe have the ratio of wins like a batting average...

If you need any help I know most of the current players – and their vote totals.

Let me know.

Thanks for the platform - and I hope the venom runs dry. Sometimes saying bad things about other people makes you feel better in the moment - but the truth is - it never helps.

Thanks for the time,

Bar Johnston

Bernie O'Hare said...


It's very nice of you to come on and give us your perspective.

Let me explain where I'm coming from. I may be registered Dem, but am more interested in seeing that the best candidate be elected than his political affiliation.

The statements about Fleck are very troubling because they make him sound like an immature young man, not mayor material. Four years ago, Fleck was caught embellishing his college and work history. It appears he has not learned that lesson. And if he's elected, the potential for mischief should make us all concerned.

You basically answered my questions about Fleck when you said you would not hire him again.

I really would love to do a piece on the political consultants. It would be a big piece. I'd love to interview you. My email addy is Please drop me a line. I promise I won't bother you until after May 15.

Mark said...

Why don't you guys run your own campaign? Candidates trying to pay their way into office by hiring others to do all the work. Politics suck!