Thursday, August 23, 2007

John Stoffa Press Conference: "Superman Visited Me Once"

There I was, sitting in a crowded county executive's office, at 4 PM today. Everyone was elegantly dressed, excepting me. I wore an old tattered "Life is Good" T-shirt, dirty jeans and smelly sneakers. Portraits of five former county execs, which decorate the walls, glared down at me.

How did I, with my coffee-stained T-shirt, end up in such an austere setting? Let me explain.

A few minutes earlier, I had gone to catch a few minutes of Ron Angle's finance committee hearing. I had no intention of staying very long, and was only there to show off my new toy - a digital camera. A reader suggested I should get pictures of council members, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Who knows? Maybe I could nail one of 'em picking his nose!

As we waited for the meeting to start, I took about thirty pictures of door knobs and empty chairs. I'm pretty sure I impressed the hell out of everyone because they were all smiling and complimenting me.

"Bernie, you need help, you know that?"

That was County Exec. Stoffa's way of letting me know I'm probably a genius.

As we all sat and cracked jokes, it soon became apparent that Angle was a no show. The bastard blew us off! Either that, or he's still stuck in Jellystone Park.

After waiting fifteen minutes (the college professor rule), Stoffa said, "Let's get out of here." And we all marched out. That's when John Conklin, Stoffa's amiable Director of Administration, told me he had some emails he'd like me to see about the touchscreen and lever voting machines. I went upstairs with him. But to get those emails, I'd have to sit through a Stoffa press conference.


So I walked into John Stoffa's office, and all these photographers were already waiting. Their cameras were a lot bigger than mine. They also dress like they're going on a frickin' safari. I have to remember that.

"Are you waiting for Channel 69," a reporter asked Stoffa.

"Nah. I'm waiting for Walt. (that's Walt Garvin, the chair of Northampton County's election commission.) I promised I'd wait for him." Stoffa's a classy guy.

Within a minute, nattily attired Walt was there, looking suitably serious. He was just a little surprised to see a blogger at an official press conference, but didn't spit on me or anything.

"Good day," he gravely nodded as he somberly walked by.

Who the hell says, "Good day?"

Following Walt was a very pretty Channel 69 reporter. She conveniently sat on the couch right next to me. It was very apparent that she wanted me, especially when she saw my camera. But I denied her. I'm a blogger.

Walt and Stoffa sat next to each other, nimbly handling questions from both The Express Times and Morning Call. That vapid Channel 69 reporter asked nothing. She just eyed me hungrily. I ignored her and decided to get a good picture of Stoffa and Garvin together, looking real serious. There was a little superman statue between them, and I thought I'd get that in the shot, too. I whipped out my little camera, lined up my shot, and ... my goddamn batteries died on me! Too many doorknob shots.

Print reporters had a myriad of intelligent questions about Advanced Voting Solutions (no, they don't seem very advanced), Elections Commissioner Harry VanSickle (not VanWinkle), and lever machines (they each weigh 880 pounds, according to Stoffa).

But if I do say so myself, and I do, I had the question of the day.

"What's the deal with that superman statue?"


"I said, what's up with that superman statue sitting on top of that TV right behind you?"

"He visited me once," Stoffa replied.

Today's papers will tell you all about the return of the lever machines, Old Faithful. But in my mind, the big story from yesterday's press conference is Stoffa's admitted association with Superman.

Did you ever notice that Superman and council prez Wayne Grube are never in the same room together??

I'm pretty sure this is the last press conference I'll ever be permitted to attend.
Update: The Morning Call's Joe Nixon has a quite detailed account of yesterday's press conference, and what it really means. The Express Times' Sarah Cassi has also filed a report. Neither mention Superman.


Anonymous said...

One word - therapy.

J. Spike said...

Joyclyn Moes???

Anonymous said...

Again Stoffa does nothing and he's a hero. I have noticed that Lex Luther and Ron Angle are never in the same place.

A.J. Cordi said...

Does Angle ever show up... for anything?

Anonymous said...

that stoffa with his BRILLANT MIND hanging on to those old voting machines i think he prefers those to the new to. hey bernie i have my 12 year reading this trying to teach him a little about local government he said all they do is curse and talk about people . OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES thought you'd like to no have a nice day.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 6:49,

Let me get this straight. You're posting a comment at 6:49 AM. It's summer. Your 12 yr old child is awake? You made him/her read my post at this ungodly hour?

Anonymous said...

he wakes up with the birds has since he was born no i didn't force him, we are trying to educate him before he plays on the computer. unfortunately he has a point. my hubby and i thought this would be a good learning tool. we were mistaken. yes bernie he is up !!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

OK, O'Hare, just cut-and-paste the following into an e-mail and hit 'send' and you'll get all the help you need ...
The Curmudgeon

Dear Maddy,

My name is Bernie and I have issues (no, no, no, the other Bernie). I can't shake this unrealistic belief that local officials admire me and local reporters want me (I know that restraining order was just her way of playing hard to get) ... I don't know what to do. Help!

Bernie from Nazareth

Anonymous said...

so, who the hell is superman? either
a) stoffa's delusional, or
b) he's referring to someone.

i doubt the latter, so who does stoffa think is superman?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:11,

Wow! An early riser for sure!

My post is intended as humor, and most of the jabs are directed at me. I've written quite a few posts like this one.

Instead of covering the substance of the press conference, which was handled ably by the MSM, I focused on the manner of delivery, with a personal, slightly insane, first hand account.

J. Spike said...

a.j. yes Pay checks!!!

Ones from tax dollars no less. lol

J. Spike said...


All 12 year olds should know what Gonzo Journalism is.

Bernie O'Hare said...


No, it's true, dude. You're probably just jealous. Let me tell you a little more. As she left the press conference, that TV reporter looked right at me and said, "Excuse me, you're in my way." It's pretty clear that there were lots of hidden meanings in those words. And no one has had a restraining order against me for at least a year or so now.

Local government officials? They adore me. They start smiling the second they see me. That's love, dude.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:40, I'm not sure, but Jerry Seyfried waas in the building yesterday, and I swear I saw a cape.

Anonymous said...

"""Did you ever notice that Superman and council prez Wayne Grube are never in the same room together??"""" I guess there is a "big" difference between being Superman and being Superknobby.

Anonymous said...

Angle had trouble finding a phone booth again

Chris Casey said...

Bernie, I hear you bought a used teletubbies outfit. You're not planning to try and fly around in that tinky winky outfit are you?

river said...

Thank god the greatest generation of voting machines is still here to protect us.I remember last years election were some districts couldn't produce tallies for a full day, way longer than with our beloved Army of Blue Balloteers. It is a shame that those same great salesmen who came here hawking there wares to sell the new machines which must have cost the County millions of dollars to purchase, grabbed their commision checks for the sale and now cannot even certify these same new machines to be accurate. I know with my own home computer I can go in and change anything I want to. A.J Cordi was right, this fall when we pull the levers on out beloved Blue Balloteers, we may just hit that jackpot... with a guaranteed honest election!

river said...

"Chris Casey said...
Bernie, I hear you bought a used teletubbies outfit. You're not planning to try and fly around in that tinky winky outfit are you? """

Actually Bernie found a Mr Ranger Sir costume and I found a BooBoo the bear costume and we are all going to make a triumphant return to Jellystone National park in a 1952 DeSoto Fireflyte sedan. And simce Ron Angle is going with us I'll give you 3 guesses on who is going to be Yogi. "smarter than the average ranger" I am just kidding of coarse, but I love to have fun too. yogi Bear, Wally Gator, Peter Potamus, Daffy,Bugs, why don't they have these on TV anymore?

Chris Casey said...

River, Peter Potamus probably offends fat people. If it's not politically correct, it can't be on. That's why we let kids watch those weirdos from Australia, and Saturday mornings are Saved by the Bell, the goody two shoes version" Marathons! LOL
Personally, I watch Adult Swim and the Tenn Hunger Force. Go Meatball! Even South Park is showing its' age. Kenny doesn't die anymore, he just "goes to sleep!" LOL!

Anonymous said...

Exposing a 12 year old to the rantings of Bernardo and his merry bloggers in tights may constitute child abuse. Take heed, you have been warned.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It's probably abuse to the adults, too.

A.J. Cordi said...

J Spike -

I suppose it's a good thing he hasn't discovered direct deposit yet...

Anonymous said...

"he wakes up with the birds has since he was born " When I was a kid and off for the summer I was up with the birds too...It wasn't untill school started that I hated to get out of bed :):)

river said...

Chris Casey said" I watch Adult Swim and the Tenn Hunger Force" I used to like the show with Brak in it what was that called?

Michael said...

Brak was in "Space Ghost, Coast to Coast"

river said...


Anonymous said...

Trivia question:
What was the name of Space Ghosts brother?