Friday, August 24, 2007

NE Democratic Party Chair Attempts to Exclude Blogger From Press Conferences

My recent coverage of a John Stoffa press conference (John Stoffa Press Conference: "Superman Visited Me Once"), has drawn the ire of party bossman Joe Long.

Express Times reporter Sarah Cassi has just posted Long's diatribe to Northampton County Exec John Stoffa.
John,

What the hell is this county coming to? You legitimize Bernie O'Hare as press, at a meeting that is important to all citizens of this county. This meeting had to do with the serious issue of voting and you evidently think it is a humorous side show, by inviting a blogger who has no credibility in this county. (Check his record). I have attached a copy of his blog and comments, that had been emailed to me. I ask you to cease and desist from treating O'Hare as legitimate press. Thank you.

Joe Long, Chair
Northeast Caucus, PA Democratic Party
Northampton County Democratic Party
Long considers voting a "serious issue?" Could have fooled me. This is a man who himself was illegally elected as party boss, who had his own daughter on the payroll in the elections office, and who makes primary elections meaningless by throwing party support behind his machine candidates. If anyone has turned voting into a humorous side show, it's Bossman Long.

37 comments:

BethlehemDem said...

I think my favorite part is when he asks Stoffa to "cease and desist from treating O'Hare as legitimate press." I guess he thinks a restraining order is needed.

I want to ask Joe Long to cease and desist from participating in the primary elections and from "clearing the field" for Scam Bennett.

Who does Joe Long think he is?

C.J. Nicholson said...

I live in the northwest part of Lehigh County, so Joe Long is on the periphery of my local political sphere. But nonetheless he is a character that is too close for comfort. His power tripping boss style antics are the stuff of yesteryear. Just the same as Bethlehemdem, I thought "Who does Joe Long think he is?" I guess he is desperately hanging on to the last days of the machine politicos and ward heelers. Nonetheless, I had a nice laugh that you were able to prod(without even trying) him into that little tirade.

A.J. Cordi said...

This all goes back to the debate of whether or not blogs should be considered a legitimate "press."

I consider a blog to be a legitimate form of press, so long as the information provided holds truth. As long as there is truth, there shouldn’t be (m)any complaints. The only reason people like Joey Long dislike them (in my opinion) is because they don’t follow the same ethical standards as newspapers.

What I mean is that a blogger is allowed to express his or her own opinions followed by the truth. The basic ethics of journalism should be followed, but the blogger is allowed to speak their mind.

And why are some blogs so good? Because they are the views of average citizens! No wonder people in politics don’t like them…

C.J. Nicholson said...

"And why are some blogs so good? Because they are the views of average citizens! No wonder people in politics don’t like them…"

And they bring the views to an infinite amount of people at very low cost, any time of day, and almost anywhere. Issues that seem too small for the Morning Call, but mean something on the local political level, can have their fair share of exposure thanks to blogs. Look at Northern Lehigh Valley Logic as an example. That part of Lehigh County is often politically ignored and opaque. But thanks to the blogesphere there is attention cast upon the inadequacies that exist in our neck of the woods. There are many of us that deeply appreciate what he is doing, but we also have our ‘Joey Long’s’ who are frightened by the transparency that now exist.

Anonymous said...

I agree O'Hare and Casey his counterpart in the blogging world are both crackpots.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Absolutely, I second that!

Blue Coyote said...

On this issue, bloggers need to stand together. I posted the following on my blog.

"Although, Mr. O'Hare's comments on his own blog may be interpretted as irreverant is not the point. Open government is the point, Mr. Long! Apparently Mr. Stoffa had invited a member of an alternative medium that is not from the regular media. Press conferences should be open, not only to the media, but other segments of the public as well, Mr. Long.

People are tired of smoke filled, back door rooms where decisions are made. Maybe that's how you like to conduct business, Mr. Long, but it is obvious that Mr. Stoffa wants a refreshing change to open government. If the MSM, bloggers or the general public wishes to question the representatives they had voted into office, then the obligation to oblige them should be unquestioned.

You have no right to demand the public to "cease and desist" asking questions regarding their government. My Northampton County Democratic Party is not the same as your Northampton County Democratic Party! You better stop demanding and start listening to the voters."

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

I am a daily reader of your blog and disagree strongly with Joe Long's objections to having you at the press conferences. I wrote him a letter asking him to reconsider his position.

I encourage everyone else who reads this blog to do the same. We may not all agree with Bernie on the issues, but I think most of us agree that his blog generates a lot of meaningful discussion.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why anyone is incrediable shocked by this how from my experience the Democratic party leadership is. They are control freaks that are still at a complete loss,because they can't even control the party bloggers. The view of the Party leadership from top to bottom is that Bloggers are pests that they can't control and will do anything to min, them

Anonymous said...

i respect and like you bernie, but my feeling is like joe longs. your being invited appears as though you are being given preferential treatment over the rest of taxpayers out here. if you can be invited to these meetings then they should be open to ALL OF US.i think john stoffa exercises poor judgement and makes light of serious issuses. it hard to take him serious. is he heavily medicated or what. your very interesting bernie and i do admire your tinasty but i think longs right on this issue.

Anonymous said...

I heard a term the other night while watching CNN and Christine Amanpours' piece on religious fanaticism, un-islamic..

Joe Long is un-democratic...

Just as we can un-subscribe from the local press or cable company, Joe and his like, can un-subscribe from the new media called the Internet...

db

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 8:34,

I have a good relationship w/ the Stoffa administration. The administration has kept me posted on elections matters bc I've been heavily involved in reporting it. Links to the minutes of every meeting are on this blog. I also wrote posts about each meeting, and many extra posts about the issues spawned by those meetings. I've also been very interested in the AVS software and hardware, and have written extensively about those problems and Dr. Brau's concerns.

But still, I received no invitation to the Stoffa press conference about the switch to lever machines. Those were for the mainstream press. My presence there was more or less a lucky (or unlucky) accident, as I explained in my post about it.

So in essence, Joe Long is complaining about something that really does not happen. It was the first county exec press conference I ever attended. I asked no questions until it was over. I used the occasion to contrast print and broadcast media, and give my readers some flavor, something that they themselves could not do.

I'd agree that I should have no greater access than any other member of the public. But I feel fairly confident than any member of the public who had attended the earlier meeting that day could have ended up exactly where I ended up.

I also think the Stoffa administrration, if pressed, would extend an invitation to any person who desired to be notified of press conferences.

Incidentally, I've "crashed" many press conferences long before I ever blogged. Local press conferences are usually open to members of the public.

Anonymous said...

and go back to the rock that he lives under...

db

Greendogdem said...

I've gotten a few invites in the past ided as press invites. I've never actually accepted them but a few politicans and organizations extend them to bloggers in the valley. I think Long is flipping out because he can't control the info anymore as the anon said. That and Long still holds a grudge I think about the war you and he had.

Bernie O'Hare said...

GreenDog,

Poor Bossman. His actions just gave the local blogosphere that much more public exposure, the very thing he was trying to stop.

Oopsie!

Boo Hoo 2 U 2 said...

Who gives a rat's ass what Joe Long thinks or says?

He repeatedly attacks Stoffa at District meetings and constantly undermines the interest of the party for his own power. As you discvered Bernie, he sends his boy Walt out to do whatever it is that Joe tells him to do. He demands unity when it suits him and casts aspersions when that suits him. And, after all these years, I'm still trying to figure out what it is that Walt thinks he's so damn good at. And now, Joey has the temerity to demand soemthing?

Stoffa's answer should be "oh Joe, why don't you kiss my ass?".

Give it up Joe. You're an embarrasment to yourself.

Bernie O'Hare said...

So Joe Long attacks Stoffa, the Democratic Northampton County Exec? I did not know that, but I do now.

I suspect Walt Garvin had something to do with Joe Long's letter, but don't know that. He was the dude, in the second elections panel meeting, who tried to shut me up when I pointed out that we were using a version of software that had never been certified. The software had to be certified ex post facto. It was then that I realized that Garvin likes to keep things under wraps, and that's bad government.

During the press conference, Garvin mentioned that he had already telephoned all elections commission members and they had agreed to a return to lever machines. He quickly corrected himself and said they would meet formally bc of the Sunshine Act. In other words, they would meet because they had to but the decision has already been made. That's Garvin's second Sunshine Act violation. When DePaul was initially appointed, that weas his first. This is a Team Long pattern.

Bossman Long committed regular Sunshine Act violations on the BHA until Larry Kisslinger blew the whistle.

And part of Long's inner circle, Lamont McClure, has two Sunshine Act violations to his credit.

Machine politicians are used to making decisons behind closed doors. That's what we can expect from Team Long.

I suspect Garvin had a hand in this ridiculous rant, and he should be ashamed of himself if this is true.

According to Sarah's report, he may have neglected to notify the MC of his letter. And he sent copies to only 4 members of council, while excluding 5 others, including the Democratic council president and the Democratic vice president.

This dude obviously is playing games. Party bosses like Long leave local Dems with congressional candidates like Driscoll and Sam Bennett.

It is time for Joe to go. In 2008, it will be time to elect new Democratic committeemen as well as a new chair. Joe Long, whether he knows it or not, is serving his last term. That's a promise. It is time to replace machine hacks and thugs with Democrats who actually believe in democracy.

Anonymous said...

Joe,

What the hell is this party coming to? You legitimize Scam Bennett as a congresswoman, at an election that is important to all citizens of this county. This election has to do with the serious issue of voting and you evidently think it is a humorous side show, by inviting a politician who has no credibility in this county. (Check her record). I have attached a copy of her missteps and comments, that are posted by BO. I ask you to cease and desist from treating yourself as a legitimate party boss. Thank you.

The Citizens of Northampton County

Anonymous said...

Joe Long is an ASS. Everyone knows that. His only power is illusionary and a title. His letter to Stoffa was like an early Christmas present. Of course Stoffa was going to share it with Bernie and then the world. Anybody can go to a press conference, being 'invited', what now Stoffa is the Pope.
A larger concern is blogs should not get yanked into news circles like the msm because of guys like Stoffa. The msm loves him, guys like Kransley and Owens think hes just scrumptious and that is the danger. We all know Bernie likes Stoffa but at least as a blog miester he informs but not as a 'mainstream' source. It's not that
stoffa isn't necessarily doing anything wrong, but if he did have some problems the msm would'nt report it. Blogs are youre only source. There are other 'Stoffas' out there that need to be watched, so I kind of like the blogging world hanging out there a bit. Next thing you know Bernie will be asked to served on the LVEDC Board with the MSM
So, Yes Long is an idiot, no, I didnot say Stoffa was evil just damn lucky and yes I like the outlander status of Blogs.

Pravda means Truth

Anonymous said...

Joe Long's Idols ... Boss Tweed, Boss Hogg, Boss Long

river said...

""Anonymous said...
I agree O'Hare and Casey his counterpart in the blogging world are both crackpots.

4:31 PM "" Hey at least you gave Bernie top billing :):)

Tom Foolery said...

First law in politics (or at least one of them) Do not give more attention to someone you didn't want attention given to. You really need to send Joe a thank you note. I think deep down he must love you.. Why else would he give you so much publicity?

I know the answer to that but I won't say it..

river said...

""""Anonymous said...
i respect and like you bernie, but my feeling is like joe longs. your being invited appears as though you are being given preferential treatment over the rest of taxpayers out here. if you can be invited to these meetings then they should be open to ALL OF US.i think john stoffa exercises poor judgement and makes light of serious issuses"""" Anon, please read the article in Saturdays Express times. Bernie was at the NCgovt. center for the Finance Committee meeting. The Finance committee meeting was canceled while Bernie was already sitting there waiting for it to start. When that meeting was cancelled Stoffa said he was having a news conference about the voting machines so Bernie went to that so it wouldn't be a wasted trip from his home to be at a meeting that was cancelled at the last minute. I or you anon would have had the same privilege as citizens of NC.
I don't think that Joe Long's beef is with Bernie O'Hare. In my own honest opinion, I believe that Joe Long's beef is, and always will be, that the voters of Northampton County chose the candidate THEY wanted, John Stoffa, and NOT the candidate Joe Long wanted, Glenn Reibman.

Anonymous said...

What is this 2000? Everyone knows not to rely on mainstream media when it comes to politics.

river said...

sadly, mainstream media is in our face every day. However, you cannot deny Bernie and his blog... it happened.

Larry Kislinger said...

Boo Hoo 2 U 2 said..."Who gives a rat's ass what Joe Long thinks or says?"...I agree and have been asking everyone I meet. Nobody I know really likes him! I know not why they "seem" so afraid of him!

My opinion is he can't "deliver" more than a tiny handful of votes
for anybody in a "legitimate" election. Please trust me, I've been "around the block" for years.

Bernie said: "Bossman Long committed regular Sunshine Act violations on the BHA until Larry Kisslinger blew the whistle."

Thanks Bernie but problem is on the horizon unless you and others will contact Bethlehem elected officials. PROBLEM IS: Joe Long is up for a new 5 ( that's five) year term on my beloved Bethlehem Housing Authority "this" November!
He has been a disaster "posing" as
a public servant. He has no clue what public service means! If he is nominated by Mayor Callahan, City Council should refuse to confirm is my strong opinion!

Maybe another blog for you guys that care about community? Thanks for your services. larry@kisslinger.com and my number is in phone book if you want to chat about "real" public service.

Anonymous said...

The reason long is still in there is because only someone with that big of an ego would want to be a county chair.

Larry Kisslinger said...

just so you know: I was heavily recruited NC chair '86 and resigned after end of term in '88.
Fact was/is most in Party only want to "think" they're powerful.
Only a very few, I learned, want good government. larry@kisslinger.com

Anonymous said...

I am a Democratic committee person and we voted unanimously for Joe Long. No one else ran. How is he illegally elected? All committee people were ok'd by voter registration prior to the meeting at the court house. I also know his daughter, and she was working in voter registration long before Joe was chair. Where do you get your info? We need more people like Joe in politics.

Bernie O'Hare said...

As a Dem committeeman, you should be ashamed of yourself for polluting Democratic party ideals with the strongarms tactics of someone like Joe Long. You are part of the problem.

Illegal election Joe Long was "unanimously" re-elected before committeemen had even been notified of their own election at the polls. In fact, he was elected before certificates of election had even been mailed out. His election was a violation of both the elections code as well as the Democratic party by-laws. I know many Dem committeemen who were never notified of the meeting at which Long was unaimously re-elected. So knock off the shit.

Long's daughter Amazing. At a meeting of the citizen advisory panel, Lonmg attempted to deny his daughter ever worked in the voter registration office. Now you concede the truth. And the truth is she started in April 2002 and remained there until 7/26/06. In April of 2002, Long was heavily involved in the Dem party. He likes to brag he's been heavily involved for 30 years. It is obscene that the daughter of a party chair would be employed in the elections office for at least two of the years that Long was party chair. It makes an impartial office partial.

A.J. Cordi said...

I'm putting ethics aside here, and would like to offer my advance apologies to Bernie if he, or anyone else, disapproves.

I'm gonna keep this short and simple...

Anon 6:20 - We need less jerks like Joe Long in charge, and even fewer people like you who support such corruption!

For someone who defends a person who questions Bernie’s credibility and blogs in general as a form of press, I am angered that you chose to use an “anonymous” identity.

Your anonymity is hypocrisy, and I consider it an insult - as a blogger and a journalist!

Anonymous said...

anaon said "We need more people like Joe in politics.

6:20 PM " Joe who, Joe Stalin?

Tom Foolery said...

Wow..Thanks to Joe Long you got a story in the express yesterday and a whole column by Owens this morning..He's on your payroll, right? You've finally agreed to endorse Sam I'd guess.. Why else would Joe do this for you? You politicos are all alike..Ha.

Anonymous said...

This is off topic but check out http://www.mcall.com/news/opinion/all-pheaa.6009736aug26,0,1625714.story

especially the last paragraph - Jenn Mann at her finest

river said...

Bernie Said
"I suspect Walt Garvin had something to do with Joe Long's letter, but don't know that. He was the dude, in the second elections panel meeting, who tried to shut me up when I pointed out that we were using a version of software that had never been certified. The software had to be certified ex post facto. It was then that I realized that Garvin likes to keep things under wraps, and that's bad government. "" Just like when Garvin had that horrible hate radio show on the radio. It was on Wednesday afternoons and it was called Checks and Balances by Wally G.
Of coarse it was right before the elections.In my own opinion I thought is was just horrid and pure biased. Well so what you may say, Rush limberger has the same kind of show. Well there is a big difference. Walter Garvin, aka Wally G. Walter Garvin is one of the top officials in the NC elections board. I was always under the impression that election members are supposed to be unbiased. Did any of you out there ever hear Wally G's show on WGPA last year? All he had to do was come up with $165 bucks and he could have an entire hour to read from his script for that whole hour. My own personal opinion was that it was the worst political show I have ever heard on the radio. That makes me question why? Why is Walter Garvin, aka Wally G a top member of the N C elections committee when he had such a biased radio show on WGPA and use the name Wally G. too, in my own opinion, hide his own real name? I am a voter in NC. I will say right now that I do not want Walter Garvin, Wally G. or any of his other names on my NC election Board. Especially when we have 600 computer voting machines that no one whats to certify as accurate.
I am afraid or a rigged "Boss Tweed" election.

Roger said...

Here we go again with WGPA.

John Wayne Gacey had a show on there and went under the name of Ron Angle.
Talk about a biased show.

river said...

Roger... I only mentioned W@#* to jog peoples memory to see if anyone else out there heard the Wally G. show. Did you ever listen to it, or even Angles show? I have learned a long time ago that a lot of people who complain about a show have never even listened to it... they just object to it by political partisanship. Anyway, Angles show was a 2 way street. If you didn't like what he said all you had to do was pick up the phone and you could tell him about it live on the air. It was fun to listen to. Every caller was free to give their opinions. Then on thursdays they had a trivia game to win gift certificates. However, the Wally G. Checks and Balances show was nothing of the kind. It was more like a one hour paid political ad. I called in several times and I was told that Wally G. does not accept calls. I wonder if he was even at the station, because he read off a script for the entire hour and it very well may have been prerecorded. Angle's show was open to callers with anything on their mind. Our very own Bernie O'Hare was a guest host on that show many times. The Wally G. show however was much different, it was more like a paid political announcement.