Thursday, September 27, 2007

MSM is MIA at Lehigh County Comissioners' Meeting

At last Thursday's Northampton County council meeting, there was no shortage of media coverage. Sarah Cassi (The Express Times) and Joe Nixon (The Morning Call), two very seasoned reporters, were there, following every word. The Bethlehem Press, a weekly, sent a freelancer. Even a fellow blogger, Julian Stolz, dropped in on the fun.

If county councilpersons get the feeling they're under a microscope, it's because they are. This media coverage actually promotes accountable and transparent government.

But how about Lehigh County? Did you know there was a commissioners' meeting last night? Five different pieces of legislation and two appointments were on the agenda. But you won't be reading about it in any of the papers. The press sent no one to cover a regularly scheduled meeting of the Lehigh Valley's largest local government.

It is precisely this kind of environment, where no one is watching, that makes bad government possible. But I'll bet Lehigh County officials love it.

23 comments:

michael molovinsky said...

msm does cover allentown city council where the nay-sayers and obstructionists do act up, although to no avail; on the county level there is, amazingly, even less token oversight. beside joe hilliards rational positions being recently presented, this local blogosphere could be the official media for the democratic party, with the exception of sam bennett. the articles on cunningham,(underwear included) should have been a pure embarrassment.

MAD AS BATS said...

MM, what the hell does Cunningham's underwear have to do with anything? What the hell are you talking about?

Chris Casey said...

Bats, what are you doing putting pictures of your ex-wife up on the blog? You trying to make Bernie jealous? LOL '
Now on the topic at hand, the mainstream media only goes for free food! If Cunningham would feed the poor starving souls, you couldn't keep them away! Do you understand the plan now? LOL! Can you imagine how many citizens would show up if they put out free 3" subs? LOL!

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM,

The local blogosphere leans left, just as talk radio leans right. But I would not call it the official media of the local Democratic party. I'm pretty sure Boss Long would give you an argument on that point. We have many different voices.

I like Cunningham. I think he's been a very effective leader, and makes a hard job look very easy. John Stoffa envies him. True, in his interview, Casey likes to talk about Cunningham's underwear. Hey, we each have our strange fetishes. And haven't you noticed by now that Casey is nutz?

When you speak of Joe Hilliard's rational positions, his voice needs to be heard. But I'm equally certain his bond challenge will be dismissed. Claiming that a bond is "unnecessary" is not a legal basis on which to mount a challenge. And when it is dismissed, Allentown officials will deride him and he will lose credibility.

Insofar as I am concerned, I don't think there's that much difference between the parties. For some offices, I like Dems. For others, I like Rs.

I like Charlie Dent, Ron Angle, Snarlen' Arlen, Peg Ferraro, Craig Dally, Mike Dowd, Marc Grammes and am recently very impressed by Dean Browning.

On the other hand, I also admire Rendell, Cunningham, Stoffa, Brennan, Grube, Grucela, Callahan.

I like Pawlowski but don't like what is going on in Allentown. I credit you for pointing out what seems to be a trend towards development by displacement.

But the point of this post is the MSM's failure to send someone to cover a regularly scheduled meeting of the LV's largest local government. I find that very troubling.

michael molovinsky said...

bats, someone, i believe casey, on a interview with cunningham, asked what kind of underwears he wears. it was a very softball, larry king, type of promotion piece.

michael molovinsky said...

i haven't read the challenge to the bond, but i was at the council meeting. in addition to the mayor providing misinformation, the administration and underwriters made substantial changes to the ordinance which the council and public had no opportunity to reasonably review, in violation of the city charter. i think in reality there are political connections in the court, and i agree that the chances of a successful appeal are remote.
i believe there is enormous political apathy in allentown and the lehigh valley. the new arrivals, for the most part. are either on one end of the financial spectrum, or the other, both of which for different reasons are not concerned with local politics.

Chris Casey said...

Okay, I did ask Don Cunningham the Boxers or briefs question, because it was one of many submitted.
I used it in a manner to keep the conversation light in a piece I posted on August 19th.
Not every conversation hinges on the apocalypse Mike, sometimes people have conversations where they ask how the other person is doing in life. You know, (or maybe you don't) it's not a bad thing to treat others as human beings and not adversaries to be grilled over a pit. For you Mike, I would make an exception. i'd put you on a spit and turn up the fire on high.
Maddy is right, you do take yourself far too serious.

michael molovinsky said...

chris, you did roast me over a pit; i casually repeated a rumor on a comment exchange such as this, you called the office of the object of the rumor, then made a major posting that i was a liar, because of the predictable denial of the rumor. i have not seen anybody else on this site treated with such skepticism and ridicule. by coincidence, yesterday i learned on good source that assumptions made about motivation for the lanta changes are indeed true, and who suggested them. your prior reaction has me on the defensive and i will no longer post such "insights". sorry i called your interview of DC softball, btw, i read maddys piece on me on his site, i guess you guys think my skin is much thicker.

michael molovinsky said...

chris, in my previous post "i have not seen anybody else on this site treated with such skepticism and ridicule.", should read "......your site....."

Bernie O'Hare said...

Okay, I did ask Don Cunningham the Boxers or briefs question, because it was one of many submitted.

I think I'm the one who submitted it. :-)

Bernie O'Hare said...

yesterday i learned on good source that assumptions made about motivation for the lanta changes are indeed true, and who suggested them.

Yes, you were roasted. We all get roasted at times. You got it heavier than most, I'll agree. But you're no blogger unless you can take a few snarks.

Now I want the details. Cough 'em up. We all understand this is rumor and has little credibility, but I'd like to know if my suspicions are right.

michael molovinsky said...

i was told someone whose name i will not reveal, convinced pawlowski that by moving most of the lowly bus riders off of hamilton, he will also probably get rid of the unattractive business's that serve them, and create an opportunity for upgrades. chris, this is hear-say, the mayor's office will probably deny it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM, If this is true, then this is development by displacement, the worst kind of gentrification, and one that usually fails.

Anonymous said...

Every blogger should take a few snarks. A few snarks, huh. OK, BO I got one for you.

On the other hand you admire John Stoffa. Holy County Executive. You are Pope BO the first of the Church of Stoffa. If Stoffa crapped in a field you would praise his efforts at fertilization of soil.
It's all in fun BO, I love you, just not in the Angle sort of way.

michael molovinsky said...

i agree that it will fail, the soccer mom's are not coming back and the ppl and penndot workers don't have time to shop. " their" theory is that you have to start somewhere, somehow, or "things" just get worse. i think they will create a void on hamilton st. which will make things worse for everybody. in my current post about housing agencies, pawlowski's background, please understand that these people consider themselves social engineers. they brag about "weed and seed" programs, as if people are crops to be cultivated.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:49, I'd rather be mother superior.

Dottie said...

Channel 69 News reported last night on a petition signed by merchants and citizens negatively impacted by the bus route changes in Allentown. I believe they had a large number of signatures. MM, do you know how many? The petition was hand delivered by one of the merchants, a woman, (I was wondering if it was Bernie's lady friend who owns a nail salon) to the LANTA offices.

michael molovinsky said...

dottie, i'll guess it was the woman from the house of chen. i signed the petition last week for an elderly(white) woman, maybe 75 years old, who described herself as an old socialist, totally offended by the backhanded slap from the mayor to the poor people. not to indulge in sterotypes, but i know from my parking meter survey, the asian business people would prefer NOT to get involved in such political activity, they must be really hurting from the lanta changes. the mayor may be dealing from both ends of the deck, today for example, he recommended that the police officer be fired. that recommendation, although playing well to the hispanic community, complicates the cities legal defense. What will he really ask council to do behind the scenes?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Dottie, The lady who handed in those petitions is Joyce Chen of the House of Chen. The woman who owns the nail salon is very apolitical.

Dottie said...

Thanks Bernie. 69 News did not say who she was.

MM I don't want to comment here about the other issues you have brought up, but you mentioned that you know who convinced the mayor to change the bus routes, but you won't reveal his or her name. Why not?

michael molovinsky said...

dottie, i do not consider myself a reporter, i feel as if i would be violating a confidence. perhaps chris or someone with such connections could call city hall and get the administrations position on the ramification to the merchants. cunningham was also at the dedication, and his office is actually closer to the affected merchants; he also should have some insight.

Dottie said...

MM, I believe the mayor is being advised by his campaign manager attorney Mal Gross. MG is on board of the Parking Authority , represents The Morning Call, has represented the city,
his father was former mayor, has strong ties to the community, etc. You called him one of the "big guns." Is it possible he could have convinced the mayor to change the bus routes?

michael molovinsky said...

dottie, no it was not mr. gross, but it doesn't matter who it was, the mayor receives suggestions all day long and is responsible for those which he chooses to act upon. the whole thing is what is called hear-say, i want to be polite, but i will not answer any more questions on it. whats more relevant is that to my knowledge the mayor has not commented upon it, and the newspaper is staying mum. when one considers the grants and concessions and koz's given to the anointed ones, and the hosing given to others, so much for a level playing field in the queen city.