Friday, October 26, 2007

Tony Branco Doth Protest Too Much

This morning, I told you about dirty campaigning in the at-large race for Northampton County council. Anonymous robo calls, made mostly at dinnertime, sent Peg Ferraro right into kitchen garbage disposal units. A sample of one of these recordings is here.

Early this evening, I spoke with an upset Tony Branco. He admits he's using Tom Severson, the Darth Vader of Sleaze, to run his campaign. He even admits that he has prepared robo calls.

Just not that one.

"I don't believe in dirty politics. That's not what I'm about. I'm upset. In fact, I'm mad."

I'd like to believe Tony. But I'm having trouble, and here's why. First, when I told Branco he could listen to the robo call on my blog or at NewsOverCoffee, he told me he's not into blogs. That's pretty odd, because Tony has set one up for himself. In it, he asks voters to "re-elect" him, even though he was never elected to council. He was selected, not elected. Second, after telling me he does not read blogs, he called tonight to ask why I pointed out he was MIA during yesterday's budget hearing. He actually thinks his day job has priority over his obligation to the people he supposedly serves. Third, he refuses to rid himself of Severson, the sleazy consultant who engineered those robo calls.

I used to think Tony was a good guy who was just listening to the wrong people. I now think he may have been one of those wrong people all along.


Anonymous said...

Good on you Bernie. This shit infuriates me. Keep the heat on this gutter dweller.

Branco is quite simply a liar. He lied to you about his disinterest in the blogosphere. He's lying to voters about having been elected to his position. He's a liar, and not a very good one.

Tony, as you DON'T read this post ***wink***, understand this: the local news rags may not identify you for the lying sleaze you are (they're waiting for your money for your "re-election" ads with that very confident, shit eating grin), but the rules are a bit more democratic and less forgiving here.

Cockroaches only scatter when the lights come on.

Anonymous said...

Bernie O'Hare said...
I have just deleted two anonymous personal attacks. This is not an "open" blog. Attack issues or what people do or say or don't do or don't ssay. Personal attacks will be deleted.
6:46 PM FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2007

Anonymous said...

apprently, personal attacks are only deleted when they are targeted at people Bernie likes. someone can call tony branco a "cockroach" but that don't count.

Anonymous said...

I did not refer to Branco as a cockroach. The cockroach statement is a long-used general statement about how to clean up sleazy politics.

I'm not surprised it hits close to home with the Branco camp. As the blog headline reads: Tony Branco Doth Protest Too Much.

I DID call him a liar. I'd like to see his camp address this documented, factual charge. Or will they run from the recently turned on light?

Welcome to the blogosphere Tony. Now fess up to your lies, jettison Severson, and get right with those you've attempted to deceive.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 1:02, aka Mr. Maniatty,

True, I deleted your personal attacks and will continue to do so. You are a partisan troll who has no interest in any issues or good government.

Since the "cockroach" comment is not directed at any one person, and refers to those who avoid the light of public scrutiny, it's not really a personal attack. It's a criticism that can be made of anyone, from either party, who thinks government operates best in the shadows. In fact, I wish I had thought of that analogy myself.

And frankly, I don't believe Branco either.

Demothug said...

ANYBODY who uses Severson as a political advisor does not possess the character required to be a good elected official.

Severson is the poster boy for slimy politics. Tony B, Lamont McClure, John Maher, Wayne Grube - it doesn't matter. Severson is what is WRONG with politics.

Anonymous said...

He paid for the sleaze. He has not publicly canceled his contract. He is involved, even after the fact.

If he makes bad decisions, and tries to cover them up [like the "$1.8 million SNAFU"], he isn't right for the position. We couldn't prevent his 'selection', but once again, we can prevent his 'election'. Nov 6, get out and stop Branco!

Anonymous said...


Went to his blog, "Re-Elect Tony Branco" fund? Why must he fib? He was never elected to his current position.

Heck No, Branco Must Go!!!!!

Chris said...

As I have noted before on your blog, I count Tom Severson as a friend and were I to run for office I would have him as a member of my campaign. That said, I would point out a couple of things. First and foremost is the plain and simple fact that negative campainging is done because it works and a lot of times the so called negativity is in reality a listing of the candidate's record. Next I would suggest to all of you who have referred to my friend as sleazy, that you might recall the Nyce campaign where a certain candidate purchased a website and ended up looking silly when she had to give it back. Do you recall the campaign Mr. Nyce ran when it was rumored that he could have used information that would have been harmful to his opponent. As I recall, Tom Severson was Mr. Nyce's campaign consultant through the primary and general election.
Let me close by saying this: those of you who wish to be critical from you position as armchair pundits should have the courage to sign your name. I have always found hiding behind "anonymous" less then courageous.

Bernie O'Hare said...


1) Whether he's your friend or not, Severson is so sleazy he'd make Karl Rove blush. You don't have to look at anyone who is anonymous. Look to me. I'm saying it.

2) Negative campaigning has not been working out for Tom in the past few elections. He tried it against Brennan and failed. Tried it in Roscioli's first judicial quest and it failed. Tried it against Monahan in the spring and it failed then, too. He's trying it against Ferraro and Angle now, and will fail again.

3) In addition to being negative, he breaks the law. He never uses the necessary disclaimer required by the elections code. His candidates file bogus finance reports.

4) He ran a clean campaign for Nyce. Big deal. The exception does not prove the rule.

5) Unlike most consultants, who work exclusively for candidates of one party, he sells out to the highest bidder. He's done it to Ritter. Right after Ritter dumped him, he went to work for McHale.

6) You consider me a friend, too. Face it, you have lousy taste in friends.

Anonymous said...

Any one know how he funds his campaign?

$1,000 campaign donation from developer questioned

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 12:04,

Thanks for that little tidbit. I'm researching a post about that on Monday. It seems that Abe Atiyeh, whom Bill White calls the Sultan of KOZ, also gave money to McClure's primary campaign.

Atiyeh also has a business associate and partner named Ramzi Haddad. Guess what? Haddad slipped $1,000 checks to Branco and McClure right around the time that Branco started thinking it would be a good idea for the county to buy that Atiyeh property.

What a coincidinky!

Chris said...

WOW!! Two cracks at the evil Republicans. You would undoubtedly make Tom's day comparing him to that evil vampire Karl Rove
As far as a consultant working both political parties, I do not have a problem with that.To some it might appear that he is not an ideologue. As far as I'm concerned it is no different then crossing party lines to vote. Your problem is that you believe Republicans are all a bunch of mind numb robots controlled by Rush Limbaugh.
I see Tom as a business man who, like the rest of us, wants to be successful and put food on the table to feed himself and his family. If, indeed, he has broken all of these election laws and has assisted with the candidates putting together false financial reports as you have oft stated, I suggest that you take those matters to the proper authorities. Failure to do that, and I am not an attorney, would be aiding and abetting would it not?
As for all this sleaze in politics that is now consuming us, I would would note the following: First, like the poor, it has been with us for ages and second, look at our culture or as I like to say, "look in the mirror". We the people are the ones intently listening to the reports on Spears, Lohan and other low life. We the people sit and watch LA cops chasing bad guys on the freeways for hours on end. We the people sit back and allow Louisiana politicians to crap all over us despite our generosity in their most dire moment. On and on it goes.
Keep in mind that like you I deplore sleazy campaigns and sleazy politicians and I wish it would end. Those breaking the laws should be reported and stopped. But until Americans stop living their desperate lives, stop living vicariously through Hollywood celebraties, we will be viewed as feckless protestors.