Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Allentown's Landlord Hall of Shame Ignores Constitution

Edwin I, King of Renaissance Square, aka Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, is angry. Some greedy Allentown landlords allow their properties to fall into disrepair. A few ignore zoning laws, maintenance codes and even refuse to pay their taxes and water bills on time. So by Royal Decree, a "Landlord Hall of Shame" has been established to humiliate these hooligans. A huge placard, complete with slumlord's home address and phone number, is placed at each property. Allentown's Web page, which seems to be good for nothing else, proudly lists each offender. City officials will even buy advertisements in the home newspapers of these dirty dawgs.

You get to have some fun, too. You can make your own nominations.

Whoopee! Isn't that Democratic?

Or is it a lynch mob mentality?

No Notice or Opportunity to Be Heard

King Edwin has worked up a lather over slumlords who won't follow the law, but has no trouble trampling all over the Constitution. Specifically, he's ignoring the due process clause, which is interpreted to mean notice and an opportunity to be heard.

Does a landlord get any kind of notice before he's listed in the city's Hall of Shame? Nah. In fact, the city's first victim, and he is a victim, was taken by surprise. He was ambushed without no hearing.

Allentown's web page does list criteria considered before this modern equivalent of tarring and feathering someone. You can see them here. But they are nebulous, to say the least. Vague tenant and neighbor complaints are actually encouraged, which could lead to all sorts of phony baloney from a disgruntled former tenant or a jealous neighbor. "Police issues," "fire issues" and "health issues" but once again, there are no specifics. In fact, the city also uses "etc." to cover them. How the hell can a landlord be on notice of a health issue qualified like that? If someone catches a cold at a rented property, the landlord can be publicly excoriated. The city also looks at delinquent fees, but provides no guidance there, either. One year? Or is one month enough?

Joyce Marin, Allentown's Director of Community and Economic Development, in a puff blog designed to promote this domestic form of waterboarding as "good news" for Allentown, doesn't really answer how someone qualifies for this dishonor. It must be a secret.

Potential For Abuse

Aside from a total failure to provide basic due process, King Edwin's Hall of Shame can be perverted to punish political enemies. Don't think the King would do that? Think again.

Last year, King Edwin told a Morning Call reporter that a certain civic activist, who was giving HRH a rough time, was nothing more than a slumlord. Now this landlord has never even been cited for a code violation. But he is a political enemy. Imagine how easy it would be to trump up a few testimonials by some disgruntled former tenants or a "neighbor." Next thing you know, this person can find himself a member of the Hall of Shame.

I expressed these concerns to Ms. Marin. She refuses to publish any criticism of this modern form of torture, but allows comments suggesting that slumlords are mostly McCain supporters. She did email me that, after checking with her staff, she learned that HRH has no involvement in the selection of these properties.

Bullshit.

The city's own web page makes clear the mayor is directly involved. All the King's men "choose a city landlord for recommendation to the mayor for selection as an esteemed member of the 'Landlord Hall of Shame.'" The mayor decides.

Reputation an Inherent Pennsylvania Right

In addition to the due process clause, King Ed's "Hall of Shame" violates the "inherent and indefeasible" right of every person to protect his reputation. That right is enumerated in the first sentence of Pennsylvania's Constitution.

The federal and state constitution must be followed, even in the Kingdom of Renaissance Square. King Ed is right to be upset over greedy landlords who thumb their noses at laws designed to protect all of us, but that gives him no excuse to ignore basic constitutional safeguards. They apply to all of us. Even slumlords.

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ed lives by his own rules while the local press and council remain silent.


Scott Armstrong

Look Out Lehigh Valley said...

from what I have seen, council has not been particularly "silent" on many of the mayor's ideas - and I don't think they will stay quiet on this one.

Bob Jr said...

So following your logic, if I get arrested for DUI and the MC decides to publish my name on the police blotter, the newspaper should first contact me to allow me "due process" to protect my reputation.
My understanding is the landlords HAVE had due process. They've been cited. They've been mailed tax and water bills.
I agree this is a bad policy and politically driven. This has been well discussed on MM's blog. And I'm not blindly defending the city (I'm an Old Allentown landlord so I wouldn't want mob rule, either). My point is this has nuthin' to due with due process.

South Side Sam said...

Wow, Bernie O'Hare waits a week to gauge public reaction and then forms an opinion. What a leader.

For those of us who actually care about Allentown by living and investing in it, we support this 100%. This is a common sense angle that will contribute to a solution for a complicated problem.

If the mayor wasn't doing this, everyone would be complaining the city isn't enforcing the codes. The Rs have been doing so for years, Including paid political activist Scott Armstrong.

And no, the city is not just doing the hall of shame. Drive around Old Allentown and you will see dozens of buildings with orange stickers where the city has moved in a acted swiftly in recent months. There is literally one or two on every block. The vast majority of these landlords have not found there names on the city's website.

Of course no press conference was held in these instances so people like O'hare, who are actually clueless, have not been prompted to give their opinion.

Anonymous said...

the Thor's were taken to a district magistrate on at least one of the properties, failed to show and were fined $300. Failure to show for a trail usually results in a guilty verdict.

They chose not to exercise their right to due process. They have shown contempt for the process and for their neighbors. Where are their constitutional rights in this discussion?

Failure to maintain a property is a crime in most boroughs and cities and is enabled in PA under statutes. Allentown's process is the exact same process as other communities.

You act as the great protector of Allentown, but I don't think you have a clue about the number of unfit stickers that have been plastered throughout center city, the very aggressive efforts to follow the process laid out by state law and the amount of resources the city is forced to spend in order to make this happen. I also don't think you understand that code enforcement is a form of community policing. Blighted properties attract bad tenants, bad neighbors and criminals who see that the community doesn't care. Enforce the ordinances to show that the community cares. Humiliate the bad landlords to show that we won't tolerate it any more.

The great irony is that the over-sized signs on the blighted properties could very easily be removed. They aren't secured or their by order. The property owner has show how much he values his reputation and his neighbors by not even having the decency to drive by and remove them from the property. You want to talk about contempt, that's contempt.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"So following your logic, if I get arrested for DUI and the MC decides to publish my name on the police blotter, the newspaper should first contact me to allow me "due process" to protect my reputation."

Bob, Jr,

No. The MC is not the government. It has no obligation to provide you with notice or an opportunity to be heard before slamming you. the government, however, has such an obligation. We fought a revolutionary war for that right, and I don't like to see it abused.

michael molovinsky said...

dear anon 8:23 and 8:25, there exists many lawful and proper venues for the city to deal with neglectful properties, the last of which is no less than the orange sign, closing the property down. you mention the hundreds of orange signs that have been placed. actually many of these are also enforcement excesses, where the building has been shut for something mundane as peeling paint. if the same yardstick was applied to owner occupied dwellings, thousands would have to be tagged. drive by and look at the city owned houses on linden st. (700 block across from telephone building), they're much worse than anything privately owned, and have been for years. while pawlowski scapegoats investors last week, the city suffered no less than six shootings and a stabbing this weekend, the shame is on him.

Bernie O'Hare said...

South Side Sam,

1) I have no obligation to come out with immediate opinions on any subject. Moreover, I make no claim to being a leader. I'm an observer. I saw the blogs posted and articles that were written, and only decided to post a blog here because opne of Alolentown's paid leaders, Joyce Marin, refused to publish my concerns on her "Good News" puff blog.

2) There is no doubt in my mind that A-town has plenty of distressed properties. The city owns a few of them thru its Redevelopment Authority. Is it going to cite itself? Is it going to put itself in its hall of shame?

3) My concern is not with swift enforcement but with this rididulous "Hall of Shame," which constitutes a due process violation and lends itself to abuse. I realize you don't care bc the city is only making things tough for landlords. What will you say when the city comes for you?

Bob Jr said...

Bernie, the government has already given due process. This is no different than the city buying an ad to publish sheriff sales for unpaid property taxes. Also, I believe there is no constitutional right to safeguard one's reputation unless that person could prove economic damages ... not simply hurt feelings.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"They chose not to exercise their right to due process. They have shown contempt for the process and for their neighbors. Where are their constitutional rights in this discussion?"

Did they know that failure to respond to these summons would result in their names, addresses and phone numbers being plastered on big placards? Did they know their names would appear on a city web site? Did they know that a "Hall of Shame" even existed? Did they know the city would take out ads in their home papers? All of this is government action designed to damage their repoutation and humiliate them. It is domestic waterboarding and goes beyond a $300 fine. We fought a revolutionary war, and several since, to make sure that we have notice and an opportunity to be heard before our government damages us. We also have a right, under the Pa. Constitution, to protect our reputation.

Pawlowski and his cronies have stomped all over basic constitutional principles.

I've got news for him and all his sycophants - even they must follow the state and federal constitution.

I'd have no objection to this silly notion if it followed basic constitutional principles. It does not. How does someone get on this list? You can take an extreme example like the Thors and say they deserve it. But how about a regular landlord who someone simply does not like? Under the vague criteria at the city web page, he could be in trouble.

Would the mayor do such a thing? He tried to label a respectable landlord as a slumlord with the Morning Call last year. So you betcha.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bob Jr,

Read the first sentence of the Pa. Constitution and get back to me. You don't have a right to protect your reputation against economic loss. You have an inherent and indefeasible right to your reputation.

And this is much different from advertising a sheriff sale. In that case, the procedure is set forth by law, and the owner is given both notice and an opportunity to be heard. In fact, you make my argument.

If the city adopted some ordinance providing for notice and opportunity to be heard, this would pass muster. It does not.

I might add, parenthetically, that the reason for notice before a tax sale is not to embarrass the property owner. The reason for that requirement (and it occurs after notice and opportunity to be heard) is to maximize the number of people bidding on a property and prevent insider trading. The Allentown Hall of Shame is a secret little group of Allentown insiders who decide what properties they are going to attack on the basis of vague criteria with no notice to the property owner.

michael molovinsky said...

Allentown's rental inspection law of 1998 had somewhat of a backfire effect, it stigmatized the industry, and some of the best local landlords got out. under previous director eric weiss, it was instituted more-less fairly, and the remaining local landlords held on. In the coming months, hundreds of multi family will be on the foreclosure block (no bailout for them) and no one i know will be a bidder under this atmosphere, good politics, bad business.

Bob Jr. said...

OK, so the Constitution has the word "reputation" ... But how have the courts interpreted reputation? I believe you need to show harm to your reputation in the form of economic damages.
Regardless, isn't truth an ultimate defense to libel/slander?
I have agreed all along with your position on this matter, just not your argument being based on due process. A public employee has no "due process" rights when called on the carpet at a council meeting .... a landlord has no due process rights against being called a slumlord ... due process is only invoked when the government act will result in the loss of property or freedom.

Anonymous said...

"Did they know that failure to respond to these summons would result in their names, addresses and phone numbers being plastered on big placards? Did they know their names would appear on a city web site? Did they know that a "Hall of Shame" even existed? Did they know the city would take out ads in their home papers?"

When somebody is found guilty of a crime, does the DA send out press releases, do press conferences and publicly humilate the person. YES to all. Does the person run the risk of having their name spelled out all over the community, people show up to their homes to protest their actions and scorn what they do? Yes. If you are tried and convicted, then gov't often times does reserve the power to humilate. Think about that the next time a DA holds a press conference announcing an arrest or conviction. If you are found guilty of a crime, there are consequences to your reputation outside of what the statutes prescribe and what courts render.

Failure to show for a hearing can have consequences outside of the remedies that the local magistrate imposes. Those non-legal consequences can include being humilated. If you wish to call this a violation of due process, be prepared to start looking at every press release that follows an official gov't action against person.

"You have an inherent and indefeasible right to your reputation."

Yes, and under state caselaw, the truth is a complete defense to soiling somebody's reputation. Truth: these property owners have been prosecuted and fined a paultry $300 (for what amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to the neighborhod). What happens to their reputation as a result of that conviction and the other citations is entirely dependant on how they chose to respond to the allegations. Your contention is whether or not gov't has the same rights as individuals do in soiling somebody's reputation. Perhaps you want to rephrase your legal objection: does gov't have the same freedom of speach as citizens do? I can stand up and call the Thor's slumlords b/c I have the truth on my side. Can local gov't do the same? I think that is a very reasonable legal question, one that I think has been decided by the appeals courts on a few occasions.

By the way, you never answered the question about the constitutional rights of the people who live around these homes. I remember the US Constitution saying something about "promoting the general welfare" and the state constitution (in the next section that section you site) "all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety and happiness". Those neighbors, my neighbors, seek a remedy to the violations of peace, safety and happiness that these slumlords present. We have sought redress of our grievences and gov't has the authority to do see that our peace, safety and happiness are ensured. My rights have been violated by another citizen and I'm mad as hell.

But I do have to laugh. Bernie is proposing that city gov't, by ordinance, establish a land lord hall of shame. I'll be glad to pass around those petitions.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bob, Jr,

When the government acts to deprive someone's life, liberty, property or reputation, it must first comport with basic due process - notice and opportunity to be heard. Even when the state imposes so mundane a penalty as a $5 parking ticket, it must comply with due process.

The Allentown Landlord Hall of Shame does deprive people of both property and reputations. It is designed to diminish property value and public embarrass those who are chosen. No ordinance was adopted to establish this Hall of Shame based on clear cut guidelines. The guidelines that have been set administratively are vague and susceptible to different interpretations. A landlord who is selecvted receives no prior notice. He is given no opportunity to argue against what is being imposed.

You are confusing tort law with the constitution. When our constitutional rights are infringed, that itself is the loss.

This "Hall of Shame," unless changed will eventually result in a lawsuit and cost the city a lot of money it does not have. It is bad government. It is mean-spirited. It lends itself to abuse. it will have to be changed. The city can do it the easy way or the hard way, but it will eventually have to do it.

This is basic due process.

Anonymous said...

Ummm... Bernie.... The slumlords (Thor) is not a citizen of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As such, I would argue that the Thor brothers do not have the rights that you and I have under Pennsylvania Constitution. Anyway, just a thought.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"When somebody is found guilty of a crime, does the DA send out press releases, do press conferences and publicly humilate the person. YES to all."

And that is after a person has been provided due process. If a DA plays to the presss before a conviction, it is very likely that he will see the case tossed.

What the city has done is impose a new penalty, a public form of humiliation, weith no notice or opportunity to be heard. It has acted outside the lawe. Very strange behavior from a city that claims it wants landlords to follow the law.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The slumlords (Thor) is not a citizen of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."

The Pa. Constitution applies to everyone, even residents of New Jersey.

michael molovinsky said...

dear anon, first of all it's amazing to me how little regard you have for thor's reputation, but you post anonymously? each building should be treated separately, even if owned by the same landlord. the building cited in pawlowski's news-conference had NOT been tagged unfit, yet his tenant said if he had known previously about the controversy, he would not have moved in; so yes the city action is causing the landlord harm in a building still deemed habitable. this action by pawlowski will be praised by the public, the landlord is an easy target. will it improve the city, no, on the contrary. but he isn't looking for solutions, just votes, and he got yours.

Anonymous said...

"And that is after a person has been provided due process."

They failed to show for a hearing. They were found guilty and the local judged levied a fine. Due process followed.

Your missing this connection: the mayor's antics are the same as a DA's antics after a successful trial. Both are show-boating, both are flaunting and both are making an example to other people who are considering acting in the same unlawful manner.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"But I do have to laugh. Bernie is proposing that city gov't, by ordinance, establish a land lord hall of shame. I'll be glad to pass around those petitions."

Sure, laugh all you want, but follow the law. You don't impose a new penalty against people without first establishing a procedure.

Perhaps the mayor will start another Hall of Shame tomorrow for people who smoke too much. And the next day there will be a Hall of Shame for people who conduct too many yard sales. The day after that, there will be a Hall of Shame for fatties like me (and him).

And so on.

The mayor is limited by the Constitution. He may not like it, but that's the way it is. The Constitution is designed to protect us from an over-reaching government. That's precisely what King Edwin I is doing.

I do not oppose the concept. I oppose the way it has been implemented.

Anonymous said...

MM, you've made a bold assumption in concluding that I will vote for this mayor. A stupid assumption I might add.

My decision to not publish my name is a constitutional right and one that I exercise very carefully.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"They failed to show for a hearing. They were found guilty and the local judged levied a fine. Due process followed."

Wrong. Let me explain why. Under the criteria established, there does not have to be a hearing or fine. A lanmdlord is eligible just based on a tenant's recommendation, or that of a neighbor. Undefined health or police issues are also a basis.

When there is an actual hearing for a code violation, the penalty is clearly set forth. Nothing in that penalty states it includes a concerted effort to publicly embarrass and humiliate a landowner or to place ads in his hometown paper. There is no notice.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, here is my underlying point to all of this: your claim that this violates due process comes off as if it can't be contested. It can be and I think I demonstrated how a reasonable person might make that contest.

Does it offend your sensitibilities, your values and your perspectives on due process? Sure, and I don't fault you. However, there is a reasoned counter-point and I think your failure to claim this as your opinion, not a fact, needs to be called out. Legal minds far superior to ours might disagree.

Anonymous said...

"A lanmdlord is eligible just based on a tenant's recommendation, or that of a neighbor. Undefined health or police issues are also a basis."

you are talking about the hypothetical. The first people identified were found guilty. Talk about what has actually happened.

Look Out Lehigh Valley said...

I gotta say I'm surprised to hear that anonymous posting on blogs is a constitutional right..... I'm pretty sure its subject to the choices of each blog administrator. In this case, Bernie has long allowed anonymous commenters but even he will delete comments that cross whatever line he has set for his blog.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 11:01,

Of course, I'm talking about what could happen. Even if I limit myself to Thor, the reality is that he had no notice - he was ambushed. He was provided no opportunity to ne heard on ther question whether he deserved public humiliation. But it goes way beyond that. In the future, a disgruntled tenant could go after a landlord. A mayor could use it to punish political enemies. It violates due process.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bernie, here is my underlying point to all of this: your claim that this violates due process comes off as if it can't be contested. It can be and I think I demonstrated how a reasonable person might make that contest."

People of good will can have completely different interpretations. I already know what I think, and am very interested in opposing viewpoints. I learn far more from my readers than they learn from me. So keep it up. Yes, I'm stubborn, and am convinced I am right. May the better argument prevail.

Bernie O'Hare said...

LOLV, Comment is a privilege, not a constitutional right. I will sometimes delete anonymous personal attacks. I will make an effort to out trolls, i.e. flamers whose sole purpose is to destroy meaningful conversation.

NLVlogic said...

When the government acts to deprive someone's life, liberty, property or reputation

Isn't the reputation already harmed by the ownership of unkempt properties, and other matters of public record. If one's reputation is of a slum lord, did the really City harm it. Your logic presumes the owner's reputation was good, and thus harmed by the City.

I understood the "outing" only references matters already of public record and prior adjudications, which begats my question which I posted when the subject first arose.

Is the City's action of "outing" a landlord a punishment without a fair hearing? As you say, Or does the right of free speech also extend to the Government, where the Gov't merely states facts which are obvious or exist elsewhere in the public record?

Is the government a person in the same way that a corporation is a person under the 14th amendment? See, e.q. Santa Clara County v. Southern PAC RR. 118 U.S. 394 (1886)

I understand that the Amendments of Consitution were the protections to the people, but what is a person also has become become muddy.

I'm still wrestling with this, its not as black and white.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Dave, look at the city web page and the criteria used. It's way too vague. This will never survive a constitutional challenge.

Anonymous said...

Did Joyce Marin rerfuse to post youir concerns on her blog? That's interesting if true. She allowed a comment stating that 1 of every 5 slumlords have McCain signs, but did she refuse to publish your comment?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, she refused to publish my remarks but did email me. The blog is called "Allentown Good News," so I guess anything that is inconsistent with Pawlowski's agenda must be bad news.

She can do what she wants, but there's little point in allowing comments only from people who agree with you.

Look Out Lehigh Valley said...

BOH I was responding to anon 10:53

Anonymous said...

Going with the police blotter example, you merely sidestepped a serious question. Maybe the MC publishes it, but where do they get it from?

James Jacobs said...

The difference between the police blotter and this is the blotter hurts Allentown, the hall of shame helps it.

That is the real logic behind Burnie's silence and opposition around the two issues.

(Note I am not implying the criminal charges should not be featured in the newspaper)

Look Out Lehigh Valley said...

The blotter is not what "hurts" Allentown. CRIME is the problem.

Look Out Lehigh Valley said...

Also, although I have absolutely no problem with the city posting the names of repeat violator landlords on a "slumlords" list, saying that the Hall of Shame helps it is also off point - enforcing code violations is what will help Allentown. As far as I'm concerned, chasing slumlords out of town by posting their pictures on the website is considerably less "helpful" than chasing them out of town by targeting neglected properties for inspections and citations until the message is sent that if you own property in the city you have a duty to maintain it (as much as I hate to agree with MM, this should apply to both rental and owner-occupied properties, although the extent of "neglect" that is relevant to the community when it comes to owner occupied or rental properties differs greatly).

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am deleting a personal attack, posted anonymously at 1:35 PM. I will delete additional personal attacks without comment.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The fact that the police have charged someone with a criminal offense is a matter of public record, and we all know that the accuses party is entitled to due process and is presumed innocent until proven guilty. By contrast, the Landlord Hall of Shame is a finding of guilt without a hearing.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The city has the arsenal to take whatever actions it deems appropriate against a derelict ladlord. I also have no problem with adding a "Hall of Shame," but do it right.

NLVlogic said...

By contrast, the Landlord Hall of Shame is a finding of guilt without a hearing.

Guilty of what? Guilty because someone pointed out the house is falling apart?

I'm free to take photograph's of my neighbor's house and post them on the web. I can comment on the spouting that is failing off, the the debris in my neighbor's yard.

Why is the City not free to comment on that as well? An adjudication of some sort has nothing to do with it. If the spouting is falling off, its falling off.

If the "reputation" is that one's house is falling apart, how is that reputation harmed by pointing out the house IS failing apart.

More interesting is the class of landlords versus homeowners. Do landlords have a lessened protection by virtue of thier commercial activity, or even as a condition of their landlord license, presuming Atown has such a requirement? Maybe.

oh, for pete's sake said...

"The blotter is not what 'hurts' Allentown. CRIME is the problem." --Look Out Lehigh Valley

Excellent point, LOLV.

Timothy Russo said...

What is the truth in this case? If what the site says is true, and someone can be recommended by a tenant or neighbor, than there needs to be due process.

Perhaps the case of the Thors doesn't register with the people disagreeing with BOH, but unless the punishment doled out by the courts was inclusion in this arbitrary group, than there is just cause for complaint. Whether there is truth or not in this case, Pawlowsky could be guilty of defamation and/or false light. If some buildings are up to code and yet he still puts them in this "Hall of Shame," there is an issue.

As for the due process, I also look toward the Confrontation Clause. If this is a legal matter, than whomever is accused must be allowed to confront those who accuse him before being put in this group. Seeing as how the Thors were convicted by the district magistrate and fined but not sentenced to this group, they should have the rights to face Pawlowsky's group.

Also, Ex Post Facto prevents the government from using that district magistrate appearance as evidence. The Hall of Shame, so far as I know, did not exist before than.

Maybe reading up on defamation and the sixth amendment should be required reading for some people.

NLVlogic said...

Is it punishment to point out that the paint is peeling on a house or that the spouting is falling off?

Does pointing out the obvious require due process?

I'm not sure I buy that, which is why I asked the question in the first place.

I'm not sure its a punishment or just an observation.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

For the record I am not a paid political consultant, been there done that, but as of the end of 2006 I am just another Republican.
And so what if I still was employed by a party, would that fact pre-empt my right to express my point of view? It seems to me that many of the posters here have a clear political agenda; I at least have always provided transparency to mine.



Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Bernie,


The big problem with this plan is the fact that the man who initiated it has himself violated many of Allentown’s rules. He routinely disregards the city charter and bends and breaks rules at will to meet his immediate needs. Many would view these actions as a license to follow suit. A good leader must set the example of compliance with rules and regulations; in this Ed has fallen way short.


Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny how any questioning the credibility of Bernie O'hare is a personal attack, but a fact challenged diatribe by Pawlowski hater, (And Bernie Ohare sycophant) Scott Armstrong is only constructive criticism.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:32,

People question my credibility all the time. Nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is an anonymous personal attack.

Scott Armstrong, unlike you, assigns his name to his comment. His attack at Pawlowski is not personal, but is directed at his performance as mayor.

You are free to disagree with him, but someone who actually signs what he writes is already ahead in the crdibility game.

Anonymous said...

This effort has the Marin stamp all over it. Both Marins, Joyce and Paul, are insatiable when it comes to publicity. The local press has snapped up their stunts hook, line and sinker.
The Mayor bought into the idea that the more ink he gets about something like this, the more he can wash his hands of his responsibilities.
And follow silly rules like those in the law and Constitution? Nah, the rules don't apply to this threesome.

Anonymous said...

anon 9:22,

I couldn't agree more with your assessment.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

One thing I do not understand: doesn't a government entity have an obligation - morally if not legally - to provide open comment on issues that they present?

The blog that was referred to here by BOH - I think it is Allentown Good News - is clearly sponsored by the City of Allentown and the Allentown Economic Development Authority and yet public comment is censored and severely restricted. I tried to post something there - it was a question about something - but my post was not approved.

Isn't that a conflict? Who was chosen to decide what is appropriate for posting and what is not and how was that choice made?

I see nothing wrong at all with an attempt to present 'good news' to the public as perceived by government leaders, but shouldn't the public have a right to openly comment on their statements?

Some of the statements at that blog are political in nature.

If these bloggers were not on the public payroll I would say they have a right to do whatever they want. But the concept really bothers me.

Isn't this propaganda? (I checked Webster's and, it sure looks like it to me)

Bernie O'Hare said...

You raise a novel and very interesting question, and I admit I did not look at it from that angle. I'm going to research it a bit.

Anonymous said...

Good! I wonder how many of these sumlords live in the West end or Nazareth? I wouldn't be suprise to see McCain/Palin signs adoring there front lawns.