Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Allentown's Incumbent Protection Rule

Allentown's incumbent protection rule, also known as Rule 7F of the City Council Rules, is as follows:

"Candidate Participation: Persons running for office in a primary or general election will not be allowed to speak to "new issues" under Good and Welfare or Courtesy of the Floor. This prohibition will apply as soon as the candidate's nominating petition is filed and until after the General Election in that same year (unless a candidate is unsuccessful In the primary). The Presiding Officer will enforce this rule.

"1. Good and Welfare prohibition applies to members of City Council seeking election.

"2. Courtesy of the Floor prohibition applies to those, not on Council, seeking election. (26179 12/6/89)"


Sometimes, questions about the right of public participation can get a little murky. This is not one of those times. As mentioned yesterday, this incumbent protection rule is clearly inconsistent with both Allentown's Home Rule Charter as well as Pennsylvania's Sunshine Act.

This is where Carrie, aka Volvo Driving Soccer Mom, aka Pissed Off Naked Blogger, enters the fray. She's previously suggested that mayoral candidate Tony Phillips, an African American, should "have someone school him on elocution." Does Tony have a lisp? No. Stutter? No. But he does sound a little ... um ... black. Carrie denies her advice has anything to do with that.

At Queen City Daily, Carrie continues her line of personal attacks, but this time they're directed at me. First, no one should listen to a word I say because "[y]ou were disbarred. For you to give legal opinions on anything is a joke." Second, I'm doing this to get at Mayor Edwin because he "hurt your feelings."

It's certainly true I lost my ticket way back in 1985, but not for stupidity. To be perfectly honest, only a moron could conclude that the incumbent protection rule has any validity. It would never survive a challenge based either on the Home Rule Charter or Sunshine Act.

As far as bashing Hizzoner is concerned, King Edwin may even agree with me. Lord knows, he gets along with no one on City Council. My argument actually benefits all candidates for city office, from Lou Hershman to Mike Schlossberg to King Edwin himself. For all I know, he's designing a three minute power point presentation right now.

How does City Solicitor Frances Fruwirth feel about all this? She supposedly gave Prez D'Amore the green light, but was undoubtedly unaware at the time how this rule contradicts the plain language of both Home Rule Charter and state Sunshine Act. I tried speaking to her late yesterday but was told she is "unavailable." She may remain that way. If she is able to speak with me, I'll tell you what she has to say.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Solicitors in Allentown seem to tell elected officials exactly what they want to hear.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Solicictors mostly everywhere tell elected officials what they want to hear. That is how they remain solicitors. just a sad factof politics. I imagine if they get enough heat here they'll comply with the sunshine act. Why they passed that idiotic prohibition in the first place is beyond me. Most smart candidates would spend their time knocking on doors of supervoters rather than wasting it sitting at a council meeting. Doesn't say much for Hershman I guess..

Bernie O'Hare said...

Politically, it makes more sense to go door to door than to a meeting. It won't help you get elected. But it sure helps if you want to know what the hell is going on. Newspapers and blogs can never capture all the nuances in a single governmental meeting. You have to be there. And if you really have an interest, that's what happens. So Hershman's presence indicates that he may not be as politically savvy as you, but cares a hell of a lot more than most about what is really going on. I prefer people who care about good gov't to people who care about good politics.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Solicictors mostly everywhere tell elected officials what they want to hear. That is how they remain solicitors"

This has NOT been true in NC. It's one reason why McClure wanted to replace Zito. Zito's philosophy is that his job is to give good legal advice, not tell clients what they want to hear. That is Karl Longenbach's philosophy, too. There's a bit more independence.

Part of the problem, in my view, is that in LC and A-town, the same lawyers who work for the Mayor and Exec also work for the city council and comm'rs. That's a built-in conflict. The exec and legislative branch is often at odds so the legislative branch really should get independent legal advice.

Anonymous said...

I went over and read "carrie's" comments. You have taken her comments out of context, omitting what she said about having met him personally, and liking him.
Just another of your attacks on a person who has the stones to disagree with you.
She rightly points out that he has an uphill climb. Just because you don't like what she has to say doesn't give you the right to condemn her. You questioned her, so she rightly threw it back at you. You are not a lawyer. you were disbarred, and frankly, BO, in PA, you have to be pretty damn dumb to get disbarred. Even Lamont can still practice law, and he's no friggin Einstein.
You called the woman a bigot without any proof, just a statement you interpreted that way.
She pointed out something that there is a public record of, that you were disbarred.

I think you lose. Again.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I know plenty of racists who claim they "like" individual blacks. The simple fact is that Tony has no lisp or stutter. He just sounds like most African Americans and uses the same vernacular that I hear from my grandson and his step-dad. That statement reveals her to be a bigot.

She's just posted a new comment at QCD claiming that Hershmna should do what other people around his age should do and move to a retirement community in Florida, taking a swipe at both the elederly. She may even be under the misimpression that Hershman is Jewish bc he does have a Jewish name.

There's little doubt in my mind what kind of person she is.

You're right. With her, I lose. We all lose.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 9:13, over and over you write (all the anon's sound alike to me) that bernie is disbarred. being disbarred doesn't mean your not knowledgeable about the law. all former lawyers are still much more informed about the law than lay people.

Anonymous said...

Nixon was "knowledgeable" too.

He was also a felon and a liar.

O'Hare's knowledge of the law is one thing.

His dishonest behavior (for which he is barred from practicing law) is the issue.

Anonymous said...

Touché

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, Villa, the issue is Alentown's incumbent protection policy, which has resulted in the gag rule under discussion.

In an attempt to divert attention away from that topic, People like you, Casey & "Carrie" bring up my 1985 legal suspension, something from which I've never hidden. You bring it up nearly every day. It's called an ad hominem and is irrelevant to the discussion.

Now if you want to talk about dishonest behavior, we can look at some right now in 2009. Your anonymous comment at 10:47, agreeing with your anonymous comment at 10:44, is designed to mislead readers into thinking there are two of you. Now that's dishonesty, here and now.

Touche.

Anonymous said...

"my 1985 legal suspension"

for dishonest behavior (a.k.a. lying)
bars O'Hare from practicing law.

And yet, some simpletons (like Molovinskli) believe everything O'Hare brays as if it's the Gospel. It's funny.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Villa, I've never hidden from my mistakes. I lost my license and the punishement, if anything, was too lenient.

I also quit drinking in 1985, which had more than a little to do with that suspension. You don't point that out. But that's because, instead of being dishonest in '85, you're dishonest in the here and now.

Anonymous said...

Hey O'hare, how come you are the only one playing the race card?
no one is saying Tony Phillips isn't qualified because of his skin color.
You are as ignorant of A-town as he is, how do I know that you aren't black? Why would it matter?
Hershman is incompetent, and you are the one claiming that he is being ridiculed for his name. When people criticize him, they are doing it because they look at his record. You are the one inserting race and heritage. I didn't know you had an Al Sharpton Gene in you.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Although he has no speech impediment and his command of grammar is certainly on a par with everyone else, Carrie claims Phillips needs "elocution" lessons. That's a nice way of saying Phillips sounds too black, and we'll have none of that.

She does not stop w/ bigotry. She continues with ageism and possible anti-Semitism. She slams Hershman, claiming it is time for him to move to a Florida (hint, hint) retiremenmt community. She didn't look at his record, but at his age and name. She slams the elderly and may even be slamming Jews. What is clear is that her thinking is bigoted.

This is par for the course w/ Pawlowski sycophants like Casey and Carrie. You are siusgusted and Pawlowski should condemn your remarks.

Anonymous said...

"I lost my license and the punishement, if anything, was too lenient."

Sit tight, this will be rectified.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Wow! An anonymous threat! Gee, I'm shaking in my sneakers.

Don't you have some Pawlowski fundraiser or KKK event to attend?

An Exorcist said...

I studied in several under-graduate classes with the Honorable Tony Phillips while at Moravian College. In no terms did he seem uneducated. In any respect, he seemed overqualified to be getting only a bachelors degree. And looking at his resume, he has accomplished more in his life (and he has many more years to go), than most people. If you voted on experience itself, it's hands down, Tony. Why wouldn't you want a former policeman in good standing to be your mayor? He was good enough to protect and serve for you at all hours of the day and night against criminal elements. Why isn't he good enough now? Wouldn't he know the ins and outs of the city and its workings better than most?

I would take that experience over any politician. It seems very simple when you get into the heart of the matter. I don't know why it has to be so murky?

And to the anonymous blogger who is posting taunting and baiting remarks,

"God bless you, too!"

Please be careful when you pass judgement, hopefully the same mercy will be passed onto you and your loved ones when you are judged.

Peace be with you, ~~Alex

michael molovinsky said...

villa's are now reduced to actually insulting themselves to foster their internal dialogue. apparently, their last outside commentator, follweiow?, after being induced to insult the district attorney, must have thought better of being used in such a manner. woman attracted to angie's faux women's issues soon see their comments followed by the sick term pusillanimous. the villa's spend their day manipulating blognet ratings, sending out endless emails fishing for comments and snarking their growing list of perceived enemies.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

Here's the deal from my eyes and ears. I spoke at length with Tony last summer about Allentown's problems.

I was refreshed to find Tony to be an honest and frank analyst. I "think" Tony was my student WAY back, but if not, I'm still proud of him. He's shoots straight without regard to political correctness. That's a good thing. No?

On another matter, the question of Bernie being an alcoholic. I enjoyed dinner with Bernie a few months ago. Despite my assurances, Bernie chose to drink Coca-Cola. I went a different route.

michael molovinsky said...

someone described the villa blog as a car accident, something you keep looking back at with some shame. one can tell how well they hit the hammer on the head by the number of comments villa's respond with; in the case of my last comment, 12. they do have the ability to weave credibility from half truths. they insinuate an insult by me against pam varkony because of a recent post i did. my "p" word for college professors was peter pan. their "p" words, and they intend only one meaning despite their double talk, is not in my vocabulary. i apologize to o'hare for going OT, the shelf life of this comment is at his discretion.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernie O'Hare said...

MM, Since you are being victimized by the Villas, and on this blog, feel free to defend yourself. I remove thir comments but they'll continue posting.

"MM" (MIghty Mouse) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
michael molovinsky said...

those of us who are victims of the villa's, worry that people who just tune in occasionally, could find some credibility in their rants. especially irritating, is there habit of accusing others of their own offenses. villa's, who are now throughly associated with one of their favorite words, pusillanimous, now accuse me of using a similar word for college professors. as is often the case with them, they go too far. on their blog they claim they wrote down my comment at the time in a journal, because it was so offensive. if such a journal exists, surely hundreds of pages would have to be used for villa's own missives.

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM, Anyone who knows you knows that the words "pussy" and "pusillanimous" form no part of your vocabulary. I might be mistaken, but don't think that blog has too many readers anymore, which is why Villa has to come here. I only look at it about every three days even though the posts and comments are full of attacks meant to get my goat. I imagine readers unlike you and me, who are not the objects of Villas' slings and arrows, have left long ago.

sweet said...

North side, east side
Little Willy, Willy wears the crown, he's the king around town
Dancing, glancing
Willy drives them silly with his star shoe shimmy shuffle down
Way past one, and feeling alright
'Cause with little Willy round they can last all night
Hey down, stay down, stay down down

'Cause little Willy, Willy won't go home
But you can't push Willy round
Willy won't go, try tellin' everybody but, oh no
Little Willy, Willy won't go home

Up town, down town
Little Willy, Willy drives them wild with his run-around style
Inside, outside
Willy sends them silly with his star-shine shimmy shuffle smile
Mama done chase Willy down through the hall
But laugh, Willy laugh, he don't care at all
Hey down, stay down, stay down, down

'Cause little Willy, Willy won't go home
But you can't push Willy round
Willy won't go, try tellin' everybody but, oh no
Little Willy, Willy won't go home

Little Willy, Willy won't
Willy won't, Willy won't
Little Willy, Willy won't
Willy won't, Willy won't
Little Willy, Willy won't
Willy won't, Willy won't
Little Willy, Willy won't
Willy won't, Willy won't

Little Willy, Willy won't go home
But you can't push Willy round
Willy won't go, try tellin' everybody but, oh no
Little Willy, Willy won't go home

Little Willy, Willy won't go home
But you can't push Willy round
Willy won't go, try tellin' everybody but, oh no
Little Willy, Willy won't go home

Anonymous said...

MM, I agree w/ Bernie (oops, I used the "w/"). They've continued to lose any remaining credibility by dragging even more people in - i.e., Pam Varkony and Michael Donovan.

Having said that, I am sure I would feel the same way if I were you. But I have no doubt the vast majority of readers know what's going on.

Sweet continues to have it nailed.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

He "sounds like most African-Americans", really O'Hare how do THOSE African-Americans sound.
See how easy it is to distort and play God.

I'm old and I wish I could retire, what the Hell has that to do with Jews or a bad thing. Many people didnot screw up their lives like you and retirement to a warm climate is a goal, not a slur.

You are almost as big an ass as the angry priest.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Black Americans are easily recognized on the phone or radio. It's their elocution. That's a demonstrable fact. Suggesting that a black person take elocutionm lessons to remove that rich vocal pattern is a matter of prejudice. Suggesting that it's time for someone named "Hershman" to move to a "Florida" (Hint, Hint) retirement community is ageism and has little whispers of anti-Semitism.

But the enemy of your enemy is your friend, so you'll defend a person who clearly has prejudices.

An Exorcist said...

"But the enemy of your enemy is your friend..."

Bernie,

Do you know who used spoke that line first and what it refers to?

That line strikes fear in me.

And to Mr./Mrs./Ms. Anonymous of 10:21 PM, thank you for the compliment. And may God bless you, too.

Peace be with you, ~~Brother Alex

Bernie O'Hare said...

Fr. Alex, I do not know who first said it.

An Exorcist said...

It was an Arab.

It is an old Arabic folklore / wives story. It probably doesn't make much sense either.

It is not important...

Peace be with you, ~~Alex