Condemning the pay to play politics so rampant everywhere else, Stoffa noted he could easily raise a large sum of money. "I could have said to my cabinet, 'I want $1,000 from everyone of you.' I could have said to the lawyers, 'I want $750 or $500.' Do you think they would have said no? I'm not doing any of that and it feels great."
The reason for his refusal? "I wanted to bring integrity back to government and want to bring it back for another four years." He feels that a politician who accepts large sums of money is indebted. "Whether you want to or not, you are beholden to them in some way."
Stoffa will do a few fliers and signs, but will this be enough?
"I have a lot of respect for voters. The people who vote in a primary are educated, sophisticated voters."
What if he loses?
"In politics, one of two things happens. You either win or you lose. If I win, everything will be great. If I lose, everything will be lousy for about six weeks and then I'll go back to building 500 birdhouses. I've built 26 so far."
How does he compare himself to Lehigh County Exec Don Cunningham or Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski?
"I'm a different kind of politician. I love Don, but when we get there I have to spend five minutes to think about what the hell I'm going to say. That's my style. Don has prepared speeches, double-spaced, too. I've never given a power point presentation. I wouldn't know how the hell to do it."
What is really prompting his run for a second term?
We need to do something about the prison. "We waste lives in that jail. I think it's abominable that we have four people in one cell."
I'll have more about Stoffa's different brand of politics next week, but wanted to share this breath of fresh air now. Spring is in the air.