During his first term, Northampton County Exec John Stoffa has often run into a wall of Joe Long Democrats, intent on obstructing every initiative. They've attempted to punish Stoffa because of his nonpartisan, common sense, approach to government. They prefer the "pay to play" Reibman era, in which cronyism was exalted over professionalism. John Stoffa found himself running against the party machine for the second time. This time, he refused to accept any contributions, spending just $* of his own money. He was elected with 57% of the vote. His opponent, Ann McHale, lost every district in the county, including her own.
Northampton County voters have spoken. They obviously prefer a council that will govern over a three ring circus that always tries, and always fails, to hamstring John Stoffa.
But who are these people? Campaign finance reports help answer that question. Even in the smaller races, they distinguish those beholden to vested interests from those who just want to serve voters. Unfortunately, unless you have time to make a trip to the voters' registration office on a weekday and before 4:30 PM, you really have no way of knowing which candidates are bought. Newspapers provide some information, but they have space limitations in the hard copies.
This is where the Internet can be a powerful tool of democracy. Lehigh County has started posting campaign finance reports online, at least for the county races. I've copied, scanned and have uploaded the post primary reports filed by Northampton County Council candidates.
John Cusick: Cusick has neither raised nor spent any money. In his first campaign for county council, he spent mostly his own money. He has no report.
Charles Dertinger: Post primary report available here.
Tom Dietrich: No money and no report.
Peg Ferraro: Post primary report available here.
Walt Garvin: Post primary report available here.
Bruce Gilbert: No money. No report.
Deb Hunter: Post primary report available here.
Lorraine Pasquali: Post primary report available here.
Barb Thierry: Post primary report available here.
Bill Wallace: Post primary report available here.
1) Long Dem Charles Dertinger is bought and paid for by an alphabet soup of unions and the "pay to play" crowd, consisting of folks like Christian Perrucci and Lee Butz.
2) Long Dem Lamont McClure is trying to buy influence. His boss, Baltimore lawyer Peter Angelos, gave $250 each to Dertinger, Wallace and Garvin.
3) Long Dem Charles Dertinger is trying to buy influence. His union - IBEW Local 102 - gave $500 each to Pasquali, Wallace and Garvin.
4) Only three of the Democratic Council candidates - Dertinger, Wallace & Garvin - helped pay for a mailer that featured them, running as a team, with then exec candidate Ann McHale.
5) Deb Hunter appears to have resisted contributions that tie her to the Long Dems.