Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cunningham Never Told About Debate

One person is totally baffled to learn that Lehigh County Exec Don Cunningham ducked a Monday night debate with challenger Scott Ott. That person is Don Cunningham.

He knew nothing about it until his office received a telephone call late Monday afternoon. His office tried calling back, but there was no answer. Yesterday, he learned that Muhlenberg's Republicans had actually rented the space, not exactly an impartial group.

Ott has previously complained that Cunningham ignored three requests to participate in this debate. I tried calling Ott twice last night, but he was unable to immediately return my call. Obviously, there's been some sort of mix up. What I did get was a statement from Cunningham campaign manager Dan Kelly.

"I read inaccurate criticisms today of County Executive Cunningham for not attending last night’s Republican meeting.

"I understand that this is Scrappleface’s first run for office (if we don’t count his run for President of the United States last year) and I can see why he may be confused. But, if you are seeking an executive position you need to have a basic understanding of how to bring people together to discuss an issue – a necessary requirement of leadership.

"The County Executive received no letter of invitation, no request for a meeting date or phone call in advance from any group sponsoring a 'debate' last night. But, that’s because there was no debate – and Team Scrapple didn’t want Cunningham there.

"But, hey, we realize that debate challenges are an age old political stunt employed by challengers. And, last night was just a group of friends and supporters getting together for a night of scrapple and rhetoric.

"In regard to real forums and debates, County Executive Cunningham has received and accepted three invitations from legitimate organizations hosting forums or debates: the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Allentown Neighborhood 7CW Association and the Catasauqua Borough Business Association.

"Don believes that three forums are generous to discuss issues with someone who has yet to tell the voters what he does for a living, if he’s currently employed or why he’s qualified to manage the largest government in the Lehigh Valley.

"And, hey, it’s actually three more forums than Scrappleface got to participate in during his run for President of the United States last year."
Morning Update: Scott Ott, in a telephone call this morning, confirms that signals were indeed crossed. He is happy to learn that Cunningham has agreed to three debates and is looking forward to them. So is Cunningham. Should be fun.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

"But, hey, we realize that debate challenges are an age old political stunt employed by challengers."

Yep. Those Lincoln-Douglass Debates you may have heard of in school -- completely just a big, stupid, political stunt by lame political wannabe-Abe Lincoln. (That guy was a complete publicity hound.)

Anonymous said...

While I have no doubt that Don was not informed about this debate and that this was a stunt by Mr. Ott, I can't help but notice the arrogant and dismissive way Mr. Kelly acts towards Mr. Ott. The mark of a true man is how he treats his opponents. This is a statement I would expect from team Pawlowski. Mr. Kelly does not do Executive Cunningham any favors by acting this way towards Mr. Ott.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I suspect wires were crossed somewhere and that Ott honestly thought he had provided notice. I also understand why the Cunnungham campaign would be upset at the charge that they ducked a debate they knew nothing about.

Anonymous said...

This is really funny.

Looks like amateur hour on the republican side of the county exec race. It's not unexpected. Nobody else would run so they got this guy. I'm sure Scott Ott is a nice guy, but that letter makes a point, mean and nasty though it may be.

Does Scott Ott have a job? What qualifies him to run Lehigh COunty?
Does he have any ideas of his own other than a silly, trite and impossible cutting of 15% off the top of everything? It's clear he can criticize Cunningham, but can he provide an alternative or just continue to snipe?

Anonymous said...

I agree and feel that Mr. Kelly came off as an arrogant jerk. Right or wrong, he did no favors speaking for the Executive. How old is this guy 12 or 13. He sounded like a middle schooler.

Cunningham's stumbles always seem to involve the kiddie core.

Anonymous said...

I believe the career politician.

Allentown Democrat Voter

Scott Ott said...

We'll take Don Cunningham's word for it that he was not personally aware of the debate invitation by the Muhlenberg students. Sounds like wires indeed did get crossed, or the ball dropped somewhere. However, no 'stunt' work was involved.

I'm delighted he has now accepted several other offers. In fact, my campaign received two confirmations yesterday (9/22) afternoon from organizations planning to stage debates. This is healthy for our county and for our Constitutional Republic.

BTW, I work as a self-employed writer doing twice-weekly columns for The Washington Examiner (circulation 800,000). I'm co-host of a news commentary show on PJTV.com (three episodes weekly) and also write periodically for The Weekly Standard (magazine) and PajamasMedia.com. For the past five years, before my campaign, I was executive director of Victory Valley Camp, a children's camp in Zionsville, where I managed a budget, supervised employees, streamlined processes to better serve customers and save money and generally made the kinds of tough decisions in hard times that small business owners and nonprofit managers across Lehigh County make every day...without government subsidy.

Now that the Cunningham team's curiosity about my employment has been satisfied, perhaps we can focus the ongoing discussion on serious issues affecting Lehigh County residents. In particular, it would be good to see at least a draft plan or set of options Mr. Cunningham is considering to deal with the looming threat of a major tax hike in 2011. He has often stated that he operates on a 5-year plan, so this would be a good time to give taxpayers some insight into that plan.

Looking forward to the discussion.

Anonymous said...

"While I have no doubt that Don was not informed about this debate and that this was a stunt by Mr. Ott, I can't help but notice the arrogant and dismissive way Mr. Kelly acts towards Mr. Ott"


which probably had nothing to do with the infantile tactics used by ott.

Anonymous said...

"We'll take Don Cunningham's word for it that he was not personally aware of the debate invitation by the Muhlenberg students. Sounds like wires indeed did get crossed, or the ball dropped somewhere. However, no 'stunt' work was involved."



guess we'll have to take your word for that, too, huh?

Anonymous said...

Despite Don's distracting razzle-dazzle on the details of debate notification, the subject remains the same (and completely ducked by cowardly Cunningham).

How big is Don's tax increase going to be next year?

Anonymous said...

Don't think Don can debate too much. Three events does not a candidate's voice make. For those of us fortunate enough to work long hours, we need 10 different dates and times for debates. Don is a good speaker. Think he would enjoy sharing.

Anonymous said...

I too thought Kelly was very rude in his reply. It shows a disdain for the office, the opposition, and us, the voters.
Anyone can be sarcastic and rude. It takes a gentle person to be gracious about the mix-up. Don would have shown a far-more sophisticated side if he had directed Kelly to write with respect for someone else. If Don is so certain he is going to win, writing to embarrass someone else
is hardly the sign of a gentleman.

Anonymous said...

While I have no doubt that Don was not informed about this debate and that this was a stunt by Mr. Ott, I can't help but notice the arrogant and dismissive way Mr. Kelly acts towards Mr. Ott. The mark of a true man is how he treats his opponents. This is a statement I would expect from team Pawlowski. Mr. Kelly does not do Executive Cunningham any favors by acting this way towards Mr. Ott.

12:59 AM

I agree and feel that Mr. Kelly came off as an arrogant jerk. Right or wrong, he did no favors speaking for the Executive. How old is this guy 12 or 13. He sounded like a middle schooler.

Cunningham's stumbles always seem to involve the kiddie core.

2:16 AM

I too thought Kelly was very rude in his reply. It shows a disdain for the office, the opposition, and us, the voters.
Anyone can be sarcastic and rude. It takes a gentle person to be gracious about the mix-up. Don would have shown a far-more sophisticated side if he had directed Kelly to write with respect for someone else. If Don is so certain he is going to win, writing to embarrass someone else
is hardly the sign of a gentleman.

8:09 AM

The above three posts deserved to be read again. Anyone that acts so arrogant, should be working for Pawlowski. Don, you are not being served well by this *******. But then again, he must be reflecting your position.
Bob Romancheck

Anonymous said...

So, now we know that Scott Ott is a commentator and freelance writer. If your only experience in management is the Victory Valley Camp, I think it would be pertinent to know how big the budget was that you oversaw and how many employees you had. Lehigh COunty's budget is around $400 million and it has two thousand or so employees. How close was the Victory Valley Camp's budget?

If you managed the camp so well, why aren't you still working there?

Anonymous said...

Cunningham knew.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This is precisely the kind of anonymous comment that adds nothing to a discussion.

Anonymous said...

It would be useful if you said how Cunningham knew. How do yiou know that he knew? Do you have a copy of the letter Scott Ott sent him? Is there a letter Scott Ott sent? Did it go to the wrong address?

What does it matter, if Don says he didn't know and Scott is willing to accept that "signals got crossed" who are any of us to disagree with either of them.

The candidates know whether or not they talked about it.

Anonymous said...

The first impression I got when I read the article about Ott complaining that he didnt get a debate was, good lord, the guy is whining. He stomped and pouted about it to everyone, and of all things, he didnt invite Don. Granted, Dan Kellys response was a bit terse, but Ott deserved it. He tried to make Don look bad, and I am sure it was not an accident. If the opponent to my candidate was trying to make my candidate look bad, then I would give a verbal backlash also. If Scott wants to run for the big seat, he has to learn how to do things right, not rant and rave and whine to get attention, especially if he is the one who created this whole stunt.

Anonymous said...

"I believe the career politician.

Allentown Democrat Voter."

Of course you do. We already knew that. But thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

The inmate (anon 4:09 #2) has left the asylum, again.

THERE's big news.

Yawn.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity -- was this post altered. I could swear I read it and the campaign guy was asking about Scott's job and stuff?

Anonymous said...

Who cares. Ott has no clue as to what the job entails. I think most would deem him the least qualified by far of the candidates. Yeah.. Cunningham has some very minor short commings but overall, he has done an excellent job in running the county business. Not sure what a debate is going to prove or not.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Just out of curiosity -- was this post altered. I could swear I read it and the campaign guy was asking about Scott's job and stuff?"

As a general rule, I do not alter or delete posts once they are ip. I did not do so in this case. i did adjust the scroll bar, but made no substantive change.

Dan Kelly did question Scott's employment and that is still up.

Anonymous said...

To Bernie:

I'm sorry. I'm going blind. It is still there.

Thank you for answering my question.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's quite alright. I did tinker with the scrollbar and that's what probably threw you off. I do not, as a rule alter or delete posts.

Anonymous said...

Dan Kelly's response betrays a side of Don and his team that seems quite ruthless and viscous; not exactly the affable absent-minded public servant they attempt to portray. Every once in a while you get a glimpse.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Beneath that velvet glove is an iron fist. Anybody who dismisses Don as a lightweight is making a big mistake. It's a trait he shares with Charlie Dent, to be honest.

They would both be great cornerbacks. Two smart guys who can read a play like few others. They may not look like much until they hit you. By then, the ball has popped out of your hands and it's too late.

Barack Hussein Obama said...

Donny needs a grassroots effort aimed at kids.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aqMTD5UFmU

Anonymous said...

I thought Kelly was brought in for the campaign for guv. High-priced talent for just a county election: "Kelly, who will also manage Cunningham’s reelection battle this year, has worked on and managed Congressional races in Virginia and Ohio, and has also done field work for Democratic Party organizations in Virginia and Wisconsin." http://www.pa2010.com/2009/05/cunningham-looks-out-of-state-to-build-a-political-team/

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's a sign of respect for his worthy opposition.

Anonymous said...

"worthy opposition"


the camp counselor? please...

Anonymous said...

"Does he have any ideas of his own other than a silly, trite and impossible cutting of 15% off the top of everything?"

That should be enough to get him elected.

Impossible? Why? We should not ever correct the errors of the past? Why? Because the gimmecrats want what they want, and the public servants want what they want, and the state gimmecrats mandate what they want even when they can't fund it?

The only promise to be made is the one you mock. It is real easy. We have so much money, here's where we will spend it.

Every household, every business lives within its means, except the public sector. They just go on taking more, with the approval of a majority of the voters who think they can elect a benevolent benefactor to satisfy their own special interests.

I'm bummed I'm in NC and can't vote for him. Wait, maybe ACORN can help me out with that...

Anonymous said...

Bernie O'Hare seems like a real goofball ... what a jerkoff

Anonymous said...

ohare may jeroff but he is no jerkoff, wiseguy!