Monday, November 30, 2009

How Joe Long Stacked the Deck

Northampton County Democratic bossman Joe "Bossman" Long is affectionately referred to by lame duck Charles Dertinger as "chairman for life." But if truth be told, he's been an unmitigated disaster. I want to tell you how it happened.

In eight years at the helm, Long has alienated Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham, Northampton County Executive John Stoffa and state party boss T. J. Rooney. The Bossman's penchant for preselection of candidates in smoke-filled bars has resulted in disaster after disaster at the polls. These include Charles Dertinger (Congress); Sam Bennett (Congress); Glenn Reibman (County Exec); and Ann McHale (County Exec). Our fearless leader's most recent trick was to manage somehow to lose all five at-large seats in November's County Council race, giving Republicans a first-ever 7-2 edge. Even Northampton County's bench is now Republican. As if that were not enough, Long has made at least three appearances before a statewide grand jury investigating deceptive campaign practices.

How the hell could this happen? The answer is simple. Throughout his eight years as party boss, Long has stacked the deck with sycophants who would tell him what he wants to hear instead of what is best for the party.

How did Long stack the deck?

First, he appears to have been elected illegally. Committee members were last democratically elected in 2006. (Results are posted here.) This is the group that would elect Long, but he was miraculously elected before the results had even been certified. In fact, he was elected five days before certificates of election could even be sent to committeemen.

Second, once those results were certified, it quickly became apparent that 105 seats were still vacant. Most of those elected simply voted for themselves. Some of them - Arthur Piatt, Colin Burke, Paul Devlin - seem awfully confused about their sex, getting elected as both male and female committee members. This enabled Long to make all kinds of appointments.

According to the Party webpage, Jim Edinger is Long's lieutenant in Easton, Glendon, West Easton, Williams, and Wilson Boro. Chris Amato is little bossman in Allen, Lehigh, Northampton, N. Catasauqua, and Walnutport. Todd Pasini is Chief of Chapman, Bushkill & Moore Twsps. John F. Maher rules in Pen Argyl, Plainfield Twsp. & Wind Gap, and also acts as the Treasurer. Maria Dertinger is Long's Queen. None of these are themselves democratically elected. All appear to be Long appointees. In fact, the "chairman for life" himself was never elected to the committee.

The only way to prevent history from repeating itself is if this Spring's newly elected committee members insist on a Democratic election of party chair. The days of a closed club must end.

In recent months, a Facebook page has been established for the Northampton County Democratic Committee, allowing anyone to join. Ironically, I see none of the party hierarchy subscribed to a group designed to help elect Democrats.

Below is a list of the Democratic committee members who were actually elected. That should have been the pool for area chairs and party boss.

Allen Tp: Robert John Bates - 2 votes; Louise Bugbee - 1 vote.

Bangor: Kenneth Haldaman, Jr. - 2 votes.

Bath: Gail Vozari - 3 votes

Bethlehem: Donato Finelli - 1 vote; John W. Reynolds - 2 votes; Mary Pongracz - 2 votes; Richard Canning - 2 votes; Joseph Oravec - 71 votes; Patricia A Oravec - 71 votes; Rolf Treisner - 1 vote; Delia Diaz - 1 vote; Robert Schweder - 4 votes; Sonja Walker - 1 vote; Ladd E Siftar - 87 votes; Iris N Linares - 85 votes; George H. Treisner, Jr. - 45 votes; Darlene Treisner - 47 votes; Andrew T Jasso - 102 votes; Robin Beaty - 1 vote; Thomas B Lloyd - 111 votes; Helen Soloi - 117 votes; Harold Seyfried - 1 vote; Dana Grubb - 1 vote; Holly Kennedy - 1 vote; Kenneth Kraft - 3 votes; Anna A Stofko - 143 votes; Ismael Arcelay - 92 votes; Anant G Sabnis - 85 votes; Jyoti A Sabnis - 91 votes; Stephen J Barron, Jr. - 113 votes; Louise Kelchner - 3 votes; Jack Burke - 112 votes; Pat Burke - 111 votes; Robert Cohen - 1 vote; Karen Hampton - 1 vote; Stephen P Walters - 72 votes; Joseph Salgado, Jr - 1 vote; Juan Cruz, Jr. - 3 votes; Evelyn Rodriguez - 1 vote.

Bethlehem Township: Walter Garvin - 6 votes; Radha Ganapathy - 5 votes; Paul Colahan - 2 votes; Eileen Colahan - 2 votes; Louis A Gallucci - 1 vote; Sheree Szumlyo - 1 vote; Kevin McCabe - 1 vote; Stephane Rau - 1 vote; Richard A Harold - 47 votes; Suzanne M Harold - 48 votes; Robert J Hawke - 77 votes; Lamont McClure - 2 votes; Sandra McClure - 2 votes; Hugh Close, Jr - 1 vote; Art Psitos - 1 vote; Roger Reibman - 1 vote.

Bushkill Township: Larry Fenstermaker - 1 vote; Kathleen B Reese - 1 vote; Bruce Beltz - 1 vote.

Chapman: Glendora McGinnis - 1 vote; Michael McGinnis - 1 vote.

East Allen Township: Arthur Piatt - 1 vote; Arthur Piatt - 1 vote (as a female); Judith Landofi - 1 vote (as a male); Sarah Wills - 3 votes.

East Bangor: Joann Monath - 1 vote.

Easton: Robert Gerheart - 24 votes; Christina McFadden - 1 vote; David Hogenboom - 112 votes; Mary Elizabeth Colley - 106 votes; Jeffrey Warren - 1 vote; Arthur Richter Traldi - 56 votes; Kelly Prentice - 54 votes; Phyllis Altieri - 1 vote (as a male); Phyllis Altieri - 1 vote (as a female); Michael Fleck - 1 vote; Mildred Collins - 33 votes; John D Markley - 34 votes; Christopher Finan, Sr. - 1 vote; Lois Fleck - 1 vote; Merol Ulucakli - 50 votes; Betty Mauro - 1 vote; Pat Vulcano, Jr - 40 votes; Sandra P Vulcano - 43 votes; Florence M Hixon - 66 votes;
Frank P Kutch - 29 votes; Winifred Worley - 43 votes.

Forks Township: Jeri Brewer - 1 vote; Ronald Asteak - 2 votes; Lilly Gioia - 68 votes; Lois Hefferle - 1 vote; John Colatch - 1 vote; Sharon Davis -2 votes.

Freemansburg: Will Power - 53 votes; Rachel Ann Power - 67 votes.

Hanover Township: John Lemos - 1 vote; Sophia White - 2 votes; Frank T Colon - 128 votes; Lorraine M Pasquali - 132 votes; Frank Kozero - 1 vote; Linda Kozero - 2 votes; Stephen Luisser - 1 vote; Jonathan Soden - 1 vote; Lisa Magyarics - 1 vote.

Hellertown: Ricard Larish - 1 vote; Joseph J Chunko - 2 votes; Daniel P Stohl - 110 votes; Jennifer H McKenna - 102 votes.

Lehigh Township: George G Bowen - 1 vote; Mary Bowen - 1 vote; Russ Shade - 2 votes; Adele Meyers - 1 vote; Richard A Gilbert - 1 vote; Ervin Raber - 1 vote; David Schulman - 1 vote; Carl Sharpe - 1 vote; Regina Sharpe - 1 vote.

Lower Mount Bethel Township: Richard Grucela - 1 vote; Salomea Grucela - 1 vote; John Gercbino - 1 vote.

Lower Nazareth Township: Marlyn H Butz, Jr. - 114 votes; Patricia L Butz - 105 votes.

Lower Saucon Township: Margaret Leister - 1 vote; David Willard - 1 vote; Monica Willard - 1 vote; Michael Stern - 1 vote; Emerson Heffner - 1 vote; Lori Ann Heffner - 1 vote.

Moore Townhsip: Paul Devlin - 1 vote; Paul Devlin - 1 vote as a female; Brian Baylor - 1 vote; Christine Baylor - 1 vote.

Nazareth: Otto Dreydoppecl - 1 vote; Susan Dreydoppel - 1 vote; Rodney W Applegate - 73 votes; Constance Huth - 1 vote; Bryan Miller - 1 vote; Jacqueline Jennings - 1 vote.

Northampton: Joseph Lenzi - 1 vote; Joseph Lenzi - 1 vote as a female; Thomas R Neiper - 115 votes; Diane Neiper - 108 votes; Edward Pany - 1 vote; Michael Sayuk - 1 vote; Sandra Sayuk - 1 vote.

North Catasauqua: Jason Schlosser - 1 vote; Mary Molchany - 3 votes.

Palmer Township: Ralph Marinetti -1 vote; Susan Kuper - 1 vote; Richard Wilkins - 5 votes; Susan Wilkins - 2 votes; Christopher Berger - 1 vote; Marguerite Belyea - 1 vote; Alois Himsl, Jr - 1 vote; Frank Ferraina - 1 vote; Colin Burke - 1 vote; Colin Burke - 1 vote as a female; Margaret Terleski - 1 vote.

Pen Argyl: Thomas Williams - 1 vote; Judith Piper - 1 vote.

Plainfield Township: Randy Lieberman - 2 votes; Doris Uhler - 1 vote; Carol Smith - 1 vote.

Portland: Ruth Ribble - 1 vote.

Roseto: Jonathan Caponigro - 1 vote; Lucille Guida - 1 vote.

Stockertown: Timothy Craigin - 1 vote; Karen Snyder - 1 vote.

Tatamy: Nobody.

Upper Mount Bethel Township: Steven Ott - 1 vote; Jason Capone - 2 votes; Ruth Bisher - 4 votes; Jan Miller - 1 vote; Gary Davies - 1 vote; Patricia Davies - 1 vote; Edward Nelson - 2 votes.

Upper Nazareth Township: Eugene Hunter - 8 votes; Joanne S Messenlehner - 108 votes.

Walnutport: Arthur Bachert - 4 votes; Joyce Bachert - 1 vote.

Washington Township: Charles Dertinger - 110 votes; Shirley B. Ascani - 125 votes.

West Easton: Dan DePaul - 28 votes; Kelly A Gross - 32 votes.

Williams Township: William E Wallace - 58 votes; Diane Wallace - 1 vote; George Coffin - 1 vote; Walter J Russell - 41 votes; Lorraine Mineo - 1 vote.

Wilson: James McGowan - 49 votes; Patricia Hartley - 1 vote; Mark Price - 2 votes; Anne Thomson - 1 vote.

Wind Gap: Mitchell Mogilski - 6 votes.


Anonymous said...

Frank Colon is dead ...let him rest in peace . Charles D loses another election.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Frank is gone and so are a few other committee members elected in '06. Some moved. Some resigned. But that is the pool that should have elected party boss in '06, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

Please be precise. Glenn Reibman was first elected in 1989, he was elcted County Executive in 1997 and 2001. You talk about lies and personal slams, yet there you go again. Mr. Reibman was here long before Joe Long was even a political blip. Mr. Reibman ran in 2005, he didn't care whether Joe Long endorsed him or not. Usually, in both Parties, incumbents are endorsed by their Party leaders.

The only person best suited to be Party Chair is Jerry Seyfried.

Not so casual observer said...

Personally I like Joe Long and I think he has a done a great job. I agree with Dertinger, he should be chairman for life. Long live Joe Long!

Anonymous said...

75 percent of those people wrote their own name in, and are not active committee people. There is no way to force these people to come to a meeting to vote. Long should have held the meeting after the results were certified, though.

Additionally, there are provisions for at-large committee people in the NC Dems and PA Dems by-laws. The at-large committee people are just appointed and do not represent a precinct. They can serve as area chairpersons, too. Your post seems to fail to acknowledge that.

Very Casual Observer said...

Long live Joe Long? I think this last post had to have been written by a Republican.

Anonymous said...

More damage was done to the Norco Dem Party by the fact that Long turned off or scared away qualified talent that could have won elections. Instead of having qualified, talented, educated Dems that would have run by virtue of nature, Long practiced affirmative action politics by handpicking the runts of the litter, (McHale, Dertinger, Bennet, Riebman) and pushing them into the limelight where their merits didn't warrant their running, thus causing loss after loss. No more affirmative action candidates!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 7:07, Thank you for pointing out the importancve of the positions held by people appointed by the chairman for life. Who needs elections?

Anonymous said...


You make sound like the election of these commmittee people means something greater than what it really is.

There are different types of committee people, as some one above pointed out. Being elected committee person does not make you better or give you more right than an appointed committee person.

Most of the elected committee people vote for themselves, as you pointed out. Many never do anything after that.

Joe Long's tactics were not above the board and should be scrutinized, but do not under estimate the appointed committee person. The appointed people work harder than alot of the elected ones. And many of them are not Long cronies. Some became involved after the 2006 election, or just moved to the area.

They do play an important role in the party.

Fly on the Wall said...

You take pot shots at local politics and the people who work for it gratis! You should spend your energies on reforming the election system so it is not dependent on money to make it work attracting political prostitutes!

If the system was a level field and all candidates had the same amount of money to spend getting elected then, it would attract qualified candidates to office!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Fly on shit, This blog has resolutely stood for an even playing field, transparency and democracy. It is clear that the people who actually stood for election to the Dem committee was ignored in favor of the appointments of the party boss to a closed club. The result has been a disaster. The Democratic Committee of NC should not be some goofy little clique, but a grass roots effort that works from the bottom up instead of the top down. It'as no surprise to me that you don't get that.

Anonymous said...

God Bless Joe Long!

Anonymous said...

What you think the NCDC should be is a dream. People just are not willing to get that involved.

Joe Long did what he had to do to make the NCDC function when people were not interested. His problem and downfall was that he only trusted the inner circle who were there when no one was interested in running the NCDC. Even when new people started getting involved, his antics would drive them away.

I still think you give elected committee people way too much power and in general you give the NCDC and Joe Long too much power. Most of their so called power is illusory.

NorCo Republican said...

And don't forget Long Club statewide losers, Morganelli and Panella.

I've loved the Long years. Given the registration edge, I'm amazed that NorCo has any elected Republicans. That they own the place is simply baffling.

I'm nominating Joe Long for a GOP lifetime achievement award.

Anonymous said...

Joe Long and his hand picked new Dem's of Dertinger, McClure and Barron are still in the picture. As long as they are around the Long regime is strong.

The Mad Monk said...


What does it mean when one candidate voted as a female and then as a male? Is that some sort of humor or confusion? I don't understand it.

Peace, ~~Alex

Bernie O'Hare said...

Fr. Alex, Each precint may elect one male and one female committee member. Some of these folks voted for themselves as men and as women.

Anonymous said...

Bernie you were right when you said he hand-picked his candidates and the candidates were individuals that thought like him. In Easton I know for a fact that he pushed for and supported Fleck against Panto. That in itself is enough said.

Anonymous said...

Fleck is a Long Dem? Really? I guess since Jim Hickey was his campaign manager that makes Jim a Long Dem, right?

Get your facts straight. Even on a hate blog like Ohare's, it would be nice if a few things were true.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Michael Fleck is without question the worst person the LV elected this November. In his first mayoral campaign, he lied about being a college graduate and was untruthful about his job. In his second run, he littered the city with signs, and was even cited after he dumped some of them (along with gym trunks) in a dumpster. He fleeced Archie Follweiler during his state house race. He engaged in personal attacks against the Mayor on this very blog. When he was on the Charter Comm'n, he stopped going to meetings once he lost the mayoral race. I would certainly consider him a Long Dem, even if Joe Long never had met the guy. Most people need a shower after five minutes with him.

Anonymous said...

Don't be so coy Ohare, WOW. Any Dem's you think are in Flecks league?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Like I said, Fleck, most Dems I know need a shower after 5 minutes arounf you. That's how disgusting you are.

Donald said...

Back when I was a committeeman only elected people could vote for chair, vice chair etc, only then could the chair appoint people to fill vacancies