Who will replace him? On one side we have the Long Dems like Northampton County Council member Charles Dertinger, who has just been voted out of office, even losing in his home town. On the other side are the New Dems, people like Ray Lahoud, who detest back room cliques and believe the person might sometimes be more important than his party. Another name being mentioned is Bill Wallace, who plays both sides.
If committeemen elect a Long acolyte like Dertinger, expect to see Bethlehem annexed by Lehigh County and Easton divert the flow of the Delaware so that it becomes part of New Jersey. In eight years, Long can take credit forthese failures:
* Recruiting Charles Dertinger to run for Congress right after he had finally won his first race for Northampton Council on his three try. Long not only failed to get his pre-selected candidate elected to Congress, but he just lost his seat in Northampton County.
* Interfering in a contested Democratic primary, having the party endorse Glenn Reibman, who lost, over John Stoffa, who won. He even threatened to run Reibman as an Independent until learning that's impossible under Pennsylvania law.
* Persuading a mere handful of Democratic committeemen to endorse county council candidates Tony Branco and John Maher, both of whom were soundly beaten in the general election.
* Hiring the King of Sleazeball politics, Scissorhands Severson, to work county council races. Not only did Dems lose, but Severson currently faces criminal charges for deceptive campaign practices and Long Dems are hauled in front of a statewide grand jury as often as I visit Dunkin Donuts. To make matters worse, Northampton County Dems still owe Severson money.
* Pimping for unqualified congressional candidate Sam Bennett, whose campaign was so disastrous that portions of her debate performance had to be bleeped. She was destroyed as a candidate, probably permanently.
* Convince the party to endorse Ann McHale over progressive County Exec John Stoffa, who even beat her in Bethlehem, her home District. This endorsement occurred at a supposed petition-signing meeting.
* Sending Charles Dertinger to quell a disturbance among Bethlehem City Dems, where he lectured popular Bethlehem City Council member Karen Dolan and referred to John Callahan as Bethlehem's "boy mayor."
* Giving Republicans a clean sweep of all five open County Council seats in the most recent election, giving Republicans a 7-2 majority for the first time.
Joe Long has been Northampton County's gift to the Republican party.