Monday, November 23, 2009

Who Will Lead Northampton County Dems?

Northampton County may be increasingly Democratic, but you wouldn't know that from the election results. Bossman Joe Long's heavy handed machine style of politics, in which candidates are pre-selected by some small group and foisted on the rest of us, has been an unmitigated disaster. Thankfully, Joe Long intends to step down, and the sooner the better.

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.


Anonymous said...

Only two Long Dem's left in office. McClure and Barron. Time for the clean sweep next election.

Anonymous said...

Time to look forward. THe long nightmare is over. I nominate Karen Dolan.

DemInsider said...

Who is Ray Lahoud? Never heard of him.

Anon: 12:17, I do not think you can classify Barron as a Long Dem. Barron and Long are nothing more than cordial to one another. There was some kind of feud between them. I think it had something to do with the grand jury proceedings. Barron was seriously going to run for Executive if Stoffa did not, also.

Karen Dolan would be a bad choice. She is a good Dem and a great person but I do not think she has the time to commit.

Anonymous said...

what about Anna McHale? She doesn't count as a Longdem? I feel like the Israelis in the 60s hunting down the last Nazis in Argentina. I think McHale goes on the list. THis is fun.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Ray Lahoud is a recent Gerogetown law grad who worked on the Sam Murray and Barb Hollenbach judicial campaigns. He is a prodigious fundraiser. He got ill at the end of Barb's campaign.

I did not know karen Dolan might be interested.

Chris Casey said...

I think Steve Barron is exactly the kind of Young Blood that the democratic party needs stepping forward to lead all over.
If I remember correctly, he was the one who questioned why the Party was paying Money to Severson's companies when he was acting as county party treasurer.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That is correct. Steve Barron is freindly with the LongDems, but refused to use Severson and questioned his bill. He subsequently resigned as treasurer. He has worked full time as county controller, has made sure every office controlling cash has been audited, finished an audit of OT at the prison and is now working on the county's firearms arsenal.

Anonymous said...

I see the revisonists are already at work. Mr. Barron like Dertinger was handpicked to be a Democratic officer by Joe Long. He is a Long Democrat who sensing the wind change quickly acted to seem different.
He was the Democratic Party Treasurer when along with Long all the checks were written. Who signed and issued the Party checks.

It is easy to throw those that got you to power under the bus but it does not erase the history that is all part of public record's.

What a nice bunch of little neo-Naziis we have. Lets burn all the Long witches except theose WE want to pretend are not witches.

If you oppose the Long machine then you oppose all the Long Dem's, even the one's who pretend not to be.

Ohare may have added him to his mancrush list but the truth is the truth, dispite the revisonists.

A serious Republican in 2011 will sweep McClure and Barron out of office. Barron only beat a scandal plagued Controller by a few votes. The Republicans are not going to let him build for some County Executive run. Not when you have Republicans in the wings waiting to run.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Barron is a LongDem who saw the light when he ran for Controller. He actually won because several hundred NC Republicans discovered, in the waning moments of that campaign, that Schimmel was using Severson. That weekend they went out and removed all the signs they had placed. Barron refised to use Severson, did well in joint appearances and ran a clean campaign. he distinguished himself from the LongDems, refusing to participate in their smears.

Anonymous said...

Republicans could have taken the County Executive seat this year but we had a ball-less chairman.

Barron is telling anybody who listens he plans to be the County Excutive in four years.

He is an easy take by Republicans with a good candidate. Hopefully that will happen. I know there are at least two other Democrats running and I know of only one Republican at this time for County Executive.

One Republican has starting looking into a Controller run in 2011. I hope Gilbert considers it. Gilbert has an MBA and all Barron has is his connections as Joe Longs Treasurer.

Anonymous said...

The Republican Party has a great shot at the County Executive Seat next time and I hope we take it.

I agree a run for the Controller Seat is a definite win. The Barron connection to Long and the Party leadership scandal will turn off many voters.

I don't know much about Gilbert other than he is very good with finances.

Anonymous said...

Ray LaHoud has as much of a chance of being NorCo Dem Chair as Bernie does. He would have to raise his profile among the Dems by next year.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actuall, you'd ythink Dems would want a loqw profile person. We've had enough of party bosses. i prefer guys like Rich Daugherty.

Anonymous said...

Yea, he has done a great job in Lehigh County.

Anonymous said...

Ray Lahoud is a recent grad of Georgetown Law and graduated at the top of his class from Lehigh University.

He is well known among local, state, and federal leaders and has strong contacts in both Harrisburg and Washington that would serve this party right.

He would lead the party in the right direction. We need someone like him. He CAN create a movement.