Those are excellent qualifications for anyone interested in a rewarding career as a blogger, but they're not the first things we look for in an elected official. But that's exactly what we have in the race between Charles ("don't call me Charlie") Dertinger and Joe ("Got creatine?") Emrick. It's enough to make me pray for some third party candidate.
Here's the battleground: 137th Legislative District: (Boroughs of Bangor, East Bangor, Nazareth, Portland, Roseto, Stockertown, Tatamy; Townships of Forks, Lower Mount Bethel, Palmer, Upper Mount Bethel, Upper Nazareth, Washington).
Democrat: Charles Dertinger
Webpage located here.
When he was a member of Northampton County Council, he once told me he has no obligation to listen to a word I say because I own no real estate.
But suddenly, he cares about the little guy. On his Facebook page, he lets everyone know that Charles (Yes, he refers to himself in the third person) took a "strong stand on the need to preserve Gracedale Nursing Home, truly one of the jewels of our region, which is located in the center of the 137th district." Of course, this has nothing to do with his state house race or any deep-seated concern for teh elderly. His campaign finance reports this year make very clear that what he's really interested in preserving are those union jobs. You see, those unions are his real constituents, not you. Here's what he's raked in from through June 4 this year:
IBEW LU 5 3/8/2010 $250.00
IBEW LU 325 3/10/2010 $100.00
IBEW LU 712 3/29/2010 $100.00
IBEW LU 139 4/9/2010 $100
STEAMFITTER'S LU 1/29/2010 $500.00
LABORERS LOCAL 1174 2/4/2010 $500.00
PLUMBERS LOCAL 2/11/2010 $500.00
IBEW LU 1600 2/15/2010 $2,000.00
IBEW LU 102 2/22/2010 $1,000.00
IBEW LU 102 4/20/2010 $500.00
HEAT & FROST INSULATORS & ALLIED WORKERS LU 3/5/2010 $1,000.00
IBEW LU 3/5/2010 $1,000.00
IBEW LU 1249 3/8/2010 $300.00
IBEW LU 840 3/10/2010 $500.00
CEMENT MASONS LU 592 3/10/2010 $500.00
IBEW LU 456 3/17/2010 $300.00
IBEW COPE 3/20/2010 $2,500.00
PA STATE BUILDING & CONSTR. TRADES 4/28/2010 $1,000.00
CARPENTERS PAC - $500.00
PENNSYLVANIA AFL-CIO 5/1/2010 $500.00
IBEW LU 812 5/13/2010 $100.00
STEAMFITTERS LU 5/6/2010 $500.00
SHEET METAL WORKERS 5/10/2010 $500.00
IBEW LU 5/13/2010 $1,500.00
PLUMBER LU 5/24/2010 $650.00
IUPAT 5/29/2010 $2,500.00
REINFORCED IRONWORKERS RIGGERS & MACHINERY 6/1/2010 $500.00
WESTERN PA LABORERS 6/4/2010 $300.00
STEAMFITTERS LU 6/4/2010 $500.00
Incidentally, he's not worried at all about the rising costs of government pensions. He thinks we can just raid our rainy day funds, as he claims here.
If you want to hear how petty and divisive he can get during a council meeting, listen to the clip below. (Note: If you have an old dial up modem, click here, look for the 64Kbps M3U (Lo-Fi) at the left sidebar and you can stream the audio).
He's also lazy. In my annual review of Council attendance, Dertinger ties for last place in 2006, 2008 and 2009. He's third from the bottom in 2007.
Republican: Joe Emrick
Webpage locate here.
Instead of discussing any state government issues, Emrick uses his webpage to brag that he "strongly defeats" his primary opponent, who spent no money. He pretty much continues patting himself on the back at his Facebook page, where he has himself photographed standing next to the Lycoming College Athletic Hall of Fame. He's running for the state house, not to be captain of the football team.
His campaign finance for 2010 reveal practically no PAC money. But he is favored by local aristocrats Elmer "crabbypants" Gates ($500) and L. Anderson Daub ($3,500).
In January, he stormed out of a Republican Committee meeting when things went against him, even lashing out at Peg Ferraro.
He also thinks that submitting to an interview with a blogger is beneath him. But then again, so does Dertinger. Come to think of it, they're probably right.
In his favor, Emrick has cut taxes in Upper Nazareth Tp twice, and did get a webpage going in Upper Nazareth Township.