Thursday, February 24, 2011

Portnoy's Complaint

Let me tell you a little secret. It was by no means a foregone conclusion that Northampton County Exec John Stoffa would ever appeal Judge Baratta's logically flawed decision about Gracedale. Baratta ruled that although the nursing home certainly impacts the public purse, an initiative concerning its sale somehow does not "extend" to the budget. I appealed Barratta on the signatures without batting an eye, but Stoffa agonized for days, even to the point where he was losing sleep.

What bothers him is that even if I am right and there really are only about 13,000 legitimate signatures for an initiative on Gracedale's fate, that's still a lot of people. He's also very reluctant to challenge the wisdom of Northampton County's bench.

He did appeal, not because he wanted to, but because he felt he had no choice. As the highest elected official in Northampton County, he has a duty to protect and defend the Home Rule Charter, and the logical result of Judge Baratta's ruling would bring County government to its knees. In the finest statement I've ever heard him make, he declared, "We can't have 23,000 county executives making a decision and have a representative government."

Stoffa made this comment at a news conference attended by The Express Times, WFMZ, Easton Patch, and one bottom-feeding blogger. Morning Call reporter Jenna Portnoy, the beat reporter assigned to Northampton County government, was absent.

She did speak to Stoffa later that day, and wrote about it. In a lead-in sentence that is more editorial than story, Portnoy misrepresents Stoffa completely. "Northampton County Executive John Stoffa is so determined to keep county voters from weighing in on the sale of Gracedale nursing home that he's taking the fight to Commonwealth Court," she "reports." As I've already indicated, Stoffa appealed in spite of a strong conviction that the voters should have a say.

I have no idea what Jenna was thinking.

The mainstream media prides itself on objectivity, and for the most part, they succeed. I'll add that Jenna Portnoy is an excellent reporter and has written countless balanced and factual accounts. As a disreputable blogger, I won't even try. I might ruin my reputation.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rather than attack a legitimate reporter who didn't get the memo that the two Valley newspapers are in the tank for John Stoffa, you should thank her for the first real investigative and inquisitive reporting done on this guy in five years.

Oh poor John Hamlet Stoffa, he wrung his hands, he laments his decision. In the end his actions are what is important not your propaganda.

The guy can say what the Hell he wants, his action was to go after the petitioners and the bench.

This is the same Stoffa who told the petitioners to go out and get names, the same who wished them luck. Now he "loses sleep". Hey why not retire Johnny boy.

No one twisted his arm to run, or run for re-election. The County existed and ran great without him or Angle for that matter. Now the county is torn down the middle, we are in sad shape financially, projects have been on hold for years and he is wringing his poor little hands.

Cut me a break. The guy is a hypocrite and you are just doing your usual BS spin for him and Angle.

Good job Jenna! The first "real" reporting on this clown corps in five years.

Don't let O'Hare scare you. You didn't praise his mancrush and that is not allowed.

Freedom Of the Real Press!!

Anonymous said...

As usual those out of lockstep are discredited, judges, reporters, fake Revs. (which have gone unlibeled for sometime), people with physical disabilities which could not have performed feats according to Bernies standards. The list goes on. Heres some possible causes of the Portnoys misinterpretation of the honorable John Stoffas intent
A bit of undigested potato
something is amiss with the solar flares,
the usually reliable
must be suffering a malady
pox, ring around the rosie, consumption, morphine addiction, just recieved her "dishonorable discharge" papers, an earthquake, a flood, a friend came in from out of town? Could have been any number of things. She has got to be wrong, only we have the correct solution. There is no other.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I've explained that Portnoy was wrong and why. He was by no means "determined" to deprive voters of a say, and in fact was very much conflicted about it. Jenna got it wrong, about as wrong as you can get on a pretty important matter.

No biggie. I wanted to clarify what was really going on. The haters will continue to hate, but this post is intended for everyone else.

Anonymous said...

The truthers will continue to correct you as well BO.

Sorry, the 'poor John' crap just doesn't sell anymore.

Angle told the Executive he had no choice but to appeal. Stoffa played a little coy wait and see game but no one, absolutely no one with a brain, doubted for a minute Stoffa would appeal.

Just as no one who really knows John Stoffa is shocked by his childish temper tantrum. If the referendum goes through and is passed, he will cut services and may close Gracedale. Real class act this Stoffa.

Already residents are terrified and suffering physical and emotional trauma from his childish tantrum.

Fortunately the courts won't allow him to put one person in harm because of his goofy temper. But the taxpayers should know if any resident of Gracedale is sickened by any of this the County can thank John Stoffa (and the puppeteer Angle) for the lawsuits the County will face.

This guy is a class AAA, screw up.

Again, I echo others. Thank you Jenna. Your bosses will be angry you wrote the truth about "Saint John".

It was about time someone did.

You deserve a Pulitzer just for the headline.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The fact that the haters like what Jenna wrote will cause her to wonder. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

dunno. he filed the lawsuit. he lost. he appealed.

seems like "determined" is a pretty good choice of words

Anonymous said...

I hear you clucking, Bernie. But you've cited a clear and concise example of hack journalism. Jenna wrote the crap. Jenna is another small town journalistic hack. Defend her all you like. Your example speaks volumes, however.

brenda said...

Bernie, I am riding in on a white stallion to rescue you from the flame pit

The reporter put a terrible spin on the issue. The "voices" of the people need to be contained to the choice of leadership that they elect, rather than the health of the budget,

Again, thank the public sector unions and their bully tactics for causing Gracedale to lose money

Anonymous said...

Unions are a disease that need to be excised from society.

Anonymous said...

Just another example of you trashing someone once YOU don't agree with what they are doing or saying! She simply stated what over 23,000 people want. Regardless of what you feel are legitimate signatures.....the fact is, over 23,000 people believe in their right to be able to VOTE on something that falls within the Home Rule Charter and a battle won in 2 court proceedings. Let it go on the ballot and find out just how many people you have in your court Bernie!

Anonymous said...

Here we go again with the union bashing.Is it really the unions fault or bad management by the fake politicions.Swaption,overages for the parking deck,bad management which they all say is a huge problem at Gracedale,the outlandish behavior at council meetings,siting on 60 million of taxpayer money,the list goes on and on.People get out and vote and elect competent people to represent you!

Anonymous said...

Brenda it is not bully tactics its called negotiations,the right that every union has under the Wagner act of 1935.Every union in all 50 states!!

brenda said...

I do not oppose the right to organize and negotiate.

What I oppose is a union mentality to add on every year, every negotiation cycle due to the "entitlement" issue that is so strongly embraced by union members.

Instead of being content to have a job with great benefits and a taxpayer funded pension, union members think they should have annual raises funded by taxpayers.

Most taxpayers are employed in the private sector (or unemployed) and dealing with pay cuts, lay offs, no medical benefits and no pensions.

Tom Foolery said...

brenda,

Does being a moron ever phase you at all? Unions don't walk into negotiations demanding anything..They are their to negotiate..Someone there has to agree, or not agree, to finalizing a contract..In otherwords, whatever benefits the unions have, whether in the private sector or not, it was given to them by the employer! Geez, what about this don't you union bashing people don't get???? Yea, the unions are the culprits here, right..This pathetic, lame brained argument is getting old..

Anonymous said...

Brenda for your information county employees do contribute to the pension fund unlike teachers and others who do notcontribute to their funds, and most county employees pay taxes to Northampton county so therefore again contributing to the fund.Sounds like your on the wrong track when you comlain about unions!Get the facts!

Anonymous said...

Brenda nonunion employes get a raise from the county every year to. da.

brenda said...

Hello Tom Foolery,
What is it that the union bashers dont get?

Please answer this :

Why did the union at Gracedale refuse to meet the $6 million concession, made clear by the inflated rat?

Anonymous said...

Brenda it could be possible that the rev. on councel wife is or was a school teacher.

Anonymous said...

Nobody seemed to be too upset when steelworkers made three times what public employee workers made..Now that some make a living wage for once, all of a sudden they are the bogeyman for all that is wrong with government..Maybe if this county would take the casino money and use it to help fund gracedale instead of the ridiculous pie in the sky ideas of a health department they could afford to keep Gracedale open. The employees there have accepted wage and benefit cuts..Of course they will not consider draconian cuts that Angle is pursuing..Why should county employees take hundreds a month in wage in benefit losses because the County mismanages their funds or refuses a modest (modest mind you) revenue increse to pay for necessary services.

Anonymous said...

Brenda I am sure you would like to have a pay cut and a reduction in medical benefits to right,especially if you have a family to support like most of us.Wake up please!

Tom Foolery said...

Well Brenda, anon said it best..Why should the union accept draconian cuts for their families because taxpayers like you (that's if you are a taxpayer..I am!) fight a two dollar a month increase..Give me a break!!!!

Anonymous said...

Brenda the union was told no neg. till the ref. was done. The county did not think they could get the numbers, Angle told tom at the councel meeting the thursday before the court date he wanted to talk, Tom told Angle I will be In the courthouse tomorrow, Tom told Angle do you want to talk now, Angle told Tom that was yesterday. This is good faith ?

Anonymous said...

Brenda probably is one of those teachers who does not contribute to a pension fund and leaches off the public for her pension and holds the school districts hostage at the begining of the school year.

Anonymous said...

That rat is the same night that Angle need four depities to help him find his truck. WHY?

brenda said...

Anon 10:22

You make very good points. Everyone should have the opportunities to be paid livable wages

And yes, I do think the county mismanagement of money has contributed to the need for a sale.

The county wants to provide services in a way that can rescue the taxpaying public from ever increasing taxes. They are doing this in other human services functions also.

However, a dollar here and a dollar there (in tax increases) may seem of little consequence to some for the gracedale cause

It is this "dollar here and dollar there" method of government that are forcing seniors out of their homes.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Even Stoffa and Angle would agree that mismanagement has contributed to the need for a sale.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Just another example of you trashing someone once YOU don't agree with what they are doing or saying!"

Far from trashing her, I said she's a good reporter. I posted my blog bc in this instance, she is as wrong as she could be.

brenda said...

Tom Foolery,

If our local governments and our school districts follow this same mentality that "a $2 per month tax hike" is no big deal, maybe gracedale could remain county run.

Unfortunately, the school, and municpality run independent of one another, and all emabrace the "who cares" mentality, which is driving up taxes at an unsustainable pace.

My school taxes have doubled in 10 years. I pay 100% of my medical benefits. I make less money today than I made 15 years ago. I have no pension. It is a self funded IRA.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Does being a moron ever phase you at all?"

Tom, you're better than this. Let's be nice.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"That rat is the same night that Angle need four depities to help him find his truck. WHY?"

Because union thugs are union thugs, and that's undeniable. I respect the way the USW has handled this matter, but not AFSCME. They even ignored their own rank and file.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" I am sure you would like to have a pay cut and a reduction in medical benefits"

What you don't get is that, for many of us, we've had no choice. My income is market driven, and the market is bad right now. So I take a massive pay cut, whether I like t or not. Some people lose their jobs completely.

brenda said...

AFSCME (the American Federation for Stealing, Conflict and Municipal Eradication) must realize that its demise is on the horizon.

When this organization is finally choked off the system, governments will be able to make decisions that will have a benefit to all citizens

Anonymous said...

Bernie you once had a very good living until you screwed the pooch,now you complain about others.Bernie you had a choice stop faulting others.Brenda thats, your situation,thats your problem.So you blame all this on other people for the fact they choose to be union workers, billshit!

Anonymous said...

Brenda what should be on the rise is corporate greed!

brenda said...

ANon 11:41

Perfectly said, and you made my point exactly

"Brenda, thats your situation your problem"

Union shitface mentaility

Anonymous said...

Bernie
You're right, your job is market driven.......shame on you......you made your bed now you bitch because you have to lay in it. You have a brilliant mind and a great sense of humor to go with it. Why don't you use these talents to make some money. Some guy.

brenda said...

ANon 11:42

Corporate greed is a huge problem, no ifs ands or buts

Public sector unions are a huge problem, no ifs ands or buts

With these two problems co-existing together, governments are forced to make tough choices

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You're right, your job is market driven.......shame on you......you made your bed now you bitch because you have to lay in it."

To be clear, I'm not bitching. I'm just explaining why those of us in the private sector tend to resent a sense of entitlement from those in the public sector.

Anonymous said...

Portnoy's choice of words leading into the article was regretful, to say the least. In her rush to get the story out she didn't realize the implications. And the editors a the MC are biased and useless. Is it any wonder that their subscriptions are falling like a rock and the alternative media is growing?

Anonymous said...

Public employees and their defenders who cite cheapskate taxpayers not wanting to pay up fail to understand the basic equation. Taxpayers' individual financial situations are none of your damn business. Your financial situations are very much our business. Nobody forced you to work in the public sector. You work for us and we'll compensate you as we see fit. Currently, we see fit to cut your compensation and limit your right to collectively bargain. Your arrogance notwithstanding, you'll do as you're told or be replaced. Your wake up call is ringing.

Anonymous said...

What you don't get is that, for many of us, we've had no choice. My income is market driven, and the market is bad right now. So I take a massive pay cut, whether I like t or not. Some people lose their jobs completely.

Why not add the unreported

WAM

Where did you in your sorry financial state get the money for an appeal?

No answer required...to me

Anonymous said...

Hey Brenda, sounds like you worked for public sector and got fired.. that is the only reason I can find for your such hatred for public employees and their union! If not, you are a superior human being, living high on the hog from some unkown planet.. what kind of work do you do? You must not work, you are on the blog in the morning, afternoon, and middle of night..

brenda said...

Anon 3:07

Since you have followed my every post right down to the time of day, may I suggest that you are a non-working blog troll making accusations....it takes one to know one

You need not know what I do, or what line of work I am in...but as you have figured out, I dont punch a clock and I dont pay union dues. At least I post under a name rather than the anonymous coward that you are

brenda said...

How do you know I am not a parent who suffered adversely when the snot nosed teachers went on strike in Saucon Valley?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Where did you in your sorry financial state get the money for an appeal?"

You make it sound like an appeal is some exorbitant venture requiring boatlads of money. Because I am not paying a lawyer, I think I'll get by at under $500, and I can afford that, even in my reduced state. If I could not, I would ask the Court for permission to proceed in forma pauperis.

Anonymous said...

Notice how Brenda uses a lot of O'Hare catch phrases. He also used an asian singer to portray her.

Slip up? This is probably his "grandson's" mother or the broad O'Hare shacks with now and then.

Anonymous said...

Notice how Brenda uses a lot of O'Hare catch phrases. He also used an asian singer to portray her.

Slip up? This is probably his "grandson's" mother or the broad O'Hare shacks with now and then.

I thought someone said Bernie was gay?
Not that there's anything wrong with that

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 8:16 & 8:47,

You're not supposed to be commenting here, even anonymously.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bill Coker said...

Anonymous said...
"Nobody seemed to be too upset when steelworkers made three times what public employee workers made."

A private company paid the steelworkers, not taxpayers. And where is that company today? Where the county will be if things continue as they are.

As a voter will no political inside connections or affiliations, I get a kick out of the fact that all pro-keep Gracedale supporters have the "truth" and all else comes from the Stoffa-Angle-O'Hare conspiracy.

Seems to me the facts on costs, contingency fund amounts, etc. should be fairly simple to check and see what the "truth" really is.

Anonymous said...

Saving private Gracedale is easy...just raise taxes 15 per cent--no problem. Continue 68 per cent benefits and all is well.

Bill Coker said...

"Portnoy's choice of words leading into the article was regretful, to say the least. In her rush to get the story out she didn't realize the implications. And the editors a the MC are biased and useless."

Morning Call editors are almost non-existent due to their financial difficulties. They obviously don't employ proof-readers anymore. I really fail to see how they can be "biased and useless" when most of the paper comes from wire services and string reporters. Their few "real" employees seem competent and unbiased although seemingly rushed and their occasionally misworded statements may appear otherwise.

Bill Coker said...

My previous statement obviously excludes Bill White, Paul Carpenter, and other regular columnists whose columns (whether you agree or not) are well thought out, written, and self proof read.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me the facts on costs, contingency fund amounts, etc. should be fairly simple to check and see what the "truth" really is.

YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!!!

AND YOU CERTAINLY WON'T GET IT FROM BERNIE/BRENDA

DUDE LOOKS LIKE A LADY

Anonymous said...

Wow. the Morning Call as well as the Express has carried Stoffa for five years and now you are mad! One paragraph that accurately states that Stoffa is having a hissy fit over the very pettitions he encouraged and the paper sucks?

Really? This has been the most press protected elected official in the Lehigh Valley since Bob Freeman and you guys cry foul now.

Too funny, just too funny!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am hardly mad. I believe Jenna's lead-in sentence was inaccurate, editorializing and off base. But that's one sentence and I indicate that she is an excellent reporter. I write about it because factually, she is as wrong as she could be.

Anonymous said...

Factually you are as wrong as can be unless you can read Stoffa's mind. If you can, tell him to wake up.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I explained exactly why Jenna was inaccurate. Stoffa agonized over this appeal precisely bc he has an inclination to allow voters to have a say. I know this bc he told me, and several others.

Anonymous said...

OH Well if he "told you" then it must be true. I mean Bush "told" us Iraq had weapons of mass destruiction.

OJ "told" us he was innocent.

So I guess that settles the issue. John Stoffa "told" you he agonized over the issue, so it must be so.

WOW, you still on the sauce??