Last year, Woodman wanted to embarrass Cunningham by sending the budget back for a do-over, and set up an issue for next year's municipal races. But Browning, who had been warning about this tax increase since before he was in office, had to be snapped in line. For days, he was besieged by phone calls and emails. Threats of retaliation came not just from the tea party crowd, but some mainstream and very well respected bluebloods in the GOP. "Vote with us, or your career is over," was the sentiment.
Browning's career may very well be over. Instead of playing Woodman's political games, Browning voted his conscience. And for that, he is being punished.
Publicly, Woodman is pretending he's Switzerland in this primary. But he's selected the team that best reflects his views, and is about to push Lehigh County as far to the right as he can. He's going after the biggest dog he thinks he can take down, and right now, that's Browning.
His own wife, Lisa Scheller, is running. She's got the financial resources to buy her seat, too. Candidate Scott Ott is a person Woodman calls one of his best friends, and one he paid $40,000 per year as the goofy "Executive Director" of the Republicans. Ott and Woodman have attempted to recruit Dave Najarian and Vic Mazziotti, too.
Ott, who delights in making fun of Muslims and undocumented workers, is unlikely to be content as a mere County Commissioner or Executive for very long. This is a guy who in 2007 announced he was running for President. This guy has his sights set on bigger things.
How long before Woodman and Ott decide that Pat Browne is not conservative enough? Or Charlie Dent?
Party bosses should never be an issue. That was a problem with Joe Long when he tried to rule the Democrats in Northampton County. It is increasingly clear that Wayne Woodman is Joe Long on steroids.