Democrats Hillary Kwiatek and Jeanne McNeill have waged a spirited and well-financed race for Lehigh County Commissioner District seats. But those campaigns begin to unravel when their campaign finance reports reveal that County Exec Don Cunningham is funding them in an attempt to pack the board. Thanks to a recently adopted Ordinance, designed to make County government more transparent and accountable, all their contributions are listed on the County web page. Kwiatek and McNeill are caught almost immediately.
Fast forward to the 2011 County Commissioner race. This time, it's four at-large seats, including one occupied by Chairman Dean Browning. And in a Gang of Four news release, four Republicans - Scott Ott, Dave Najarian, Lisa Scheller and Vic Mazziotti - make very clear they view their candidacies as a referendum on Dean Browning.
Now when Kwiatek and McNeill ran, they made a horrible mistake. They were honest. They truthfully told you where their money came from, hurting both themselves and their benefactor in the process. They amended reports to make it even more clear.
Scott Ott is much too clever for that. He's Scappleface, damn it! The last thing he wants you to know is how he gets his money. And the best way to keep you in the dark is by running all the dough through a statewide PAC. Sure, he must still file reports. But instead of appearing online immediately, as would happen in Lehigh County, his state report should be available about a month or two after the election.
Ott's PAC? My Lehigh County. Filed in Harrisburg. That's part of his Lehigh County. Campaign treasurer Donald Kurtzman has never voted in Lehigh County. His Lehigh County must be somewhere else, too.
In addition to the inherent dishonesty of filing a Lehigh County PAC in Harrisburg, Scrappleface insults us further by claiming it "was formed to advance the cause of accountability, transparency and reform in Lehigh County government ... It belongs to you." All this accountability for me??
Speaking of accountability, Ott registered this domain on February 7, 2011. He asks for "$10, $50, $100, $250, $500 or whatever you can devote to this cause." But over a month later, on March 8th, he filed an affidavit with the Lehigh County Voter Registration office claiming he has no intention of forming a political committee, or raising or spending more than $250. At the time he filed this sworn statement, he had already formed a committee.
The same's true for Bossman Wayne Woodman's wife, Lisa Scheller. She registered her domain on February 14, and in it, she seeks "a contribution of $1,000, $500, $250, $100, $50 or $25." But on March 8, she swears under oath that she has no intention of forming a committee or raising any money.
This is what Scrappleface means by "accountability, transparency and reform in Lehigh County government"? With their Harrisburg PAC and false affidavits, they're off to a great start. I'll take the guy who votes his conscience, any day of the week.
Some of you may prefer to discuss Lehigh County spending or whatever, but the first and foremost question in any races should be honesty. Even for people who get perfect scores in their tea party ratings.