Thursday, March 17, 2011

Barron Blasted For Politicizing Controller's Office

At yesterday's Finance Committee meeting, presided over by John Cusick, I came out firing. I've had enough of the insinuations concerning taxpayer funding of my Gracedale litigation, and wanted to make it very clear that at no time was any taxpayer money used to finance that litigation. I also wanted to make clear that my litigation was my own work product, not the result of collaboration with County lawyers.

The person who's been making these insinuations, Northampton County Controller Steve Barron, was there. So I demanded that, instead of doing his audits by newspaper, he tell Council, the Administration, and me exactly what we are supposed to have done that is wrong.

I was so angry, I can't tell you accurately what I said. Sarah Cassi's Express Times' account, which is much more objective than mine, is here. But I can tell you about a few others.

Director of Administration John Conklin: "Why wouldn't you come to us and ask the question before going to the newspapers? That suggests impropriety of a professional administration that's here, conducting the business."

Barron had no answer.

When Angle pressed him about going to the press first, Barron claimed that Jenna Portnoy, who is about 3' tall, "cornered" him and forced him to tell her everything.

"The day before I looked through the bill, I was pandering, I mean pondering ....

Angle: "You had that right. You were pandering."

Barron claimed there were witnesses to this vicious ambush.

Angle: "Would you agree, Mr. Barron, that your job as County Controller should be a very nonpolitical job?"

"Generally, yes. I do run for office."

Angle: "Well, that's pretty evident. This year, you're running for office and I see it in the newspaper about twice a week. ...

Angle: "Would you call it nonpolitical to be over at Verizon, making threats to the people who manage Verizon? Would you say that's nonpolitical?"

Barron: "Verizon?"

Angle: "T-Mobile. You can play dumb if you want. It comes natural."

Barron: "You know - um - ah"

Angle: "Was that nonpolitical?" OK. You were over at Gracedale pandering to the union people. Was that nonpolitical? At every event the Gracedale unions have, you're at every one of their events. Is that nonpolitical?"

Barron: "I'm friends with those people and I see them at Gracedale -"

Angle: "You're lifelong friends with all the union people at Gracedale. I understand. ... When you first took this job, I remember you at this podium telling us that you would make this your full time job, that it was a sizable pay increase from your previous job, and you'd be on the job full time.

Barron: "I did."

Angle: "How many hours a week do you work in your office?"

Barron: "Hard to say."

Angle: "Hard to say? If I were to tell you that people who are very familiar with your office tell me you may work 15 to 17 hours per week, actually in that office or in these buildings, auditing, would they be correct?"

Barron: "I - you know, Ron - you see me in the courthouse, I'm everywhere."

Angle: "A simple question, Mr. Barron. My question was simple. How many hours a week are you in that office across the street or in her auditing stuff."

Barron: "I'm done."

Barron then walked away from the podium, without answering Angle.

As Barron walked to his seat in the rear, Angle stated, "Your specialty is gutter-sniping, dealing with these people behind the scenes."

Angle: "You got a Solicitor, Mr. Barron, Timothy Brennan. Can you tell me how much money Mr. Brennan has donated to your campaign since you've been in office?"

Barron (from his seat in the peanut gallery): "I dunno."

Angle: "Does he routinely send money to you every so many months?"

Barron: "He's my friend."

Angle: "Oh, he's your friend. Does he have a County political job as a Solicitor for you and he's on the County payroll? He routinely pays you ... Your Solicitor on a routine business day pays you for that job. You want to bad mouth Mr. Stoffa? I never seen him take a nickel from anybody he shouldn't take a nickel from. But you take that money and you want to make comments to the newspapers that there's something wrong because Eckert Seamans made four telephone calls to me, to update me on the sale? Are you saying that was wrong?"

Barron had no answer.

Angle: "You know what, Mr. Barron. You are a political hack of the highest order. You're over at T-Mobile, pandering to unions. You're over at Gracedale, pandering to the unions. You are a gutless individual who spends 15 hours or less per week in that office. You tell the other people you're doing work at home when, in reality, you're catering to the unions, Mr. Barron. So don't tell me about the wonderful job. ... ."

"I wish you success in your election with the unions because if there's anything I've learned, there's a lot of people who don't belong to unions who also vote, Mr. Barron.

"Many people may vote against me because of Gracedale because I'm making a decision, solely based on I believe it's the only decision I can make under the circumstances. I won't pander or cater to anybody and I don't give a damn if you run my ass out of office next year. So be it. I can leave here saying every decision I made here was the right decision. I don't pander over at T-Mobile. I don't pander over at Gracedale, I don't go to all of these events. I don't bad mouth other people on stuff that there's no truth.

"Four calls from Eckert Seamans, they called me. Yet you got to the newspapers and told them a big story and they loved it. They made front page news out of those stories. There wasn't an ounce of truth in any of it, Mr. Barron. But let the record show when you draw u the minutes that Mr. Barron retreated to his seat in the audience and refused to talk."

After that, Barron ran the hell out of there.


Anonymous said...

So how do you size this guy up Bernie? They claim he is already trying clear the field to run for County Executive in 2013. I can't believe there is any Democrat out there that would be afraid to run against this guy. It seems he is just an arrogant Dem that got lucky. Frankly if Schimmel had run again this year he would have won in a landslide.

What odds do you give this guy of getting re-elected and then getting elected County Executive.

He just seems to be writing checks with his ego that his ability and knowledge can't cash.

Unbelievable in the burbs

Bernie O'Hare said...

I believe that, despite his attempt to politicize Gracedale with a bogus audit, he will be crushed by Steve Salvesen.

Anonymous said...

Steve Barron is a POS. I could write a long post explaining why that is so -- Bernie just did.

Tear this guy a new ahole, Bernie.

Anonymous said...

Face it Bernie, Steve intimidates you and Angle. He has information on you guys and that makes you mad. he will be re-elected and will be county Executive and there is nothing you Angle or Stoffa can do about it.

Maybe if you apologize to him you may be spared.

Anonymous said...

Bernie a quick note. Barron has people out there bad mouthing other Democrats who he sees as potential rivals to his political ambitions.

I have heard the vicious rumors and I am offended. Some Of these targets are solid people with more experience and credibility than Mr. Barron could ever hope to have.

I hope as time goes on you look into this and expose this fraud for what he is.

Do we really need a return to the dirty gutter politics of the past. I had hoped Northampton County was beyond that.

Don't let up Bernie. keep us informed about this guy.

A disappointed Dem union member!

Anonymous said...

This Barron is the epitome of who should NOT run for any elected office that involves real responsibility. Hoping the Dems put up someone better than him in the future. Otherwise, guaranteed loss.

Anonymous said...

it doesn't make any sense that the county was billed for hours for a case you brought . why would john conklin be contacting you to contact the couny's law firm ? you were acting as a private citizen weren't you ?

Anonymous said...

when people talk to reporters the truth has a way of coming out . barron went to the mc because sarah cassi has been biased in her reporting of this administration, going to her would've led to a cover-up. let the truth come out .

Anonymous said...

I find Angle's admonishment over campaign contributions hilarious given the recent pay to play behavior he engaged in.

Barron, Stoffa, Angle... is there anybody in Norco politics capable of actual leadership. Nope.

Anonymous said...

looks like you stepped in quick sand.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The person who was sinking last night was Barron.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" barron went to the mc because sarah cassi has been biased in her reporting"

A few weeks ago, it was Jenna Portnoy who was based. You even blasted her on your Save Gracedale hate blog. Make up your mind.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"it doesn't make any sense that the county was billed for hours for a case you brought ."

The County wasn't billed a dime for the case I brought. The County was billed for research for a case that the County would have brought had I not done so.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"why would john conklin be contacting you to contact the couny's law firm ? you were acting as a private citizen weren't you ?"

Asked and answered.

I already indicated that my contact was based on a case I had. We exchanged case law.

Anonymous said...

i never blasted her .... maybe someone else .... this just does not sound believable , i hope it is throughly investigated and we all know the truth ,from the newspaper account he was attacked by you and angle. i'm sure he was given advice by an attorney not to answer your as a private citizen shouldn't have been in contact with county attorney's doesn't add up.

Anonymous said...

what was the 11,000 dollars for then ?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Asked and answered.

The $11k was for work that Eckert did preparing their own signature challenge. That would probably be $50k if there had been no private litigation.

Eckert was doing its job.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"i never blasted her .... maybe someone else .... this just does not sound believable "

A few months ago, on the Gracedale hate blog, she was blasted for supposedly letting me write her stories.

Clem said...

For all the trouble he might cause himself, this classic Angle smackdown is why I will always be a supporter of the Bull Dog.

At the end of the day, he gets it right, for the right reasons.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Exactly, Clem. I thought it was one of his finest hours.

Anonymous said...

angle has lost my support ... in the past i've gone to the wall for him... his actions over this past year has changed that.

Anonymous said...

blast away ... barron didn't produce false documents. everyone is running for cover.. changing there stories etc.. john stoffa couldn't even comment without reading a carefully scripted is very belivable this happened as barron claims and otter ,there simply wouldn't be any reason county administrators would contact a private citizen .

Bernie O'Hare said...

Barron didn't produce anything. Running to County employees and whispering "John is in big trouble" into their ears, does not make it so. He has established nothing that suggests any impropriety on the part of anyone. And nobody has changed stories. What Stoffa was reading was the precise languauge of the Council resolution that authorized Eckert Seamans to do exactly what they did. He does not wing it, as Barron is obviously promne to do. He does not commence criminal prosecutions by Channel 69 news conferences, as Gracedale lawyer Larry Otter is prone to do. This is all nonsense, designed to deflect attention away from the real monsters - people who engaged in massive election fraud and who want to keep their Gracedale union benefits.

Anonymous said...

the circumstances surrounding all these questions must be thourghly investigated . if you or the county adminstration did anything improper or illegal than you pay the price for that and must be prosecuted... if barron did he must be prosecuted ... let the truth prevail.

Anonymous said...

after all the half truths this administration has told the public why would anyone believe them now ?

Anonymous said...

where did this fight begin ? it amuses me when you say it's politically motivated by barron, he's only doing exactly what john stoffa did to get elected ( pander to the unions) later he turned his back on them . that aside, he then decides he wants to sell gracedale and i believe that idea came from angle who always aspired to be county executive himself , having being unable to achieve that goal he is able to push stoffa around, bullying him no doubt on most occasions , john stoffa i believe thinks angle has his back at every turn ,why ? because stoffa gives angle his own way , you are close allies with them both and then decieded to fight the gracedale issues on two fronts at which point the waters got muddy. in an effort to win at any cost crossed the line perhaps unknowingly but crossed the line just the same because all three of you were working together to achieve a single goal . silenceing the my doing so far ? tell me where i'm wrong ?

William said...

Barron and Angle are both on the wrong side of Northampton County residents, even if they are in different aisles. They represent the scummy side of local politics, the kind of side that turns people off of local politics. It's a joke that controller is a full-time job! HA! And that scum bag Angle forging a will! HA!

Bernie O'Hare said...

"tell me where i'm wrong ?"

On all counts.

Anonymous said...

Agree with 3:04. Both are reprehensible characters and good examples of the worst in local politics. This post rightly calls out Barron. Angle has at least as many

Anonymous said...

it's a shame you couldn't work independtly here, it would have made all the difference.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I doid work independently and sign my name to what I write. I don't hide in the shadows, and when it is time to face people one-on-one, they run away as barron did last night.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"after all the half truths this administration has told the public why would anyone believe them now ?"

John Stoffa would not tolerate half truths or lies, and that is why he is reviled by anonymous cowards like you.

Anonymous said...

he lied to the taxpayers , he lied to the petioners .

Anonymous said...

this coward will see you tonight with plenty of video tape.

Bernie O'Hare said...

And when you come, try confronting me like a man instead of hiding behind the curtains like a little girly boy.

Anonymous said...

John Stoffa lied to unions to get elected, promising arbitration then forgetting he promised it(room full of people).

John Stoffa is not being truthful about Gracedale. The numbers being allowed to be spewed are bogus and do not even add up. If the Stoffa consultant is right, Angle is wrong. If Angle is right, the Stoffa consultant is wrong. Either way, a legislative body doing it own due diligence would not be rushing into such a momentous decision if not being pushed by political ideology.

The entire affair stinks. You are just angry that people like Barron are doing what the media should have done years ago and are finally calling Stoffa out on some of his bullshit.

Check into the sweetheart contracts he has given old friends just under the disclosure threshold. Where is the "county bulldog" on that one. I guess he is napping.

Give It a rest O'Hare. You Joe Owens, Bill White and the rest of the print media can continue to kiss Stoffa's ass but most people know exactly what this guy is all about and it ain't nice. Bravo to Channel 69 for judging this guy by his actions and not his words.

Nodding to your face, stabbing you in the back. It has always been his way.

The People!!

Anonymous said...

We love you Steve. You got Angle sacred. He was re-writing history again tonight.

Go Steve Go!

Anonymous said...

You say Stoffa doesn't lie well he sure did. He said if Gracedale wasn't sold it would be CLOSED or downsized that was in the newspapers and on the local news. He was on the TV saying those exact words, and then he told someone that he never said that ..
And then the next lier stand up ..
Angle said tonight at the CC. meeting it was never said. YOU CAN'T BELIEVE ANY OF THREE .......

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of whiners.Sell the damn place already.

Anonymous said...

Steve da man. You are an independently elected official. Tell Angle to shove his questions and concerns up his fat arse!

You go Stevie boy!

Anonymous said...

Angle fears the Stevereno!!

Anonymous said...

The Stevemiseter, the Stevenaator, the Steveman, the Steveapatomus, the Steveaconda!!

Yeah Seveerino!!