Another thing about Perskie's appearance that bothers me is that it pretty much establishes that candidates Lisa Scheller, Scott "Scrappleface" Ott and attorney Dave Najarian filed false affidavits at the elections office. At the same time they were claiming they had no intention of forming a committee, and had no intention of spending or raising more than $250, they had already enlisted the services of a paid and well-known consultant.
They had also formed a committee, but Ott apparently screwed it up and filed it in Harrisburg instead of Allentown.
I was very impressed to see campaign promises, sworn to under oath, promising to spend no money. But it was all a lie. They even were untruthful about forming a committee.
In their news release, these candidates proclaim that they stand for transparency and accountability. And they prove that by filing a bogus affidavit with their nomination papers.
On her web page, which was up and running before she filed her phony affidavit, Lisa Scheller makes no bones about asking for money, the way most rich people do. "Consider a contribution of $1,000, $500, $250, $100, $50 or $25...but even $5 helps us buy stamps to let more people know about Lisa."
I'd like more people to know about Lisa, too.
Here's Perskie's "news" release about the Gang of Four.
Team of Four Republicans Mounts Commissioner Run, Sparked by Browning-Enabled 16% Tax Hike
Scott Ott, Lisa Scheller, Vic Mazziotti and David Najarian Call for Transparency, Accountability in Focused Effective Government
(March 21, 2011) -- Four of the Republican candidates for Lehigh County Commissioner announced today that they're running as a team in an effort to change the county's long-term pattern of outspending revenues. They aim to bring transparency and rigorous oversight to a county government which has bled reserves to zero then jacked up taxes 16 percent for 2011, with the threat of higher taxes to come.
The team -- Lisa Scheller, Scott Ott, Vic Mazziotti and David Najarian -- "bring a complementary mix of experience to the commissioner board," according to Ott, an online video news commentator who's developing a show on the U.S. Constitution for PJTV.com. In 2009, Ott narrowly lost his rookie bid to unseat County Executive Don Cunningham by just 862 votes of 41,000 cast.
"County government performs crucial functions," Ott said. "Vic, David, Lisa and I will work to make sure Lehigh County does only what it must do, and does it with efficiency, effectiveness, and ongoing innovation."
The four run as a team because to reform the process and reduce spending requires power to override an executive veto -- in other words, six votes. Republicans now have a 5-4 majority, but they didn't voted [sic] together on the 2011 budget, so County Executive Don Cunningham was able to "divide and conquer," Ott said.
"The problems that spurred me to run 2009 have continued," he said, "and the consequences, sadly, are as I predicted then -- a double-digit tax increase. But when Commissioner Chairman Dean Browning had a chance to do something about it, he voted to reject two lower-tax options, enabling the 16-percent tax hike to pass without a vote. So, he can say he didn't vote for the tax hike, but the truth is, he didn't vote against it. He actually voted with the Democrats to guarantee it."
Lisa Scheller, President and CEO of a global manufacturing firm, Silberline in Tamaqua, expressed shock at the lack of due diligence under Browning's chairmanship which led to the big tax-rate jump.
"Leaders take personal responsibility," said Scheller. "But Chairman Dean Browning blamed his fellow commissioners for failing to do the work, failing to hold important committee meetings to scrutinize the budget. What does it mean to be chairman? Where's the leadership?"
David C. Najarian, a Lynn Township Supervisor who helped to cut spending, restructure government and roll-back taxes, agreed, noting his team has a different perspective on the commissioners' relationship to the executive.
"Dean Browning says his job is to partner with the administration," Najarian said. "If Mr. Browning and the commissioners, and the public-sector union bosses, and the department heads are all partners in this ever-increasing spending, who represents the taxpayer?"
Vic Mazziotti, who just retired as Chief Financial Officer of Northampton County, where he helped to cut millions in spending and to bring in a balanced 2011 budget with no tax increase, said, "Browning's self-proclaimed conservatism is fine, as far as it goes. But voters evaluate behavior, not professed ideology. What he actually did was vote to kill the only two alternatives to the 16-percent tax increase. Browning owns this tax hike."
The May 17 Republican primary, Ott said, will be a referendum on Dean Browning's enabling of the tax hike, and "a definitive statement by GOP voters that the era of Republican excuses is over."
So there you have it. Four Lehigh County Commissioner candidates, three of whom lied under oath, want to replace a Commissioner who follows his conscience.
I contacted Dean Browning, and he has this response.
"I find it interesting that Scott Ott's claim to fame politically is that he LOST an election and it is ironic that Ott wants to run a single-issue campaign on property taxes when he doesn't even pay property taxes in Lehigh County. Republican voters will find it simply unacceptable that Ott, Scheller, Najarian and Mazziotti like to talk about cutting taxes and spending, but when you press them for details about what they would cut, all you get are a bunch of blank stares.
"The fact of the matter is that I am a local small businessman who helped to create jobs in Lehigh County. I took on the public employee union bosses before it became politically popular and I have successfully led the fight to make government more transparent and to responsibly cut spending and to shrink the size of county government. My opponents can try and misrepresent my record but I have the facts on my side and I look forward to running and winning on my record in this year's Republican primary."