I called him once with a question during his County Exec race against Don Cunningham, and he nearly took my head off. Then, last September, he nearly threw me into the lion's den at The Great Allentown Fair for not calling him about a story questioning the amount of money being paid to him as the GOP's brand new Executive Director. After he lost to Cunningham, this new position was created just for him. Grateful Lehigh Republicans were paying him a nice salary, but couldn't afford the $900 fee for a stand at the Allentown Fair, something that both Democrats and even the tea party managed.
I may be a Democrat and I read every day that I'm lower than whale shit, but I thought the decision to hire Ott was fiscally irresponsible. As I said at the time, "It's a total waste of money that should be used to promote candidates and drive up registration."
Now the Lehigh County GOP may be broke. It's unable to meet payroll and may be unable to pay taxes or rent. And the reason is because it wasted its money on Scott Ott.
During his brief tenure as Executive Director (he was paid from 12/22/09 to 12/29/10), Lehigh County Republicans paid Ott $37,635 for "professional services." Once he bled the party dry, Scrappleface was out the door.
Bossman Wayne Woodman, elected to chair Lehigh Republicans precisely because of his prodigious fundraising abilities, has suddenly decided that's not his job. He now thinks new Exec Director Steve Ramos, who comes from Chester County, can raise the money. But when Woodman announced Ramos' appointment, he claimed Ramos would recruit and "expand our outreach to demonstrate the Republican Party represents common-sense ideals for people in every community." Translated, what that means is that Ramos might draw some of Allentown's Hispanic vote.
Scott Ott's appeal was basically to the religious right, the hard line and intolerant Republicans. He and Woodman have actually managed to drive people away at a time when Republicans were on the rise everywhere else. They managed to drive Dr. Bob Romancheck out as Chair of the Allentown GOP. Another party stalwart, Scott Armstrong, has resigned as an area captain.
In addition to losing leaders, the party has lost numbers, too. In November 2009, there were 76,803 registered Republicans under former Chair Bill Platt. But in November 2010, that number has already dropped to 75,457 with Woodman and Ott at the helm.
Exactly what did Ott do as Executive Director? Nobody really knows. He did re-design the web page, a job that should cost $2 or 3 thousand. It appears that he spent the rest of his time building up contacts and networking for his own Commissioner race against Dean Browning.
Given this financial disarray, you'd think that Lehigh Republicans would be massing for their April 26 meeting. But guess what? That meeting has been canceled. It happens to be the same night as a $500 per person fundraiser being hosted for the Gang of Four by Buddy Lesavoy.
The Gang of Four - Scott Ott, Dave Najarian, Lisa Scheller (Woodman's wife) and Vic Mazziotti - are essentially running against Dean Browning. They've circulated an email, supposedly signed by Buddy Lesavoy, claiming that both Browning and Don Cunningham have lost touch with the people. I see. A lawyer hosting a $500 per person fundraiser knows all about the people.
It turns out Lesavoy never even sent that part of the email. He ended up calling Cunningham to "apologize to him for forwarding the propagandized portion of my email. ... . I also told Don that I respect his fiscal management and the hard work he has done especially under these most challenging economic circumstances."
Apparently, the transparent Gang of Four is not above distorting another person's words, even when that person is a supporter.
Scott Ott took a fiscally stable organization, ran it into the ground, then walked away. We also know that someone among the Gang of Four distorted what Buddy Lesavoy had written. Does this "advance the cause of accountability, transparency and reform in Lehigh County government?"
The Gang of Four complains that "spending has outstripped revenues for years" in Lehigh County, "leading to painful tax hikes." Looks like that's exactly what has happened to the Lehigh County GOP, thanks to Scott Ott and Wayne Woodman.
Woodman has the resources to write a check bailing the party out, and perhaps he should.