Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Northampton County's Money Race

Post-primary reports were due last week. They've been scanned and will be posted online soon enough, but I thought I'd give you my own analysis.

1) Is Callahan running for Congress or County Exec? - According to his first quarter report with the FEC, Callahan raised no money. He spent $7,042.20, leaving him with just $17,535.57. That's a little better than the $698 treasury of Jake Towne, but pales in comparison to the $91,401 that Charlie Dent reports in his campaign coffers.

While Callahan's federal committee appears to be dying, his long-dormant local treasury has suddenly come to life. Between May 3 and June 6, he received $3,000, all of it from Abe Atiyeh. It's no secret that Atiyeh would really like to build apartments at the corner of Center and Dewberry, and he's obviously enlisting Hizzoner's support. Callahan has spread that money to Controller Steve Barron ($500) and Bethlehem City Council candidate Mike Recchiuti ($1,000).

No matter how strongly Callahan may privately deny it, the money indicates that Callahan will seek some local office, like County Exec.

2) Bethlehem City Council Democrats are taking their Republican challengers seriously. - Bob Donchez is sitting on a $33,385.43 mountain of cash. J. Willie Reynolds has banked $17,503.64. Even Mike Recchiuti has $3,888.61. They're way ahead of Republican Al Bernotas, Tom Carroll and Tony Simao. Each of them received a $1,000 donation from mild-mannered Bob Pfenning, a regular at Bethlehem City Council meetings.

3) Angle is prepared for the Gracedale storm. - Northampton County Council member Ron Angle was a vocal advocate of Gracedale's sale. He was overruled by nearly 20,000 voters in a plebiscite. Of course, this will be the battle cry for his removal as a Council member. But Angle has accumulated $43,052.22. His Wind Gap opponent, Scott Parsons, reports just $244.20 in the bank.

4) It pays to be a union agent. - Northampton County Council candidate Ken Kraft worries that some voters will be reluctant to elect a union agent, even though he works with private sector unions who pay for their own benefits. Since he's running in Bethlehem, and not the Slate Belt, he has nothing to worry about. Besides, the unions love him. He has $10,699.78 in his coffers compared to the $1,001.09 being held by his opponent, Seth Vaughn.

These dudes are both ex-Marines, so I think they'll just duke it out with grenades or something.

5) Glenn Reibman plays Kingmaker. - $1,000 for Controller Barron von Footinmouth. Another $500 for Sal Panto and J Willie Reynolds. There's even $1,500 for Boscola, who's not running for anything. Of course, he's doing all this with money that was given for his campaign, not theirs.

Anybody who trashes Stoffa is good for at least $1,000 from Reibman.

6) McClure rewarded by AFSCME. - He picked up $1,000. Funny. He's the only pol, so far, who has been bankrolled by the union representing most county workers. He has $13,435. His opponent, Matt Connolly, has not raised a dime.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bernie given the revelations in the congressional race, is Callahan a lock for the Dem. County Exec?

He has been a bit of a show-horse as mayor. Is he really going to pull off the less than sexy politics for county Exec? It isn't a red carpet casino type race.

Can you see this guy campaigning in District four.

Disappointed in Bethlehem

Zorn said...

Toss Donchez in bethlum. He's been part of the financial problem there for 16 years. Except to spend money, sometimes twice, he couldn't make a decision if he had to. Get rid of all the present and prior school teachers and put real people on council.

JC gave money to barron? What little respect I had for him just went down the tubes.

Anonymous said...

Callahan would dominate a race for County Exec. I have no doubt about his abilities, but I highly doubt he would want to. Who would want to fester in a county role like Don is doing. He has to spends his days kissing up to Corbit and Dent.

Bernie you well know a candidate cannot raise more than $5,000 (exploratory) into a federal account without announcing his intentions to officially run for office, so there is no correlation between not raising into a dormant account and running for office. The money can be spent on account maintenance and continuing costs only.

As to your assertion for pay to play, I won’t even comment on the absurdity that it is.

Seamus

Anonymous said...

And while I'm at it $97,000 banked for a four term congress member is really a joke

Seamus

Anonymous said...

Kind of interesting that Angle has bankrolled more than most other candidates combined, yet not much said by you about where all that dough came from..I noticed with most other candidates you mentioned their contributers..Where did Angle get all the money from? Does he still have that $3000. he snaked from the federal prison folks..If McClure had done that, you'd have raked him over the coals..So Bernie, are you saving Ron's list of contributers for another column?

Anonymous said...

I see some guy named Ramzi Haddad gave Angle $2000. last year. Is he tied to Atiyah? No one donates $2000. to a candidtae without expecting something in return...Or is he just a big fan? Agagin, can't wait for your breakdown of all of Angle's contributers..

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Kind of interesting that Angle has bankrolled more than most other candidates combined, yet not much said by you about where all that dough came from.."

This is baloney. I wrote several pieces about Angle's campaign finance and specifically went into the Haddad contribution. In fact, I wrote two separate pieces mentioning it, as well as a Patch column

This post is pretty much about the post primary contributions, not the 2010 reports upin which you are focused. That's old news.

Angle is in fact the only person whose contributions were questioned by the MSM.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Who would want to fester in a county role like Don is doing. He has to spends his days kissing up to Corbit and Dent. "

I don't think Cunningham is "festering" in his role as county exec. He is doing a good job, making it look easy, like he did in Bethlehem. It's sad to see a big Callahan supporter attack Cunningham.

Lighthouse said...

I have not seen the recent round of expense reports, but regarding the money that flowed in Bethlehem Township's primary it would appear that there are vested interests at work. I did not see all of the earlier ones but I understand that Taras Zawarski gave $6,000 (you've written about the Zawarskis' money in Allentown politics in the past), Randall Weston of the Weston Group gave up $2,000, the above mentioned Ramzi Haddad $1,000, and $500 each from Chrin, Posh, and (Dr.) Mukherjee. Mrs. Atiyeh herself was unopposed in the primary, so while she had a flier I am sure she did not spend much.

Regarding your comments on McClure, if memory serves me correct I think he spent about that much money in the last election compared to his opponent who only spent around $500, and he barely won. Money does not always guarantee elections.

Anonymous said...

It was sad to hear Don's words about Bethlehem during a tenuous time in the city's budget.

I for one will never forget how he tried to hose us in the election.

Seamus

Anonymous said...

Oh and you forgot the option of being mayor of our fine city for another couple of years and then deciding what to do long term.

Seamus

Bernie O'Hare said...

Seamus, Callahan is term-limited, so he's done at the end of this term.

Anonymous said...

oh believe me I know, but his term ends two years from now. A congressional run takes allot out of a person and puts tremendous stress on friends and family. I could not blame him if he decides either to run or not. Personally I would move into the private sector so that I don't have any nasty bloggers digging through my garbage….

Seamus

Bernie O'Hare said...

I only do that now and then.

Anonymous said...

Don's Bethlehem budget message was sour grapes. He had just recently failed to get his gubernatorial run off of the ground, and he simply did not want to see Callahan succeed in his bid for Congress. The protege would have exceeded the master. Don thinks that he accomplished everything that is positive in Bethlehem right now, and will not give the current administration credit.

brenda said...

What did Don Cunningham do in Bethlehem? This must have been before I moved here.

Anonymous said...

Callahan has always been jealous of Don C because the people in Bethlehem like Don and can't stand Callahan. Of course he gets money from slime like Atiyeh. To Callahan supporters if he is so good why couldn't he win his own city and why did most of his money come from out of state. Course he loves the union money evn though he hates unions.

Anonymous said...

Nailed it 1:04.

He was a complete child on that one. The only solace is that what goes around comes around. He has fallen out of favor with the party because of his antics. Corbet likes him, he can sell out to him. Nice picture of Don and Dent on his facebook page too.

Seamus

Anonymous said...

3:40

Callahan won Allentown, Bethlehem (every precinct) and Easton. You have no clue what you’re talking about.

The higher Republican turnout (and lack of big D numbers both in ABE and surrounding) was the difference maker. I have analyzed it every way possible, if the R base is not fired up this cycle Callahan has an extremely good shot at a win if he decides to run. Keep in mind Obama will be on the top of the ticket and will need Pa.

Seamus

Anonymous said...

No Seamus, he actually didn't win every precinct in Bethlehem. He got 50 to 60 percent of the vote in his own city WHILE he was Mayor! Also Republicans are out numbered 3 to 1 in Bethlehem, you can't blame low turn out on his horrible performance.

Now he's repeating what he did in 2007 & 2009 by buying himself more votes on City Council. He keeps on pumping money to his rubberstamps Reynolds and Recchuti. Tell me how that's even ethical.

Marc Grammes said...

A lot to be said for the County Exec job. It is a job where you can stay close to home and enjoy your family..no commutes to Harrisburg or DC. It is a job where you can make a difference...much more so than in a job where you are one voice among many...say state rep or senator. Maybe not the sexiest job..but who cares! You don't have to look to far to see what kind of trouble the sexy job can bring to some! I hope he runs..good for him if he does! A nice fit for him and his young family.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Brenda, Cunningham kept the lid on at a time when the City saw 25% of it's tax base go up eith the steel stax. He set the ball riling for many of the improvements you see now. Bill White rated Cunningham as the LV's best recent mayor. Cunningham is a listener, a true bipartisan, and a fiscal conservative, at least by my standards.

the entire city said...

BO 12:46 - THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

valene said...

cunningham is a festering boil on the county and life in general

Wren Periwal said...

cunningham and callahan - irish punks who lucked out - but reached the peter priciple, (in more than one way) early. Both are just has beens with no future just like their cronies, reynolds, dolan, and donchez.

thank GOD that they have hung themselves - but what a waste of fine rope

Anonymous said...

Angle $40,000 plus? PAC money from PNC Bank? GEO private prison money? Money from Law Firm against Gracedale? Another PACKAGE as well. Is Atiyeh or a surrogate next?

Man of the people obviously. He is a hypocritical joke.

Bernie O'Hare said...

There's no PAC money from PNC. Those are interest payments on his campaign account.

Stu Fountine said...

2;33AM the boy couldn't win dog catcher at this point. dent of all people shellacked him. - his future lies in his brown nosing of the casino boys

Anonymous said...

I have the reports right here Anon, callahan won Bethlehem 51% to Dent 41% Towne 7%. Take Towne out or increase the 43% turnout and callahan has Dent (a four term congressman with nearly 100% name recognition) by 15-20% easy. In Easton Callahan crushed Dent by over 30%, Allentown callahan gets the nod by 12%

Seamus

Bernie O'Hare said...

Seamus, You earlier claimed that Callahan won every precinct in Bethlehem. That is just not true.

Dent actually beat Callahan in six North Bethlehem wards in Northampton County (14-1, 14-2, 14-3, 14-6, 14-7, 14-8. And in Northwest Bethlehem, where Callahan grew up, Dent captured another three precincts.

In order to win, Callahan had to win huge in Bethlehem. But Bethlehem let him down, just as he let Bethlehem down.

http://www.northamptoncounty.org/northampton/lib/northampton/northamptonvote/precinct1110.pdf

http://www.lehighcounty.org/Departments/VoterRegistration/ElectionResults/tabid/445/Default.aspx

Anonymous said...

As far as Johnny Casino is concerned, he has always been jealous of Don Cunningham. He hates that people refer to him as Cunningham-lite. If it were not for Cunningham, Callahan would never have been elected to City Council much less mayor.

Anonymous said...

Given the major challenges of the prison and especially Gracedale, the county needs a knowledgeable individual who can actually understands these things.

We can't afford anymore show executives in the county.

Mr. Casino should stick to his sexy image.

Anonymous said...

Angle received $250.00 from PNC Bank PAC in addition to the declared interest.

What interest does the bank have consistent with the taxpayers of N. Co?

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, and the update on the Sunshine Law violation and surcharge imposed against the selfless, public minded one?

Inquiring citizens want to know!

Anonymous said...

Callahan will not run for Executive. Sal Panto will be our next Executive. That's my prediction.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I did not have the individual sheets in front of me last night, only the totals. I agree Callahan did lose a few precincts, but he did win Bethlehem overall (as well as Allentown and Easton). Which was the central basis of my argument.

Anyone who thinks people like Don more than John in Bethlehem has never spent anytime in public with them.

Anonymous said...

Here's a novel idea....why doesn't the boy-wonder try working for a living? Get a real job, get off the teet of the taxpayer, and fend for himself in the real world.

I assume he likes the perks and "prestige" of the office. When you get right down to it he's basically a young party boy who is enjoying himself at the expense of the city and its residents. It's really a shame people in the know were too afraid to open up about the accident cover-up. I'm sure there was more to it than we were told.

Anonymous said...

Being a close friend of Mayor Callahan for over 30 years I can say your full of Shit Anon 1:30. There are no "coverups" or "secret accidents". I can't believe how ignorant some people can be. Do you not realize this type of misinformation gets back to his wife and kids. It's all bullshit and has all been proven to be so, yet people keep regurgitating the same old attack lines. Go after a mans policy stance or his leadership heck even his view or direction for the city but leave the personal stuff out. Unless you have a personal experience and come forward STFU.

Jimmy

Anonymous said...

I see the Callahan goon squad is out. that is standard operating procedure in Bethlehem Bernie. if you disagree with the "house", you are attacked by the inner circle.

This Administration makes the Gracedale goons look like a group of Quakers.

Anonymous said...

A team working together to solve problems and try to move the city forward for the good of its citizens = goons....OK

Jimmy

Anonymous said...

The county needs strong, effective leadership and a Dem ready to make the tough decisions. I asked Panto but he says no, there is still too much to do, he wantas to be the mayor for another four. Actually I hope its more than 4 but he would make an excellent county executive.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I agree. I also think Sal's first love is Easton. It would be an honor for him to run, but that has to be his call.