When you weigh Reibman's responsibility for county corruption during his tenure, the best case scenario is that he took the area's most controversial and arrogant political operative in Solomon and handed him the power to draw up and award county contracts, hire and fire county employees, reshape county departments and authorities, and plan the county's economic future. And then didn't pay attention to what he was doing.In his 8 years as Exec, two Reibman cronies went to jail for what amounts to bribery. He imposed a 70% tax hike over two years, conceived a ridiculous $111 million bond that was used as a re-election gimmick, proposed a swaption that ended up costing the County $25 million, and drove county workers into the smiling arms of 11 different unions. Now he's collecting a public salary at Political Hacksville, the Joint Toll Bridge Comm'n. His return to politics has nothing to do with a desire for good government. Corbett is getting rid of him to make room for one of his own, so Reibman wants to pad his numerous pensions.
Under this scenario, Reibman could be ethically indifferent rather than dishonest. He also would be a monumental dolt.
Allentown Mayor Edwin Pawlowski has already dispatched his campaign manager, Mike Fleck, to help. This has nothing to do with good government, either. It's revenge. Pawlowski, who is rather thin-skinned and part Klingon, is still having a hard time getting over Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan's rather muted criticisms of a very controversial NIZ. It's no secret that Callahan is running for Exec, too, and Pawlwoski wants to ruin his chances.
Ordinarily, I'd say that Republicans are salivating over what promises to be a primary fight. Their candidate - Council Prez John John Cusick or Bangor Mayor John Brown - should deliver the finishing blow to a wounded Democrat. But Republicans have problems of their own. I'll tell you about that tomorrow.