Sunday, February 17, 2013

McClure Makes NorCo Dem Primary a Threesome?

Asbestos lawyer Lamont McClure will announce his candidacy for Northampton County Executive over the noon hour on Monday, from the courthouse. That's according to two unnamed and reliable sources. My invitation must be lost in the mail, but I will crash the party anyway.

Who is Lamont McClure and how did he get here?

A coal regions transplant, politics brought McClure to the Lehigh Valley. He and his wife both worked for DA John Morganelli in one of his state AG bids. McClure's wife Sandy was appointed an assistant DA. McClure himself found work as an asbestos lawyer with a satellite office of the Peter Angelos law firm.

After that, McClure became interested in County politics. Rather than joining any of the numerous service organizations, McClure instead became part of the ruling clique at the County Democratic organization. He launched, and failed, in two bids for County Council. Then he pulled some strings to get himself appointed to the job in a backroom deal. With an incumbent's advantage, he still just barely squeaked by in two subsequent elections against unknown candidates with no money. This is where he become known as Lamont McMud as a result of vicious, personal attacks during his campaigns.

I first met McClure in his first run for County office. He conducted a courthouse news conference, waxing on there about all the glories and wonders of Glenn Reibman and his $111 million bond, and the evil person who dared sue to stop it. I was likened to a terrorist, if memory serves. After it was over, I walked up and introduced myself.

We've been pals ever sine.

As a Council member, it is McClure who joined Charles Dertinger and others in voting against decent people like Marta Gabriel as Director of Administration, simply because he did not like the R after her name. Instead of looking at her political party, McClure should have been looking at the L following her name. Gabriel is part of Northampton County's very powerful Lebanese community, and the way she was treated got back to them. They have long memories, and they vote.

His attendance record is always the worst on Council. Last year, for example, he had a 47% combined attendance record at committee and Council meetings. The year before, it was just 41%. The Legal and Judicial Committee, which he chairs, has failed to meet at all in over three years, despite his promise to schedule one back in January.

He has over-stepped his authority, taking it upon himself to unilaterally fire a Council Solicitor at Christmas several years ago. He wanted Christian Perrucci in there, who is known for filling Democratic campaign coffers.

McClure, in 2009, opposed work release centers and even a child advocacy center. "Let's focus on our core functions of government as opposed to continually expanding what our obligations are, when we have no opportunity to fund them," he said at the time. I heard him state, at a debate, that he was untroubled by the problems being suffered by inmates. But he did a sudden about face last year, voting for Abe Atiyeh's West Easton treatment facility. Atiyeh rewarded McClure with a $5,000 campaign donation.

Though too lazy to convene a Legal and Judicial Committee, McClure supports creating little fiefdoms in Northampton County by making row offices elected once again. He want to return to a world in which unknown candidates are elected to political office simply because they belong to the ruling party. Instead of professionalism, they would bring their own cronies into office.  It is precisely this kind of cronyism and nepotism that led Northampton County voters to replace these elected offices. McClure wants to take a giant step backwards.

McClure also led a fight, with the assistance of Controller Steve Barron, against a tax exempt status for two ArtsQuest properties in Bethlehem. His effort failed. ArtsQuest has resulted in 78 direct and 64 indirect jobs on Bethlehem's South Side. Its economic impact over 8 months last year was $29 million. It has been a showcase for music, cinema, festivals and visual arts. It has been made available for other nonprofit organizations and businesses for fund raisers, meetings and special events.

If you visit Bethlehem's South Side, as I do about once every two weeks or so, you can see its ripple effect. There is a real and perceptible buzz. Most local businesses credit ArtsQuest.

But in the final analysis, this is not about what is right or good for the community. It's about votes. McClure and Barron will appeal to our dark sides, our petty jealousies.

They also want to get rid of the hotel tax. That would result in the elimination of over 40 programs, in addition to the County's million dollar commitments to Steel Stacks, PBS. In addition, it would eliminate $1,374,300 for Discover Lehigh Valley, which in turn funds a significant portion of LVEDC's budget. That's the Lehigh Valley's economic development arm.

McClure also opposes the notion of a centralized human services building. After all, most of the people who use those services are too poor to give him $5,000 campaign donations. He's also forgetting our veterans, some of them disabled, who are now forced to chug up a hill to the Governor Wolf Building. McClure never spent a day in the military.

But McClure is hoping that he can ride into office as the Savior of Gracedale. He can portray former Executive Glenn Reibman, who pushed a swaption that cost us $25 million, as corrupt. He will present Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan as a fiscal idiot, even though Callahan has actually righted the ship.

An email has been sent to union workers, asking them to come to tomorrow's news conference wearing their "Save Gracedale" T-shirts. This lynch mob might burn Ron Angle or John Stoffa in effigy while they're at it.

39 comments:

Compassionate Fiscal Conservative said...

Why do you use such an unflattering picture of Lamont, it looks like he just passed gas and is checking around to see who's gotten a whiff.

Anonymous said...

Does this man really think that he has supporters? Does he really think he can win? Or is he that arrogant? Or is he that clueless? Or is his refrigerator running?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I will try to get better pictures tomorrow. This one was on a lousy camera. It is unflattering, but not intentionally so. I am a lousy photographer. I will look around to see if I can find a better one. Fairness and all that.

G.G Allin said...

Bernie have you ever considered pitching yourself as a debate moderator for some of these local races? Would any of the local television/radio(Service Electric, RCN, Sunny 1100, WDIY) outlets be interested in broadcasting such an event? Call up your boy Jolly Joe and have them cover they event it would be good for the public!

Anonymous said...

He's not going to announce. No balls. He'll need a make believe candidate like Mante Tau needed a girlfriend.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I actually was a panelist at a Bethlehem City Council debate two years ago. In that race, I was relatively neutral. But most of the time, especially in County races, I make up my mind early. So anyone looking for an "unbiased" panelist would not find one in me. That makes me poison. Frankly, I think there is no such thing as an unbiased reporter. Those who hold themselves out as such are trying to do the impossible.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"He's not going to announce. No balls."

I have it on pretty good authority that he is, and intend to be there.

Anonymous said...

It is unfortuneate that the most prepared and suitable candidate John Cusick probably wont run. He has the most up-to-date county experience,knows the issues and does his homework. He was not intimidated by the Gracedale mob (as callahan was by signig a pledge on the spot not to sell Gracedale when he doesn`t even know the fiscal issues or future funing cuts ). Cusick is also extremely involed in the State Associaton of County Commissioners ad is well respected across the State. He is the only Council person who attends regularly from Northampton County. Lamont never attends.Cusick has served time as Council Pesident and endured the verbal attacks often unprovoked, form Mr Angle with stamina and grace.My ranking to date; (1)Cusick; (2}Brown (new ideas,new people}; (3}Calahan (the best of the D lot ) by the way has he ever attended a County Council meeting ?(4} hope i can find the time Lamont and(5) "nothing could be worse Reibman."

Anonymous said...

With these three clowns as the Democrates slavation, the Republicans should make a run for the Executive seat. There will be no miracle on county counil like four years ago.

However, if Peg Ferraro would run this time she would be elected Coutny Executive. Just about any notable Republican couuld beat anyone opf thse clowns.

The Dem's have better people namerd for county council.

Bernie O'Hare said...

11:53, My objection to Cusick is the same as my objection to Ferraro. But in his case, he had reason. Angle taunted him quite a bit over the preceding year, and without justification. Ron can be rough that way. He is knowledgeable and clearly cares about the County and its direction.

It is too early to say what I think about Brown, but believe he will never get elected if he ducks the media. And he really has to answer why he took money from boro council for a conference on how to be a better mayor and then decides to run for exec.

Anonymous said...

You have a gift for reporting Bernie.

Anonymous said...

Depending on the Callahan Reibman dynamic, McClure could win.

Anonymous said...

RMM would make this race interesting, but unfortunately his passion of the Christ prevents him from entering perhaps we need to start a move on petition to encourage this his candidacy for County Council.

Jack D

Anonymous said...

I prefer Jack Delasandro.

Bernie O'Hare said...

RMM = Fake Rev Mario Martinez = the demagogue who is engaged in a John Stoffa witch hunt. I'm sure a candidate who hates everyone who disagrees with him about anything and who thinks Jesus speaks to him thru his TV set is just what Democrats and "We, the People" need. I hope he runs. Why should Republicans, who are stuck with Tricia "God Hates Fags" Mezzacappa, have all the nutcases?

Jack D = Jack D'Alessandro, the goon who knocked a flipcam out of my hand during a council meeting when i was filming one of their many outbursts.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, nonwithstanding your recent infatuation with John Callahan, don't you think the
Dem's could field a better caniddate for county executive than Callahan, Reibman or McClure?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You have a gift for reporting Bernie."

Your check is in the mail. Please wait 20 years before cashing it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bernie, notwithstanding your recent infatuation with John Callahan, don't you think the
Dem's could field a better candidate for county executive than Callahan, Reibman or McClure?"


Yes, I do. Callahan is actually my fourth choice. My first would be John Stoffa, who has tried to restore honor and integrity to NC government. Has he made mistakes? In 8 years, yes. But he is always motivated by what he thinks is best for the County.

My second choice is Gerry Seyfried, who was an excellent County Exec and has become something of a statesman. Like Stoffa, he is a man of integrity. But he also knows how the game is played.

Third, there's Sal Panto, Easton's excellent mayor. I marvel at the changes he has made and the enthusiasm I can feel right down to the City's maintenance crew. His positive attitude and "can do" attitude is infectious. Sal and i butt heads from time to time, but I have a great deal of respect and admiration for this man.

I like Callahan because he has learned. He is not the same man who ran against Charlie Dent. he is older and wiser. He has learned to reach out to people, including people like me, who was one of his biggest critics. He has righted Bethlehem's finances, no easy task after the Steel left. His Continuous Improvement idea is something that will reap huge dividends in NC, as it has in Bethlehem. He is clearly head and shoulders above McClure and Reibman. And on top of that, he's a great symbol of NC. If his wife were to run, though, she'd be my first choice.

Anonymous said...

Trying to intimidate and harass the COAF into submission with your busch league tactics is not going to work, that is why I put an end to your filming me at the meeting. Question BO, have you tried to post any videos of me or my wife since then?

Jack D

Bernie O'Hare said...

This post is not about you, you self-important, obnoxious asshole. Go post your droppings on the Fake Rev's blog. And by the way, I'll film you during a Council meeting if I deem it necessary to do so. You certainly haven't stopped me.

Folks, this is the film starring Gracedale Goon Jack D'Alessandro:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZJ9_0xDQlo

Anonymous said...

The "Fake Rev" BOH refers to is my good friend and he has been ordained by the Love Church a highly respected and influential congregation out Sebring Florida, this distortions of the truth are one of the many reasons blog readers have moved away from LVR to seek greener pastures. RMM may not run this time but rest assured he will at some point.

Jack D

Bernie O'Hare said...

The "Love Church" should be called the "Money Church" because what it does is sell their "ordinations" for $150. Phonies like Mario Martinez are an insult to real clergymen, who devote years of study. They prey on the weak and feeble-minded, like D'Alessandro. Go drink his Kool-Aid, and take a sip of McClure's, too. This post is about his race, not you whack jobs.
As for blog readers moving to greener pastures, here you are at 1:35 AM, disproving your own argument.

Anonymous said...

McClure could really win this primary. He has a much broader base than you think. A lot of that is due to the actions of your pal Stoffa.

Bernie O'Hare said...

But in case you haven't noticed, Stoffa is not running. McClure will bring a few of you trolls out from under your rocks.

Anonymous said...

Who is his base? Who does he take votes from? Not telling, I'm really asking? Are Lamont voters more "woulda been Reibman" voters or "woulda been Callahan" voters?

I hear that neither of them is happy that he's getting in.

Anonymous said...

Annon 11:52 The best candidates for excutive are not running, Panto, Grucela and Seyfried. Bernie you forgot Grucela in your lineup and watch Reibman buy McClure out of the race

Bernie O'Hare said...

I did not mention Grucela bc he never entertained the possibility. His wife would not let him.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Grucela is up there with Seyfried. He still looks quite young. His secret is a dinner at Pizza Joe's, once a week.

Anonymous said...

It really is sad that we could have individuals who are a step above everyone else not willing to run for Executive. The most respected of these are Panto, Grucela, and Seyfried. These are good men. Any of them could easily win in a four man race and it would be a landslide. How sad that none of these are willing to give it a try. Since they aren't running, who are they supporting? That is an interesting topic in itself.

Anonymous said...

Lamont's attendance is atrocious. Will he show for his own announcement?

Anonymous said...

anon 11:35, why not pitch a tent up there ass and just enjoy the view. Not a one would win in a landslide.

Anonymous said...

1:30 PM.....u r one sick individual. If you can't contribute something worthwhile, please keep your sick opinions to yourself.

Anonymous said...

Grucelloa the lifetime teacher, Seyfried who lost to a Republican write-in and Panto the anti-gun mayor of Sin City, make Callahan, Reibman and McClure look like giants.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,I think I'm changing my mindset! Perhaps a shot at total anarchy might straighten out this whole country. If The White House can replace General Mattis as CentCom with out even a notification of common courtesy ,A 4 star Marine Corps general...no notice? This old warfighter deserves respect , this country is going down the shitter, This is trickle down to all government levels. We are in trouble!!!

Anonymous said...

5:16 PM.....One thing comes across here. You are an obvious loser who never accomplished anything meaningful in your life. I rarely contribute to a blog because everyone is confidential and their are too many losers like yourself who write negative things about others. You are obviously jealous of other people and a extremely sick individual. I will pray for you. You obviously need all the help you can get LOSER.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Grucela was my teacher and a good one. He was my state rep and a good one. He would have been a good county executive but he made a promise to his wife and kept it. He always put his family first

Bernie O'Hare said...

He seems to be enjoying the hell out of himself, and deserves that. My guess is his wife might let him run for something.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:24, HaHa, now that is a good one. Good for you Rich!

Anonymous said...

BO, you gave a great account of McClure, but what about Reibman and Callahan?? Reibman and the Swaption and corrupt back room deals and Callahan with not having any interest in city's workforce or county issues would be a start. Who are the thugs of SEIU supporting?