Friday, March 22, 2013

LC Dems: Brennan Lacked Authority to Contact Candidate

Yesterday, I told you that Allentown City Council candidate Kim Velez was pressured into withdrawing by Allentown Attorney Tim Brennan. He called her on a Sunday, and according to both Velez and members of her family, identified himself as an attorney for the Lehigh County Democratic Party. After telling her that her signatures were inadequate and that she failed the residency requirements, he told her she had to withdraw and emailed her a form, all neatly filled out.

Thinking he was some official in the government and was there to help, she complied, especially after he warned her that fighting"could be costly."

Brennan denied he ever said he was calling on behalf of the Lehigh County Democratic Party, but clammed up pretty quickly when I spoke to him yesterday. Democratic Party Chair Rick Daugherty has told the Morning Call he was not acting on behalf of the party, and party leader Bar Johnston also confirmed that in a telephone conversation with me last night.

Having been disbarred myself, I'm an expert on lawyer ethics. It appears to me that, regardless whether he misrepresented himself as a lawyer for the Lehigh County Democratic Party, Brennan's conduct was unethical. According to Disciplinary Rule 4.3(b),
During the course of a lawyer's representation of a client, a lawyer shall not give advice to a person who is not represented by a lawyer, other than the advice to secure counsel, if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know the interests of such person are or have a reasonable possibility of being in conflict with the interests of the lawyer's client.
Instead of using scare tactics, Brennan should have filed a ballot challenge and advised Velez to seek counsel.

This rule obviously exists to prevent precisely the kind of intimidation that occurred here. Violation of this rule is prima facia evidence that the Velez withdrawal was under duress.

There is no doubt in my mind that Brennan was acting on behalf of incumbent Council members Julio Guridy and Cynthia Mota, who are fearful she will draw Latino votes from them. But I have not contacted them.

174 comments:

Anonymous said...

It would be good to hear what Guridy and Moto have to say about all this.

Anonymous said...

That's one of the top 5 all time worst haircuts.

Mark Baker said...

Guridy and Moto will all of a sudden become "no speaky da englash"

this so called lawyer id just as sleezy as they are.

good reporting BO

John Blankstein said...

Bernie,
As you know I am neither an attorney nor a former attorney. But I think there is a simple way to solve this.

Liz Velez should be given a chance to restore her name to the ballot by showing that her paperwork would have withstood a challenge to her residence and her number of signatures.

Tim has been a good friend of mine for more than 5 years and I've never seen him try to intimidate anyone. I have not spoken to him about this, but I have no doubt there is some kind of misunderstanding that started on that phone call. But Ms Velez should be given the benefit of the doubt.

I don't think candidates should be kept off the ballot for minor technical infractions or misunderstandings. I posted a similar opinion on your blog about Adam Waldron's petition issues in Bethlehem and I feel the same way about this. Velez should have a chance to make her case to the voters if she has enough signatures.

If you can help me translate all that into legal-procedure-ese maybe Allentown can move forward to the important issues facing the city and this upcoming election.

ps. I agree with anonymous 12:24 about Timmy's haircut.

Anonymous said...

Brennan is part of the Callahan cabal. This is waiting for Northampton County.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I believe that the Velez petition should have been challenged if it was thought to be defective. Instead, Brennan inappropriately contacted her and advised her to withdraw. Since that is a violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility, and since even Brennan admits he did contact her and advise her, that sufficiently establishes duress. Having established duress, she should be allowed back on the ballot. No challenges should be permitted because Brennan made his choice to use scare tactics instead.

But thankfully for everyone, I am no att'y or judge either.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Brennan is part of the Callahan cabal. This is waiting for Northampton County."

Actually, he's Steve Barron's Solicitor and is more likely to be riding the Lamont McClure donkey.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" I have no doubt there is some kind of misunderstanding that started on that phone call. But Ms Velez should be given the benefit of the doubt."

I agree that is likely, and that is precisely why the Code of Professional Responsibility discourages these kinds of contacts. Also, to be clear, I am not challenging Brennan's integrity. I believe his conduct was inappropriate, but do not think he acted maliciously.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone really think that this young woman is ready for the job? Allentown needs competent representation. Not replacing one level of incompetence with another.

John Blankstein said...

Bernie, your 12:50 statement makes sense to me. If Timmy crossed a professional line inadvertently then the bar or whomever governs that should address that in due course. I don't know much about that.

But as for your 12:47:

I don't think she should be re-instated without a review because (a) that would create an easy loophole for future candidates that didnt get enough valid signatures and (b) a full review would give Velez the chance to remove any possible cloud on her candidacy from this whole thing.

Anonymous said...

One thing not talked about and that John is clearly correct about is that her signatures probably would not stand up to scrutiny in court. That is probably why she withdrew in the first place.

She should have gotten well over the amount of signatures needed. You reported she had a pretty paltry number.

Brennan should have just challenged her.

It's gonna be much ado about nothing because she will be removed from the ballot if her signatures are scrutinized.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I intend to look at them tomorrow if time permits.

John Blankstein said...

anon 1:15

I don't know if her signatures would stand up or not. But that should be the easiest part of all this to figure out.

Anonymous said...

The pa election code requires the county election board to refer this type of alleged behavior to the office of the district atty

Anonymous said...

Whether her signatures would have stood up or not the alleged behavior itself if true is possibly criminal

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't think anything remotely criminal went on here.

David Diano said...

I think the speculation regarding the quality of her petitions is moot.

If Brennan and his cohorts thought her petitions weren't valid, they would have actually challenged her in the first place, and been done with it. The subterfuge and generally unethical behavior (risking disbarment) leads to two possible conclusions:

1) They had already checked her signatures and knew they couldn't win that way

2) They have so little regard for the process that their first action was to trick her off the ballot rather than check the signatures.

There are plenty of candidates who would not survive a petition challenge, but the system requires an actual challenge. It must occur in the allotted time frame, not after the deadline, and not after trickery has failed.

I say put her on the ballot and let the voters decide.

Anonymous said...

Brennan acted inappropriately and this is the new politics of the young new Dem's, I keep hearing about. They are the Dem's that mock the old Dem leaders they try to keep down.

Seeing the behaivr and pure arrogance, give me some of the oldtime guys. They would deal with you face to face and not pull this kind of pussy politics.

Brennan should be ashamed of himself and apologize to the young woman. That would be the action fo a man. These new Long Dem types are hardly men, they are boys playing at power. By the way Bernie; McClure, Callahan, Barron, Brenenan and most of thse guys are part of the Long Dem revolution. Different sides of the same coin fighting each other over the political payoffs.

Shameful.

Anonymous said...

Bernie I suggest you examine section 1814 of the pa code of elections as well as section 1849 and 1850 any one of these may have. Been violated on a broad reading

Anonymous said...

But. That just based on my reading of it based on what been present by you in your posts, and no real other knowledge of this

Anonymous said...

Brennan is a Bad Man and Karama is a B%&#&.

michael molovinsky said...

i think that attorney brennan himself should consider asking the court to reinstate ms. velez. it would be a mutually beneficial corrective action.

Anonymous said...

I am inclined to agree, Ms Velez should be re-instated. Seems like Brennan may have been acting as a cover for Mayor Eds anti-union water privatization agenda.

Anonymous said...

The Challenge system is in place for a reason and it works. For whatever reason Brennan chose to use it. Maybe David is right in that they knew a challenge couldn't be one or maybe they thought Kim was an easy target for withdraw without the effort of a challenge and would go away quietly - but clearly she's not.

I don't think she should have withdrawn - it was certainly naive on her part but I don't think she should be discounted as a valid candidate because of that. It takes a lot of courage to speak out about this, she has made herself a target for Fleck, Brennan, Julio, Cynthia and the Mayor... that takes balls.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Mike Fleck, Guiridy and Motas Campaign Mgr can shed some information on this.

Anonymous said...

"Bernie; McClure, Callahan, Barron, Brenenan and most of thse guys are part of the Long Dem revolution"

Callahan predates Long

Anonymous said...

@Blankenstein


"I don't think candidates should be kept off the ballot for minor technical infractions or misunderstandings."

You just lost credibility. Candidates must meet every rule and procedure. Period. Period. These politicians, if they win, will sit in judgement of people and their needs and HOLD them to each and every rule and procedure and then make decisions that have a major impact on lives and property. If these candidates can't follow the simple how to get on the ballot rules, how can we expect them to vote on the privatization of a public water system, a NIZ or arena?

Anonymous said...

Bernie
Thanks for telling us about this incident. Who would have known but a few. The question that remains. If this young lady is so afraid of confrontation that she would not even call a few savvy folks to check Brennan's comments out before resigning, is she really up for the job of a downtown city council member? Why didn't she at least call Mrs. Eichenwald? Questions remain.

Anonymous said...

Where are all the female business leaders in Allentown this morning?
Why aren't they staging a peaceful
protest in front of city hall?

Anonymous said...

Chriss Casey blog points out that his anaysis guiridy and Mota lose the Democratic primary.Could be Mike Fleck polling same Reason to get candidate off the ballot.She wins.

Anonymous said...

Is this Brennan related to Joe from Fountain Hill?

Anonymous said...

Sadly, this candidate could have won a seat if she had spoken out against the water sale.

monkey momma said...

According to the Morning Call, Velez said, ""I was really scared about being charged, possibly fined...It did intimidate me. I didn't want to get involved."

So, she was scared and intimidated and didn't want to get involved.

Sounds like a great city councilperson, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

So the LC Dems say Brennan didn't represent them. Big deal!

What is the party leadership doing to get her reinstated on the ballot?

If nothing, it would appear they are in collusion with the incumbents who want her kept off the ballot.

Resident of Allentown said...

The sad truth is that no action by the bar or anyone else will be taken regardless of any "Disciplinary Rules". Anyone who has dealt with the courts or lawyers knows that, in PA, lawyers and judges are royalty and practically untouchable (present blogger being the rare exception). Ms. Velez rightly feared the threat of huge costs coming her way whether in the right or wrong.
I hope she is able to and decides to run as this shinanagin could actually backfire in the face of Mr. Brennan and cohorts by getting her more votes and uncovering the slime of their politics.

Anonymous said...

No relationship to the Joe from Fountain Hill.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky:

That's fine if you want her reinstated, but since you are so concerned about all being fair then she should be subject to the challenge Mr. Brennan would have filed.

Funny how you don't go there. Her signatures probably would not stand up to the scrutiny of a legal challenge.

If you wanted a person to run as a candate against the water sale (which I agree is a horrible idea BTW) you should have really gotten her around 200 or 250 signatures... At least more than double the 100 signatures required!

Anonymous said...

Arguably she's a very weak candidate with the whole residency matter and on top of it, being intimidated by a guy with THAT haircut.

michael molovinsky said...

@8:38, mr. brennan should have challenged her petition signatures in the proper way, with the chief clerk.. instead, he chose to intimidate her with a weekend phone call, implying that there would be costs and fines coming her way, unless she withdrew, neither of which are true. if her petition was deficient, it's now a moot point. she clearly resigned under duress, and is entitled under the law to be reinstated.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Is this Brennan related to Joe from Fountain Hill?"

No.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Anyone who has dealt with the courts or lawyers knows that, in PA, lawyers and judges are royalty and practically untouchable (present blogger being the rare exception)."

I'm special.

I deserved everything I had coming to me, and then some.

Anonymous said...

This is really a non-issue to the public because Ms Valez clearly doesn't live in Allentown and thought everyone was too stupid to notice.

No one will vote for her.

Anonymous said...

Why does her signatures have to be scrutinized if she gets reinstated? What is the point? That kind of logic is off base because she was placed under duress to withdraw. With that kind of logic, you want to further penalize the victim. That kind of logic has Fleck and the Dumpster Crew written all over it. You should have legally challenged her through voter reg.

Enter your comment...

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

I wanted to thank you for your help. But things didn't work out so good. So this weekend I am going to move away and take things into my owns hands and empower myself. I can't get the voices to back off. Yourblog has been important to me and I wanted to let you know that. They really help me out when I had nothing going. I am really scared but I have to do this now before it gets worse. Thanks for all of it.

Anonymous said...

The dirty tricks played on this young women were reprehensible.
Equally true, she was not ready for prime time.
The leadership of the water warriors has been lacking in every regard. Nothing personal. It is time some competent people step up to the plate.
( Many Allentown friends say its already too late. I feel bad for them.)

Kim Velez said...

Any comments from me, Kim Velez, will appear as so "Kim Velez".

Bernie O'Hare said...

Kim, I deleted some bizarre anonymous comment that was obviously posted by someone with mental problems.

Anonymous said...

Kim isn't their preferred brand of minority. She's smart and independent. That's a problem. Atown Dems prefer half-witted, blitherers who can't speak any language well and are easily told how to vote. Just as Donovan called a conservative woman a "vixen" because he disagreed with her political positions, you are being treated the same way by council members who don't appreciate your view on things. Perhaps it's the water that's served in Atown council chambers.

Anonymous said...

Rule:

"During the course of a lawyer's representation of a client, a lawyer shall not give advice to a person who is not represented by a lawyer, other than the advice to secure counsel, if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know the interests of such person are or have a reasonable possibility of being in conflict with the interests of the lawyer's client."

Maybe he was off the day they taught this at law school.

Kim Velez said...

When I filed the petitions (a first in my life) I asked Tim Benyo to reconfirm next steps in the process and when I will find out if I'm on the ballot. He said that they assume at that point that I am on the ballot unless it gets challenged. He said if that happened then I would be receiving a phone call, never stating who would be calling. At the point of receiving a phone call from a lawyer representing the LC Democratic Party and him saying that he was looking at the petitions in front of him and saw that I had fallen short, I believed that this was the call I dreaded. At that point it looked like there was no other option, being that my intention was to run on my word, experience, and actions rather than monetary donations. I had not raised a single penny and was not going to enter into legal and financial inconveniences depending on my own finances. I gave the democratic process the benefit of the doubt and did not expect to be such a threat that the political foul play would start until I was actually in the running and on the ballot. These tactics are despicable and ones that I plan on never using or giving attention to. My work ethic, reasoning ability, and empathy and care for people more than qualify me for this job. They can be seen in my many supporters and advocates. Lets discuss the real issues that affect our citizens and plan for the future and not support such ridiculous and cowardly antics.

Anonymous said...

Then Kim you should have worked harder and got more signatures.

Mr. Molovinsky. I think Mr. Brennan intended to reach out and speak with her and her representation (if she had any) and figure out if there needed to be a challenge or if it could all be worked out to save embarassment of a new candidate having a judge order her removed.

Let her be reinstated I have no problem with that, but then let the parties that would have come forward had she not wirhdraw be able to filed their challenge.

The challenge was not filed because she withdrew.

This happened in the Gracedale case when the election commission in Northampton County orogonally said the question did not conform to the Home Rule Charter. Mr. Stoffa and Mr. O' Hare were estopped from filing a challenge because there was nothing to challenge. The same principle here.

Had you really wanted her on the ballot (like I said at 8:38 am) you all should have gotten 250-300 signatures. This was a poor effort on Kim's part.

Morganelli regularly turns in over 1000 signatures (needed 250), Barron turned in over 900 last time he ran (needs 250), McClure and Reibman over 600 this time (needs 205) and I beleive Stoffa himself turned in over 700 signatures in his last race (needs 250). Why?

They want to avoid a challenge and get a shot to tell their story to the voters.

Kim just did not work hard enough.

Your petition people should have put people out getting signatures for her. COAF in Nothampton County is still out there getting signatures for candidates they beleive in.

You guys should have worked harder for her and she should have put in more effort.

Anonymous said...

Bernie... you ever get over there to look at her petitions? What's your assessment?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Mr. Molovinsky. I think Mr. Brennan intended to reach out and speak with her and her representation (if she had any) and figure out if there needed to be a challenge or if it could all be worked out to save embarassment of a new candidate having a judge order her removed."

Let's knock off the crap. Brennan does not work for the Democratic Party, nor is he some ombudsman interested in seeing if there needs to be a challenge. He is a lawyer who is being paid by clients to get rid of Velez. His contact with her and his advice to her, which included a prepared withdrawal form, was way beyond what is appropriate. While I have no doubt that Brennan is a person of integrity and did not intend to intimidate Velez, he did. That is duress. His violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility alone is a basis for her reinstatement on the ballot.

A for her being rquired to collect 200 or 300 or 400 signatures, that's not the law. It might be prudent, but she's not under the thumb of Fleck or Pawlowski, and does not know how the game is played like they do. She thinks it's about serving the people. Silly her.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bernie... you ever get over there to look at her petitions? What's your assessment?"

Am waiting for a call from a friend who told me he'd copy them this morning.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't they just file the challenge. First time candidate who nobody knows being advised by no one with experience with only 45 signatures over the amount required to get on the ballot. The requirements for signatures are a mess and anyone who doesn't know what they are doing is easily going to make so many mistakes that their petitions are going to be tossed even if they were acting in good faith.

Anonymous said...

"My work ethic, reasoning ability, and empathy and care for people more than qualify me for this job."

I hate to say this but no, it doesn't. Part of the political process is navigating a snake pit of vipers. This is a sad episode but it is typical of many first time experience of many candidates. The petition process exist to limit the number of people on a ballot. It is a good thing and a bad thing at the same time.

You probably should go to some forums on candidates before running again if you don't make it on the ballot this time. If you don't like the local party, the league of women voters is there and other organizations where you can meet people on how the real world unfortunately works.

Anonymous said...

A for her being rquired to collect 200 or 300 or 400 signatures, that's not the law. It might be prudent, but she's not under the thumb of Fleck or Pawlowski, and does not know how the game is played like they do. She thinks it's about serving the people. Silly her.

Bernie let's knock the crap off. Anyone who runs for office wants to serve the people. However, there are ruled to elections.

Had McClure, Barron, McHale, Palowski, Fleck, Reibman or anyone else you don't fancy had so few signatures you'd be a like a rabid dog trying to bump them.

She did not do what was prudent and by Mr. Molovinsky's and your lack of acknowledging there were flaws on the petitions you show your bias.

I don't care if she is on or off the ballot. I am against the sale of the water system in Allentown, but rules are rules when it comes to election law.

You want to pick and choose cause you like Kim, but sorry it does not work that way.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Anyone who runs for office wants to serve the people"

After claiming that Velez is naive, you post this nonsense. There are numerous people who run for office who have no intention of serving the people.

Barron is a prime example. He is never there and his sole agenda is promoting unions. He should be a union organizer, not an elected official.

McClure is elected to serve the people He couldn't show up for a hearing that would have impacted both his own district and Gracedale. He is not serving the people.

Fleck is a paid consultant. he is for sale to the highest bidder. His agenda is not the people.

Pawlowski's strong arm tactics are well known and his latest bullshit with privatization is completely contrary to the interests of the people he is supposed to serve.

Reibman erved us by hiking taxes 70%, laying off staff, getting us into a swaption that cost us $25 Million, and by having people engaged in bribery, wife swapping and sexual harassment.

As for Kim Velez, I don't know her and have never even met her. But it's pretty clear that she withdrew under duress. One of those election rules is you don't coerce people. The fact that she has nothing to do with any of the names you mention is a point in her favor. the fact that she is allied with jeanette eichenwald is two points in her favor.

A person like Velez could rekindle the fire of democracy in Allentown, which has died out under the reign of King Edwin.

Let the people decide. Are you afraid?

Anonymous said...

rules are rules? Then you should have filed the challenge or shut uo. She had the required number of signatures. If rules are rules, then we better hope Attorney Brennan does not get called on some of those rules. And we better hope that he does not start singing some names that he might have been in collusion with. This is a man that works in a trusted position for NorCo. This is a man thats seems very political. I wonder how he obtained his job in NorCo?

Anonymous said...

exactly what are the ACTUAL qualifications of Ms. Velez ... other than "she's hot"?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"My work ethic, reasoning ability, and empathy and care for people more than qualify me for this job."

"I hate to say this but no, it doesn't. Part of the political process is navigating a snake pit of vipers. This is a sad episode but it is typical of many first time experience of many candidates. The petition process exist to limit the number of people on a ballot. It is a good thing and a bad thing at the same time."


That's the ticket, blame Ms. Velez.

A car collides with her but it's her fault for not staying home that day.

Brilliant!

Bernie O'Hare said...

She is educated, intelligent and well-spoken. She attends meetings and has informed herself on City issues. She is not sold out to special interest like most of the elected officials i see.

By your standards, that probably renders her unqualified.

Resident of Allentown said...

She's smart enough to know that the Water Lease Scam is anything but helpful to the Allentown citizenry. That's a HUGE plus mark in my voting book.

Anonymous said...

What's with this Brennan character and the slippery ethics? Is he any relation to the Democrats' Drunken Bethlehem Wife Strangler? Is there a familial problem with women? The war on women has been waged in NorCo by guys named Brennan. Whathehellisgoingon?

michael molovinsky said...

@1:22, i wrote "if"her petition was deficient it's now a moot point, i did not acknowledge anything. i find it curious how the administration sycophants are now spinning this thing every which way they can. here's the score. despite disclaimers from the democratic party, they were all on the same page, trying to disenfranchised an unaffiliated candidate. they guessed incorrectly that she would go quietly into the night. it's not enough for them that there is no republicans or independents, they don't even want to tolerate non-incumbents, not on the program. i'm not much for comment dialogue with the anonymous , so i now will sign out.

Anonymous said...

@ Bernie, if she can't navigate the petition process without understanding the rules and pitfalls, yes she is unqualified. City Council is full of all kinds of arcane rules and pitfalls and shady characters that want something. She would have avoided this entire fiasco if she would have made one friend who understands the process. For all the attending of meetings she has done, you'd think she would have talked to a few people who understand what a nightmare it is to run for office.

Also I question her judgement that she gets a phone call from an Attorney and immediately pulls herself off the ballot. She didn't think to ask anyone any questions before she gave up?

Bernie O'Hare said...

2:17, Tim and Joe Brennan are not related. Joe is working hard on his sobriety and is making amends. Thanks for your concern for his welfare.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"@ Bernie, if she can't navigate the petition process without understanding the rules and pitfalls, yes she is unqualified."

Under this absurd logic, the only people who should run for office are lawyers, and only those who specialize in election law.

But that's not what the law says. The law is far less insistent. Under the law, complete bobbleheads can be elected. So can intelligent well-spoken people who are not in King Edwin's pocket.

Anonymous said...

@ Bernie, talking to one person who has run in a contested primary before would have probably prepared her for a petition challenge. She doesn't need to be a lawyer, just have the wisdom to be able to find someone who understands the process.

She was running for the democratic party's nomination. How many democratic party meetings has she attended. I've been out of the local scene for a few years but they used to provide candidate education every year for the locals running. Did she bother to show up for any of these?

Bernie O'Hare said...

My experience is that local parties are nothing ore than cliques that basically serve the egos of a few people. It doesn't matter where you go. They are all a shambles. LC Dems are better than most, but the LAST thing a candidate should do is hang with them. That's a ticket to quick disenchantment.

You seem to think that unless a candidate is some sort of political hack, he or she is not qualified. i would prefer someone who does hang around the elections office, looking for someone he can challenge. And I say that as someone who hangs around the NorCo elections office, and who knows the rules inside out. By your goofy reasoning, I should be President.

Anonymous said...

So is the LC democrat party going to see that Mr. Brennan is prosecuted to the fullest extent possible? If not, they are condoning what he did.0

Anonymous said...

Fleck is Public nuance that Pawlowski has visited on the Lehigh County Democratic party.

Anonymous said...

@ Bernie

They may be local cliques and a pain in the ass, but someone in that room would have told her how things actually work and prepared her for the nonsense that comes with running, whether we think it should or not, it has been part of the game since we started voting.

A basic knowledge of how the system actually works is a prerequisite for service. Mr. Smith goes to Washington was a fairy tail. Lets be honest, do you really want someone representing you who is going to back off their candidacy after a phone call from a lawyer? She says herself she's committed but not committed enough to ask anyone to contribute money to her to fund her candidacy to fund against such challenges? She talks about how principled she is but she really doesn't seem to want to put any skin in the game.

To be clear, the lawyer said petition challenges are expensive and she backed off. Not willing to network with people of a like mind for funds to keep herself on the ballot. Not willing to check the information the attorney was providing.

You are trying to make this a sob story but all that happened was someone who wasn't that committed ran away when challenged in the slightest way.

Bernie O'Hare said...

We'll see what a judge thinks.

Anonymous said...

"Fleck is Public nuance (sic)..."

Have you seen him lately? There's nothing nuanced about him. He needs to put down the ice cream and start jogging - a lot. Svelte or doughy, he's a nuisance.

Anonymous said...

nuisance (ha ha)

Anonymous said...

"KIM VELEZ FOR MAYOR"

Anonymous said...

The lehighvalley has one of the most poor excusses of any type of justice systems in the nation¿ As for fat fleck that is purley a discrace
to the human race and looks just plain nasty¿
redd

Anonymous said...

The mayor of Allentown is no doubt thrilled with the leadership provided by Mr. Poresky and crew.

Anonymous said...

Brennan is a hack and a creep ------ Velez is not yet qualified to be on council ( although half the people on council are complete hacks now ). This town is f&@ked.

Chris Casey said...

Okay, Gang, I spent three hours today perusing Kim Velez's signatures. Go over to the Lehigh Valley Poliblog and let me have it

Bernie O'Hare said...

I looked over your list quite closely, and in my opinion, she has over 100 good signatures. The time to have objected was on or before Tuesday.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I would be remiss not to thank you for the time and energy you spent on this matter, and for forwarding them to me. I stopped at 100.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, are you saying Casey is wrong? You say she had 100 good signatures, he says she does not. Did you check person who signed? Or are just saying over 100 signed it correctly, and not making a call on whether those 100 were validly signing it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am saying there are 100 valid signatures. I also find it interesting that Brennan, who had no comment about an "ongoing" matter both to em and the press, would go into detail with Casey. I also believe, as a matter of fairness, that it should be noted that Casey has worked as a paid operative both for Fleck and, I believe, for Brennan. He denies he is being paid in this instance. If this goes to court, and a judge orders a close petition review, we will see. But I would argue that it is too late to consider objections.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Bernie. I have reviewed her signatures as well, I believe he chose to persuade her to withdraw because a challenge wasn't a sure thing. It was close as some signatures were difficult to make out. They might not have stood up to a challenge - but guess what? they weren't challenged... Partial repost from my reply on Casey's blog: The fact is she was coerced, persuaded/convinced to withdraw, when his role (what he was paid to do) was to challenge her petitions if they weren't valid. If he invited her to a meeting to discuss her signatures and she declined, that should have been the end of the conversation. That is how the system is defined as I understand it, he stepped out of that system... had he filed a challenge against her signatures - he wouldn't be in the world of mess that he is in right now. For that reason she should be reinstated and her signatures should not be challenged... the time for challenging was on Sunday when he was convincing her to drop out. Had his energy been spent working the actual process, he'd be sleeping a lot better this week, I'd imagine.

Anonymous said...

This is interesting, but it's all inside baseball. Fact remains the anti- privatization people, God bless them, are getting the snot kick out of them at every turn in the road.
They need some serious people in their leadership circle.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's true. You'll have this in a City where democracy is dead.

Anonymous said...

Brennan is going to be years living this down. Hopefully the little piece of dung gets something significant out of this dirty deal, cause his name is shit.
He sold his rep for years doing the mayors dirty work this time. Mayor Ed's long gone and Brennan's name is still shit. Makes me feel ashamed to be Irish American.
The guys a slug.

Anonymous said...

BOH @ 11:47
Right you are.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Makes me feel ashamed to be Irish American."

That sounds like a personal problem to me. Cheer up, bucko. You could be English.

John Blankstein said...

anon 6:38:
I am supposed to be concerned that a person unwilling to sign their name to their opinion has doubts about my credibility?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting it into perspective Bernie. You're right, I could be English. Or orange.

Anonymous said...

Hey John, I love the picture behind you. Is that,"the most Intersting Man". Cool, were did you pick that up. I love it!

Taco Tim

Anonymous said...

I think the very white and privileged Mr. Brennan should explain what his personal problem is with an educated woman who happens to be a minority. He won't speak openly about his ethical lapse. I will assume it's because he doesn't like uppity Hispanics or women - or likely both. If an R ambulance chaser with oily ethics attempted to strong arm a minority female into withdrawal, that scum would be called on the carpet and made to answer to a state ethics committee. It's time for Brennan to take off the hood, reveal his klan masters, and defend his miserable career lest he lose the law license he seems to have misused. He's why lawyers are so deeply despised.

Anonymous said...

What mr Brennan's problem with her was is someone was paying him to get her off the ballot any way he could that's the long and short of it nothing more nothing less

Anonymous said...

Anon @6:41 Out of line imo... this has nothing to do with that. Brennan was paid to do this - he isn't racist and he's not a monster. He had a horrible lapse in judgement (I believe) he is wrong, he needs to apologize and assist her in getting back on the ballot - BUT there is nothing in this story anywhere that indicates in any way he is either a racist or a misogynist. That kind of hate is unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

As to the asertion that the party doing nothing officially about this is some sign of colusion just because one or two county committee people have unwisely insertred themselves or deemed to point out they are committee people and some ed's paid operatives are involved on this does not imply that the county party itself is involed in this or approves of this type of behavior but that it is trying to offically stay neutral in primary election matters

Anonymous said...

So Chris gets her petition signatures down to around 80. The lawyer should have just filed the challenge and had her thrown off and there would have been no story here. This is what people get for trying to play nice with newbies.

Chris Casey said...

Bernie -
Let us respectfully disagree on the number of signatures that are valid and move to another point. Lets say a judge lets her back on the ballot. Will another third party be allowed to come forward and challenge her candidacy? You get 7 days after certification as a candidate to challenge. Would not allowing challenges from another party be unfair to them in the process?

All the Brennan/Velez interaction aside, what can of worms are the local judges willing to open?

By the way, I stick up for my friends, and I reiterate that I did all of this research on my own time without any compensation or even an offer of it. When I first approached Tim with an offer to help, he asked me to steer clear and do nothing, and declined to talk about it. No one asked me to get involved, but I had the time available and I wanted to help my friend.
As a private citizen, I have the right to look into it on my own and I did. Some may condemn me and call me a hack, but I stand by my research as thorough and true. Thanks

Anonymous said...

The Problem Chris is you are not a private citizen but an elected official of the democratic party no matter how low on the totem pole

Anonymous said...

Plus you are currently save for write in campaign the party's candidate for upper macungie supervisor

Anonymous said...

Which is something you should be concerning yourself with rather than inserting yourself into city politics which you are neither a resident or candidate

Anonymous said...

I don't see any sign of bias against women or Latinos. It looks to me like a simple hack doing the mayor's dirty work for a few lousy bucks.

Anonymous said...

I agree with that as the candidates that would most benefit from this action are themselves Latinos and one being a woman this is more about money and power and those that have it trying to keep ir by any means possible

Anonymous said...

Brennan isn't a racist or a monster. He's a simple garden-variety prostitute.

Bernie O'Hare said...

6:41, You are totally out of line. Brennan's actions have nothing to do with racism or sexism. He is an attorney, and they will all tell you they hate everyone equally.

Actually, yours is a cheap shot.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Let me add here that I am certain that Brennan's two clients are Latinos, and one of them is a woman. Julio Guridy and Cynthia Mota do not want Kim Velez on the ballot bc they know she will kill them if she gets one, especially after they have voted repeatedly against the interests of everyone.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Chris, you have a right to do your part. Your research is quite thorough and you might be right. The problem is that, as a friend, you are helping people who pay you to research candidates and help them. You are paid to do work for Fleck and I believe you work for Brennan. Once you become their paid operative, it makes it harder to claim you do things as an ombundsman.

I believe that challenges against Velez should have been filed by last Tuesday. It is not her fault that she was placed under duress. You should not benefit from an extra week to go over her petitions with a fine toothed comb.

Chris Casey said...

I like your answer Bernie. But I would never have bothered with reviewing the petitions on my own if Tim hadn't come under fire. I didn't let others tell me what was true or not, I explored for myself. You have every right to question my motives. I accept that, as I have never denied giving my research services to those who ask. The one thing I can't be accused of is not being transparent in regards to who I work for. But in this case I was on my own. I will share by email to interested parties the petition file.

Anonymous said...

If you have no political, cultural, environmental morals, you don't believe in open democracy, and you sell yourself out to the highest bidder, your a prostitute. Except that.

Gilmore Tuttle said...

"We'll straighten you out you little prick." Gilmore Tuttle

Anonymous said...

Bernie has a real easy way of proving Chris wrong. Chris says 20+ of the signatures are for people who are not registered to vote. That seems rather easy to prove or disprove.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That is for a courtroom, not here. Neither Chris nor I would want to get into individual signers on a blog.

michael molovinsky said...

chris, you write, I will share by email to interested parties the petition file, knowing full well that any challenge to signatures had to be filed by last tuesday, and that they were not. knowing full well that it's now a moot point. i find offering to email copies of these signatures to those who request it, distasteful. let them go to the government center and view them in the proper manner. just because you crossed off a signature doesn't make it a fact, it's just your own evaluation. your offer violates the privacy of those who signed. this is simply an attempt at damage control for brennan, but i'm not sure that you're really helping him. perhaps you should stand down, as you say he requested.

Anonymous said...

Hey, great idea, let's intimidate everyone who has signed a petition, or who may potentially sign one in the future.

Anonymous said...

Sleazy Democrats. Whack job Republicans. In complement and goofy opposition. The whole place is screwed.

Anonymous said...

Whack job Republicans? There aren't any involved!

This is Dem-on-Dem crime in the City Without Limits.

The Republicans have nothing to do with the "Paradise" that The Democrats have built in Allentown.

Anonymous said...

Lehigh County Republicans are indeed " wack jobs".
In Allentown the brave and oh so ideologically correct Republicans have turned tail and pulled out lock stock and barrel.

Sleezy democrats. Cowardly and looney nut case Republicans.

And goofy disorganized opposition.

Anonymous said...

Lehigh County Republicans are indeed " wack jobs".
In Allentown the brave and oh so ideologically correct Republicans have turned tail and pulled out lock stock and barrel.

Sleezy democrats. Cowardly and looney nut case Republicans.

And goofy disorganized opposition.

Anonymous said...

Shows how much big money has influenced local politics. Now the deal is, there is no action to low if it helps your cause.

Make people who inocently sign pettitions start to fear some sort of humiliation by political hacks working for the "man".

The Pawlowskis and Callahan's of the local politcal world have found the secret to real Tamany Hall power.

Anonymous said...

The Dems provide corruption. The GOP provides nothing. The anti-water sell out team provides comic relief.
The Morning Call provides non-coverage.
( And the CACLV looks out for the little guy.)
Praise Jesus.

Anonymous said...

GOP = MIA
Thanks for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:33, you are so right! Local people with no connections and no money need not apply according to the politcal kings like Pawlowski, Callahan, Long and their ilk.

Hel,l even the Democrats sold out and have old prick Muller pretending to be a Democrat and running for county executive to protect the old Cunningham cronies.

Money and influence is taking over local political office. Very sad indeed.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You have a filthy mouth that suits your filthy comment.

Anonymous said...

@5:42
Your right. And your pathetic, ideologically driven, weirdo Republicans offer no viable solution.with their poor little rich girl and friends.
Jerks on one side, jack asses on the other---only you can't admit it.
Either way regular folks get screwed.

Anonymous said...

Praise Jesus!

Chris Casey said...

Mike, you are way out of line on this. My intention is to let the people viewing the files make their own decision. I gave you a copy. You are free to make your own decision, as you already have. I was going to put the petitions online for viewing, but couldn't make it work. I took that as a sign I shouldn't, I'm not pretending to be an almight moral judge.
If this ends up in court, wiser heads will be ruling. I think that is a good thing, but As I have said before: Be careful what you wish for, because it might eventually come back to bite us all in the ass.

Anonymous said...

I have known Ms. Velez for about 15 years and can assure anyone that she is intelligent, capable, and passionate when determined to do something. This issue being discussed about her abilities to serve on council I believe are being fogged by people who do not understand the situation entirely. She was lied to and approached in an illegal, deceitful manor in which there are rules in place to prevent such tactics. Her competency should not be questioned based on this issue of being maliciously tricked one day but rather the dozen plus years that shaped her into the strong, well spoken and intelligent woman that she is today. Her life experiences so far have prepared her for taking on such a role. I find it interesting that Cynthia Mota hasn't said more than " No report, no meetings scheduled" at about a dozen city council meetings I've attended. What are her qualifications besides being King Ed's bobblehead? I have been patiently waiting for her Bio to be updated on the city councils web site, besides "Coming soon". How has nobody questioned her abilities or lack thereof? Julio and Cynthia are threatened by her, no doubt! What were/are the qualifications of those appointed to a position on council? I can assure anyone who has even the slightest doubt about her qualifications that she is more than capable of doing a much better job than most currently serving on council.

Anonymous said...

Brennan's actions scream racism and misogyny. He gets a pass because he's whoring for Democrats. The facts are the facts. He did dirty to a female minority who didn't fit the right mold. He could have said no. He didn't. It's easy being a white bully. He should lose his license.

Anonymous said...

Until and unless he reveals his masters, he's telling us all we need to know about his hateful motivations. We don't know he's working for a Hispanic and/or woman. He's lied and dodged and misrepresented. The worst is very easily believed about this level of scum. His actions speak volumes. Just because be works for greasy Dems doesn't inoculate him from his misconduct and bias.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's sheer nonsense. I believe the two clients he is working for are Latino and one of them is a woman. What Brennan did was inappropriate, and it is designed to sustain an urban growth regime instead of real democracy. He is promoting two bobbleheads against someone who actually questions things. There's big money in keeping King Edwin happy. If Brennan or many of the other Democrats in Allentown are really interested in the people, they have a strange way of showing it.

But playing a race or sex card is simply nuts.

Anonymous said...

Moto is a brilliant independent counsel woman. And Jilio has already voted for the original pension plan. So we know he is a big, big thinker,and he loves the democratic process.
Kim might have made these giants look bad. Nobody wants that.

michael molovinsky said...

chris, why do you keep insisting on ignoring the fact that the petitions were a moot point, even before you went and scrutinized them? you know the deadline for petition challenge ended last tuesday. it's a blatant attempt to justify brennan's inappropriate actions toward velez. brennan should feel lucky that you failed in your attempt to download them on to the internet. now you want to email them to anonymous monday morning quarterbacks? let those worms exert themselves, and go down to the government center to see them. you're the one out of line.

Chris Casey said...

BIG SIGH
Mike - I have already conceded several times that how this went down looks terrible. But moving forward to her trying to get back on the ballot, you have to accept that ALL evidence will be put in play. Do you really think a judge is not going to want to see what evidence existed for Tim Brennan to call Miss Velez in the first place? You can't pick and choose only the facts you like. You have to hear and see all sides of the argument. If this goes to court, everybody involved will have to give sworn testimony.
You definitely may not like what you find out then.
We are not judges, so I say again, let them decide.

michael molovinsky said...

chris, you say; we are not judges, so i say again, let them decide then why were you spending hours at voter registration going over the petitions? didn't brennan have a copy already? why did you try and download them on the internet? why do you offer to email them to the worms?

Anonymous said...

Vote Moto.

Anonymous said...

This will never go to court. Never.

Anonymous said...

Moto has not demonstrated the know-how to be re-elected City Councilperson. Guridy carries the burden of his pension vote. The school district is in a whirl of turmoil over funding and possible teacher layoffs. Glazier was a former School Board President. O'Connell was a former school Board administrator. Hendricks has a conflict of interest with the policeman pension issue as it ties in with the lease issue. Davis is a labor business agent. Melman is a shortimer in Allentown from Salisbury as was Veleez who also happens to be an attorney. Don't know much about Todd but his stick is marketing.. The question about Bell is how much does she know. West end candidates - Guridy, Melman, O'Connell, Bell, Glazier. Near West End - Todd .. South Side - Hendricks, Moto East Side - Davis.

The depth chart on this election considering competence and knowlege and lack of conflict of interest is not much.

If Ms. Veleez is put back on the ballot. She should thank Brennam for giving her more publicity then she would have received. Ms. Veleez is an unknown about her knowledge of the issues. Regionally her background is Salisbury rather then Allentown. Like Todd she is involved in marking.

Jesus cried for Jerusalem. I cry for the City of Allentown. Trouble continues to brew in the Queen City.

Anonymous said...

9:31
Thank you. You laid it all out.
AMEN.

Anonymous said...

Chris Casy's roll in this is very important ---- a diversion.
One big smoke screen.

There is only one question --- who sent Brennan? Who paid for this ? Follow the money.
The answer will be more interesting than most think!

Anonymous said...

Damage control is in full mode.

Anonymous said...

Oh what tangled webs we weave...

Some here have speculated that Mr. Brennan's phone call came because those opposed to Ms. Velez felt that a challenge was not a sure thing.

The other issue with filing a challenge is that the anti-Velez crowd doesn't want to be seen attacking a fellow Democrat who is female, Latina, and from what I see here, highly respected in the community.

Kim Velez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Captain Beefy said...

Everyone is getting religous all of a sudden 10:27 + 9:31? Which do you like better? Fake seminarian or fake Rev? Which ones steals more money and pedos? Lets all go to the 3% WPA tour and maje sure you say hi!

Bernie O'Hare said...

The above comment is from the Blog Mentor, whose racist protege, Tricia Mezzacappa, is on the ballot as a R candidate for Northampton County Council. With him, and her, it's all about hate, not religion or what is right.

Anonymous said...

I have known Dave Melman for years. He is a homeowner and has lived in this city for several years after growing up literally a few hundred feet over the border in Salisbury. His law practice is in Allentown and he went to Muhlenberg College. He truly cares about Allentown and will be a great addition to city council. Let's talk about what matters and not where someone happened to grow up; it is just a distraction.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The spin machine is in overdrive.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The spin machine is in overdrive.

Anonymous said...

@9:31 Alfonso Todd lives directly in center city Allentown - no where near the west end. His address is on the voter reg polls - I won't post it but I assure you it's not west end he lives below 7th street and only a couple of blocks from city hall.

Monkey momma said...

10:36 is right - I want to follow the money on this one. Who paid Brennan???

Anonymous said...

The Democrats hired a lawyer who was comfortable doing unethical things to dissuade a female minority. Brennan wore the jacket way to well. His effectiveness will earn him another shot as their designated minority stopper. There's no proof he's working for a minority candidate. He's alternately lied, misrepresented and dodged. All we know is what he did. And what he did should earn him an ethics investigation. He should not be allowed to practice law.

Bernie O'Hare said...

the question, who paid Brennan, may never be answered. I suspect that you'll see Fleck get a payment from Pawlowski, Guridy or Mota, and that will be the end of the trail. There are other ways of hiding it as well.

When there is a hearing on Velez petition to be be placed on the ballot, the people in the courtroom might give us a clue.

Anonymous said...

Mota has no money, and no original ideas.Guridy wouldn't be stupid enough to get directly ( key word directly ) involved. Keep looking.
The answer is out there. Don't give up now. This is a crack in the dike.
Fleck is the little Dutch boy. Brennan's not the only one losing sleep.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's my point. His finger is on the dike, and it's not going to come out. Mota and Guridy will be funded by Pawlowski and/or his supporters, and they (and Pawlowski) are paying money to Fleck to handle precisely this kind of operation. You'll see the money going to Fleck and that will be the end of it.

Let me give you an example. Chris Casey, by his own admission is a paid political operative. I could be wrong, but don't think you'll see any campaign finance report listing payments to him.

It ends with Fleck. I don't think he has any obligation to report his expenditures, which is a neat way of evading campaign finance laws.

Anonymous said...

@5:24
................ and his stick is marketing. Slick marketing.

Chris Casey said...

Bernie -
Couple of points: MM asked why I didn't get copies of petitions from Tim. How about because I acted on my own, and didn't want my own judgement nudged either way by seeing where he had already gone. You can check with LC voter registration, I did my own work and made my own calls, without anyone looking over ny shoulder and telling me what to do.
I am also considering some other further options that might rattle many cages, but is the right thing to do. We will see.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hi Chris, I believe you did your own work, and know you were there for some time on Friday bc i was waiting to hear from you. I don't think MM meant to question you on that point.

Chris, when you do work as an operative for the Dems, as you have in the past, you are paid by Brennan, Croslis or Fleck, am I right? The money you receive is not reflected on any campaign finance reports, is it?

eckville press said...

"Chris, when you do work as an operative for the Dems, as you have in the past, you are paid by Brennan, Croslis or Fleck, am I right? The money you receive is not reflected on any campaign finance reports, is it?"

Chris would have to list such income on his SFI form, not.

Respectfully,
Eckville Press

Bernie O'Hare said...

Chris would only have to do that if he were running for office himself, and only if it was over a certain amount. i think it is $1,350.

eckville press said...

Upper Macungie Supervisor.

Anonymous said...

Chris is running for office Upper Macungie Supervisor

Bernie O'Hare said...

Eck, If Chris received $1,300 or more, it must be reported.

Anonymous said...

Very good to know some more about Melman and where Todd lives.

I too care about Allentown and Lehigh County... And would have been a great addition to city council as an appointee ... And would have become a great councilman had I sought office this year. Someone said let's talk about what matters and I usually do.

I lived at the same address on the East Side of Allentown for all my life - 65 years. But to some that is not enough time to be considered for public office. But the funny thing, for some a few years in the city or valley is considered adequate.

I am one not to put on airs in fashion or achievements. My mission always has been to accomplish good and do what is right.

Dennis Pearson

Bernie O'Hare said...

The problem, Dennis is that MM has planted you on a donkey, riding into town on Palm Sunday. The last guy who did that didn't make it past Friday of the following week.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, as you prepare to again thank lucifer for your junior achievement journalism awards, please don't infer that either dennis or myself alluded to palm sunday on my blog, which was posted on saturday.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Watch it, infidel.

Anonymous said...

"whack job Republicans"

so little time, so many people for Democrat zombies to smear and demonize ... thank god for enabling blogs playing wit two sets of rules, such as this one here

NO, NO INSULT THERE

Anonymous said...

Lehigh County---- THE home of the wack job Republican.
And sleezy Democrat too!
Insults intended.

Anonymous said...

The truth hurts.

Anonymous said...

Very sensative teabggers here. He who smelt it, delt it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That complaint about playing favorites with the Dems cones from a pwrson whose comments are no longer welcome here. You see, I have this strange notion that people who threaten violence against the President should never be given a forum to spew their hate. so Iron Pig Pen, stay off this blog.

Anonymous said...

You think this stuff is upsetting? Try being a Flyers' fan that gave up smoking cold turkey a few days ago. Then gave up drinking beer for Lent. I feel like I got my period. And I am a male.

Bernie O'Hare said...

... and you're reading a blog. Better check into a mental health facility.