Monday, May 20, 2013

Donchez is the Better of Two Good Candidates For Bethlehem

Public safety is the core of Bob Donchez' campaign
As an outsider, the Bethlehem Mayoral race really surprised me. Willie Reynolds is an excellent candidate who has worked his ass off in this campaign, knocking on thousands of doors and energizing a group of enthusiastic volunteers. He is a leader. He deserves to be Mayor. Just not yet.

As much as I like Willie, I like Bob Donchez even more. You would not know it from his campaign, which was unnecessarily negative. But in every other way, he symbolizes everything that is right about the Christmas City. On Council, and while governing, he has been a consummate gentleman who looks for the good in other people. I like his strong emphasis on public safety, which in my opinion, should always be a Mayor's first priority. I also appreciate his realistic understanding of City finances. Even Mayor Callahan has stated that Bethlehem still faces a few tough years, thanks primarily to a massive pension payment and growing health costs. Bethlehem may be in the middle of an "economic renaissance," as Willie insists, but its financial situation is still precarious.

Willie has matured and has grown more and more independent during his time on City Council. But I question whether he has the same commitment to public safety as Bob. He also appears to pander, or put more kindly, is taking his case to certain special interest groups. He refused to vote for a much-needed tax hike. He reached out to the LGBT community in a news conference, not because it is a particularly burning City issue, but because the gay community votes and, more importantly, give lots of money to favored candidates. Part of Willie's Winning Our Neighborhood program is an appeal to the anti-fracking element. Though that issue is only remotely connected to Bethlehem, it will attract environmentalists, who also vote and make contributions.

Willie is certainly in better touch with the young urbanista and twitterati than Bob. But Bob has the rest of Bethlehem wrapped up. I do think Reynolds represents Bethlehem's future.

27 comments:

Hammer~Time said...

Bernie,

Are you making the font size smaller. This stuff is getting harder and harder to read. If so, please put the font size back to normal. Thanks!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Except for pictures, my font size is normal. Perhaps your browser has the wrong setting.

Uncle Remus said...



In my opinion neither are ready to step up to the plate as they have some very large shoes to fill.

Having stated that I assure you that donchez will attempt to reverse things that have been put into place.

wilie will at least go forward.

Thus willie is the lesser of the two evils

Anonymous said...

But those negative mailers were terrible. It was shocking to see Dochez attack Reynoldys. And very off putting. I know several Bethlehem voters are voting for Reynolds because they were so turned off by the negative campaign.

Tom Foolery said...

Aside from crying, how did Willie respond to the mailers? No, uncle Remus, as usual, you know shit about politics..Bernie is right here.
Law of averages, lol

Anonymous said...

Couple of points. 1. The tax hike was not needed. Callahan set forth a plan, and council changed it. Callahans plan was better. Even al bernotas agreed with it.

2. Donchez does not have Bethlehem wrapped up. People who voted for bob in the past are disgusted with his negative campaign. My neighbor got rid of her Donchez sign and put up a Reynolds sign. There are many more like her.

Donchezs campaign, which was one misstep after another, has cost him this election.

Pollmeister said...

6:55,

Willie is getting crushed..You must have read the FOX NEWS polls, lol.

The best he can hope for is being Council President next year, lol.

John Blankstein said...

Reynolds' stance on equality for the LGBT community is based on long-held personal beliefs that pre-date his first run for council and for which he has consistently fought and will continue to fight throughout his career.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Until this weekend, I had only seen two of the mailers, and I don;'t watch TV so I missed the ads. Over the weekend, I stopped at a friend's home, who had them all.

Let me clarify something. There is NOTHUNG wrong with a negative campaign. Those compare and contrast pieces are helpful, no matter what the race.

Wjhat is wrong is when a campaign gets too personal.

The high school mailer was wrong for that reason. It was personal, factually inaccurate and mean-spirited. The ad taking him to task over his library board attendance is fair game.

Overall, most of the pious indignation at the Donchez ads comes from people like Karen Dolan and Donald Flad, who already were supporting Reynolds anyway. And frankly, both of them have their own issues. Karen Dolan made some disgusting anti-Catholic remarks, and slammed BT for not listening to her at a meeting. I haven't heard her apologize for that nonsense. Flad thinks he's superior to everyone and hates lowering himself to comment here. Just what we need in City government.

The personal attack was unfair, and I agree with the criticism. But Reynolds supporters have seized on it to make a number of personal attacks of their own. It was a mistake, but Bib could afford to make it.

Fortunately, he is a very good and honorable person, and will make an excellent Mayor. Callahan may not like this, but Willie does need to wait "his turn." Not because this is musical chairs, but because Bob is the better choice. I would love to see Willie elected. In eight years.

Anonymous said...

I am glad you state that you like Willie. He will be our next Mayor of Bethlehem. Donchez is a low life who must be running scared to have sent all those negative ads. How could someone who was 11 twenty years ago do what Donchez did twenty years ago.
Willie has what it takes to be mayor, it should have nothing to do about his age. He has shown more maturity than Donchez.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Donchez is a low life who must be running scared to have sent all those negative ads."

Do you see what I mean? What you do is say Bob sent a nasty ad and then go off and launch a personal attack of your own.

I looked at the ads. I never did see the TV ad and will assume the exploding head was a low blow. I are that the pic of Willie when he was 12 was a low blow, too. The rest is pretty much compare and contrast.

I do think the personal shot hurt Bib, but he will win handily.

Anonymous said...

Willie is entering the smallest penis contest at King's County Bar in Brooklyn NY, a race he is sure to win...

Bernie O'Hare said...

OK, now is that really necessary? Besides, how the hell would you know?

Anonymous said...

I'm his ex-Hot Girlfriend

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Reynolds' stance on equality for the LGBT community is based on long-held personal beliefs that pre-date his first run for council and for which he has consistently fought and will continue to fight throughout his career."

John, as a political consultant, I am sure you know better than I that having a news conference devoted exclusively to that topic guaranteed both votes and money from a very determined and zealous group. I personally think ALL discrimination is wrong. If Willie is as committed to equality as claimed, why did he not condemn the religious bigotry professed by Karen Dolan about Catholics? Why did he not speak out when the Chair of Bethlehem's Planning Commission derided Mormons on this very blog during the Presidential race?

Equality should be equality for everyone. The LGBT community reminds me a bit of the pigs in Orwell's Animal Farm, who insisted that some animals are more equal than others.

If Willie wants to fight against discrimination, there are some examples of it among his own supporters. I tend to think his LGBT stance is nothing more than pandering.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, Donchez is shitting in his pants, according to source close to his campaign. This race will be close, but Reynolds will prevail. He knocked on more doors, made more phone calls, and directly connected to more voters.
All the negative ads in the world can't compete with shaking a candidates hand at your front door.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Willie ran a better campaign. Bib will be a better Mayor.

Anonymous said...

Were you as shocked when Callahan attacked Jim Delgrosso ten years ago? Mr. Delgrosso was a true gentleman and Johnny Casino's clan ripped him up with "dirty mailers". Same shock?

Anonymous said...

"Were you as shocked when Callahan attacked Jim Delgrosso ten years ago? Mr. Delgrosso was a true gentleman and Johnny Casino's clan ripped him up with "dirty mailers". Same shock?"

That was a true compare and contrast negative campaign. John stated what he stood for and what Delgrosso stood for. The triple dipper was true.

Donchez anticipated Reynolds would go negative and accuse him of being a triple dipper...which is actually the case. Word on the street is Donchez bought time back from the state pension system in order to qualify for a state pension.
But Reynolds ran a positive campaign with ideas, and stayed away from attached Donchez.

Anonymous said...

"That was a true compare and contrast negative campaign. John stated what he stood for and what Delgrosso stood for."

Yeah right. It is true that the victors get to write the history. It was negative an dirty and no one forgot how low Callahan will go.

John Blankstein said...

Whichever way tomorrow goes, I think if you sit down to discuss the issue with Willie at length you will walk away believing his commitment is genuine.

Anonymous said...

Don't care who wins this race but that picture of Donchez with a bunch of aging bureaucrats sums up my opinion of his candidacy:

Old, stale and probably smells of "attic".

Anonymous said...

Willie couldn't go negative because Bob is a good guy who is deserving of being the next mayor. The funny about going negative is if you put it out there its there forever and people find it. Just ask the current Mayor.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Whichever way tomorrow goes, I think if you sit down to discuss the issue with Willie at length you will walk away believing his commitment is genuine."

I have no reason t doubt your sincerity and think Willie is a great guy. I mean that.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" but that picture of Donchez with a bunch of aging bureaucrats"

Those are cops, dude, not bureaucrats.

Donald said...

"Flad thinks he's superior to everyone and hates lowering himself to comment here. Just what we need in City government."

This confused me a bit - I am not running for nor do I serve in city government. If you are going to trash me Mr. O'Hare you should not deceive people into thinking I am in city government. Because I would never lower myself to serve the public, as you know so well.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am trashing you bc you are a smug asshole who represents an intolerance of differing views that I consider antithetical to any form of government. I am deeply offended by your disdain for the work I put into this blog and into actually informing people, in addition to expressing views. You are correct that, thankfully, you are not a part of any government, though you are a part of some campaigns.