Monday, June 24, 2013

Hayden Phillips Will Stop Agenda 21 in Northampton County

Lower Nazareth resident Hayden Phillips, a political newcomer, did quite well among Republicans seeking one of five seats on Northampton County Council. He attracted 4,743 votes in the May 21 Primary, second only to Peg Ferraro. Personally, he seems very likable. For example, he calls his 30-year marriage "the easiest thing I've ever done." But I can think of few people worse than him in a regional government devoted almost entirely to human services. I learned that by viewing a YouTube speech he gave prior to the primary.

For one thing, he resents the idea of helping the less fortunate. "Every tax dollar spent on a person who doesn't earn it comes out of the pocket of a person who does earn it," he explains. That's certainly true, and that's why we have human services. While he concedes there should be a social net, but claimed he recently heard that in Pennsylvania, welfare benefits are $68,000. He claims that's why people don't work.

That's simply ridiculous. If he wants to justify hurting the most vulnerable members of our society, he should try to provide more factually accurate information. The truth? Nearly 1/4 of Easton and Bethlehem are at or below the poverty level. One out of every five American children (that's American) does not have enough food to eat. There are five "food deserts" in the Lehigh Valley, all in urban areas. That does not happen when welfare recipients are getting $68,000 a year.

Had Phillips done just a minimal amount of research, he'd realize that figure is the result of a 2011 study that claims that "a family with two full-time wage earners and two children needs nearly $68,000 a year to afford fundamentals like housing, utilities, food, health care, transportation, saving for retirement and child care."

In addition to opposing help for the the $68,000 per year poor, Phillips is opposed to regionalism. He started that discussion in the context of a Bi-County Health department.  I and many others were unwilling to support that effort at regionalism because large, well-funded, hospitals, which would benefit, were unwilling to make any cash contributions. But Phillips is actually opposed to the concept of regionalism.

"I never liked the idea of putting two units together, two smaller messes into one big mess, and then try to manage the big mess. I've always had much more luck managing the smaller messes."

If this is so, Phillips should be stick to the smaller mess. He should be running for Township Supervisor, not County Council. Under his thinking there would be no regional police departments, no matter what strain it puts on small municipalities. There should be no regional emergency management, though Scott Parsons just explained at the last Council meeting that borough governments simply are unable to provide the personnel. There should be no regional water or sewer authorities. Government should be as fragmented as possible.

The he started talking about Agenda 21, gun rights and a host of other issues that have nothing to do with County government. Finally, he warned about the "swell of liberalism" and a "press behind them, propping them up."

Nice guy or not, he's an extremist.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

A guy complaining about government benefits and he is collecting thousands of dollars a year himself. He sounds ill suited for Council and uninformed.

Bernie O'Hare said...

To which government benefits do you refer? If you refer to a pension from his service as a Marine, he earnedvand deserves it.

N. Wilson said...

This guy is on the right track. America needs more men like this

Anonymous said...

I sooner have him then someone like Gregory.

Anonymous said...

That was great and makes me like him more

Anonymous said...

obviously the Angle /Peg pact is alive and well.

Sounds afwully strange that you are not shouting at the tree tops:

"Peg used nepotism to get her daughter a job in the County Accounting Office"

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Although his figures may be off, we are discouraging not encouraging people to be productive citizens.

A slideshow presented by Pennsylvania's secretary of Public Welfare, Gary Alexander, “Welfare's Failure and the Solution,” graphically illustrates the cost and unsustainability of the state's anti-poverty programs.

http://www.slideshare.net/kevinkmac/welfare-failure

Putting your head in the sand is one thing but having a conversation is another. We should be willing to converse instead of shunning. Think about it Bernie.

Anonymous said...

Not everyone who complains about poorly run government social programs is opposed to helping the poor. It costs nearly 90 cents to administer every $1 of federal aid. There's an entire industry built around social programs that takes its share first, then disperses what's left and complains there's not enough.

Just because your form of government coerced charity is not Mr. Phillip's preferred method does not mean he's opposed to helping the poor. Your way has arguably created more poor in a permanent underclass. At an inefficiency of 90 cents for every dollar, that's not surprising. In fact, it's sinful and a disservice to those who need help.

I think the most heartless in society are those who think inefficient, pension-bloated government run programs thrown at the poor are a good thing. Using others' money doesn't get you off the hook morally. You've actually stolen the right to give charity from those whom you confiscated the money.

He may be guilty of poor math and the same type of hyperbole used in this post, but he sounds like a guy with his head on straight. You supported moral paragons John Edwards and Joe Brennan. I'll take a pass on direction from your moral compass regarding politicians.

Anonymous said...

I would put those recipients of the $68,000 government handouts to work. Mandatory civil service to the community. These people can clean streets, remove grafitti, work on road improvements. Enough of the bullshit that they cant perform these services so they can concentrate on getting a job. If you want your handout.... Your required to perform civil duties.

Anonymous said...

All of the tasks you cited would eliminate public service jobs. Those are reliable Democrat votes and nobody's going to take those jobs and votes away.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

The "food desert" argument is such a joke. Look at the USDA maps and you will see that even Kutztown is considered a food desert. They have a farmers market and a Weis supermarket. What a hoot.

It always is about another government handout program.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The "anonymous" comment at 8:16 is from defeated tricia Mezzacappa.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I sooner have him then someone like Gregory."

Agreed.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Although his figures may be off, we are discouraging not encouraging people to be productive citizens."

That argument has been made since the Colonial era. Also, I think it is bit irresponsible to throw out a statement like that as a candidate for an office that deals primarily with human services. I think he should have investigated it a bit more before making a statement that would anger most people.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" We should be willing to converse instead of shunning."

That's the point of this blog.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" would put those recipients of the $68,000 government handouts to work." But there are no $68,000 gov't benefit recipients for you to get angry at and hit with a lash.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Not everyone who complains about poorly run government social programs is opposed to helping the poor. It costs nearly 90 cents to administer every $1 of federal aid. There's an entire industry built around social programs that takes its share first, then disperses what's left and complains there's not enough."

Then maybe he should run for Congress.

Anonymous said...

This guy complains that the county wants to take your guns and will work to keep the UN out of Northampton County government.

This sounds like the last bunch of lunatics that we elected but this group is even crazier.


When they had a chance stop government neglect of buildings and infrastr5ucture for the past four years where ere they?

These guys are driven by their hatred of Obama and don't even have a clue as to how local county government operates or the responsibilities it has.

This guy and the others rail against the system and what is their solution? Nothing! Or at least nothing that will satisfy state laws or work.

We really need some knowledge and experience, no more wacky hyperbole. I want to see responsible conservative government but also realistic and legal government.

The Tea guys don't seem to get that. Their anger outweighs their reason.

Bernie O'Hare said...

12:16, That was true. It was the result of an irregularity in which areas with many college students, like Kutztown, were being improperly rated as food deserts. It has been fixed. Funny that you did not point that out.

Here's a food desert map, and you can plug in Kutztown yourself.

http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-access-research-atlas/go-to-the-atlas.aspx#.Uch4cfm1Gnc

Here's a reading Eagle article.

http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=442018

Bernie O'Hare said...

12:51, There was no hate in Phillips. I detect some hate in you. Phillips seems like a genuinely nice guy, is well-spoken and is gonna' get a lot of votes. My point is that his views are extreme, and the people need to know he's a "black helicopter" dude.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

I was going to link to the map too, but it would not go directly to Kutztown. If you check the boxes in the upper right corner you will see they still have a classification for Kutztown as a food desert. If you read about this on the USDA site, it is all about the government handing out money. What is next, fitness deserts, health care deserts or library deserts? Where shall we stop?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I checked in the interactive map I linked, and the problem has been fixed. The fact that there are mapping anomalies is a defense to the argument that there are food deserts? Is that logical? Come on.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

The bottom line is nobody is going to die in a food desert.

Like I have said, what is the next creative thing we can subsidize? I don't have a public park near by, should I not have the government(taxpayer)subsidize one? I am in a fitness desert and somebody better pay for this, dammit.

Time and time again the false crisis is created and government charges in with fists full of taxpayer dollars.

Okay, I am going back to work now, so I can pay for somebody to have a fresh vegetables tonight.

Thanks for the discourse, Bernie. Carry on.

Bernie O'Hare said...

While the term "food desert" is a bit of a stretch, how do you know that nobody will die of hunger in a food desert? Food security, another term being thrown around, is a real problem. I'd rather overcompensate than undercompensate, wouldn't you?

Anonymous said...

Our hungry have mom's who don't know dad and who sit on their asses and check their iphones every thirty seconds. They have cable and Tivo and battling epidemic obesity.

These people need more programs thrown at them. Their dependency is not yet complete.

Bernie O'Hare said...

... and your proof?

Anonymous said...

I'd say 40 years after the creation of the "great society" and trillions of dollars later, that THIS approach is not working. Think maybe we ought to give it a few more years

Anonymous said...

Only an ignoramus would say " ... Agenda 21, gun rights and a host of other issues that have nothing to do with County government."

County gov is being supplanted by regionalism and Agenda 21 principles and gun rights are best enforced and upheld by the sheriff.

You ought to educate yourself before you print such ignorant tripe.

Anonymous said...


What exactly is "Agenda 21"

First they had the "Tea Party", then "Project 912" and now "Agenda 21".

These political extremists have more names for their ideological tirades than Joe Stalin.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Agenda 21 is apparently some plot to take overvthe world, involving the Vatican, the Rothschilds, the Rockefellers, the Queen and Mr. T.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

You should enlighten yourself before you vilifying others because of your ignorance.

http://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/Agenda21.pdf

Peter J.Cochran said...

Indigents don't pay health insurance it's free .They don't save for retirement ether. Who comes up with this crap. They buy lotto tickets and smokes.Boy friends have a 300 C with 20's They do not for the most part attempt to help themselves because it it easier to just run the section 8 deal.Now I will complain here too,this is unfair to me also,I protest ,this means that I could get housing and SNAP, a free cell phone and even a automobile to get to my job ,how much is that worth? Lets pretend that is worth $33.000 a years ,they don't pay taxes on the BENEFITS.So,here I am ,JOE SHAMOSKI making the stated $68,000 a year or $35.00 an hour that get taxed and med tax and city tax and federal tax and so on ,at a $33,000 TAX FREE COMPARABLY i WORK FOR $9.87 AN HOUR. Your candidate may be smarter that you think. He's got my vote.

Peter J. Cochran said...

Just ran the run down on Mr.Phillips, He is smarter than we are. He is a "gray area retiree", We get pension at 60 years of age.He will be a hand full to the complacent when elected,and I would not want to butt heads with him. We are talking a steel I-beam wrapped in blue velvet here. Good luck ,Sir.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You should enlighten yourself before you vilifying others because of your ignorance."

It's called humor. Take yourself a little less seriously.

Anonymous said...

Tea Party, Project 912, Agenda 21.

Now we have a "grey area retiree", what the hell is that?

Do these people ever get past broad generalities, talking about not mixing boxes and actually talk about real life things they can do?

Between now and the election how many more labels will this crowd come up with?

Hal Shurtleff said...

Here is a short video entitled "Agenda 21 for Public Officials."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfUIWMQ92RU

Bernie O'Hare said...

Short? It's 14 minutes. But thanks for the link. I will check it out.

Anonymous said...

It is funny Bernie, the "Black Helicopter Dudes" have been proven right of late with the uncovering of the NSA spying on the general populace and using the IRS against your political foes.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

What I do take seriously are my rights and freedoms. These are be stripped away drip by drip. I would much prefer to have a man elected who cherishes these values than one who does not.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The spying you refer to is the result of what was authorized by the "Patriot" Act, which I opposed. County Council is not the place for people intent on the preservation on individual liberties. Nor is it the place for someone who does not believe in regionalism. But that's me.

Agenda 21 is nothing more that a nearly 20 year-old UN plan that encourages countries to consider the environmental impact of human development. It's called planning. The visceral reaction by some shows not just a healthy distrust of government, but unhealthy paranoia.

Anonymous said...

The anti-Agenda 21 videos and other propaganda are sponsored by the likes of Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, etc...in other words the wacky, paranoid "fringe". What worries me is that people like Philips will see open space initiatives like farmland preservation as part of this "grand conspiracy" to transfer property rights and more. Disregard the facts, of course, that these kinds of things are done with property owners consent and the voters enthusiastic endorsement. That wouldn't fit their paranoid subtext though.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Excellent point.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

So the vilification continues. I guess we should disregard those 200+ year old documents as old news too.

Although I support many environmental and conservation causes, we are heading into dangerous waters. We watch as our government breaks contract law and laws in general, with no repercussions. Our media has become and arm of the of the State and barely questions what the State does. This will not end well for the little people such as you and I.

I suggest you read the document with an open mind. You can clearly see this agenda being played out at every level. More power to the state and less to the people. You yourself have been subjected to this and you can not even recognize it.

At one time I was able to walk into my local government office and get a copy of anything, no questions asked. Today I walk in and I have to fill out a RTK, wait for it to be approved or denied, then pay my tax. What happens when those fees are more than you can afford, Bernie? Access granted only to those who can afford it?

Government is getting farther and farther removed from the people. Glass walls and barricades at public meetings were never required. Time limits on public speaking? Government use to work for the people, not people working for the government.

I could go on but I guess I am wasting my breath. I will continue to be vigilant as you fritter away blogging about the virtues of the all superior government. I hope I am alive to remind you when you find yourself on the wrong end of this, so I can say I told you so.

Be well Bernie, you have great blog. That is why I am here.

The Extremist.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Extremist,

As someone who filed RTK requests before the enactment of the new law, i can tell you the law is a vast improvement. The fees you complain about existed before this new law went into effect, and were arbitrary. So were denials. This law is a major improvement and if you use that as an example of what is wrong with government, you are sadly mistaken.

Anonymous said...

This birds entire agenda has nothing to do with running a county government. The Republican Party can not be serious about supporting this ass-clown, could they?

Lighthouse said...

Bernie,
I do not agree with it, but I believe part of the supposed connection of Agenda 21 to local governments is the assertions that local and regional "smart growth" planning are euphemisms for a larger international agenda to control individual property rights.

Hal Shurtleff is higher up in the field operations for the John Birch Society, which has a long and consistent opposition to anything related to the UN, or perceived threats to American exceptionalism.

The JBS, ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), and what we may now refer to as various "Tea Party"-type elements (though JBS preceded them by half a century) tend to fight their battles at the state, County, and Municipal levels. Kind of a grass roots "old right" republicanism. If you read enough of their literature they deserve the "fringe" label. However, in small doses they make some points that resonate with a segment of voters.

Anonymous said...

Well I guess these folks believe in "enlightened anarchy".. Maybe they could use that as another catch phrase.
Sounds like grown up children punching at invisible monsters in the dark.

Instead of worrying about black helicopters and goose stepping UN storm troops, they should be more concerned with county buildings that were allowed to rot for four years on their watch.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. The county buildings just started rotting in the last four years while Glenn Reibmann was cashing checks for sleeping on the bridge commission and Wayne Grube was getting parks named after him for pronouncing breathtaking cost overruns on council chambers, "nice!" With all the money Ds blew before fellow D Stoffa took over, we should have gold plated bridges and limousines for non-emergency transport at Gracedale. There's no fixing these assholes.

Anonymous said...

So for eight years the neglect of county facilities was not Stoffa and his Republican buddies fault, it was the fault of the guys before him. gotcha.
I like your way of thinking.

Poor Obama, its that damn Carter's fault.

That's how it works, right?

Anonymous said...

Gracedale patients deserve Lincoln Town Car transport. Bridges can wait.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

When your on the same page with Geeting, you know your in deep.

Good luck with that.

Bernie O'Hare said...

When you learn the difference between "your" and "you're," I might pay attention.

Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

I do not think this crop of teabaggers will be as successful as the crop four years ago. After the Gracedale debacle, voters are now aware of these "anarchist" types and even Peggy Ferraro may be toast.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

One should not throw stones...but when that's all you got.

Lighthouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lighthouse said...

This is a late comment, but I had time this morning (6/26) to actually watch the 13 and half minute video clip you linked to. As a political observer, I think he potentially could play well in Republican circles in the Townships and in the northern tier (obviously already has, coming in second to Peg), as well as Republican-leaning independents, and Dem voters who supported O'Donnell. My first impression from the video (which could be wrong) is that he has core values covered with a velvet “nice-guy” glove. In small doses points are made that do resonate with a segment of the voters (who tend to be more consistent voters). If he makes all the little candidate circuit speeches, has a few bucks to spend, and has a grass-roots type boots on the ground, he may do better than you think in a County wide five way race, especially if voter turn-out were not particularly high. It will be interesting, however, to see how he would do in a head to head debate with a Democrat challenging his positions to dig deeper beyond the libertarian-Republican clichés, especially on matters that actually deal with what County government does.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I was surprised at how well he did in the primary. Though Phillips is personable, and you are certainly correct that his views might actually sound good in small doses, I think his mainstream appeal will evaporate when he answers specific questions concerning issues. I could be wrong.

Lighthouse said...

I tend to agree with you. The below is from his campaign Facebook. While it basically boils down what he took 13 minutes to talk about in the video speech, in print it shows no realistic understanding of County Government, just Tea Party and Birch cliches. Two of his four planks are basically County Government is bad and needs to be cut, and to save Northampton County from the evil reach of the United Nations. I am sure most Northampton County residents have really felt threatened by the UN in their daily lives. The other two are broad generalities. That said, while the Tea Party tide is ebbing, I still think there is a niche of voters who may be initially attracted to his "soundbites" and personality, and in a 5 seat County-wide race he should not be lightly dismissed by the Democrats. Especially if rank and file Dems feel Callahan has it locked up, and no mayoral race in Bethlehem, one only needs to look at the last at-large election when the Dems stayed home, and the GOP swept (minus their bow out for Exec). Of course this year the NorCO GOP is not itself.

"On COUNTY COUNCIL PHILLIPS WILL:
• Advocate for the hardworking taxpayer; always remembering, every tax dollar spent is taken out of the pocket of someone who earned it.
• Limit or decrease the size and influence of county government.
• Operate with transparency, openly communicating with taxpayers via social media and town halls, explaining how he voted and why
• Be vigilante to guard individual property rights against the intrusion of UN Agenda 21 inspired initiatives"

Bernie O'Hare said...

It's hard NOT to be tempted. Even I like some of his message.