Monday, October 28, 2013

Following Scott Ott's Money Train

One advantage Lehigh County has over Northampton is that campaign finance reports appear online almost immediately, making it easy to follow the money. This attempt at transparency was Dean Browning's idea. Republican voters rewarded his good government by booting him from office. But thanks to that transparency, we can all see the finance report just filed by the person primarily responsible for Browning's ouster - Scott Ott. It's not a pretty picture.

Ott wants voters to give him control over Lehigh County's $360 million budget. But a review of Ott's finances reveals four disturbing things about the $177,238 total he's raised.

1) Lack of Transparency. - Ott reports $46,480 from the My Lehigh County PAC that he and GOP party boss Wayne Woodman control. This PAC, located in Harrisburg, has only one 2013 report on file. That report shows less than $18,000 in donations available to flip to Ott. So clearly, there have been donations to the PAC since the last report. But they aren't online. The reason for this is that, in spite of all of Ott's preaching about transparency, he does not use the online feature to file the reports for this PAC. Instead, he sends in a paper version knowing that the election will be over before it is processed and posted.

2) Is it Scott Ott or Wayne Woodman? - $30,000 of Ott's money comes from party boss Wayne Woodman and his wife, Commissioner Lisa Scheller. Another $15,000 comes from Bob Asher's PA Future Fund. This is the quid pro quo to get Woodman to grit his teeth and support Corbett next year. Scheller's money is funneled to Ott through the PAC to make it difficult to follow. Basically, just two people are responsible for Ott's warchest, making me question who really will be calling the shots in Lehigh County.

3) Ott violates state campaign finance laws. -  The Lehigh Valley Association of Realtors have reported two in-kind donations for Ott. One is for a $3,050 poll conducted on October 16. The other is a October 24 mailer for $4,225.

Ott failed to include the October 16 contribution in his report, even though it is supposed to include all contributions through October 21. He also failed to make a 24-hour report for the $4,225 contribution made on October 24.

If Ott is unable to account properly for campaign finance, how can he account for a $360 million budget?

4) The Abe Atiyeh Connection. - Controversial developer Abe Atiyeh is backing Ott, and gave him $1,000 on October 22. Atiyeh has alienated people in West Bethlehem, located in Lehigh County, over his propensity to build rehabs like 7-11s.  I doubt West Bethlehem voters will be pleased to learn that Ott has Atiyeh's support.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is a s good if not better than Müllers. It is open and honest. What about Muller?

Stop the ha8, O'Hare.

Anonymous said...

more bs hate from ohairless. and you dare to cause other blogger's work"hate blogs". MM has called you out on your pitiful attempts. MM shows more intellect and integrity in one week then you have mustered up in your whole life.

Anonymous said...

Wow Bernie Keep up the investigative work Doesn't matter who is the candidate or what party.
Income is essential to a candidate's conduct. Thank you for this revealing blog. Only problem, not everyone will see it.

Anonymous said...

Otts latest FB post: "My opponent's latest finance reports show the Pennsylvania Democratic Party rushing in with $33,375.25, along with another $23,500 from unions and left-wing PACs. I'll let you draw your own conclusions, and take appropriate action. Thank you." Guess the woodman/sheller money isn't enough.

Anonymous said...

You get an A for effort Bernie. But he'll still win easily. Whatever he's raising is couch cushion change compared to the piles that have been dumped on his opponent. Callahan is a walking Brinks truck filled with special interest deposits on his future decisions (and we know that's exactly how John operates, according to Charlie Dent). You've broken shocking news here, however. There appears to be money in politics.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, Muller's report is online, too. It shows that he raised about the same amount of money over the same time periods. It shows a great deal of grass roots support as well as the usual parade of hopeful county vendors. It also shows bipartisan support. Yes, numerous of the people contributing to Muller are Republicans. I will be posting about his report, too, but ran out of time.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I'll let you draw your own conclusions, and take appropriate action. Thank you." Guess the woodman/sheller money isn't enough. "

As someone who went through Muller's online finance report, I have drawn my own conclusions. Muller's report is full of Republican donors who are sickened by Ott's right wing lunacy in lehigh County. I'll have more to say. Ott is bought and paid for.

Anonymous said...

Ott wins this race. Sorry Bernie.

People aren't in a status quo mood. They also aren't in the mood for more taxes and fees. It's why, for example, you don't hear any widespread support from the average driver on the transportation bill.

Muller represents the status quo. He's a county executive that would have been fantastic for the 1990s when times were good. More people are realizing we can't collectively keep doing things like that anymore. We're all broke. Government is too.

People may not like Ott personally but a lot agree with asking questions about the utter absurdity of things like $200K per unit for apartments, subsidizing shopping, and paying the whole bill on things like zoos when you've got a growing money pit at Cedarbrook.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I think people are furious over ideologues like Ott who forced a government shutdown bc they could not get their way. That's gonna' hurt.

His remarks about letting n 86 yo woman starve before taking money from the commies made some people angry. That's gonna' hurt.

He's lost the people who actually work for Lehigh County along with their families. That's gonna' hurt.

He's lost many in the Republican establishment over the way he has helped marginalize his own party.

He never had the Democrats, and never will.

He is a bad candidate and really is not such a great person. I have always found him condescending and smug.

He is running on lies, as I've demonstrated on this blog.

But he wins unless those who are interested in good government get out and vote. He wins unless county workers and their families let him know they don't appreciate being treated like shit. He wins unless seniors tell Ott they don't appreciate starvation as an option. He wins unless normal Republicans let it be known they are sicjk and rtired of lunatics in their midst. He wins unless Democrats come out and vote. he wins unless there is a decent turn out in Allentown.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:50:

Did Ott's Facebook post say anything about the $20,798 he received from the State Republican Committee the 10 days right before he filed his report? If Ott is going to make an issue of State D's support Muller he should at least mention what the State R's are doing for him.

Anonymous said...

I'm no polling expert, but just about every occasion the race comes up I hear lots of GOP not going for OTT.

I'd say a third of the GOP people I've talked to are not voting for OTT.

At one meeting I didn't hear a single person happy with OTT. But, many also don't like party switching either. That hurts Muller.

Anonymous said...

"Did Ott's Facebook post say anything about the $20,798 he received from the State Republican Committee the 10 days right before he filed his report? If Ott is going to make an issue of State D's support Muller he should at least mention what the State R's are doing for him."

I copied the status word for word. Of course he would omit those things, just like he omitted being bought and paid for by party bosses.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Unless people get out there and let Scott Ott know that the LV is not tea party central with their votes, he wins. This is an important race. It is important to get as many people to vote as possible. If Ott wins, many people are going to be hurt. Many worthwhile programs will stop. Public safety will be endangered. Ott will likely find himself at the wrong end of a law suit by the courts and DA. Government will be paralyzed. But he wins unless people get out there and say NOT OTT.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:29: So you get up at 5:30 in the morning and go running to this blog to leave an ignornat posting like that? You should do some self examination, you may have some problems.

I for one, think this story is so relevent. The voters should know that one wealthy couple is basically trying to buy the Lehigh County Executive, that's a little scary to me.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, i prefer allowing you to preach on your blog, and provide reality checks, as needed, on mine. however, i don't think i've ever seen you beat the drum this hard and this long. you could be selling oxi-clean, instead of muller. take for instance this starving widow you have created. ott simply questioned borrowing money to provide a grant to an agency which already had over a $million dollar surplus. she ain't starved yet.

Anonymous said...

"she ain't starved yet."

This is why Scott Ott is so dangerous for Lehigh County. Using the measurement that nobody has starved yet is horrible as humans. That we wouldn't act until somebody has starved shows how cold and uncaring he and his follows are. When should we act? How about before people are starving?

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM,

1) I have created no starving widow. They happen to be real. That is an example that Ott himself used. His exact words. "Have they no family? Have they no church connections, no neighbors that love them? ... {T}he Chinese communist government is fronting us money to feed 85 year old women in Lehigh County. ... [The] federal government is sending us money to do things that are of no national import."

2) I am writing a lot about this election bc it is an important one. There is a lot at stake, including those 85 yo women.

3) You are not providing any reality checks at all. It's more like, "Move along, nothing to see here." More like putting your head in the sand. In fact, right wing Bobby Gunther Walsh has done a better job of holding Ott's feet to the fire than you have. You apparently think it's OK to support a candidate who blatantly lies in his campaign literature and in robo calls. He claims to have ct taxes when he just increased them 3.4%. He claims to have cut spending after just approving the biggest spending package in LC history. You support a liar. You know he's lying, too.

4) This is an extremely important election. Do people want someone who will spurn human services grants designed to help people, simply bc they have problems with the deficit? Will they elect someone who lies to them? Will they elect someone who will close the zoo, close Cedarbrook and completely eliminate most human services? You were a virulent defender of Gracedale. Where are you now? You know damn well that Ott will dump that facility as soon as he can. he will dump the zoo. He will shed county workers. He will compromise court security in a quest for tea party utopia.

These are not scare tactics. this is what will happen under Ott. That is why i consider this election crucial, not just to Lehigh Ciunty, but the entire region.

michael molovinsky said...

@10:56, when an organization's surplus exceeds their yearly budget, and you grant them more money, you're actually taking food out of the mouth of many financially marginal taxpayers. you spit out words like horrible as humans, cold and uncaring,. ott delivered meals to seniors for the organization, what act have you done, except comment here anonymously?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Just as Ott is stuck with his own words, you are stuck with yours. By your own logic, you should dump Ott. he has not done what he said he would do. he has not erased the deficit you just mentioned. he has increased it. This was your guy. You supported him over Browning. Time to admit you blew it and move on.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie @11:08, i know nothing of the kind. your repetition of those distortions does not make them facts. Ott never said "Let the 85 yr. old starve to death". those are your words. i have explained what he did question in previous comments on this blog. the commissioners, through amendments to muller's budget, shaved a few percentage and $millions from the budget. for that you and others have accused them of compromising public safety. at the same time you want to criticize him for not cutting the budget even harder. had he, you would probably accuse him of genocide. although i favor keeping county nursing homes, you are the one who took the effort to save gracedale to court. ott and the commissioners simply want to know why they received no forewarning on cedarbrook's deficit, closing it are your words, not his.

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM, I criticize him for lying. He did not do what he said he would do. he did not do what he said he did. he is a liar. I don't know how much more clear it can be. But keep drinking the Kool Aid.

Anonymous said...

"what act have you done, except comment here anonymously?"

Prepared meals, delivered meals, given money, pointed out how horrible Scott Ott would be and how cold-hearted you are to not act until a senior starves. But you feel good about yourself for using your name. Good deeds, MM.

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM, he said what he said. I have quoted him in his own words. The reader can draw his or her own conclusions.

He is a scary guy with a scary agenda and he will be the next Executive unless people of good will get out there and vote.

Anonymous said...

Mike:

In reading your post at 11:27 where you bemoan the fact that the Commissioners received "no forewarning on Cedarbrook's deficit". All I can say is really? The Commissioners have a committee specifically for Cedarbrook. It is chaired by Tom Creighton and has Mazziotti as the vice chair. Both of those guys claim to be fiscal watch dogs yet their committee failed to do its job and you let them off the hook? Come on. Maybe if they had been more focused on their job and their committee assignments instead of worrying about denying benefits to same sex couples they would have known what was going on.

Anonymous said...

You are nothing more than a piece of shit, O'Hare ... and you know it.

Stick to the Mezza-whoever crapola, it's what you do best.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, despite your "full tilt boogie" hate for Ott, I'm voting form him and I'll tell you why. There are two kinds of politicans: those who want more of your money and those who want less. Ott wants less.
Of course, if you don;t pay taxes, that's a different story.....

Anonymous said...

12:19

The fact is that Cedarbrook management reported the problem to the administration - Muller in particular- in March or April. Muller sat on it, and now claims that his duty was only to inform Bill Hansell, who was dying and incapacitated at the time.

Muller did not inform the Commissioners, even though he was acting Executive for most of the year. That's a disservice to the Commissioners, the taxpayers, and the residents of Cedarbrook.

Yes the commissioners have a standing Cedarbrook committee, to deal with issues affecting the nursing home. But they cannot be expected to deal with issues that the Administration was concealing. I guess muller feared that Cedarbrook tanking on his watch wouldn't look good on a political brochure.

It seems pretty despicable that Muller would put the financial health of a nursing home behind his own political ambition. But you'll never read that story here at the Muller Express.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Well, since Ott pays no taxes, I guess it is a different story by your own logic. I believe there are two kinds of politicians; those who tell the truth, and those who lie. Ott has shown he is a liar. His campaign lit is littered with them right now.

I really can think of no good reason to support him.

Bernie O'Hare said...

1:13,

You are obviously a Commissioner. And just as obviously, you are too cowardly to sign your name while attacking Muller. Where is MM now?

And let me clue you in. If you want to feign surprise that a public nursing home is doing poorly, you'd be the only elected Comm'r in the state to make that claim. It has been well known for some time that public nursing homes are in trouble. I've been writing about it for years, and as recently as last week. Anyone who goes to CCAP knows this. So you are either a very bad Comm'r or a liar.

We had a big debate right next door. Yet you sat on your hands and did nothing about your own home. You'll wait 'till the election is over and then say it should be sold.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:13

The Commissioners are an independent branch of government and they keep braying about being a "check and balance". How many committee meetings did they schedule to review the finances of Cedarbrook? How many times did they call in the head of Cedarbrook and go over the operations with him? The answer is they didn't do any of those things and now they are bitching that they weren't told. Actually, it is more like they didn't do their job! We pay them to be involved and to know what's going on. And BTW, where was the County Controller while this was happening? Probably still busy looking for that $5 million in savings he promised us when he ran for office. Either that or he was still working on figuring out what two plus two equals.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, it was not in your training or nature as a trial attorney to ever concede that you're wrong. you keep going on and on, to convince the jury or readers that you're right. i will not continue arguing the muller-ott choice, but will conclude by reminding you that there are also people of good will,(your expression) who will vote for ott and other candidates not of your choice. i believe it is beyond our pay grade to declare who is of good will.

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM, My argumentative nature has nothing to do with my "training" or the fact that I was a trial attorney. I am just a miserable bastard. I'll also agree that Ott supporters do include people of good will, but that number has shrunk as time has gone on and people see him for what he is. And what he is, incidentally, is a liar. There just is no way around it. He lied when he ran in 2011 and he's lying now. He knows he's lying now. He is misleading voters, just as he attempted to mislead Bobby Gunther Walsh. By that standard alone, I conclude he is not a person of good will. Your support of this proven liar is difficult for me to fathom.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, putting aside if ott fulfilled his campaign pledges or not, since when has such a failure made someone a liar? it's an awful strong word to use in evaluating the performance of an elected person in regard to his/her pervious/current statements. your use of this word indicates either a hatred of the candidate, or unusual affinity toward his opponent.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Knowing that he has not cut spending but has increased it, and knowing that he has just voted for a tax hike, Ott is robo-calling people and sending out flyers saying the exact opposite. he is a liar. he also lied on Gunther when he said he did not know if spending was cut. He most certainly did. If I knew, he certainly did. He is not truthful and you support someone you know is lying right now. That's what I don't get, MM.

Anonymous said...

Bernie

So let me get this straight.

OTT= Liar, Bigot, Racist and Granny killer.

Muller= Cuddly puppies, Fluffy Kittens and Rainbow farting Unincorns.

Thanks for clearing that up for me.

X

Bernie O'Hare said...

Let's see. He is actively telling voters that he cut taxes and spending when he just voted for a tax hike and to increase spending to its highest level ever. That makes him a liar. His remarks at a NAACP debate were considered an "affront to me as an African American," according to one audience member. I did not call him a bigot, but one audience member seemed to think so. He did refuse to vote for Meals on Wheel;s bc he did not want to borrow money from the Commies to feed an 85 yo woman.

That is his record.

I'd prefer the guy who tells the truth, but that's me.

Enquiring Minds Want to Know said...

So when Ott says that he is a Christian, is he lying? Maybe he can be judged by his actions? Do his actions say he is a Christian?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't know what kind of mind you have, but if you want to question his religion, or accuse him of lying, as i have, sign your name.

OneBlockDown said...

Boonie if offered would you accept a mustache ride from Captain Kangaroo, he is a beefy, furry bear much like your ultimate man crush the norco bulldog.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The name "OneBlockDown" is one of many names under which Tricia Mezzacappa posts. Take your drug cocktail.

Anonymous said...

Tricia Mezzacappa is an Ott supporter.

Anonymous said...

Scott owes Wayne BIGGGG time, and that's why Wayne will be calling the shots for Lehigh County if he wins. If Scott wins, Wayne will use that for a spring board to launch into Bob Asher's position when he retires. That means Wayne could be potentially be calling the shots for the PA Republican party.... scary!

Anonymous said...

I just can't take it. Scott Ott is a hypocrite who has taken handouts for his family time and time again.