Friday, October 04, 2013

Will Gov't Shutdown Boost LV Dems?

I voted for Romney. I opposed Obamacare, which obviously needs a major overhaul. But like most Americans who believe in the democratic process, I am offended that some three dozen tea party Republicans would attempt to hold the country hostage because of their disdain for a law that withstood a constitutional challenge in a conservative Supreme Court. They've looked ridiculous. "You don't negotiate by putting a gun to the other persons' head, or worse, putting a gun to the American people's head," President Obama said yesterday. House Republicans have a year to repair the damage they've done to themselves. But Lehigh Valley republicans are not so lucky. Just as many Democrats were swept out of office locally four years ago, many Republican hopefuls are in a bad way.

In Lehigh County, the Commissioner races are for district seats, not at-large. So the power of personality should be more powerful than political party. But in the Executive race, Scott Ott should be worried.

There are no Republican City Council candidates in Allentown. There are no Republicans running for Commissioner, either. That's no mistake. GOP Chair Wayne Woodman would probably deny this, but I believe that the reason no Republicans are running is to depress the turnout in a heavily Democratic city. The fewer Democrats who vote in Allentown, the better Scott Ott's chances of being elected Executive.

But the best laid plans of mice and party bosses gang aft aglay.  Michael Donovan decides to run for Allentown mayor as an independent, which will increase turnout. Then incumbent Mayor Edwin Pawlowski decides he'd like to be Governor, which means he has to win in Allentown convincingly to prove he's popular. That means even more Allentown voters and more democrats. Then, tea party Republicans decide to shut down the government, and do it in a way that makes them look like idiots. That makes Democrats, even contrary democrats like me, more likely to vote for a Democrat.

So just as Scott Ott gave Don Cunningham a scare four years ago, Democrat Tom Muller could easily eke out a victory in Lehigh County's Executive race.

In Northampton County, things look much worse for Republicans. Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan got a majority of the votes in a three-way primary, and is already steamrolling his way to victory over relatively unknown Republican Bangor mayor John Brown. County Council candidates are latching onto his coattails, and have belatedly realized that it's better to run together than splintering off.

To make matters worse, all but Peg Ferraro of the Republican candidates are tied to the Lehigh Valley Tea Party. Mat Benol is a former Chair, while Hayden Phillips likes to talk about Agenda 21 and gun rights. In the eyes of most Democrats and many independents, this will be unhelpful. It's conceivable that Democrats will walk away with all five Council seats, although Republican Peg Ferraro should survive the onslaught.

This is not a good thing. Candidates should be elected or defeated based on their own positions on the issues, not what some goof in Washington is saying. It's how a bad Democrat like Tom O'Donnell can get elected.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bernie,I beg to differ on your use of the word "steamrolling" in reference to the Brown/Callahan race...The new motto whispering down the Northampton hallways is "Vote 'B' before 'C' or the County gets an 'F'".

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I think the Democrats in Northampton County are better candidates. Peg has been around a long time and people like her but she still seems clueless about some of the most basic county issues. Seems like its more of a hobby for her.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" I think the Democrats in Northampton County are better candidates."

Then you have not met Tom "certified fraud examiner" O'Donnell.

Tea Party Footsoldier said...

The 9-12 project is neither a flash in the pan nor a hollow enterprise. PA may be too liberal to embrace the noble fiscally conservative principles we champion that will never stop patriots like Ted Cruz from fighting hard for what he believes in. Wake up America, Barack Hussein Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid are bankrupting this nation to serve up entitlements for those who refuse to pull their own weight! November will be very telling, from Mezzacappa to Ott the Lehigh Valley will be a cauldron of piping hot TEA!

Anonymous said...

With Scott Ott and Tricia Mezzacappa as your headliners you can't loser!

Anonymous said...

House Republicans have sent multiple spending bills to the Senate to open up government, and Reid has rejected them. Apparently, he doesn't like veterans and doesn't want to help kids with cancer. And Obama has stated he wouldn't sign the spending bills even if Reid allowed a vote on them.

So I wouldn't worry about the Republican candidates being hurt by the shutdown.

Anonymous said...

So why has Boner not allowed a vote on the Senate Bill? Or why won't he allow the straight up, yes no vote on the CR, like Dent and other R's have asked for.

You guys are fading fast but keep singing that stale song.

Anonymous said...

If brown wins, I will eat my hat

Anonymous said...

brown will go down in the dustbowl of history as a mere smudge on the table

A. J. Urbano

Uncle Remus said...

On the national level no incumbents should be reelected for the next 6 years. throw them all out and start all over. then put in term limits and the line item veto

Petard Hoister said...

Army, Navy and Air Force football games are going to proceed. Message from the Obama administration: let the poor starve.

Anonymous said...

callahan will win easily. the era of closed, sneaky, unaccountable government is returning. callahan, the kind of dick cheese who gets thrown out of kids' sporting events for threatening volunteers is going to make the integrity of john stoffa seem like a distant memory. we're about to elect a really filthy sleaze. charlie dent warned us about him. callahan should be under indictment or in prison. he shouldn't be anywhere close to money ever again.

Jefferson Davis XVI said...

THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN!

Anonymous said...

Today's TV reporter states no way to even substantiate "free" care applicants income and specific groups are not required to file IRS returns.

Anonymous said...

The proposal to eliminate the 2.3% tax on medical devices is noble but hardly the job breaker some claim it to be if a Company is making in excess of 30% profit.

I support eliminating the tax IF there are caps on how much the products can be marked up. Thirty percent profit is excess when you consider the government regulates the fee other contractors can charge.

If Federal contactors can be limited to 10-12 percent fee, how can the medical industry charge in excess of 30%?

Anonymous said...

How does taxing medical devices for whatever reason do anything to make care more affordable? We really should have read the bill before voting on it. No wonder we're in this mess today. Poison roots. Poison tree. Poison fruit.

Anonymous said...

So Obamacare was rammed down our throats. Not one Republican was involved not were they allowed to be. Now they have had it and you wonder why they won't go along. The D's have taught us a valuable lesson over and over. It is just not in the nature of hard working family people to act this way. It is the children who usually stomp their feet and hold their breath until they get what they want. Moms and dads can teach their children better but these so called adults called the Democrats are nothing but bullies as evidenced by there lack of inclusion and the way they spend. Many R's are too frustrated to toss their hat in a ring with this behavior.

Anonymous said...

"...all but Peg Ferraro of the Republican candidates are tied to the Lehigh Valley Tea Party"

NOT TRUE. Peg was seen at a recent street fair in Northampton making a donation at the Tea party booth, and then sporting a new Tea Party sweatshirt draped over her shoulders at the Republican tent that same day. Perhaps you should ask around more. Peg seems to be trying to have her cake and eat it too!

donmiles said...

Posts like Footsoldier's are why Tea Party zealots are their own worst enemies: ignorant racist twaddle.

Anonymous said...

Take this to the bank. The Callahan team will win because they are better candidates "team wise" than the Brown team. You admit that yourself. The team is better. When you break the team down and go for individuals you gain some credibility in your categorizing candidates but team wise the Dems shine. None of them are tied to the TEA PARTY like the Republicans. The tea party nut jobs can't control the D'S and that is why the dems will be successful. Go to a Demo Rally and listen to the D's speak compared to the R's. Issues versus tea party crap. Take that to the bank.

Anonymous said...

8:25 - You seem to forget that the Affordable Care Act was modeled DIRECTLY from a proposal by the Heritage Foundation - a Republican think tank.

Anonymous said...

Well, we got the first in a series if emails from my employer.

All indirect staff are not to work more than 24 hrs.

Hiring freeze

Mandatory shutdown in December......more to come.


All thanks to REPUBLICAN OBSTRUCTIONIST. Vote them All out, especially the local tea party.

The Republican shutdown......A bigger Job killer than Obamacare will ever be.

Anonymous said...

don miles doesn't get the joke. he also bought a bridge recently.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Politics go in cycles. This "government stand down" is like a correction on Wall Street, or in a middle class household ,an austerity wake-up, no vacation , no movies and dinner and no new luxury cars. Personally ,It is my humble opinion ,that FRAUD will run on rampage alley as soon as OBAMACARE cranks up ,"the navigators", unlicensed by the state to deal with insurance will be into all sorts of off the wall violations,

Jonah said...

You wrote: "But like most Americans who believe in the democratic process, I am offended that some three dozen tea party Republicans would attempt to hold the country hostage because of their disdain for a law that withstood a constitutional challenge in a conservative Supreme Court"

Voter ID laws have been upheld by the courts as well, yet the Obama Administration continues to challenge these laws

And frankly it is an absurd argument to say you can't challenge something because "it's the law"...there would not be women voting, the civil rights movement, the current marriage law battle, etc. if that were a vaid argument to make

Peter J.Cochran said...

Bernie, What is the market for a "Certified Fraud Examiner"? Who hires them and pays the fee's,insurance companies?

Anonymous said...

Jonah @ 9:40 AM said "Voter ID laws have been upheld by the courts".

Jonah, on what planet? The Penn voter ID law was found UNCONSTITUTIONAL 3 times Dickwad! Look it up if you can read.

Anonymous said...

To get to the root question, will the shutdown help LV Dems?

I lean toward, "probably." The follow up question is "to what degree."

You seemed to hit on the two counties having different factors. Norco, you have a strong slate with a strong candidate at the top of the ticket. There is a strong narrative also and it boils down to Ron Angle is wildly unpopular. The D's are effectively saying, "we are the anti-Ron Angles," while the R's are saying a variety of things. Clear contrasts. The top of the ticket is simply a contrast in political class. John Brown is a nice enough guy but he is effectively the police dept scheduler for Bangor police while John Callahan has run the region's second largest and arguably most prosperous city during the great recession. The access to name recognition and resources is crazy. End of the day, the shutdown doesn't hurt D's with the moveable electorate. Strong R's won't be swayed by the shutdown. Some might stay home. A few D's that skip elections might be motivated to show up. Bottom line: in Norco, the strength of the top of the ticket, the resources and the strong narrative/message would likely give D's a strong victory any way. Here is the measurement to your question: if Peg loses, then we can probably say that the shut down had an impact. What the impact is, we can argue. It is probably a combo of suppressing R turnout, a small bump in D turnout and a really pissed off moveable block of Mod D/R and I's.

Lehigh County, you rightly point to the individual races murking things. We know this. Jones and Brace win. Duh. Dougherty has the edge in his race. The answer to your question, however, comes in different ways. In LC, you have two swing seats that are heavily contested by proven candidates (contrast to 2009 when the one candidate was damaged b/c of her husband's reputation and an unknown in another district). In these races, the R's are extremely conservative. One is a slash and burn budget hawk. The other just compared same sex partner benefits to giving money to my dog. It is entirely possible that the voters in these swing districts dump these incumbents. The alternatives are reasonable alternatives and they have strong political bases.

Bottom line in LC: a few hundred votes county-wide and a couple dozen votes in the two competitive districts could be the story. Will a damaged/demoralized R party play a factor? Probably more in LC than Norco.

How do we measure: if D's take 0/1 of 3 of the toss up races, we probably say the national stuff had no impact and that the individual races were decided by almost exclusively individual concerns. If D's take 2 of 3, we can probably say the national stuff had a some impact, but I can also be convinced that the local candidates were the drivers. If D's take all 3, we can say the national stuff was significant but still have room to argue that the R's were simply too extreme for their seats. If d's take all 3 and Dougherty sweats it out or loses, then national influences will be clear. If that happens, I'd be nervous as a PA R heading into 2014.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Must explain why I never much liked it.

Jonah said...

Anonymous 10:51

Instead of calling me names and losing your mind over a simple comment, perhaps you should do some research.

No ruling has been made on the PA Voter ID law, its implementation has simply been delayed until a ruling is made.

In 2008, in a challenge to Indiana's Voter ID law, The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can require voters to produce photo identification without violating their constitutional rights.

So maybe next time you should get your facts straight before telling others to check theirs

Anonymous said...

I think the fact that supporters of local Dem candidates are praying for ANY impact of the "Slimdown" on the local races is a good indication of where those races are.

People going to the polls in November will be informed voters, and will likely know that Tom Muller was the architect behind Lehigh county's 16% tax hike, and that John Callahan has run Bethlehem into the ground financially.

Those facts won't bode well for those running with them.

Anonymous said...

Spin all you want.

Meanwhile, Obama puts barbed wire around the World War II Veteran's Memorial.

Stay classy, Democrats!

Just Another "Dickwad" said...

@anon 10:51 - It appears that you are the "dickwad" who can't read. In what work of fiction did you "look it up" that the PA voter ID law was held unconstitutional three times? Judge Simpson simply delayed its implementation. It's uninformed, low-information sheep like you who threaten the future of this country.

Anonymous said...

Tom Muller will lose to Scott Ott by at least five points. Take it to the bank. Muller is not a Dem and Ott should and will point that out. he will rightly tie him directly to the huge Lehigh County tax increase.

Muller is an arrogant self-=absorbed ass that will explode as he usually does, Ott can just smile and collect the votes.

Lehigh County has had enough of Muller, the Cunningham lite candidate.

Occupy Kathleen Sebelius said...

Meanwhile, it's Day 4 and the website is down again. It's a cross between a grease fire and a pig fuck, according to JD Power and Associates Consumer Ratings. We're seeing steady improvement from WTF to FUBAR. I'm from the government and I'm here to help!

Love,
Kathy <3

Anonymous said...

Occupy Kathleen Sebelius said...

"We're seeing steady improvement from WTF to FUBAR. I'm from the government and I'm here to help!"

When we reach SNAFU, we'll be right in Reid and Pelosi's comfort zone.

Blue dog Dem said...

Stop calling it "ObamaCare" Bernie, it's the Affordable Health Care Act. You are becoming a puppet of Rupert Murdoch, the Tribune Company, and other conservative think tanks. Your ejection from the Lehigh Valley Tea Party was a red herring meant to disguise your deeply neoconservative leanings. The whole ruse of living in a squalid 1 bedroom hovel, driving a jalopy and eating beefaroni no longer fools the true blue Dems you claim to associate with.

Voting for Mittens was another attempt at casting yourself as a progressive moderate who can be bipartisan, the reality is your to the right of Strom Thurmond.

Bernie O'Hare said...

President Obama has himself embraced and identifies with the term Obamacare, so I will use it.

Anonymous said...

The funny thing about the teabaggers is their origins. They claim to be for limited government, keeping government out of our lives. When the Patriot Act was passed it was the greatest attack on the constitution in over a century. You lost many individual freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution. Where was the "tea party"? They were no where to be found. Even the "news" from Bullshit Mountain said if you have nothing to hide, why worry.

However, once the black guy got elected and said that we need to fix our healthcare system, they rolled out of their beds frothing at the mouth and baying at the moon, Zulu pictures a waving.

Interesting.

Anonymous said...

Blue dog Dem said...

Stop calling it "ObamaCare" Bernie, it's the Affordable Health Care Act.

"Obamacare", "ACA", what's the difference? A turd by any other name is still a turd. And it still stinks.

Anonymous said...

YO BO! Did Jesus Gregory have his hearing today?? Is he a free man? Is he still Graterford's most eligible Mediterranean manslab?

Occupy Quotas said...

Blacks with a differing opinion are branded Uncle Toms by liberals who are obsessed with colors and numbers and love to tell us what's racist or not. The president is half white. His golf game is half good. Fore!

Bernie O'Hare said...

3:31, I was told there would be no hearing today. I was in the courtroom, waiting for it, and an attorney set me straight.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, as a former Dem now long time Independent I don't think the Federal level will impact my vote. I am, as most, disgusted by
Washington and think they all need a paddling in the woodshed.

However, in the upcoming election I have made some decisions. With John Stoffa leaving, whomever is county executive will have no county government experience. Also the new people have yet to pick up on the operations and appear clueless at times. While Peg and Lamont have been around, I find Peg, while likable, even more confused today then she was when she started. As for Lamont, he is a disappointment on any scale.

So I will definite vote for Heckman and Seyfried. They are centrists that have a strong county knowledge base. Between them I feel we will get the most bang for our buck, even if we disagree on specific issues. They will also provide an excellent check on the new Admisntration. Since neither is running fir any other office, political ambition or fear of losing votes is not their concern.

As for the other three council members, I am not sure. Maybe Peg again. As to the others they I am not sure about. The Borzo McClure connection is troubling but the Republicans seem a bot dodgy on their agenda's. Phillips and O'Donnell are out, they are to far out there for local government. So my three are still up in the air.

As for Executive, probably Callahan based purely on experience.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Ok. It's 16;45 0n 04 Oct.2013. I say that this shutdown will be friendly to Republican's and Blue Dog Dem's. I'm sorry to dicker with you Bernie but I have faith in the American People for a correction in our direction. I will put out a BROWN sign in my front yard and Mayor Panto is right, No leadership in Washington ,D.C.The issue of voter ID's will be the LAW of the Land and voter fraud will subside in various states shortly. This my prediction ,So help me God!

Chris Miller said...

Anonymous 12:59AM
Thank you for your comment on Mrs. Ferraro. She is indeed clueless and has been for decades. Let me note that Peg is a nice lady but she is no a conservative in any party. She should not run on the Republican ticket. Were she a Republican she would continue to run

Peter J.Cochran said...

Mr. Miller I/m a big fan of yours ,Question is ,Is Peg complacent?

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I know two people I am voting for, what should I do about the other three for county council?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I've decided on Seyfried, Heckman, Hunter and Ferraro. I have one more pick to make.

Anonymous said...

Obamacare is about so much more then healthcare. Get a grip. This is the way to single payer where the government is in full control and for me I can afford an alternative. The rest of you deserve to swallow this poison pill. I feel sorry for those who did not vote for this and hope you all find an alternative. Unfortunately you'll need to have some extra money. There are things on this bill that will affect just about everyone. If it were just about healthcare for a few million and not free healthcare for illegals it would have been an inch on paper instead of what it is. Those who want it can have it.....

Anonymous said...

anon 4:39, please put that tin foil hat back on.

Anonymous said...

How can the GOP pick and chose wonders and losers? Such damn hipocryts. What purpose does this shut down prove when the GOP has hurt the private sector, killed jobs however will give back pay once this is over.


Rep Dent and Sen Toomey what about the private sector who have mortgages go pay and are being sent home with leave without pay?

Vote on the Senate bill and end this shut down. Stop picking winners and losers.

Shame on the Tea Party.