As most of you know, I'm a bottom-feeding blogger. I have spies everywhere, hiding in closets and going through garbage. Sometimes they eat it.
As a result of my illicit activity, I know that Lehigh County Republicans did a poll in early September. At that time, Exec candidate Scott Ott had an 8-point lead. But that was before the government shutdown, which was caused by people who think exactly like him. That was before Tom Muller, who is not a politician, started making his own voice heard. That was before Ott began lying in campaign literature about cutting spending that actually increased, something that both I and The Morning Call have noted. This was before Ott refused to respond to Morning Call or Patch questions, although he had time to appear with right wing radio host Bobby Gunther Walsh. This was before many Allentonians felt that Ott insulted them at a NAACP debate.
According to an unscientific sampling, it's now a dead heat. The real poll is tomorrow. My prediction is that Muller will win, but only if he is able to nudge the Democrats to come out and vote.
Party boss Wayne Woodman and Ott have tried to portray Muller as the "business as usual" candidate, whatever that means. The Wizard of Ott, in contrast, has a "reform" team. It would more appropriately be called a counter-reform team. It's one we've seen during the Great Depression. At that time Herbert Hoover was QB, and refused to lift a finger for starving Americans. "Have they no family? Have they no church connections, no neighbors that love them?" President Hoover might have asked. But it is actually Scott Ott who said those words, when he advocated against a grant to feed our needy seniors.
This is reform?
This thinking has awoken a sleeping giant. Though Democrats outnumber Republicans in Lehigh County, they rarely turn out to vote in municipal races. But that has changed as Lehigh County Commissioners have threatened to stop block grants to help low-income communities.
In Emmaus, Commissioners threatened to send $209,000 in CDBG pass thru funds back to the federal government rather than use the money to make much-needed repairs to the borough triangle. That was enough to prompt Emmaus Council member Wes Barret to run. He'll win, too.
Lehigh County Democratic volunteer Bar Johnston tells me that, for the first time ever, the Democrats actually have their act together.
Pawlowski has his big knockers out, too. This weekend, over 200 of them knocked on doors, reminding Allentown residents to vote for King Edwin and Tom Muller on Tuesday.
Michael Donovan, who opposes Pawlowski, is making his last-minute push as well with a motivated volunteer base.
Will this increase turnout in Allentown? If it does, just a little, Muller wins.
In the meantime, GOP party boss Wayne Woodman is playing the very "business as usual" that he claims to despise. He is doing his best to suppress turnout. There are no Republicans running for City Council or Mayor. Two primarily Allentown Districts in the Commissioner races have been ceded to the Democrats. Woodman did discuss the Lehigh County races in a radio interview this weekend.
One Republican campaign manager, the smartest guy I know next to Shawn Millan, tells me Ott is in trouble. His campaign is pressuring party people to put up Ott signs without success. Instead of hundreds, he has about four people who will actually knock on doors for him. Many solid Republicans are turned off by Ott's shady financials, which funnels Woodman and Scheller money through a PAC in Harrisburg.
They've already had to have Charlie Dent endorse Ott twice.
Ott nearly beat Don Cunningham four years ago, but nobody really knew Scrappleface and were voting Republican to register disdain for Obamacare. Now, all they know about Ott is that he was once president of an elementary school PTA, and that he pushed hard for reassessment.
Don Cunningham warned that older people in older homes in the boroughs could be hurt by moving so quickly, but was ignored by those who know better. And guess what? These older people on fixed incomes were hurt. This issue has come up in some of the school board races.
Ott sponsored this reassessment.
At every opportunity, Ott and his so-called reform team have voted against seniors, low-income residents and county workers in an attempt to restore Herbert Hoover's vision.. I believe Lehigh County voters have finally seen through the nonsense. Barret will win over Mike Schware. Muller will win with just a small spike in Democratic turnout. Tom Creighton may survive, although Bill Leiner is running hard.