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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Mike Schlossberg - Darth Voter

On Christmas Eve, I stole a story first published in The Patriot News about Lehigh Valley State Rep. Mike Schlossberg. It seems that State Rep Daryl Metcalfe watched as Mike Schlossberg did a bit of ghost voting, casting at least one vote for an absent fellow Democrat in a crucial budget matter. This is a violation of state house rules, and Metcalfe vowed he would take it up with the House Ethics Committee.

WFMZ-TV69 decided to steal this story, too, and contacted Schlossberg. Like his Mentor Fed Ed, Schlossberg has ignored requests from me for public comment. He's ignored constituents on his official Facebook page, too. But when a TV news station with a much wider audience than yours truly wanted to know what's going on, he could no longer hide.

I'd expect a normal person to act contrite and claim he simply didn't know what he was doing. I could see him blaming an Evil Twin who did it while his head was turned the other way.  Instead, Darth Voter was arrogant. He called it "much ado about nothing," a "common practice," and said it is "expressly allowed" in the Senate.

He also blamed everything on "tea party extremists."

Last time I checked, neither I nor The Patriot News are "tea party extremists." Daryl Metcalfe, the person who actually saw Darth Voter in action, is certainly a tea party enthusiast. But he's not the one who was ghost voting. That was Schlossberg.

The rule states, "No member shall be permitted to vote and have his or her vote recorded on the roll unless present in the hall of the House during the roll call vote." There is no exception in this rule for members who wish to vote against the tea party agenda.

Is it common practice?

It's not supposed to be. In fact, under House rules, a state rep must vote if he or she is at his desk when a matter comes up. He is unable to vote "present."

There's good reason for this requirement. You see, if a legislator votes, he is considered present and is entitled to claim per diems. The complaint over a "common practice" that Schlossberg derides as "much ado about nothing" is one that enables state legislators to rip off taxpayers by claiming per diems while sitting on a beach. That may not mean much to him, but it matters to those footing the bill. As Common Cause Executive Director Barry Kauffman noted way back in 1998, "Each time the rules are flagrantly violated, it breeds more violations. It breeds contempt for the whole system."

Schlossberg, who claimed $60,857 in expenses in 2014 on top of his $85,338.65/year salary, is hardly one to be concerned that legislators are taking too much from the citizens. He doesn't think much of them, and in fact disparages them for spending too much time watching TV.

Is ghost voting "expressly allowed" in the Senate?

In a word, No. In the Senate, all votes are roll call votes. If a State Senator is going to miss his vote, he advises the leader of his party how he intends to vote, and the leaders honor those wishes.

After reading Darth Voter's arrogant and dishonest explanation to WFMZ-TV69, I can only guess at what he's said to Miked Fleck.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can't you find a less stupid photo of Schlopsberg? Maybe one that could be photoshopped with the Darth Vader cloak?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I did that, but like the one I have up better. It captures him.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bernie O'Hare said...

Don't post comments like that. What's wrong with you?

Anonymous said...

The kid is a liar, and a caricature of a machine politician.
Do visit his FB page, it's absolutely precious��

Anonymous said...

Two-Vote Mikie is a piece of shit from the word go. I feel sorry for his lovely wife.

Anonymous said...

FedEds best friend.

Anonymous said...

What is a matter with you. You got mad at the wooden hat pictures of Abe Atiyah calling it cruel, yet here you are with your mocking pictures of this young fellow.
Can't you and your gang of haters leave this poor, young man alone. Hasn't he suffered enough at your hands? What he may have done is not that terrible. What you are doing is. Your actions reek of a mean old man with an axe to grind.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I called it biased, not cruel, by a paper that misleads its readers by claiming it is neutral. I make no such claim. I only try to be honest.

Anonymous said...

this dem rot exists all over the state and in particular in the Lehigh valley. the stench from allenswamp is overwhelming and seems to be getting worse every day in bedlam

Anonymous said...

Mr Schlossberg

Blaming your wrong doing on others just shows how much of a child you really are. If you want to see who is the cause of the dilemma you face, you shou8ld look in the mirror.

Your resignation is in order. Happy New Year.

One Radical "Tea Party" Member.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...

Blames it all on the Tea Party.

I wonder if he's your resident "bagger" commenter.

Anonymous said...

The poor young man is a liar and a cheat----part
of a rotting corrupt political machine.

Ray Nemeth Sr said...

I think , maybe I should hang around out there and push some buttons myself, if everyone is doing it.

Anonymous said...

Eight days after the event and Channel 69 does a story. You were the lead reporter and everyone who cares about Allentown politics knows that. Channel 69 really isn't a news station at all. More a press release and garden story station. You did this story or many of us would have never learned of Schlossberg's conduct. He is a disgrace to his profession. He was handed this state house seat and has only taken advantage of perks. One thing voters should demand in 2016 is that all state officials provide receipts for all expenses as someone here said a few days ago.

Anonymous said...

He called it "much ado about nothing," a "common practice," and said it is "expressly allowed" in the Senate.

Schlossberg serves in the House.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous Anonymous said...
Two-Vote Mikie"


Good name.

Anonymous said...

"Each time the rules are fragrantly violated, it breeds more violations. It breeds contempt for the whole system."

Yes, it does stink but not sure it "fragrant".


VOR

Anonymous said...

First day to circulate petitions is Jan 26th. The only way he can be held accountable is at the ballot box. If nobody runs against him in the Democratic primary it doesn't matter because a Republican cannot win this seat.

Anonymous said...

All of us understood there would be 'some' sleazeball, self-serving politicians in office, local and national. But, the problem is clearly bigger than we imagined. We MUST move these so-called public servants out of office frequently. It's time to put new people in place. BOTH parties need a good refresh. Make THIS you New Year's Resolution. What's to lose?

Fred Windish

Anonymous said...

Awaiting editorials demanding that he resign. Will I have to wait long BO ?

Anonymous said...

When I read the WFMZ piece I was immediately struck by the arrogance of Darth Voter. How dare you little people (Tea Party Extremists) question the methods of those who govern your lives. The next play will be to claim that he was misquoted in the WFMZ article.

Yes he's a family man. Yes he is kind to the infirm. Yes he is fighting for the little guy. And on and on. All of these talking points are a calculated gesture to detract from the fact that he did something wrong.

His failure to completely own this is a tell. He is of limited integrity and practices the politics of win at any cost with no regards to rules or laws. Rules and laws are for the little people.

Anonymous said...

What does the Lehigh Valley LGBT have to say about their representative?

Monkey Momma said...

So...if Schlossberg didn't do that ghost vote, what would the status of the budget be right now?

Monkey Momma said...

"The vote was concerning the compromise budget that had bipartisan support, but was vehemently opposed by a few tea party extremists who would rather see government grind to a halt than do their job. This is the only reason this routine practice is now being questioned." --- Schlossberg's quote in WFMZ

I cannot believe this defense. He is literally saying, "Hey, everyone else is doing it." And what about Daley saying he NEVER authorized this???

THE ENDS DO NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS! Either Harrisburg is so corrupt that voting itself is useless (probably true) OR Schlossberg himself is so corrupt as to not realize the outrageousness of his actions. This points to a true need to change what is going on in Harrisburg. It's OUTRAGEOUS and offensive to me, as a voter.

And guess what? I'm like Mike! I think he's a nice guy. I thought he was kind of a dopey dog follower, but it would seem now that he has learned what it takes to survive in Harrisburg. I don't like it one bit. It's a real problem. Why is this story buried???? This should be front page news across all local media outlets! The entire vote was altered because of what Schlossberg did!

Monkey Momma said...

Wait a minute - one more thing - it seems that Mike turned off the ability to leave comments on his FB page. And, he seems to have deleted many questions about ghost voting that appeared in comments? Am I right about this?

Anonymous said...

What else is Sch'loss' hiding or deleting? RTK regarding his email sure would tell us another story I bet...

Anonymous said...

He has burner phones like his pal FedEd!

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
What the hell is "much ado about nothing" suppose to mean¿!($ Just yet another crime against humanity commited and ommitted by the local news media outlets corrigrahphised¿!($

Once there is some truth to what is reported with out the agenda twist¿!($ The circus has enough rope to hang em all and hang em high¿!($
redd
patent pending

Bernie O'Hare said...

"What else is Sch'loss' hiding or deleting? RTK regarding his email sure would tell us another story I bet"

You bet wrong. Legislative emails are exempt from RTK, or i would have filed long ago.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Wait a minute - one more thing - it seems that Mike turned off the ability to leave comments on his FB page. And, he seems to have deleted many questions about ghost voting that appeared in comments? Am I right about this? "

I just visited his state rep Facebook page, where i posted a comment and also sent him a message. My comment is still there. So is Fegley's and a few others. I also notice two notes from others about ghoist voting. So I would say he has not deleted and you might be looking at his personal page.

https://www.facebook.com/RepSchlossberg/

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Why is this story buried???? This should be front page news across all local media outlets! The entire vote was altered because of what Schlossberg did! "

I thought the WFMZ-TV69 coverage was pretty good and will reach far more people than The Morning Call. I have no idea why it is not being covered in the papers bc it certainly is a story. The reporter who covers Harrisburg has reported on the ghost voting without naming Schlossberg, but his story downplays what is a violation of House rules. That, of course, is bias, something the paper will deny.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"So...if Schlossberg didn't do that ghost vote, what would the status of the budget be right now? "

The measure would have failed. It was a crucial budget vote, not the petty matter Schlossberg dishonestly pretended it was.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Yes he is fighting for the little guy"

Unless the little guy is Bennett, Butz or JB Reilly, Schlossberg is fighting for the wealthy while pretending otherwise. He is a phony.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Awaiting editorials demanding that he resign. Will I have to wait long BO ?"

'Till Hell freezes over. The Morning Call does not do editorials. Bill White can't really write about this unless someone from his own paper covers it, and that seems increasingly unlikely.

Bernie O'Hare said...

VOR, I corrected my typos. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Little Two-Vote Mike is a phoney.

Rich Fegley said...

Schlossberg voted for the Delta Thermo Energy incinerator, just as Pawlowski and Marcel Groen instructed him.

The FBI is officially investigating the Delta Thermo deal. Pennsylvania is heavily corrupted and the FBI is about to expose Allentown and the State of PA. Shameful.

Schlossberg is not the "nice guy" he makes himself out to be. Just one of Marcel's minions.

Anonymous said...

Say what you want, he has been a true friend to the Mayor.
He has stood by the man when others deserted him.

Anonymous said...

Mike was endorsed by all the major players in the Lehigh Valley. So what does that say about you and them?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Oh I see. The "major players." We must all bow our heads and follow. THanks for correcting us.

Anonymous said...

How safe is he in his seat?

Dennis P said...

Come on men and ladies quick arguing and have a Pearson Mint Pattie on me . That's what I gave out in 2006 when I ran for an open seat in the PA legislative district 133... During that election the 6 East Allentown voting which previously stood together in the 131 PA legislative were divided three ways with 1 district still remaining in the 131 PA legislative district, 3 voting districts tied to the 135 Pa legislative district and 2 voting districts shifting over to the 133 Pa legislative district. In that election I succeeded in winning just these two voting districts over the three other candidates. Which was an achievement because these candidates did a lot of mailing in these in attempt to embarrass me in the area I lived in. They failed, but I suffered criticism that I took votes away from Rosado and Rybak who was also contesting Joe Brennan. So it happened that when Brennan a few years later got himself in a domestic situation he resigned from the seat. Now having won 2 voting precincts in his district and still in the district I could have applied for that position. But as it developed there was to be another redistricting and since my district was scheduled again to change I was disqualified for apply for that open position because I couldn't run in that district the next election. But what further developed was a lawsuit by an Republican individual who is now on the County Commissioner prevented redistricting from taking place in 2012 and delayed it to 2014 . So as it happened Mike Schlossberg had a free ride in 2012 and 2014 because in 2014 the decision to allow redistricting became very late thus upsetting any plans of anybody in Allentown wards 14-1, 15-1, 15-2,15-3 AND 15-4 to run. Now that is the political situation I had to deal with all these years. Plus mean-spirited comments not based on the issues but based on meanness.

All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.”

― Sophocles, Antigone

As we stand today, the political situation in this City of no limits is a mess . That is because a few authorized officials in this City of no limits apparently went beyond their authorized limits to accomplish certain public policy.And in the process have exposed themselves to disclosure, embarrassment and additional repercussions. . .Unfortunately for the public there too will be consequences for the behavior of their political leaders exercising their powers beyond authorized limits

As leader of a grass roots representation organization, my mission is to take a bite out of crime and serve as a spokesperson for the neighborhood. It is not our mission to question vigorously the policies or value system of our leaders . What we must do is show respect for our political leaders until such point they expose themselves as doing evil In regard to our political leaders, we are trusting that they as good men would yield when they realize their current course is wrong, and commence repairs to the evil they have apparently have wrought.

That is a message I give any politicians - Republicans included --- And if our current State Representative is mixed up with the past actions of the Allentown Administration , He should take my above advice.


Anonymous said...

I worked w schlossberg at the chamber and he is not nice nor smart nor for the little people, he is back stabbing, dishonest and out for his own good. He had Ianelli as his best man and trust me, he plays the game well and learned from the best!

Anonymous said...

^ I trust you.

Anonymous said...

You are right 6:11, Ianelli, Pawlowski, Mann, Cunningham, you can put them all in the same bag. They know how to game the system and taught this kid well.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, it is not we should bow our heads and follow, we the people should bend over and let these political parasites kiss our asses as they are being taken to the pokey in cuffs¿!($

Thank you and Happy Easter!!!
redd
patent pending

Anonymous said...

^ I'm forced to agree.

Anonymous said...

How much of this hate for Mike is because of his passion for the LBGT community? So much hate for different people. Bi-sexuals, gays, lesbians why so much hate?

Bernie O'Hare said...

You got me. This isn't about an arrogant state rep who actually admitted to violating state house rules and voted for someone without his permission. It's really about the LGBT movement.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
How much of this hate for Mike is because of his passion for the LBGT community? So much hate for different people. Bi-sexuals, gays, lesbians why so much hate?

4:29 AM

What. There are no LBGT House members?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
You are right 6:11, Ianelli, Pawlowski, Mann, Cunningham, you can put them all in the same bag. They know how to game the system and taught this kid well.

7:34 PM

Agree. Anyone living in the Lehigh Valley 10 years and more knows this to be so.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dennis Pearson,
Driving on Hsnover Avenue into Bethlehem, the landscape sadly reeks of city hall decisions.

Chris Casey said...

I love the kid, but this Ghost voting action truly disappoints me. waiting to see what he has to say about it, and the longer he takes to respond, the worse it is going to look. We have serious problems in our state government, and we need honorable serious people to address them. It is easy to point at the tea partiers and point a finger, but hypocrisy if we don't look in the mirror and accept our own missteps. I hope Mike addresses this soon, time, and his credibility, have almost completely slipped away.

Anonymous said...

Stick a fork in him.