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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, February 15, 2016

Darth Voter's Fed Ed and Ramzi Haddad Problem

I told you last week that Pennsylvania's Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation, which oversees the Commonwealth’s electoral process, has opened an inquiry into the annual campaign finance report that State Rep. Mike "Darth Voter" Schlossburg filed for his fundraising and campaign expenses last year. He spent about $13,500 on himself, claiming expenses as reimbursements, without detailing the name and address of the person or entity paying, or the purpose of the expense for which he was seeking reimbursement. This violates state campaign finance laws, as Dart Voter should soon learn. But he has another problem with his campaign finances. This is a Fed Ed problem. It's also a Ramzi Haddad problem.

Darth Voter's $1,000 Fed Ed Problem

In his report, Schlossberg reports a $1,000 contribution to Allentown Mayor Edwin "Fed Ed" Pawlowski, made on June 24, 2015. Fed Ed initially failed to disclose this contribution, but in his amended July report, he acknowledges having received $1,000 from Schlossberg's campaign

After he suspended his campaign, Fed Ed's October report shows that he returned that contribution to Schlossberg, by check dated 7/27/15. But that return appears nowhere in Schlossberg's annual report. If the money was returned, this should have been reported. Schlossberg would also have $1,000 more than he reports.

It's certainly possible that Darth Voter never received the $1,000 returned donation. But this needs to be established, one way or the other. I am asking the Department of State, which has already opened up an inquiry into Schlossberg's campaign finances, to resolve this matter.

Darth Voter's $1,000 Ramzi Haddad Problem

I also am quite interested in a $1,000 contribution made by Ramzi Haddad to Schlossberg on 5/9/15. Haddad, you may recall, pleaded guilty last year to participating with Fed Ed in a scheme to deprive the citizens of Allentown of their right to honest services. In exchange for campaign contributions and other things of value, including food and drinks, Haddad was promised preferential treatment from the City in zoning and inspection matters.

Fed Ed announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate on April 17, 2015. According to the Haddad information, Fed Ed "determined that his best chance at winning his party’s support as a candidate for the United States Senate – and deterring other potential rivals for his party’s nomination – was to maximize his amount of campaign contributions for the June 30 reporting period, thereby demonstrating that his fundraising prowess had improved since an earlier, failed attempt at winning statewide office."

Shock and awe.

Under federal campaign finance laws, no one individual can contribute more than $5,400 to a federal candidate ($2,700 in the primary and $2,700 in the general). But Haddad was enlisted to raise $25,000 through third parties. In late June, Haddad delivered $21,500 to Fed Ed's campaign, and back dated several of these checks.

Is the $1,000 Schlossberg contribution one of these bundled checks? Did Haddad launder a $1,000 contribution to Fed Ed through Schlossberg? That's a question for the feds, not the state But a $1,000 contribution from Haddad to Schlossberg makes no sense. Schlossberg's district doesn't follow any of Haddad's major real estate - East Allentown, West Bethlehem, LVIP III near Airport, and properties in Easton area. It may include the former Agere plant.

One final concern about this $1,000 donation. Why has Schlossberg kept it? Haddad has pleaded guilty to giving bribes, and during the time of this donation. This is not a contribution from someone who is on the FBI subpoeana list. This is a contribution from an admitted criminal. Schlossberg's unwillingness to return this tainted money should tell us all we need to know about his ethics.

Updated 12:00 pm: Schlossberg Now Claims He Gave Haddad Money to Charity. - On his Facebook page, Darth Voter is now claiming he gave the Haddad money to charity. "Good morning, everyone! This recently came up so I thought it was worth clarifying: On 9/15, I made a $2,000 donation to the Mosser Village Family Center. This was all the contributions I have received from Ramzi Haddad. I thought it made more sense to donate the money to a vitally important non-profit than return it. I'd also encourage you to learn more about Mosser, which does fantastic work and needs your assistance as much as possible. http://www.mosservillage.org"

Schlossberg's annual report does list a $2,000 contribution to Mosser, but on 9/10. It fails to indicate that this is how he disposed of the Haddad contribution. For all I know, it could just as easily have funded other donees like Ed Pawlowski ($1,000), Citizens for a Better Allentown ($2,500), or any of a number of other expenditures, including some of the reimbursements he made to himself. Yet, he would have you believe he used tainted money to fund a charity, as though that excuses it. That's like giving money from a drug dealer to the church. It is still dirty money.

Darth Voter had an opportunity to do the right thing and he failed. Now that he's been caught, he has created a bullshit explanation that never appears in his annual report.

47 comments:

Robert Trotner said...

Clean out the stables! Support reform candidates including Ben Long (R) over Mike Schlossberg (D). Ben Long has studied the problem of the severe campaign finance abuse thst Schlossberg and others practice snd knows how to prevent it Vote for honest government for a change. If you're registered Republican, vote Long.

Anonymous said...

tilting at windmills again

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I know nothing of Schlossberg's true character and ethics, but it is abundantly clear, the execution of his duties in public office have been awful. Enough here to encourage voting someone different into that seat.

Fred Windish

Anonymous said...

Bernie
What does an Average Joe like this writer do if it wasn't for you? No time to search records and checks and laws that indicate this man may have broken the law.

Anonymous said...

Why has Schlossberg kept it?

Because he's a self centered greedy POS who thinks he's above the law of the land. Suffer you twit, you've caused enough political corruption thru your dishonesty!

Anonymous said...

McNeill has decided to keep his $1000 donation from Haddad too. I guess that is par for the course in Pawlowskiville.

Anonymous said...

If you're registered Republican, vote Long.

There's the problem. A Republican cannot win in this district! If Long was serious, he would have switched parties and run as a Dem. These gerrymandered seats make guys like this unaccountable in a general election.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"McNeill has decided to keep his $1000 donation from Haddad too. I guess that is par for the course in Pawlowskiville."

This is inaccurate. There is no contribution from Haddad to McNeill in 2015. There was a $1,000 contribution in 2014, but to be hinest, I was only looking at 2015. I don't think it's necessary for every politician to go back and return every dime this guy ever donated. But I do think donations made during the time that Haddad said he engaged in bribery would be suspect. That should include any contributions is 2015.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bernie
What does an Average Joe like this writer do if it wasn't for you? No time to search records and checks and laws that indicate this man may have broken the law."


Not all that long ago, I can recall newspapers would buy copies of every campaign finance report filed, and would have stories for several days beyond the deadline. I don't believe there was one story following the latest set of due dates beyond a story in The Morning Call noting that Fed Ed's federal report was late.

This is a job that should be done by newspapers, who have been decimated by staffing cuts over the years. I try to provide some coverage of these finance reports, but am focused on Northampton County.

Without this kind of coverage, I democracy will not be a democracy for very long.

Fortunately, many of the local reports are online, although it is hit and miss.

Anonymous said...

When you mention Sclossberg - think Jenn Mann.

Anonymous said...

Bernie PLEEEEEASE find another photo of Darth Voter. Every time I see that face it reminds me of times when I was so constipated it almost came out of my ears!

Anonymous said...

Hey Bernie!

You said
"In late June, Haddad delivered $21,500 to Fed Ed's campaign, and back dated several of these checks." - These checks were from who exactly? They couldn't be from him directly, is that correct? If you know they are bundled from Haddad, what is your source (at least by reference) an is there a detailed list of those checks garnered by Haddad?

"Is the $1,000 Schlossberg contribution one of these bundled checks? Did Haddad launder a $1,000 contribution to Fed Ed through Schlossberg? That's a question for the feds, not the state But a $1,000 contribution from Haddad to Schlossberg makes no sense. Schlossberg's district doesn't follow any of Haddad's major real estate - East Allentown, West Bethlehem, LVIP III near Airport, and properties in Easton area. It may include the former Agere plant." THis is very interesting and with your permission, I would like to ask Mike directly.

"One final concern about this $1,000 donation. Why has Schlossberg kept it? Haddad has pleaded guilty to giving bribes, and during the time of this donation. This is not a contribution from someone who is on the FBI subpoeana list. This is a contribution from an admitted criminal. Schlossberg's unwillingness to return this tainted money should tell us all we need to know about his ethics." I agree this should have been returned, I am unclear but again plan to ask.

As it is written, it certainly appears damning but there are two sides to every story and the truth is somewhere in between typically. You are not a fan of Mike so by default you are going to look for any criminal tie that you can and while as I said this is concerning. I am going to ask him directly.

Great info - thanks again Bernie!

Gina B.

Anonymous said...

Whether it is McNeill, Schlossberg, or Mackenzie...let's compare Haddad's address in recent years. 555 Union Boulevard, 6th Street in Whitehall...Career Center, charter schools, nursing home.....oh my. Who might be the ower?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Gina, I am not a Schlossberg fan bc this is the kind of thing I find whenever I look at his finances. We know that (1) he wrote out checks to himself for $13,500 in reimbursements without bothering to explain who he was reimbursing, in contravention of disclosure laws; (2) He failed to report receipt of a returned donation to Fed Ed in the amount of $1,000; and (3) He accepted $1,000 from someone who pleaded to bribery and failed to return that money.

The federal information to which Haddad pleaded does not detail each ot eh checks that Haddad bundled for Fed, so I do not know whether he laundered a $1,000 donation to Fed Ed thru Schlossberg.

You do not need my permission to talk to Schlossberg, but to really find out, you need to talk to Haddad, too. Given Schlossberg's finances, and his hollow explanation concerning the Haddad contribution, I think he is in this mess up to his eyeballs.

He is certainly ethically tone deaf.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, Mike has been public that he took the $2000.00 given to him by Haddad and donated it to Mosser Family. He told them why and what it was. He may not have detailed that well enough on his reports but if you look he made the donation just a few days after.

I believe him... As much as you want to hate on him do you really think he'd WANT to keep dirty money for THIS exact reason LOL It's not even logical....

Gina B.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"As it is written, it certainly appears damning but there are two sides to every story and the truth is somewhere in between typically. You are not a fan of Mike so by default you are going to look for any criminal tie that you can and while as I said this is concerning."

Gina, I think you need to recognize that you yourself have been making excuses for Schlossberg from the onset. By default, you are going to look for any way you can to justify his behavior. Please do so.

His ghost voting, self reimbursements, failure to report contributions, refusal to respond to my questions and taking tainted money from an admitted criminal all damn him in my book, and he does not help himself now by claiming he gave the dirty money to charity. Dirty money is dirty money. You should not taint another entity with it, assuming Schlossberg can be believed.

He is an ethical oilslick.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I believe him... As much as you want to hate on him do you really think he'd WANT to keep dirty money for THIS exact reason LOL It's not even logical."

Gina, I am glad you like him, but you are looking for excuse for an ethical oilslick. Schlossberg needs to go. He is no different than Fed Ed or Mike Fleck and his campaign finance reports make that abundantly clear. Nothing personal. You ask whether he'd want to keep dirty money. If I kill someone in exchange for $2,000 and give the money to the Church, it is still dirty money. No church would accept it if it knew I was giving it dirty money. Do you think a charity wants to keep dirty money? The money should be returned.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"He told them why and what it was."

Really,I'd like to hear this from the Mosser family.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Email, outgoing, to Mosser Village: "Dear Adrienne,

When Schlossberg gave you $2,000 in September, did he tell you it was dirty money that he had received from someone who had just pleaded guilty to bribery?"

I have also placed a call.

Anonymous said...

Give it a rest, Bernie. The guy is untouchable and would be re-elected by a landslide if he ran today. He's a perfect representation of his legislative district.

Charlie Sch said...

http://www.mosservillage.org/presidentmessage.html

If you have unknowingly received tainted money, the best response is to donate it to charity, not to give it back to the guy who just plead guilty. The Mosser Family Center has been threatened with closure. They provide after school programs, senior activities and a food bank, health care services, and clothing distribution, among other activities.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"If you have unknowingly received tainted money, the best response is to donate it to charity, not to give it back to the guy who just plead guilty. The Mosser Family Center has been threatened with closure. They provide after school programs, senior activities and a food bank, health care services, and clothing distribution, among other activities."

I completely disagree. You do not solve the receipt of tainted money by giving it to another unsuspecting person, as i suspect happened here. I don't believe Schlossberg ever disclosed to Mosser that he gave them dirty money. This undermines Mosser's credibility and is also bad for good governance and democracy.

Incidentally, your link to a president's message provides no indication that Mosser knowingly received dirty money. I have emailed and called Mosser, and have not heard back. Gina claims that Schlossberg disclosed to Mosser that he was giving them dirty money. i do not see that in his Facebook message, nor can I confirm that from anyone there.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Psalm 62:10: "Do not trust in extortion or put vain hope in stolen goods; though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them."

Proverbs 29:24: "The accomplice of a thief is his own enemy; he is put under oath and dare not testify ... ."

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I am simply on the side of fairness. I can't for a single reason with a campaign balance of his think why he would WANT to keep it... again it's not logical. My like or dislike for anyone - including you or him isn't at play here. I like you both very much and stay rather quiet on matters relating to him. I decided that on this one it was important enough to ME to check on myself. You can believe what you will, he has his story, you have your interpretation. I choose to believe that no matter what he may or may not have done, that in this case he donated the Haddad money just like he said....

Gina B.

Anonymous said...

Seems the stuff he's spreading on Facebook is as thick as the stuff he posted in the hopefully gone and quickly forgotten Political Fails (damn republicans) blog/book-selling advertisement.
Shut down; no post over three weeks now. YAY!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Gina, you have defended Schlossberg from the beginning and have sent me messages claiming to be pro-Schlossberg. So please let's not stake out a moral high ground. In a prior comment, you represent tgat Mosser knew it was getting tainted money and was fine with it. How do you know that? From him? I doubt very much that Mosser knew it was taking this money and am trying to find out. In fairness. My story about Schlissbergcalsobreports tgat he failed to account at all for $1,000 received from Fed Ed in Jiky. Did you ask about this lapse? In fairness. Did you seek an explanation for his $10,500!in reimbursements? In fairness. Or his ghost vote on a critical budget bill tgat violated house rules. I can say, in fairness, that you create excuse after excuse for bad behavior, the end result is bad government. This is the same guy who did everything Fed Ed wanted as a Council member, including Delto Thermo. In fairness, he is an ethical oil slick. wake the hell up! For too long, Allentown Democrats in office have helped no one but themselves. This is largely bc people like you have let them. You need to realize that these people are not Democrats but crony capitalists.

Anonymous said...

I thought it made more sense to donate the money to a vitally important non-profit than return it.

This only makes sense... if you are trying to hide something.

Anonymous said...

Schlossturd must go. It baffles me that people vote for this clown. Jenn Mann protégé. Wonder how dirty her closet remains. Both are despicable people who served their constituency by padding their pockets as a top priority.

Bernie O'Hare said...

She was his mentor, not TI or Don Cunningham, as incorrectly claimed by some anons. Jennifer Mann engaged in precisely the same kind of ethical quagmires as her underling. She was never really scrutinized, either.

Anonymous said...

We MUST start looking for honesty and integrity in our government representatives, NOT simply political party label!

Far too much nonsense like this happening. A lazy electorate enables this decay.

Fred Windish

Bernie O'Hare said...

Or worse, an electorate too willing to look the other way because "he's done some good."

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Not to be a pest, but you kind of used those Scripture passages in the wrong context. Those don't particularly fit this situation.

If I was sitting in the confessional and a situation like this arose, it would be a moral conundrum: who to make restitution to. The proper thing would be to call the D.A.'s Office and see if there is restitution to any victims. If something would preclude such an instance of occurring (like getting you in further trouble or loosing your anonymity), then to donate the monies to a charity, would not be morally wrong, only if you could not give it to a victim as restitution. It happens all the time, it is called an act of charity and order of goods through alms giving, even if the money comes from a bad source (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1780 and 2401.) If you would like to quote from something, I would suggest The C.C.C.'s 2407-2414, especially 2409.

Peace be with you.

Bernie O'Hare said...

So if a drug dealer wanted to give you $1 million he got from selling heroin, you'd take it?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Or a hitman wanted to give you $1 million fro contract kills, you'd take it?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Nice to hear from you, by the way. I was starting to worry.

Anonymous said...

Actually, he would be giving it to the Church. Especially if it is not in envelope, wouldn't know where it came from. The same way the PA Lottery and the PA Wine and Spirit Shoppe do not know where the cash comes from. But if a hit man or a heroin dealer came to up to me with a cash and said, "Father, I just scored big on this illegal scam. Take this cash.", who in their right mind would take that money?

But then again, the Church and most charities are a hospital for sinners? So most money that flows through those institutions, could probably argued, to some degree, has been receiving money from people of low moral character. But then again, I don't judge them ... Where did Judas Iscariot's money come from. Jesus made sure that money went to all kind of causes?

Hopefully, Dat's A.C.C. will be Becahi!

Bernie O'Hare said...

We'll find out Friday. Another Holy War!

Anonymous said...

How approachable is Mann while at the Hamilton? She has guts showing her face in public. Rumor is she has a nice big new house too. Truly representative of Allentown politics.....

Anonymous said...

I drove by the Hamilton last night, Valentine's Day
9:00.
The place looks deserted.
Tick Tock...

Anonymous said...

There needs to be a petition circulated by voting democrats of Mike Schlossberg's Allentown district that will pledge to vote for any republican candidate running against him & who appears on the ballot on election day in November.

Anonymous said...

I am a D. I'm voting for Ben Long. Enough of Mike S. Nothing inspirational about him and he's corrupt.

Anonymous said...

"

However, you are exempt from your own admonishment? You condemn those you despise and protect those you love.

When have you been this "thorough" with Muller, Dent,Angle,Cunningham,Muller,Stoffa,Marcus,Jennings and the list goes in and on.

Your "investigations" lack the very moral compass you demand of those who question you.in fairness, that you create excuse after excuse for bad behavior, the end result is bad government."
And of course you will hide form this assertion.

Anonymous said...

"in fairness, that you create excuse after excuse for bad behavior, the end result is bad government."

For the above

Anonymous said...

11:32 am
Just maybe darth's forthcomming turd depicted also suffers constipation¿!)$ Think of it the game has begun, caining of the boil near the cyst, and zit on the spinkter to let lose the political juice flowwing from anal canals locally¿!)$ All local political parasites have infiltrated public funds that there will never be the trickle down effect into the areas were such funds are deservably needed¿!)$ This fictisious criminal enterprise has tere TENTicles in all facets of this dispersment process that has been skimming the funds corpratly for supposid administrational costs¿!)$

Anonymous said...

@4:47am

This is BO's blog. You don't like it, don't read it.

He is pointing out important news that the newspapers seemingly don't cover.

@9:28pm

Id vote for a chimp over Schlossturd.

Anonymous said...

schloss giving dirty money to Moser reminds me of the days when the mob would build playgrounds for the kids and have a ribbon cutting ceremony with the local politicians at the park.
They would have fireworks displays on July 4th and dress up as Santa and hand out gifts to the kids.
I even remember the boys in south Philly handing out turkeys for Thanksgiving and hams on Easter.
Nothing like using dirty money to sway the opinions of the local people,politicians and businesses.
Dirty is dirty.
This guy needs to be tried and thrown in jail If he is this careless about following the rules, just think about what we "don't" know about his escapades.
Had enough Allentown ? Or, will we keep voting in the same party represented by the same criminals, with different faces, with the same agenda ? This is the real definition of insanity. Nothing ever changes with this crew. Time to clean house.