About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, March 21, 2016

Shapiro's Pay-to- Play Slammed in Montgomery County

People in the Lehigh Valley are waking up to the evils of pay-to-play, which has spawned a federal investigation into political corruption in Allentown and Reading. But not Josh Shapiro. This Democratic candidate for Attorney General has clearly benefited from County vendors. Today, at the Montgomery County Courthouse, Morganelli has called on the County Controller to audit Shapiro's campaign finances:

I am here today in Montgomery County to compare Josh Shapiro's rhetoric to his actions and conduct. I am also here, as a first step, to ask the Montgomery County Controller to look into the relationship between campaign contributions to Commissioner Josh Shapiro from vendors who have been awarded lucrative contracts with Montgomery County. An audit is in order as first step to fully identify all county vendors who have been solicited by Josh Shapiro, and who have dumped thousands of dollars into his campaign coffers either immediately before, or immediately after Shapiro has voted on awarding county contracts to these same vendors.

In this campaign to date, and in the forums we have participated in, Josh Shapiro likes to lecture everyone about ethics and integrity. He brags about his so-called "integrity agenda " for Pennsylvania. He says that he will adopt a gift ban that will forbid an official from accepting even a free cup of coffee so as not to be influenced with respect to his public duties. He says that even if none of the little gifts a public official may accept are intended to influence public policy, that such practises "appear suspect" and must be stopped. He says he will lead by example.

But as I have pointed out in debate after debate, Josh Shapiro does not practise what he preaches. His rhetoric does not match his conduct. He runs around with ethics and integrity on his sleeve, but where is that when it comes to his own conduct? Are the folks of Montgomery County paying attention to what is going on right here under this roof? Are they aware that Josh Shapiro wants to ban state officials from accepting a free cup of coffee, but at the same time, here in Montgomery County, Josh Shapiro has no problem at all soliciting campaign contributions from special interests who he then awards a lucrative county contract. Let's look at the facts:

McCormick Taylor
* February 20, 2015 - $2500 contribution to Shapiro

* March 6, 2015- Shapiro votes for a $400,000 contract award to McCormick Taylor for engineering services

And another $1,000 from a principal of McCormick on March 7,2016

Matt McTish ( McTish, Kunkel Associates)
* June 18,2014- Shapiro makes the motion and votes for $1 million dollar contract for construction inspection services

* February 23, 2015- Shapiro accepts $5,000 from Matt McTish
Exelon Corporation- energy company in Chicago/subsidiary is Constellation Co.
* June 19, 2014- $2.4 million dollar contract awarded

* February 19, 2015- Shapiro accepts $5,000 contribution from Exelon

And more recently, Exelon PAC contributed another $2500 to Shapiro on March 7, 2016.
PECO Energy Co
* October 15, 2015- PECO awarded a $73,896 contract

* October 19,2015- Shapiro accepts $1,000 contribution/ he had previously received a $500 contribution on 1/19/15
Gannet Fleming- engineering services
* February 18,2015- Shapiro accepts a $1,000 contribution

* October 15,2015- Gannet awarded a $285,400 contract
Aetna Inc
* January 15,2015- Aetna awarded a $2 million dollar contract for dental services

* March 20, 2015- Shapiro accepts $2500 fro Aetna PAC
Allan Myers
Between 2012 and 2015 Shapiro accepted $30,000 in campaign contributions from the head of Allan Myers Construction Co. Myers was awarded an $11.5 million contract for highway work in Montgomery County- a contract Shapiro voted to increase by $3.4 million in August of 2014.
The aforesaid information was gathered in about an hour of time comparing campaign finance reports filed by Shapiro with Montgomery County contract awards and minutes of commissioner meetings. Josh Shapiro is worried about a public official accepting a free cup of coffee. He says such an incidental gift "... appears suspect and we must put a stop to it." But he doesn't think this pattern of awarding lucrative contracts to vendors and then either right before or right after having his campaign coffers filled with cash by these vendors is a problem. Josh Shapiro needs to answer to this. Today, I am asking Josh Shapiro to come clean. I am asking him to address this directly, not through some spokesperson or paid mouthpiece. I am asking him to disclose all of the other vendors doing business with Montgomery County that are also depositing campaign cash into his bank account. As I have said, I am also asking the Montgomery County Controller to audit this- to place a big flash light on what Josh Shapiro is doing.

Josh is great at giving lofty speeches and lecturing everyone else on ethics and integrity. Meanwhile, he has hand out to vendors who have to have his vote and support for work in Montgomery County. Josh voted on all these contracts and never once disclosed that he was in bed with these vendors-- that they were giving money to him right before or right after the award of these lucrative contracts. He could have even abstained, but he didn't. This is hypocrisy of the greatest degree. When will Josh address this?? When will the press stop promoting the Josh Shapiro fairytale that he is some kind of boy scout. The truth is, his self described description on his Facebook page as a politician is accurate. He is nothing more than a typical politician. If Josh wants to adopt an "integrity agenda", why doesn't he start here in Montgomery County and ban campaign contributions from vendors doing business with the county? Why doesn't he? Because the rules do not apply to Josh.

Full Disclosure: I support John Morganelli for AG and have made a small contribution.

Updated 10:15 pm:  The Morning Call has picked up on Morganelli's accusations. The Shapiro campaign has responded by claiming that he gave Montgomery County an ethics policy and is fighting patronage. He does not appear to respond to Morganelli's very specific accusations.

25 comments:

michael molovinsky said...

a fuller disclosure might consider the in kind value of these posts

Anonymous said...

Morganelli is helping elect Zappalo. I think that's his true motive since he knows he doesn't stand a chance.

Anonymous said...

Have any of Saint Morganelli's staff contributed to his claim? Any prior to being hired or shortly after being hired?

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM, I have fully disclosed that I not only support amMorganelli, but have contributed to his campaign. This post is NOT an in-kind contribution. To qualify as such, it would be something that Morganelli sought. He did not. It is up to me to decide what I post. It might have some value as an independent expenditure, but since I make no money in this venture, I do not believe this has any monetary value. I don't recall you ever complaining when I wrote posts in support of you. If I was paid to blog, you'd have a point. But you know I'm not. Your snark is unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

and the censoring of the truth begins. Let another one rip Ohare

Bernie O'Hare said...

You have no right to use this blog to attack the physical attributes of another person.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, is the express times or the morning call printing morganelli's press release in full? is anybody besides you? if morganelli wanted to distribute it to several thousand people he would have to either pay to have it printed or send a mailer. for that reason i think that your posts have more value than your monetary contribution. however, feel free to delete the post. i came to the computer with that intention, not knowing of your 4:22 comment. feel free to delete the comment thread

Bernie O'Hare said...

Under MM's tortured logic, a newspaper's endorsement would have to be reported. That's just not the law.

George Ruth said...

By MM's logic every political blog, website (Drudge, Huffpo, et al) would have to be listed as contributors. However, it might be helpful if Bernie posted any reply from Shapiro. Let us have all the stuff.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't have to be told that I have an obligation to post Shapiro's response, regardless who I support.

michael molovinsky said...

the purpose of my original comment at 3:22 was an observation that this post, and others in support of morganelli, have much more benefit than o'hare's monetary contribution to morganelli. therefore, i thought that if bernie wanted to make a more complete disclosure, he might say that this blog has, and will continue to promote morganelli. however, despite using the term "in kind contribution" i didn't mean literally, that a dollar value should be assigned to the posts, or that morganelli should be declaring it on his financial reports.

Anonymous said...

Anybody care to guess why gas drillers and PA Corporations with HQ in Delaware aren't taxed? Check those corporate donations to all former and current Governors and lawmakers

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM, it amazes me that you would so poorly phrase whatever criticism you were trying to make, and after admitting your own choice of words was poor, you presume to tell me how I should write. You've said enough.

michael molovinsky said...

You own views are appreciated, especially if they differ from mine. this declaration above your comment box seems more theory than practice. i didn't admit, nor do i think that my choice of words was poor, i just didn't expect you to take it literally. however, if i was literal, i doubt that your claim of not making money is relevant. now, i've said enough

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM, I do welcome differing views, but do not welcome off topic rants having nothing to do with the topic (the AG race) and everything to do with me. I also do not welcome personal insults, and that is what your original and subsequent comments are. You first take a cheap shot, accusing me falsely of making an in-kind contribution. Then you insinuate it has value and should be reported as an independent expenditure. Then you go on to tell me I should write that I have and will continue to support Morganelli, and that you did not mean what you said. Then you say that you did mean what you said and we are all crazy for taking you literally. You even go so far as to insinuate that I am making money. The way you write, someone could draw that conclusion, even though it is completely untrue.

You like to pretend to become someone' pal for a time, and then turn on that person. You have done it to me several times. This is the last time.

I do agree on one point. You have said enough. This thread was supposed to be about the AG race, not me.

Anonymous said...

So from now on, apparently, you should not report any stories that benefit people that you support.

That would make for a pretty boring blog...

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Morganelli talk about his qualifications for AG instead of blasting another? Rule #1 when you are a candidate: Never mention your opponent's name. He has Shapiro's name all over the state with his rants. When is he going on TV with ads? Morganelli doesn't have the hutspa that Shapiro has, and he is making it easier for Zappalla, who doesn't have an opponent from the western part of the state. What is he hanging on to his campaign money for, 4 years from now, when he will run again. LOL This is why Morganelli will never get elected statewide.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Rule #2. If you are behind, attack the person ahead.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, how many different pay-to-play investigations is McTish-Kunkel going to be named in? This makes 3 (PTC, Allentown and MontCo)

Bernie O'Hare said...

That is correct. If you read the testimony in the Turnpike Comm'n, McTish admitted to what amounts to bribery. But amazingly, Kane did not prsecute him.

Anonymous said...

Did ANYONE get prosecuted from the PTC debacle?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, but not nearly so many as should have.

Anonymous said...

Politicians and PTC officials, but no consultants that I am aware of. In fact, those folks STILL receive contracts from the Commission.

Anonymous said...

@ 8:19: Chutzpah is the correct spelling for "hutspa".

Chilio Pepper said...

Pardon me, the time / comment was @11:39 PM