Monday, May 15, 2006

In race for T.J. Rooney's Seat, Brennan Fires Back!

In the past few days, Tony "the Hatchet" Rybak has gone negative in the race for the seat being vacated by T.J. Rooney, flooding voters with mailers falsely portraying Joe Brennan as hardened criminal. Former County Councilman Joe Brennan has taken the accusations in stride, posting humorous remarks to this and other blogs, and appearing on Angle's radio talk show as recently as yesterday. He's a class act who spoke highly of his remaining opponents, Jose Rosado and Dennis Pearson.

But Tony could not stop with character assassination. First, he claimed on his finance report (which is not so readily available) that he was somehow able to send out 40,000 pieces of mail for around $7,700.00. Yeah, right. Second, he ignored campaign laws that require his reports to be filed both with the state and in his own county, too. Third his mailings falsely tell voters that he paid for them when in fact it was his PAC. Strike three, you're out of here! He'd fit right in with the current crop in the land of midnight legislative payraises.

Today, Brennan calmly fired back with a letter to the Attorney General, who just happens to be the main man for enforcing our campaign finance laws. He must be busy these days.

Election Eve Update

Tony "the Hatchet" Rybak tells us on election eve that he's for "honesty and common sense in state government." That's nice. But his campaign finance report tells a different tale.

Rybak's campaign finance report still is not published on the state's Internet site, and he failed to file a copy with the county until late last week, well after the deadline. As Joe Brennan points out, sending out 40,000 pieces of mail for $7,700 defies common sense. And in a Morning Call article published yesterday, Rybak would have us believe that, although he uses a campaign consultant, he does not have to report that expense because he was not charged for the service.

Wrong answer, Tony!

If Rybak uses a campaign consultant who does not charge for services, it's a reportable "in kind" campaign contribution. But as it develops, Tony WAS charged. He acknowledges in the same story that he bought mailing lists, and that expense is not listed on his campaign finance report.

Also not listed, either as in kind contribution or paid expense, is the cost of Tony's web site or his AOL mailing address.

If Tony can't be honest in his campaign finance report, do you really think he'll be honest as a state rep?


jim said...

Shame on Rybak. He will single handedly hand this seat to the Republicans by destroying the Brennan campaign and allowing Rosado in through the back door. One has to wonder if this was not the intent of such an act and makes me wonder on his sanity. I feel so bad for Brennan, a genuinely good guy who always go to bat for the little guy who will lose this race based on one libelous mailing.

JFB said...

Brennan here. So far it has been 3 negative pieces. Unfortunately, all the sleeze adds are doing is driving voters from Rybak. Many believe he is toast.

jim said...

Hey Joe,
I'm out there stumping for you so hang in there and stay the high ground. Politics has always been a dirty game but we will remember how you refused to get drawn into this mud slinging contest and you are the better person for it. Good luck Tuesday and pound the streets in Catty and Coplay - I feel this is where the election will be won or lost !!!

JFB said...

Thanks Jim,
Been working the areas you mentioned quite hard. I agree with your assesment. I was shocked to read in the Morning Call today that I am now slinging mud with Rybak. He sends out doctored pictures of me behind bars, I inform the Attorney General that he has deceived the voters and broken campaign finance laws and somehow I am throwing mud. Tuesday night couldn't come fast enough!!!!

jim said...

Not surprising that the Morning Call would say such a thing. They endorsed Rosado basically on the basis that he is Hispanic and is against gangs and drugs. Seems an odd reason to endorse someone, especially someone with Jose's past history !!!! They also failed to mention that they employ Jose as an op-ed writer - one could argue that they should have disclosed this fact.
I notice a few more known Republicans in my neighborhood (West Bethlehem) have switched their registrations to support Rosado. Are you aware of this ?? Anyway, keep your head high and the best man will win.
Good Luck for Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

I think you are missing the point of why Rosado is the correct choice on Tuesday, and not Mr. Brennan. If we are truly looking to see change in Harrisburg the last thing you want is a political insider. Mr. Brennan is the handpicked choice of the local Democratic Party political insiders (Joe Long, John Calahan, etc.). What would make you think he is something different than what we have now in, his boss, Mr. Rooney?

Mr. Brennan has not said anything to make me believe that he thinks any different than any other political insider. He has not distinguished himself as anything other than status quo. If the status quo was what we want, what we need, then the uproar over pay raises, "tax reform," etc. would never have occurred.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hello Dave, Rosado is a fine guy and is running a clean campaign. He'd make a great state rep. But let me clarify something about Brennan. He is NOT the hand-picked favorite of strongarms like Joe Long. Joe Long and Rooney have been at odds for as long asd I remember, so why would Long want someone who worked for Rooney?

And while I'm at it, Joe Long is what is wrong with our local Democratic party - not T.J. Rooney.

It is because of local party "leaders" like Joe Long that local Dems could not field a candidate to run for Congress at a time the Rs are running scared. Now, we're stuck with a carpetbagger who gets all of his conhtributions from Jersey.

Two years ago, I did a stint as guest host for a talk show on WGPA. I wanted to do one show that was devoted entirely to Democratsd seeking office, followed by another for Rs, and a final show for third party candidates. I made repeated calls to Long, and they were ignored. When I finally did get through, he told me, "We're not interested in doing things like that." I placed another call to T.J. Rooney, and he had candidates available the very next day.

And I do think Brennan has distinguished himself from the status quo with a pledge on term limits, refusdal to accept any pay raises and a realistic property tax relief plan.

But I don't fault you for supporting Rosado. There are 3 good candidates.

jim said...

Surely you cannot go along with the "guilt by association" argument against Joe Brennan. In the one debate the candidates had Brennan made it very clear that he is not a clone of TJ and that he did not agree with everything TJ had done in the past.
Brennan has experience and will not have to learn on the job, he will go to Harrisburg well prepared to debate the issues and will do his best to represent ALL the people of the 133rd. He did an excellent job working with TJ and was always prepared to sit down with people and talk about concerns in the office whenever you went in to see him.
I'm sorry but I see Rosado as an opportunist who has plenty of talking points supplied by Rob Hopkins, his campaign manager but is clearly out of his league and only in this race to satisfy his rather large ego. I don't believe Rosado will represent ALL of the 133rd and will have a hidden agenda that will soon become apparent once he takes up his position.
However, when this race began I was honestly on the fence because I too, was fed up with the Harrisburg mess. What decided it for me was several conversations I had with people who had worked with Rosado in various schools in Bethlehem. It was a real eye opener and once I had confirmed the facts the choice was obvious. In the little time there is left I encourage you to seek out some teachers in Bethlehem and ask them what they think of Rosado - you will be amazed what you learn !!!

JFB said...

It sounds like your mind is made up, so I won't spend too much time on this. I have made central to my campaign ideas such as term limits, campaign finance reform, more open government (Lobbiest Disclosure) and have supported a constitutional convention. Too suggest that I'm no "different" than the status quo tells me you have been following this race wearing blinders. FYI, Joe Long has not been a supporter of mine.
He actively worked to recruit candidates to run against me. I have found out, in particular over the past number of yeasrs that I can see and learn more without wearing blinders. May I suggest you try the same?

Anonymous said...

Good to see you have taken what I hae to say seriously. Joe Long IS the problem. He is a man who only works for his own self interest and does NOT have the good of teh Party in mind. I blame Joe for us not having a candidate for the 15th and don't forget how he acted after John Stoffa defeated G. Riebman in the primaries.

I can tell you, Bernie, that you are not the only one who has gotten the runaround from Joe Long. A group I am associated with was having a candidates night in April that he refused to promote. His reasoning was that Chuck Pennachio was invited to attend and the Party endorsed Casey. We also invited Casey, but that didn't matter (because it was just some BS excuse).

Mr. Brennan, I have new respect for you that you are not associated with Joe Long, but you do have close ties to Mr. Rooney. Whether you like it or not the perception is that, as one of his staffers for the past 10 years or so, you are more closely tied to him than you may like in the perception of the public. You do understand that his actions and statements regarding the pay raise were poorly received, right?

JFB said...

Yes I understand the anger as a result of the payraise vote. I have accepted both the good and bad of having worked for TJ over the past decade. On another note, I was never notified of the DFA candidates night you referenced. I would have gladly attended if an invitation was extended to me. I for one felt the DFA crowd had their mind made up early with Jose. I would have welcomed the chance to address them.

Anonymous said...

Joe Brennan will win on Tuesday, Bernie, you can take that to the bank. He has worked the hardest, said the most positive things about what he will do once in office, and has the experience in dealing with Harrisburg that will make him most effective. Nothing against Jose or Tony, but Joe is just more qualified and ran a better campaign.

And to the person who said that Tony will deliver the 133rd to a Republican--THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN! Voters are much much smarter than the Bernie O'Hares of the world think! AND the Ron Angles of the world. His end is coming and it is not going to be pretty.

Oh, by the way, please tell Bonnie Dodge that GOD took her yard signs!

Bernie O'Hare said...

To the anonymous poster who is hunched over a keyboard, pecking away at 2:30 AM:

The 133rd will "NEVER" go to an R? They used to say that about the 15th Congressional district. Ask Rooney's uncle. They used to say that about Northampton County Council, too. Never say never.

And who said anything about Dodge's yard signs? I didn't. Nobody posted anything about that. My guess is you must have heard it listening to Angle's show.

I'd say more, but I'm going to vote now. I'll be busy doing that all day, atabout 40 different precints. I'ma Dem and that's what we do.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joe B,
Sorry that you didn't get invited to the DFA event (we have renamed the group the Lehigh/Northampton Progressive Alliance). The reaction to Jose was very favorable at our group, to be completely honest with you. As a group we believe that there needs to be more ideas outside the box of Harrisburg and we felt that Jose has some new ideas to bring to the table. He is also the only candidate, to my knowledge, who has actually advocated working toward lower government spending (not just "smaller government" of less represntatives). If you plan on working for government spending controls I did not see or read that anywhere, but I could have missed it.

It has already been discussed among our group and if you win today we plan on asking you out to our next meeting to address the group. It would be the "off season," so to speak, for you and would also enable you to recruit some or all of us to help with the campaign. In general, we are selective about who we will work for.

Just as an FYI to everybody else ... I went to vot ethis morning and, for all teh hoopla surrounding teh Dertinger campaign, the only person outside my polling spot this morening was representing Chalie Dent. Not a Dertinger rep or sign to be found anywhere. Way to go Joe and Fadia.


Anonymous said...

Seems to me that sending out 40,000 pieces of mail would round out to at least $12,000. I guess the government is starting a discount for cheap politicians.

Ellis said...

To Anonymous - No attention is paid to people who blog as "anonymous". If you can't put your name to a comment, it's not worth sharing. So, Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous. GET A LIFE! As to the Brennan-Rybak conflict: the only issue in a campaign should be the issues of concern to the citizens. Unfortunately, all too often, it's the back stabbing which wins races. Incumbents have a record - good or bad - and that's where they are vulnerable no matter how much is said about their personal lives. The same goes for the Brennan-Rybak race. People are deservedly judged by the company they keep. If a candidate has disreputable people involved in his/her campaign, the dirt will fly. Problem is, the slinger often gets the dirtiest! It's all a matter of having good, solid values. Either one has them, or one does not. I believe in the intrinsic good of man, and am sure the voters will feret out the best candidate in the seat for TJ Rooney's seat who will represent the district in an honorable manner. TJ Rooney did not, and I am personally glad he's gone! My guess is he got a job with the gambling industry. PS Anyone who is interested can come to a press conference at the Hotel Bethlehem, 1:00 pm on Tuesday, May 23. Bonnie Dodge has miles of research on gambling and believes the new law is in violation of the PA Constitution. Have a good one! Ellis

Anonymous said...

Funny how no one wants to bet against Joe Brennan winning in the 133rd!

Bernie, I'll bet you $100 that the 133rd does NOT go Republican in the next 10 years. Put up or shut up.

And, you're gonna be awful lonely at those 40 polling places, because the TO is a tsunami-like 20% today... maybe this will finally prove to the media that they aren't relevant anymore.

Bernie O'Hare said...

How am I supposed to bet anything if I don't know who you are? But I understand what you are saying. The 133rd is a heavily Dem district, and my suggestion aboiut a Republican trap is a taqd far-fetched. Your prposed bet is one I would be happy to lose.

As far as turn out goes, it was light in Nazareth, too. The new machines in Northampton County make it very easy to cast a write in vote.