Friday, June 16, 2006

Conservative Dent v. Liberal Dertinger? Think Again!

US Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Lehigh Valley) has an opponent in this Fall's election. Charles Dertinger, a union employee who was finally elected to Northampton County Council on his third try, garnered enough write-in votes to secure the Democratic nod.

Dent's a Republican and Dertinger's a Democrat. But does it necessarily follow that Dent is an archconservative? And does Dertinger represent reform? In both cases, the answer is NO.

Dent the ArchConservative?

Although Dent is clearly conservative, some of his stands surprise me. Conservative groups give him fairly low ratings. And one of his latest ideas betrays a progressive streak.Don't tell Bush!

Dent's proposal centers on "funiculars," a fancy word for inclined cable cars. They're all the rage in tourist destinations like Scotland, whose highlands are hard to negotiate by foot. Now we don't have any highlands in the Lehigh Valley, but we do like kilts and Easton's College Hill certainly presents a challenge to students and pedestrians who travel downtown. In fact, that hill taxes most vehicles. Dent suggests just such an inclined cable car to ferry us up and down that hill.

To those of us concerned about our impending energy crisis, Dent's proposal is a Godsend. It encourages and promotes pedestrian traffic, which will reduce both fuel dependence and toxic emissions. It's an important first step towards light rail.

Lehigh Valley Beyond Oil, a grassroots organization promoting local solutions to future energy shortages, has endorsed light rail to connect our local towns. The LVPC, on the other hand, wants to make Rte 22 even wider so that we can continue our sprawl.

Now what solution makes most sense to you? If you think light rail is the answer, take a moment to sign LVBO's light rail petition.It's a strange world. Republican Congressman Dent endorses a very small, but real, local response to peak oil. It's the biggest issue we face today, and most pols hide their heads in the sand, trying to pretend it's not there. It's refreshing to see a leader step up to the plate, even if he is a conservative Republican.

Dertinger the Liberal?

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I've told you about this guy before. He's just a union puppet. Although unions are important, no candidate should permit one special interest to fund his entire campaign. Yet that's what Dertinger did when he ran for Council. And he's doing it again in his Congressional bid.

Well, that's OK, because he's a liberal, right? Let's look at some of his "liberal" votes on County Council.

Two weeks ago, he voted against even considering a regional health authority. This is progressive?

If there was any doubt in my mind, Dertinger erased it last night. Let me explain how this happened.

Before Dertinger ever sat on Council, the County agreed to provide $3 million for a road in the slate belt that was intended to service 33 industrial sites and produce 1,200 good jobs. Six years later, we learned that the developer (a big campaign contributor) instead intends to use that road for a yet to be built Walmart.

In his Council crusade, Dertinger pledged time and again that he would pull that grant if he was elected to Council. Last night was his chance, and he blew it.

Walmart pays such low wages ($11.5k to $15k) that less than half of its employees can afford health coverage. The rest of us end up picking up the $2 billion annual tab for government assistance. And over half of its products are manufactured overseas. Yet the progressive Dertinger voted to continue this funding.

During the public debate over this $3 million road, it became apparent that much of the road work will not be done at prevailing wage. And Councilman Cusick also established that some of the preliminary work was not done at prevailing wage. Yet the progressive Dertinger voted to continue this funding.

Dertinger proudly announced that he had visited the site with the developer (campaign contributor), and saw for himself that wetlands had been drained and trees cleared to make room for an asphalt ribbon. The work done by the developer (campaign contributor) at less than prevailing wage, contributed to the destruction of our open space and environment. Yet the progressive Dertinger voted to continue this funding.

I wonder how much funding the progressive Dertinger will now get from the developer (campaign contributor). On the bright side, at least it won't be another union.

Despite his conservative leanings, Dent appears genuinely to be providing at least one local answer to our energy crisis. At the same time, Dertinger has clearly demonstrated he's no progressive. He represents the status quo. Although I can't say I'll vote for Dent, I sure won't vote for Dertinger. He is, as the Morning Call labeled him, a "faithless politician."


Anonymous said...

Dent took more than $50,000 from oil and gas companies in 2004. He's no friend of renewable energy.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Dent's definitely a conservative. But I think Dertinger says one thing and does another. He misled people in the slate belt, and is supporting a road that will make it easier for Walmart to operate.

Anonymous said...

Even if Dent is no friend of renewable energy, he's the first local leader to come up w/ a concrete idea that will get us out of our cars.

Anonymous said...

Dent is a puppet of Bush and Dert is an arrogant idiot. Some choice! The only D who can beat Dent is Lisa Boscola. The DCCC showed no interest last time because they had their hands full trying to keep their incumbents viable. But now that Bush's numbers are in the toilet and he's on his way out, maybe those geniuses inside the beltway will pull their heads out of their [expletive deleted] and wake up, smell the coffee, and show her the money!!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I think Lisa Boscola would give Dent a real run for his money and could beat him, but it would be damn close. I believe she refused to run, as did a number of other promionent local Dems. So who does Joe Long put up? Well, I think I've said enough about Dertinger. He's a hypocrite as a County Councilman and certainly can't be trusted in Congress.

Anonymous said...

Because I live in Lehigh County and no longer subscribe to the Morning Call (one of the worst newspapers I've ever read), I have little knowledge of Dertinger. But, based on what I've seen on this post, he's not someone I could support. And Dent is a party lackey that comes up with a good idea once every decade, or so. Therefore, this November, it will be time to take full advantage of the new "touch screen" voting machines and exercise the write-in option for Nonof The Above.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Well, I would not rely on the information in this post without first reading some neutral source. My ramblings are primarily commentary although I make every effort to be factually accurate. Reporters have a far more difficult job - they must report facts objectively.

I think "NONE OF THE ABOVE" should be a legitimate choice in every election. That election reform might rid us of some of the dead weight currently plaguing our government.

Anonymous said...

Your unfairness and closed-mindedness (for whatever reason) is on display again when you cherry-pick these two items. How about all of Dent's positions that involve energy, including his unwavering support of the Iraq war? Talk about a waste of lives AND energy.

And anyone who links to the extremely biased Morning Call editorial is not to be trusted for his fairness. The Morning Call, to my knowledge, has never even published the fact that Dertinger officially made the ballot.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Dent has taken a position not traditionally associated with conservative Republicans while Dertinger has taken a position that demonstrates he's no progressive. You cann call it what you want, but those are the facts. I didn't cast that vote for the road to Walmart: Dertinger did.

Now does this mean we should all flock to vote for Dent? I never said that. As one comment observes, Dent took $50k from the oil and gas industry in 2004.

My point, quite simply, is that Dertiber has demonstrated, yet again, that he is a "faithless politician." That's what the Morning Call called him. Now you call the MC "extremely biased" but the MC actually endorsed Dertinger when he ran for Council. They felt betrayed, and properly so.

You talk about the Iraq war. I opposed that war from the beginning. I didn't see Dertinger at any of the vigils. I didn't see his name on any letters to the editor. In fact, he took no position at all. Even now, his statements have been equivocal.

And let's look at Dertinger's energy "policy." He doesn't have a record as a Congressman, but he commutes daily to his union job in NYC. He doesn't sound very much like a friend of renewable energy, either.

I don't think any progressive Democrat could in good conscience vote for this guy. I know I won't.

Anonymous said...

Commutes to NYC? My, that is a sin indeed. I wonder how many other working people need travel long distances just to earn a living. I am amazed at the lengths you will go to vilify Dertinger.

No, I know that you will never vote for Dertinger. But many of us who know that continued Republican control of Congress means continuing war will vote for a responsible Democrat, which Dertinger appears to be at this point.

You against the war? Well, you have a strange way of showing it. Somehow, your ego and a personal vendetta appear to be in the way of doing the one thing that has the potential to end this travesty: electing a Congress which is no longer under Republican control.

Bernie O'Hare said...

In the last two comments by Anonymous, I've been called unfair, close-minded, someone "who is not to be trusted for his fairness," and egotistical. I'm not alone. The Morning Call, which blasted Dertinger as a "faithless politician," is "extremely biased."

Well that anonymouse bastard is right about me at least - I'm a miserable bastard. But his personal attacks have nothing to do with my argument that Dertinger's Walmart vote reveals he is no friend to progressive.

According to Anonymous, everything will be fine once we wrest control of Congress from those evil Republicans. And Dertinger's a "responsible Democrat."

Well listen, buddy, so is Hillary Clinton and she's almost as frickin' hawkish as GW. Come to think of it, only a handful of Dems opposed our unilateral invasion of a country half of whose population is under 15. Most of them were running around saluting each other and draping themselves in the flag. Only when voices of protest began to mount did some Congressman start criticizing our military adventure.

The "responsible" Democrats are part of the problem. And Dertinger is, as you so clearly noted, a "responsible" Democrat.

As one commenter so eloquently noted earlier today, "NONE OF THE ABOVE" is the answer.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I'm not sure what the point is here. Sure, you can cherry-pick a position or two from Dent's record to show he's a moderate, or maybe even a progressive - but you'd have to be taking him out of context. He's a guy that votes the GOP line almost all the time.

Similarly, you disagree with Democrats on some issues, particularly Dertinger. That's fine. But one of the two parties is going to be in power, and someone who wants military restraint, alternative energy, and protections for the environment and for working people should have a pretty strong preference. Otherwise, you're letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks for your observation. I don't mean to take Dent out of context. I'll leave that to others. Dent is certainly a conservative, but my point simply is that he is not the archconservative that he will be labeled once the campaign goes into full swing. His position on the inclined cable car, for example, is refreshing. He does vote with the GOP most of the time and I can't vote for a fellow who supports the war for oil.

On the other hand, I can't support Dertinger, either. His Walmart vote speaks volumes. He had a perfect opportunity to take a stand for blue collar workers, small businesses, and the poor.
But instead, he let Nolan Perin, a heavy duty campaign contributor, waltz him around the development.

I thought Democrats were supposed to have values that differed from Rs. It sure doesn't seem that way to me.

I understand your point about letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. You may be right and I may be wrong. But guys like Dertinger really bother me because they pretend they're something they're not. At least with Dent, what we see is what we get. No smoke and mirrors.

I cannot vote for either candidate. As noted earlier in a comment, it's now quite easy to vote NONE OF THE ABOVE. That's what I intend to do.

Thanks for your post. I appreciate your insight. Fortunately, this is not a presidential contest.

Anonymous said...


A few days ago there was a vote in the House of Representatives on whether there should be a timetable for the withdrawal of American soldiers from Iraq. The results?

Only 3 out of more than 200 Republicans voted for it. A bit more than 1 %. Charles Dent was certainly NOT in that 1 %.

About 150 out of 200 Democrats (about 75 %) voted for a definite timetable.

So, yes, there are problems with the Democrats. But don't give me that crap that it makes no difference who is in control. I am tired of people like you who are either too idealistic or too ignorant to see the difference. Or some other possibility.

Anonymouse Bastard

Bernie O'Hare said...

Dear Anonymouse Bastard,

You may be anonymous but you're no mouse.

Thanks for the current events lesson. Now that we're already in a quagmire that most Democrats and Republicans supported, you tag the Rs for not agreeing to a specific timetable. So what?

I opposed our military misadventure from the beginning. It was a stupid mistake at best. But does this mean that we must now pull out and let them all kill each other and open the doors to Turkey, Iran, and Syria to duke it out over who gets what?

That country is in worse shape now than it was before we decided to step in and impose freedom. Now we are supposed to pull out and watch the blood bath from the sidelines. We broke it and now we need to fix it. We never belonged there but we can't in good conscience pull out until that country can stand on its own.

You seem to think that, with Democrats in control, things will be better. I'll tell you this. With Dems in control, we never would have got in that mess to start with. But the Democrats in Congress were far too weak to speak up after 9/11. They timidly went along with whatever GW proposed. Now you may not like this, but it's the truth. Only a handful opposed our unilateral attack. Only a handful opposed an obscene budget designed for war profiteers.

It is only now that the war has become so damn unpopular that some Dems are talking about exit plans and other crap. Where were they when the shock and awe baloney started?

I think we've got some very good Democrats who I would support in a heartbeat. Dertinger is not among them. He is among those who stick moist fingers in the wind to see which way it blows.

Right now, our front-runner for Prez is Hillary. In addition to the fact that her negatives make her unelectable, she's a frickin' hawk.

Sop I will not support any Democrat simply because he or she is a Democrat. And I will certainly not support a write-in candidate who was thrust upon the voters at the last minute by party boss Joe Long. And even if I could be persuaded to do that, I would not support someone who supports a company that thrives by paying subhuman wages. If that's being idealist, then I suppose I'm an idealist. I'm tired of all the pols. Aren't you?

House of Crayons said...

Mr O'hare,
You sure paint with broad strokes. Saying that Dertinger is a puppet to the unions is an overstatement. One of the states more focused unions, the Pennsylvania Professional Fire Fighters ( affliate of the International Association of Fire Fighters) are staunch Dent supporters. And we'd like to think of him as his own man.

To some of us there is more on the political menu just blue stuff or just red stuff. Some of us make our important choices ala-carte.

Bernie O'Hare said...

House of Crayons,

Thanks for your comment and for your excellent blog, Easton Undressed. When a candidate's campaign is funded almost exclusively by one special interest, it's logical to conclude he will do the bidding of that special interest. Thus, I view Dertinger as a union pawn. Follow the money. Not only was his Council campaign funded by unions, he also works for them.

I think unions are important and needed, but don't like to see any candidate funded almost exclusively by any special interest, whether it's unions or drug companies.

Now Dent may get money from the firefighters and he has a massive warchest. But it doesn't appear that any one special interest has funded his campaigns. Thus, I think it's safe to conclude that he will be a little more independent.

As far as making choices a la carte is concerned, I think you're absolutely right.

And one a la carte choice is NONE OF THE ABOVE.

Anonymous said...

Bernie said, "On the other hand, I can't support Dertinger, either. His Walmart vote speaks volumes. He had a perfect opportunity to take a stand for blue collar workers, small businesses, and the poor."

Please explain, if this is as true as you make it sound, WHY Union, the blue collar workers you claim above, he hurt, would want and support his run???
Could it be, once again Bernie, as you seem so wont to do, you are making a mountain out of a molehile in your quest to constantly find fault where there may be none?
If you are truly a progressive Democrat, you'll stand behind Dertinger and showcase Dent's record of votes which have hurt children, students, workers, seniors and this country as a whole. If you continue the attitude you show in so many of your posts, you may as well call yourself a Republican as you seem no different to me than one of them.
Let's have a show of unity and STOP the divisiveness so we can get our country back on track.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Please explain, if this is as true as you make it sound, WHY Union, the blue collar workers you claim above, he hurt, would want and support his run???
Could it be, once again Bernie, as you seem so wont to do, you are making a mountain out of a molehile in your quest to constantly find fault where there may be none?

Unions form only part of the blue collar and poor workers who will be affected. They don't care bc they are looking at the construction jobs as they have all along with every disaster planned for the past 8 years.

Dertinger's vote, his lack of familiaritly w/ the area, his equivocal poisition on the war all make clear he's no progressive. He's a conmservative Democrat who supports unions. Big deal.

NONE OF THE ABOVE is the best vote for a progressive Democrat.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Let's have a show of unity and STOP the divisiveness so we can get our country back on track.
This is exactly the kind of thing the Bushies were saying not too long ago. Pretty soon, you'll be saying - "if you're not with us, you're against us." It seems the only kind of dissent you like is dissent directed at Bush.


Anonymous said...

Do you really think that because Dent has been bought off by more than one special interest, he'll be 'independent?' Unions may not have a stake in every issue, but SOME group who's contributed to Dent will, and he'll vote that way - witness him voting to let Tom Delay off the hook.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Perhaps you are right. Dent may be independent but he could also be the pawn of several special interests. So we have a pawn of several special interests facing the pawn of one special interest. What a wonderful choice!


Anonymous said...

Bernie, Anonymous didn't say Dent would be "independent", he was questioning the idea that you make him out to be. Don't twist words to your liking.
You didn't answer my question either. While you admit Union was supposedly affected by Dertinger's vote, you don't explain then why they would turn around and give support to Dertinger if your claim is true.
Your anti-union feelings show in your comments. So that you can't come back and claim "where do I sound anti-union," I'll give you your comment of,"So we have a pawn of several special interests facing the pawn of one special interest. What a wonderful choice!"

And obviously Bernie, you've never heard the saying, "Noone is perfect." To expect that you will agree with EVERY vote and stand of an elected official is being unrealistic. Knowing they have your overall values in mind when voting is the ticket. No one individual will ever make us all content. There will always be gripers like you, fact of life, unfortunately, we can't all be happy.
Also you claim to know where Dertinger stands on the war. How do you know this? Please give link showing where quote is given by him on this issue to support what you say. I recall hearing him speak on this April 29th? and it's a far cry from what you claim.

P.S. Anonymous 7:11 AM, I truly hope in claiming you know nothing of Dertinger you don't mean it when you say that what you read here alone will lead you to not vote for him. That's just ridiculous. Let's read the blog (of a divisive individual) and decide how we'll vote!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm not anti-union. I'm actually pro-union. But I am opposed to a single special interest bullying its way through the political process. If that makes me anti-union in your mind, so be it.

Dertinger was interviewed by the Express Times when he announced his write-in candidacy. Now although he criticized Bush's conduct, he didn't really offer any solutiuons. Also, I know he took no position before the bullets started flying. At best, his position was equivocal.

If you want to look at his position on issues, all you need do is look at his website - That site tells us how to give him money, but says nothing of his position on a single issue.

My opposition to Dertinger is not based solely upon his Walmart vote, although that certainly reveals he is not a man of his word and does not care about the blue collar workers and low income people who will suffer w/ that new Walmart.

I also consider his close association w/ campaign consultant, who was convicted of bribery. I consider his close ties to Reibman, whose ill-cxonceived $111 million megabond left this county in a fiscal mess. I consider his particiaption in a scheme to appoint council members behind closed doors in violation of the state sunshine act. I consider that his campaign was funded entirely by one special interest. I consider his betrayal of voters who expected him to serve on County Council. I consider his lack of close ties to this area. He works in NYC, his money does not come locally.

I believe Dertinger stands for everything that is wrong with both of the major parties. He represents business as usual.

NONE OF THE ABOVE is the best vote for a progressive Democrat.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You didn't answer my question either. While you admit Union was supposedly affected by Dertinger's vote, you don't explain then why they would turn around and give support to Dertinger if your claim is true.

I did explain although perhaps I was unclear. The unions who support Dertinger appear to be those who benefit from construction. They love it, and it doesn't seem to matter to them whether they're constructing a Walmart or a union hall.

I saw it before with the county's ill-conceived $111 million megabond. It is pretty much universally recognized that bond was a disaster that plunged the county into a financial morass. Many of the businesses who would benefit from the $29 million economic development portion of the bond were nonunion companies. Yet Joe Long crowded council chambers with union members demanding a yes vote.

They could not see beyond the temporary construction jobs.


Anonymous said...

Any way, the point I wanted to make to "anonymous" regarding Rybak is this: I admired him and felt encouraged that he was willing to take on the consumately unprincipled Callahan.

That was the Bethlehem mayoral race then. I frankly didn't follow the primary race for T.J. Rooney's 133rd legislative district (Lehigh and Northampton counties). \

So I really can't comment on it. I had paid closer attention to the race between Stoffa and opponent Bob Nyce, whose campaign manager was Tom Severson (or whatever his name is), and my impression was that he and Nyce had conducted a clean campaign.

I was impressed by Nyce's position that half of NOrthampton County's annual budget of roughly $300 million comes from the federal government through Harrisburg to fund the county's Human Resources Department.

I suppose that may not be salient since the total budget, whether from the federal or state governments or from local property taxes, is administered by the county administration and council.

Still, I sometimes wonder if this money from two separate funding sources doesn't get illegally intermingled and through fraud wasted.

I also find it interesting that currently Northampton County and the Pennsylvania commonwealth have joined forces to root out corruption in applications for public housing funds.

My question is, Who's going to bird-dog or gum-shoe the county and state governments to ensure the applications sought by quasi-governmental agencies like the Easton Housing Authority for HOPE VI grants aren't riddled with fraud.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Bernie. I posted earlier (10:27, 3:59, and 7:28). After thinking about the comments and your responses, I have a better idea of where you are coming from.

I was mistaken. You are not idealistic, nor are you ignorant. There is another much more likely possibility.

You are not anti-war either. You may have been against the original decision to send troops (as was I), but now you have admitted that they must stay and continue fighting.

Here I strongly disagree with you. It is likely that the presence of our soldiers is aggravating the situation there, not stabilizing it. The violence continues at a high level, and most Iraqi politicians and officials actually want our troops to withdraw. A strong case can be made that the presence of U.S troops is not to protect Iraqi civilians and society, but to try and protect Iraqi oil.

(Another thing you admitted was that if the Democrats were in control, the invasion would have never happened. So you admit that it can make a difference which political party is in control. This is important, because there is now a very real possibility that Bush will try to attack Iran. According to your previous logic, wouldn't it be safer to have Democrats with some power to discourage that possibility? Or maybe you think that Iran should be attacked?)

My main conclusion is that with the war, and the other issues brought up in the discussion, your position is actually closer to Dent's than it is to mainstream Democrats (like Jack Murtha, for example). To the extent that Dertinger is a mainstream Democrat, your position on the issues is closer to Dent than it is to Dertinger.

So here is my insight. You just can't come out and say, vote for Dent, because no one would listen to you. So, you try to convince people who would otherwise vote for Dertinger to NOT VOTE AT ALL! All the while passing yourself off as a progressive Democrat. How many times in the discussion did you advocate to vote for "none of the above"?

You are neither idealistic nor ignorant. You play a pretty strong and devious political game.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, you've been making this inisinuation all along. You're very much like the Dertingers and McClures that you support - if you cannot argue facts, you attack your opponent. But you only minimize yourself when you do that.

Now if Dems were in control, we would not have invaded Iraq. Agreed. We would not invade Iran. Agreed. I'm not convinced we should pull out of Iraq right now. I don't want to see a blood bath.
But I understand the view that we should pull out now.

I don't think the Dems are better off w/ Dertinger. And in a R controlled white house, the Dems have been extremely weak. There have been few progressive thinkers. Dertinger is not among them. I won't vote for him. He represents what is wrong with the party.

Come to think of it, so do you. You hide in the shadows, throw out your personal attack, and then slink into the darkness of anonymity again. You're no different from the Bushies who launch personal attacks against those who disagree with them.

Unlike many bloggers, I identify myself. I want people to know who I am. Some bloggers feel anonymity is important. I don't really mind it, and don't care if a commenter is anonymous. But I would not use anonymity as a shield to enable me to launch personal attacks. But that's me.

So we nbow know exactly what kind of person supports Dertinger.


Anonymous said...

Neither Dent nor Dertinger has the integrity to represent the 15th Congressional District.

Dent's a member of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee.

As such, he is too close to Blank Rome, its CEO and managing partner David F. Girard-diCarlo and his lobbying firm's partners Mark Holman and Eric Buchholz - and too close to Tom Ridge and his successor Michael Chertoff.

As for Dertinger, he is too close to corrupt elements of the private-sector trades and constructions unions - though as much to the public service unions, if at all.

The big money campaign contributions come from the former, not so much the latter, unions, such as the Service Employee International (SEIU), National Treasury Employee Union (NTEU), American Federation of Government Employees (NFGE), National Federal of Federal Employees (NFFE), the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), etc.

In fact, the Homeland Security Act removed all federal collective-bargaining-unit employees from the protection of independent arbitration outside the management-controlled agency grievance procedure - which nearly always decided in management's favor.

As an elected AFGE 1904 vice president, I was a member of the union's team that negotiated one of the first labor-management contracts under President Jimmy Carter's EO giving federal employees the right to negotiate outside arbitration.

This was so new and revolutionary that I first had to persuade the president of my local, Ken Boyer, and AFGE 1904's business representative in East Orange, NJ, before that office relocated to Lower Manhattan, to go for it, before we finally persuaded the management team of the U.S. Army Communications and Electronics Command, headquartered at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, to negotiate.

Though I like you am a liberal, and support the principle of collective bargaining, I could never swallow Reibman's Labor Protection Agreements (LBAs), or at least not the way he and county council forced these down the throats of NC's taxpayers.

In fact, my credo is that of union organizer and abolitionist William Lloyed Garrison, who said defiantly, "My cause is just, I will be heard, and I will not retreat one inch!"

Anonymous said...

No, Bernie. I have not attacked you personally. I have attacked your ideas and your methods. YOU are the one who resorted to personal attacks, calling me an Anonymouse Bastard. Remember?

I think that I really did reveal where you stand on some important issues. Now that's a service, whether I am anyonymous or not.

And it is interesting that you do not refute my basic anyalysis, which is your strategy to help Dent by telling people to vote for nobody.

And, sticking to the issues, the only time it makes sense to cast a vote for "none of the above" is when a candidate needs to meet a 50% criterion to win. That is not the case in American elections. Here, voting for "none of the above" is THROWING YOUR VOTE AWAY.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It is true that I called you an anonymous bastard, but called myself one as well. It was done in humor, as anyone who reads the comment would readily grasp.

Your anonymous accusation is that I am secretly working for Dent because I oppose Dertinger. In your prevcious posts, you insinuated as much so I'm glad you finally came out and said it.

I've heard that sort of thing before. When I sued over the bond, I was called a closet Republican. When I sued over a DSunshine Act violation, I heard the same thing again, along with some more nasty remarks.

And you sir, have hidden behind a shroud of anonymity to make personal attacks against me. I think that reveals something abnout you. Because I refuse to hop on Joe Long's wagon to support a political hack, I'm called egotistical, close-minded, unfair, etc. Now, in addition, you launch an assault that calls me deceptive.

Now I don't suppoort Dent. I'd love to support a Democrat. Dertinger is not a Democrat, at least not by my definition. Dertinger stands for nothing except the perpetuation ofg a system that made Iraq inevitable.

Now you say that voting NONE OF THE ABOVE amounts to throwing my vote away. I disagre. You've already done that by presenting me with such a horrible choice.

I think if there are enough NONE OF THE ABOVE votes, it might nudge a few increasingly fearful pols to change our arcane election laws and make them a bit more democratic.

I do not insult the system with that kind of vote, regardless who wins. The system has already insulted me.

So I say again,

Anonymous said...


Now that Dertinger's website,, has been launched, I'm sure you'll re-evaluate your claim that he has no positions on the issues or is trying to hide them, and that you'll also note that Charlie Dent dodges most of the issues on his site - right?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks for telling me that Dertinger's site is finally up and running. You must be pretty close to his campaign to know that. I checked as recently as yesterday and there was nothing there.

I did look at his issues page. He's very vague. When he talks about immigration, for example, does he support the senate plan that will grant limited amnesty? Or does he favor the draconian House plan? One could come away feeling that he supports both, or neither.

Now I'm going to surproise you and not dfault him for that. I think it's hard to state positions concisely. And when you're running for office, I understand there's a desire to appeal to everyone.

Dent, as you note, is equally evasive. The only difference is that Dent HAS to vote so he has a record.

I have to tell you that my Dertinger post is now nearly a wek old. I don't think too many readers have picked up on our recent exchanges. I'm not saying that to be snide but because it is a pity. I like a free and open exchange of ideas, although I don't like personal attacks.

If you're the fellow who has been arguing with me as recently as today, I have a proposal. I've said before that I don't have all the answers and sometimnes I'm dead wrong about many things.

Now you appear to be genuinely convinced that Deringer is the right candidate, and react very defensively to even light criticism. That's OK. At first, I thought you were just another troll who was out to cause trouble. But given the number of excahnges you've had with me, I think you are genuinely trying to persuade me. I'll give you credit for standing up for something. I respect that.

I propose that you take the time to write a post that explains why Democrats ned to vote for Dertinger this Fall and I'll post it. I will not post an anonymous essay. You don't have to identify yourself, but I want someone assocaited with that essay by name, even if it is not you. My only requirement is that it be well-written and entertaining, not the usual propoganda.

Rather than exchanging increasingly nasty comments, I think you or someone you designate should have the opportunity to post something about Dertinger that will give my readers another view. I will also let that post stand on its four corners withour any snide remarks except to let my readers know that this is not my work and another view is being offered to them by another writer.
Let me know if you're interested. Take the time to write something that has a little quality, and I'll post it. Judging from your comments, you have that ability.

I will be posting something about Dent and Dertinger myself very soon, possibly tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

The last comment was not me, the guy who has taken issue with you so much. I am not in any way part of the Dertinger campaign, just a citizen who is tired and frightened by the direction this country is heading, and who realizes that we need a big change in the status quo to have a chance of hearing some truth and of saving our country.

Once again, I attack ideas, not you. Personally, I wish you the greatest good fortune. But I hope that your effort to persuade people not to vote fails dismally.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks for your good wishes. Sorry for the confusion. There are so many anonymous posters it is hard to keep them all straight.

The responsibility to vote is based on the assumption that we have at least one good candidate. You think Dertinger is a good candidate. I don't. I couyld not in good conscience vote for either Dent or Greta Browne. Hence I am faced with an unpleasant decision - don't vote at all or cast a vote designed to reflect my disgust with the alternatives. That's where NONE OF THE ABOVE comes into play.

In some European countries, as you likely know, if NONE OF THE ABOVE receives a majority vote, a new election must be conducted.

I think enough NONE OF THE ABOVE votes might inspire some changes in our election laws by our new legislators. So I don't think it's a wasted vote.

But I made an offer, and either you or the less friendly anonymous poster is fre to submit a Post that supports Dertinger. As I indicated earlier, I have been wrong enough times in my life to realize that your view may be superior to mine. I would only ask that a warm body be associated with the post and that it be well-written.

I share your fear about the direction in which this country is headed. I understand and sympathize with a real need to rid this country of people who are alienating this country with other countries and causing divisions within this country through a climate of fear.

Our difference is that I view Dertinger as little more than Dent lite. I am prepared to be proved wrong. But from what I see thus far, I am very discouraged.

Thanks again for your comments. Thanks for your interest in this blog. And my offer stands both with you and the less kind anonymous commenter.

Anonymous said...

Bernie -

I'm the 1:27, 7:09, and 5:59 comments. I hope you don't think I've been mean; I DO differ with you, strongly, over the race, but I'm not that close to it - I just saw a press release on Keystone Politics - but I think we've both got the good of this area in mind, and we both agree on a lot of issues... it's just clear to me that Dertinger is closer to us than Dent on them, even if he's not perfect, and I see you attacking Joe Long more than George Bush even though I know Bush is a bigger problem for the issues we care about, and I'm confused.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I do think we're basically on the same side. And you may be right. I may be looking so hard about what is wrong with Joe Long's strong-arm style that I forget about what is wrong with George Bush's substance, or lack thereof. That's a very valid criticism. I suppose it's safe to say we're all a bit confused.

At this juncture, I cannot in good conscience support Dertinger, Dent, or Greta Browne. I have explained why in previous posts. But that doesn't mean I'm right or that you're wrong.

As I said earlier to another anonymous commenter, you are welcome to supply me with an article explaining why you support Dertinger. I'll post it without any of my usual editorializing. My only requirements are that it be well-written (something that should not pose a problem for you) and that it be associated with a real person. It does not have to be you.

Free and open exchange is what will hopefully lead to the right result. The Socratic method.

Thanks for taking the time to challenge me and my thinking. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

That's a really thoughtful response, Bernie - if I have time, I'll put together something like that.

In the meantime, I'm the same guy that posted how much I agreed with your Liberty Bell post, so we really are often on the same side - sometimes about the details as well as the broad strokes ;)

Bernie O'Hare said...

It's tragic how that national treasure is being treated. It's the only thing that remains from our original courthouse at Easton's circle, and was pushed off to the side in a hallway where there is no security. It's the bell that announced our Independence in Easton. It's quite sad.

If you do have the time to put something together, I'll post it.

House of Crayons said...


Just one favor to ask-- Please try to reevaluate the way you use Union. We, although traditionally democrat, are not one vote to be taken for granted or a "uniphilosophy". Today Union and Democrat are no longer synonyms. While Union and Labor are. Even the AFL-CIO has been split with the birth of UNITE.

I am proud to be a Union officer and even prouder to be affiliated with a union that has nationally adopted a "NEVER MORE" philosophy to having our votes counted before they're cast.

So please try to list Dertingers supporters or try refering to the as a "group of unions".

I don't want my vote given away.

Your Neighbor

Bernie O'Hare said...

Your point is very well taken and I will not try to paint with so broad a brush in the future. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Shure Dertinger is less than progressive. dent is a bush puppet & will always be one. The one thing about Dertinger is , progressives will have access to him & will be able to hold his feet to the fire whereas dent is a bush puppet & will always be one. dent's photogenic smile makes him about as much of a human being as bush's smirk make bush

Bernie O'Hare said...

I wouldn't trash a candidate based upon his smile or any physical attribute, although I understand your point. I think you're trying to say Dent's smile is phony.

I will be trying to establish exactly how these candidates differ.

It should prove interesting.

House of Crayons said...

I wouldn't trash a candidate based upon his smile or any physical attribute, although I understand your point. I think you're trying to say Dent's smile is phony.

I don't support all of Dent's supporters but I do like Charlie, and I think you would find just like I did that he is still human and accessible to his constituents when he is sought for some of his time.

It really saddens me when people "lump" people before they consider them. Party line thinking is the most destructive polarization in the country. BECAUSE WE CONDONE IT.

All we need now are fountains that say "Democrats Only" or resturants with "Smoking", "No Smoking", "Repulican", and "Democrat".

Think for yourself not with the mob.
Pick and choose.
Don't support or trash a person or issue because it's the good party puppet thing to do.

When an elected official goes middle of the road it is a thing to be encouraged, but we beat them down until they are defeated or back to the edge.

Bernie O'Hare said...

FtnHillDem told me in a separate post a few days ago that the true enemy is not conservatives or liberals, but bullshit. Think about it! That's what we always get hit with. I feel sorry for reporters because they havce to sift through it all.

There's no question we need to select candidates based upon their ideas and not their political affiliations.