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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Northampton County Democratic Chair Joe Long: Was His Election Legal?


On Monday, Northampton County Democratic Chair Joe Long was elected to a second term without opposition. But was his election legal? He could only be elected by committeemen chosen in our last primary. Yet the results of the primary were not even certified until Monday, the very day of Long's election. How could committeemen be notified of their election and be able to attend another election to select Joe Long as party chair in a matter of a few short hours? Were they beamed over?

According to Chief Registrar Deborah DePaul, certificates of election will not even be mailed to the winning committeemen until today because the law requires a 5 day waiting period in case anyone objects to the results. So how did committeemen assemble and elect Joe Long on Monday night when they won't be notified until today of their election?

And what about write-in candidates for committeemen in precincts that had no candidates? I know a fellow who wrote himself in as committeeman in a precinct with no candidates, and he's heard nothing. Assuming that he was elected, he should have been notified of the election for the county chair.

Politics: Lehigh Valley Style has long questioned Joe Long's leadership in Northampton County. Joe announced that T.J. Rooney was not seeking reelection as state rep. before Rooney could do so himself. Joe also played a major role in the back room deal that resulted in the appointment of Lamont McClure and Anthony Branco to Northampton County Council, snubbing many better qualified candidates, both Democratic and Republican. And he gave little help to John Stoffa who, without PAC money, took on and defeated a powerful and well-funded Republican opponent for County Executive. It is little wonder that PoliticsPA selected Long in 2005 as one of our worst County chairs.

But I do wonder how he managed to get himself elected on Monday, five days before certificates of election could be sent to committeemen. I've asked local party officials to explain. So far, I've heard nothing. Looks like they can only use a time machine when electing their county chair.


FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: WHAT ABOUT DEM REPUBLICANS?

I guess I'm an equal opportunity offender. The Republican state committee met past Saturday to select Rob Gleason, a popular former Thornburgh aide, to serve as the new state chair. He was elected by state committeemen, including committeemen from Northampton County. How could the Northampton County committeemen vote to elect a new state chair on a Saturday when their own election as committeemen was not certified until the following Monday? Their certificates of election were just mailed today.

Now there could be legitimate reasons, but I sure don't know them. It's possible these elections are pretty much decided in advance and the elections thmselves are mere formalities. But it is precisely that kind of attitude that leads to government behind closed doors.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

Joe Long IS THE PROBLEM with Northampton County politics and this "election" to a second term is just another example of lack of integrity and his poor leadership skills. As a Northampton County Dem I didn't even receive notification of the vote until a few days prior and was also very curious about the timing. Joe Long is about Joe Long, not better Government nor a better Democratic Party.

Our Party has been taken over by Mr. Long and the LVDC (aka, the bored housewives club). Ironically, both Long and the bored housewives have been ineffective in actually getting good people elected to office. They were not behind the Stoffa campaign and both Long and the LVDC worked against Ed Pawlowski in the Allentown mayorial race(yes I know this is in Lehigh County).

It appears obvious that Long and the LVDC are simply trying to keep organized labor in control of the Party at the local level. Yet, with all the NY/NJ transplants, the base of the Dem Party is becoming more white collar every day. While us white collar Dems have all the respect in the world for the Unions and believe in livable wages AND work toward that goals, Long and his minions continue to push what should be the core of the Party away.

You mention his lack of help with John Stoffa and his campaign, but failed to mention that he gave zero support to Russ Shade's write in campaign in the 183ed District. I find this interesting because the 183ed is a winable district that has a Republican Rep. and over time has become a majority Dem District. Fourty-six percent of the district is registered Democratic.

Long has seemingly worked against John Stoffa both prior to his election as County Executive as well as after taking over for Long's candidate, Glen Riebman. Not only did he endorse Riebman in the primary (something that should never be done) but made threats to run Riebman as an independant candidate AND gave little if any help to the Stoffa campaign.

Is that good leadership? Is that good for the Party?

As a member of the Lehigh/Northampton Progressive Alliance I can tell you that Mr. Long has NEVER done anything but badmouth the group and our leadership.

In fact, when asked for a simple email to the Northampton Democratic email list about our Candidate's Night in April, Mr. Long refused because he didn't like some of the candidates invited. The fact is we invited almost every candidate running in the 2 county area, including candidates running against each other. We even invited Bob Casey (who never responded) who as a group we would never support.

Is that good leadership? Is that good for the Democratic Party?

What about the fact that Long took no active roll in candidate recruitment for the 15th Congressional District until after there was no candidate with the requied signatures? All he had to say was that he thought there were candidates who could get the votes ... but if you met either of the two possible candidates you knew they never viable.

Is that good leadership? Is that good for the Party?

Bottom line ... Joe Long, for the better of the local Democratic Party, should walk away and never get involved in local politics again. Real leadership, someone who works for a better Party and not his or her own self interest and ego, should be the Party Chair. Please Joe, and I know you are reading this, if you truly have the best interests of working people and the Democratic Party, step down.

Dave

Bernie O'Hare said...

Wow, Dave! What a terrific and informative comment!

I'll tell you, as concisely as I can, how I feel. I believe in good government above and beyond all things. By good government, I mean an open government thta genuinely cares about its constituents. Government officials must be accessible, and the I really like officials who shun pernicious influence of money and special interests.

That's what I like about Stoffa and some other fellows. We may not agree on many things, but if I know their heart is in the right place, I'll abide by their decisions.

Northampton County is spoiled because, at one time, most of our government officials were that way. It even intruded into the courts, who showed an honest respect for people even if they were of the lowest means.

Unfortunately, things have changed over the years and so have our government officials.

With John Stoffa, I see a real effort to return to good government. I see that in some others as well. Some of them are Dems and some are Republican.

I'm hoping, in the near future, to run a post on the "good guys," i.e. government opfficials who stand for open government by the people and not by special interests. I certainly would appreciate you sharing your knowledge of Allentown and Bethlehem with the rest of us.

Thanks for such a well-considered opinion.

Anonymous said...

I think that these people that your are writing about are scared to respond.
Where is "Lamont" and his libel suit when you need him

Bernie O'Hare said...

I hope Lamont is reading the Sunshine Act.

I've reflected on the exchanges over the past few days. I really don't mind the personal attacks, as irrelevant as they may have been. I can also understand a basic misconception about the Sunshine Act because it is so poorly written. I just hope Lamont has reflected as well and realizes now that he did violate both that Act as well as a 1978 Council resolution mandating open meetings and proper public notice.

In his statements to The Morning Call, he was still railing that he had complied with the Sunshine Act and said it was "reckless" even to insinuate otherwise. If that is so, his Solicitor is reckless and so is the media lawyer quoted by The Morning Call.

My respect for McClure would have shot up if he had simply acknowledged that he had goofed. That's what the Clerk of Council did. And guess what? Northampton County Council Clerk Frank Flisser is widely respected by both parties and by troublemakers like me. How refreshing it would be if McClure simply acknowledged the error and moved on.

If he really believes in open and accountable government and is there to serve the people and not special interests, then he and I are really on the same side. But he certainly has not been very persuasive.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,

I agree wholehartedly with you - I am for open Governmenet run by people who have the interests of the people, not special interest groups or their own pocketbooks.

While I did not support Ronald Reagan and his policy choices, specifically supply side economics, I do think that they were honest enough guys who were doing what they believed was in the best interest of the Country. In retrospect they were wrong. As a result, all Reaganomics gave us was large deficits and the beginning of using social security to bring the budget more in line. But I give credit to them for giving it the good try and going by what they believe was right.

Flash forward to the current Bush administration and I believe you see the exact opposite - a group of selfserving politicos who have no interest it the common man and cater strictly to the desires of their deep pocketed supportes and their desire to pay as little in taxes as possible.

I will go one step further than you and say that I am also for free and open primary elections. Primary elections are about ideas and voting for the candidate you believe has the best chance of representing you and is best in line with your ideas and ideals. Unfortunately, from Joe Long up to Chuck Shumer we get poor candidates who don't represent anything other than someone elses agenda. If you are a Republican you get Lynn Swan. What the Dems get is Bob Casey.

I bring up Casey for a good reason. Joe Long, the bored hosewives club (LVDC), and the rest of his groupies have been on the Casey bandwagon ever since Chuck Shumer decided he should be the candidate to run against Santorum. If you look at where Casey stands on the issues, however, what you have is almost clone of Santorum running as a Dem.

Besides the social issues - a woman' sright to choose, science, bigotry against the homosexual community - he is a supporter of the War in Iraq, has come out for bombing Iran, and supported the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. While we can argue about the other issues at length, it is clear that Justice Alito is not a fan of labor, is a supporter of Corporate America, and has ruled over and over against labor on labor issues.

In other words, Joe Long and his cronies are blindly supporting a canidate who goes directly against their interests. Joe Long and his cronies blindly follow leaders who have an agenda based on their own personal interest. Joe Long and his cronies are the worst type of politically active people because they can't/don't think and likely have no idea about the issues and why they are important.

The good news is that in Lehigh County it appears that Long and the LVDC have been stripped of power at the county committee level. If only we could get rid of these bums in Northampton County we might have a chance.

Dave

Anonymous said...

q

Bernie O'Hare said...

To Anonymous: The symbol "q" as a message can have many meanings. Would you care to elaborate?

Bernie O'Hare said...

To Dave: I really would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you sometime. My email addy is BOHare5948@aol.com

I don't know much about the LVDC, but do think that referringto them as "bored housewives" is not productive or progressive. A mother who is not a member of the LVDC told me she doesn't know many hosewives who are bored.

I understand what you are saying, but think it could have been said a better way. Otyher than that, you and I are very much on the same page.

Demsdafacts said...

I can only assume that Dave, who reveals he is a member of Progressive Alliance, is a sexist or an Ann Coulter wannabe.
As a member of the LVDC, I feel sorry for him. To say time spent on politics means I must be bored! I suppose I should be cooking, cleaning, barefoot & pregnant???
He CLAIMS that The LVDC didn't support Pawlowski, yet, I remember a very windy, COLD day delivering door hangers and LVDC and labor were the ONLY people participating. Guess what? Pawlowski's name was on these hangers along with all other A-Town City Dems!
Where was Progressive Alliance? Sleeping in that day???
Dave, you are nothing but a BIG LIAR! If you don't know what you're talking about, get the facts before sounding off much like a Republican would do, PLEASE. It benefits us all if you give facts not fiction.

Anonymous said...

Just from going through the numbers on the Northampton County website: there was exactly one contested Democratic committeeman race, and the Northampton County website showed 24-10 for Bob Gerheart in that one, though it was unofficial.

I'm not sure about people who won by writing their own names in, but given that the ballot was unanimous and every precinct with a candidate on the ballot had a clear result, this probably isn't the most serious problem in the world.

Bernie O'Hare said...

To Anonymous: You're tight - it's not the most serious problem in the world, but it is a problem. Many of the precints have no candidates at all. So if someone wanted to knock off an entrenched candidate, he could get people to run as write-in candidates. But that's not possible if the election is held before the write0-in candidates are notified whether they were elected.

In addition, I think the process may be illegal, although I'm not entirely confident of my opinion.

Regardless whether it is legal, the process invites the kind of people who like to decide things in the dark, and I have a problem with that sort of thing.

Thanks for the research you've offered. And I do agreee it's not quite so serious as a sitting Councilman who violates the Sunshine Act or a County Council who appoints members behind closed doors.

Bernie O'Hare said...

To Demsdafacts: I don't know much about yopur organization, but that is my fault. I rec'd several emails. From what little I do know, I think you made a difference in the last general election.

Thanks for your remarks and insight. Dave made many terrific points, but the "bored housewives" remark is not one of them. That point was driven home to me last night by a housewife who keeps herself quite busy.

Take care, and thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Bernie - you're right that if the election process is illegal, it's a problem... but it appears pretty common around the state (looking at Keystone Politics, there were a lot of reorganizational meetings last weekend, and results didn't need to be certified until June 5).

Failing that, though, you're a guy with a lot of energy, and a decent amount of readers - just look how many comments you get! And you're aware of, and concerned about, some of the real problems in the Valley, like air quality and transportation. I hope you focus more on using your audience to work to solve those problems, and less on unanimous elections where a couple additional voters missed an opportunity to show up (and, at least at first, picking on Northampton County Democrats when Northampton County Republicans, and other county parties around the state, have similar practices).

Bernie O'Hare said...

As a reader observed yesterday, it's not the most serious problem in the LV. And I certainly don't mean to be picking on Northampton County Dems. On Friday afternoon, I noted that the Republican state committee was subject to the same criticism. And incidentally, news accounts that preceeded the actual election indicated the choice had already been made. A state chair had to be selected that was acceptable to Swann, who himself had no opponent in the primarty.

My concern is that this party practice of making decisions behind closed doors, could easily be translated to a government practice of making decisions behind closed doors.

On the county level, Joe Long has gone from the electoral process to being a factor in county government- and that is not a good thing. If Rs were in control, I'm sure their chair would attempt the same thing and I would have the same criticism.

I appreciate your criticism and suggestions, and think the largest problem facing the LV right now is a total lack of preparation for our impending energy crisis, which has already started. I hope to be able to devote time and attention in future reports to the work being done by Lehigh Valley Beyond Oil, a group that is really still in its infancy.

I am also gratified by the number of readers this blog has attracted in such a short span. And the number of comments, including those expressing disagreement, reveals a Lehigh Valley that cares about our government and our way of life. And I'm constantly reminded of my fallibility, so it never bothers me that someone has a different view.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
I will be going out of town this week but will contact you shortly there after in regard to getting together to talk some more offline.

While the "bored housewife" comment was off color I want to be perfectly clear - I am not a sexist, I was just trying to make a point and sometimes you need to make outrageous statements to get peopl eoff their duff and react.

The point I was trying to make is that many of those who are the, for lack of a better work, powerbrokers in the LVDC, realy have no clue on policy and do not seem to really care about policy or the direction of the Democratic Party or our Country. Maybe I should have just referred to them as political groupies.

In response to Demsdefacts, there were indeed a number of people who were very helpful with the Polowski campaign who also happened to be LVDC members. Just because they were also a part of the LVDC, doesn't mean the LVDC had any roll in organizing support for Pawlowski. BUT ... Peter Wernsderfer and the LNPA (the local DFA group) were the first on board.

For Demsdefacts, here is the deal. The LVDC backed Sam Bennett in the primaries and then, as a group, never really stepped in. According to Fadia Halama, the LVDC's goal is to "get Democrats elected." If this is the case, the LVDC should NOT have taken sides in that race, or any other for that matter, and should have offered support immediately after the primary election was completed. If you are "for Dems" any not about policy or ideas, you should support everyone, not just your friends or whomever Joe Long tells you you should support.

By openly backing a candidate in the primary, any primary, the LVDC leaves itself in a similar position as Joe Long after endorsing his buddy Glen Riebman for county executive and then a non-endorsed candidate wins.

Labor was on board in the Pawlowski campaign earlier than the LVDC, but they were still late to the dance.

I know that after Rob Hopkins left the campaign Bar Johnson took over a high profile position, but that had nothing to do with the LVDC. She just happened to be involved with the LVDC at the time, and the LVDC should take zero credit for her getting that position.

And since we are talking about the facts, it seems that Fadia Halama has a bit of a conflict of interest between her official job with the Dem Party as regional grassroots organizer and her high profile standing as the organizer of the LVDC. Truth be told, Fadia should step away from the LVDC and the conflits of interest that can occur as the head of a group that clearly favors certain candidates. A perfect example is she and the LVDC have been HUGE Bob Caey supporter since day one. Casey, however, did have two challengers in spite of the fact that Chuck Shumer did everything possible to stymie debate and talk on the real issues.

Maybe the proper roll for the LVDC needs to be defined. If it is about "getting Dems elected" even if they don't hold traditional Democratic views (read: Bob Casey)then maybe the LVDC, in some respects, should act like a Dem version of the League of Women voters.

Here's a vision for the LVDC: become a group that fosters open debate among ALL Democrats and openly support AND encourage a free exchange of ideas within the context of the Party. In primary elections, offer forums for ALL Democratic Primary Candidates in ALL Elections relevant to the Lehigh Valley to voice their platform and ideas on government. Once the primary elections are completed and certified, support all Democratic Party candidates.

And for the record, the LNPA is a Progressive group affiliated with Democracy for America (Chairman Dean's group) and is considering aligning itself with PA Progressives. Because we are a group with a set of ideals and principals we only support candidates we feel fit with our vision.

Dave

Anonymous said...

you sure stirred up a hornet's nest.Arn't blogs great?

Anonymous said...

Dave - your outlook seems to be that your group can take sides in primaries, but LVDC can't; that candidates should support "traditional Democratic issues," but you're opposed to organized labor, which is THE traditional Democratic constituency.

This sort of infighting really gets my goat. The primaries are over, the Lehigh County Chair race is over, and we've got two of the biggest general elections in the country right here in Pennsylvania (and probably 3 or 4 of the biggest House races, too). Can't we band together as Democrats and save the recriminations for November 8?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"you sure stirred up a hornet's nest.Arn't blogs great?"
********************

I love it! It's a conversation that is long overdue.

For too long, the major parties have stifled any meaningful reform. On the national level, the Democratic leadership sat silently or voted to support the madness that resulted in our invasion of a country that posed no threat to anyone, and now we're stuck there.

On the state level, the Democratic leadership was a willing participant in midnight pay-raises, ghost voting, obscene per diem expenses. It has thumbed its nose at campaign finance or lobbying reform. Rank and file legislators who complain are punished. Ask Rich Grucela or Bob Freeman.

On the local level, we endured 8 yrs of a "pay to play" Democratic County exec who awarded campaign contributors with county contracts and jobs. His top advisor, went to jail for bribery but he dithered along.

Of course, the Republicans are worse. I don't think I need to point to any examples because they are so obvious.

But within both major parties, some voices cry out for reform. Some voices genuinely care about good government. And fortunately, voters are starting to heed those voices.

It is not a Democratic vs. Republican problem - it's instead a battle between those who believe in good government and those who advocate business as usual.

Voters are wising up and are starting to elect reformers - people like Stoffa. Dave and his Progressive Alliance is certainly part of that process. There is a difference between electing "business as usual" Dems and Rs and real reformers.

The LVDC is different - its goal is to elect Democrats and it doesn't seem to care whether those Dems represent reform or business as usual. And to some extent, as Dave pointed out, it doesn't seem to act consistently. If the LVDC goal is to elect Dems, then it really shouldn't be taking sides in primaries. And if it really wants to elect Dems, then it should support Dems who advance good government. The last thing we need are candidates who are part of the problem.

I think this debate is healthy.

For my part, I don't really care about party. I care about good government. We've got a problem. Once that problem is fixed, we can be partisan. First things first.

Anonymous said...

[Ed Pawlowski] also named North Whitehall Township consultant Peter Wernsdorfer as public works director.

Wernsdorfer lacks the engineering degree required by the city's home rule charter, so Pawlowski said he will seek a charter amendment removing that requirement to allow Wernsdorfer to permanently take the job.
Morning Call, Jan. 5, 2006

Maybe Wernsdorfer, lacking experience required, should have declined this position rather than have Pawlowski make a Republican move as we've seen done on the illegal spying of Americans in which Republicans changed the law to allow Bush to continue his crime? Or,maybe, he should, as a city employee, be non-partisan and step away from his visibly divisive political affiliations?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm going to tell you right now that having a public works director who has no engineering degree is like having a doctor who has no medical degree.

Anonymous said...

It seems that Dave has no idea what he is talking about in his references to the LVDC or Labor. The LVDC has men as members and women who aren't housewives--some don't even have children. The LVDC does not endorse any candidate in the primary, however, the individual member is free to support whomever they choose. The same with Labor.

Anonymous was correct in the statement that DFA was not present for the work. Labor and LVDC were there phone banking, do lit drops and any other grunt work that needed to be done. During my many visits to the Pawlowski campaign office I only saw one DFA member pick up the phone to talk to voters.

Getting people elected is about action not lip service.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It's refreshing to hear that LVDC does not endorse specific candidates in the primaries.

Your website tells us, "The LVDC supports core American values: freedom, equality, community, opportunity, security, integrity, responsibility. We stand on basic democratic principles that a government 'by the people; for the people' should be fair, open and inclusive."

If this is so, will you tell me how Northampton County's Democratic committee was able to elect Joe Long when the certificates of election had not yet gone out? Is that open or inclusive? I sent the LVDC an email about this on Friday, but still have no answer.

And if the LVDC stands for open and inclusive government, is it willing to condemn McClure's assertion that a Council committee may legally meet behind closed doors?

I'm not trying to be a smart ass. I really think the group needs to act in accord with its own principles.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
You seem to be assuming that as a grassroots organization, the LVDC somehow has the power and authority to determine how things are done at the County level. What you are talking about is decided by the County Chair and executive board, not the LVDC. This is an issue which can only be taken up with Northampton's Chair.
On McClure, according to Bill White, the meeting for which you condemn McClure was a clerical error which was blown out of proportion.
We, of the LVDC, are working on building the party and supporting Democratic candidates, not getting involved in friction brought on by blown out of proportion stories.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You seem to be assuming that as a grassroots organization, the LVDC somehow has the power and authority to determine how things are done at the County level.
***************

No, that's not it at all. I think you should follow your own mandate and promote open and democratic government. I know you possess no power or authority, but you have a voice. Now it seems that the county chair election is just a bit irregular. At the very least, it was not an open election. How can you tout yourself as a group that promotes open government when an election as important as the Dem chair is done before elected committee members are informed that they themselves have been elected? Aren't you just perpetuating business as usual?

And as far as McClure is concerned, I think you need to read Bill White a second time. The meeting itself is not the problem -the problem is Lamont's assertion that it's OK for a council committee to meet behind closed doors. This is not only wrong, but represents a step backwards in good government.

You say you don't wish to get involved "in friction brought on by blown out of proportion stories." So when I criticize a Councilman who believes his committee can meet behind closed doors, then either I or the media is blowing things out of proportion? If that's so, then do you really believe in the open government principle enunciated on your website? Or is that something that only applies to Republicans and third parties?

I think you're better than that or you wouldn't be posting comments on this blog defending yourself so vehemently. I don't think you really do stand for business as usual. I think the best way to build the Democratic or any other party is to promote candidates who stand for open and accountable government, and condemn those who don't. I think you need to look at what we are doing locally.

We don't need Dems who are no better than Bush Rs.

Anonymous said...

OK, I've just read a few posts on this site, a few comments and this is what I've found:
Bernie posted:
This is because the meeting itself was illegal. Both the Sunshine Act and Northampton County's Home Rule Charter require that public notice of the time, date and place of a meeting be posted prominently at the government center. Now a notice was posted, but it never told us WHERE this meeting was to take place. As it happens, the meeting occurred in the bowels of Council chambers, well behind closed doors.
Bill White said:
I've taken digs at McClure myself, but this one strikes me as a trivial matter. He intended to meet in public, and Council Clerk Frank Flisser acknowledged that the announcement was deficient because of a mistake made in his office. The meeting conflict also was an honest mistake.

Bernie, If Bill White's reporting is correct, you need to mellow out, relax, take a pill if necessary, smile and try to be happy! You're TRYING to make something out of nothing or attacking the wrong person when maybe you should, if anything, be finding fault with Flisser's clerical slip!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bernie, If Bill White's reporting is correct, you need to mellow out, relax, take a pill if necessary, smile and try to be happy! You're TRYING to make something out of nothing or attacking the wrong person when maybe you should, if anything, be finding fault with Flisser's clerical slip!
*****************************
I think you're missing Bill's point. I understand I view the Sunshine Act more stingently than most, but the violation is not what spurred Bill, although he certainly can speak for himself. What is particularly bothersome is that a government official who happens to chair the legal committee and who also happens to be a lawyer, had a flawed understanding of that Act. His thinking was that a committee on its own could meet behind closed doors. That is patently wrong. And he attempted to intimidate a citizen who thought otherwise.

That is serious stuff. A group that stands for open government should not sit silently just because of the party affiliation of the transgressor.

And incidentally, saying that there is a little violation of the Sunshibne Act is like saying someone is a little pregnant.

By the way, you've had time to respond to numerous comments. But isn't it interesting that LVDC has yet to answer my email from Thursday asking for an explanation of Long's election.

Anonymous said...

Bernie and Demsdafacts:

I am glad to see that I have stirred up some passion and a great debate of issues. I think that it is very interesting that the LVDC has not returned your emails looking for an explanation of th Joe Long reelection. The LVDC members who post here seem to forget that they were all about Sam Bennett for Allentown Mayor in the primary elections. I have a long memory and revisionist history doesn't cut it with me.

I agree with Bernie that the LVDC does need to stick to it's stated principals as anything else would be hypocritical. The LVDC and DFA are different groups and, yes, we have more of an ability to support individual candidates in the primaries as we stand for progressive principals and NOT "elect anyone with a D behind his/her name." If the LVDC wants to have the ability to back candidates in the primaries then they need to change thier charter, plain and simple.

Moreover, the fact that the groups leader - Fadia Halama - now is employed by the Dem Party this is even more of a concern. Mrs. Halama can and will have conflicts of interest if she remains affiliated with the LVDC. How can the D Party grassroots coordinator effectively coordinate all the grassroots organizations in the 4 county area AND run her own grassroots organization. Isn't that a conflict of interest? Isn't that a very Republican Party thing to do?

And in regard to the acusation that I am anti-labor, that is BS. I am pro-labor BUT I believe that Labor is NOT the only constituency of the Dem Party. This is what Joe Long doesn't get. What is worse, is that Joe Long's and Labor's support of Bob Casey is in direct conflict with thier own self interest. If Long and Labor were thinking with the true interests of Labor in mind they would have supported Chuck Pennacchio in the Primary elections and not acted as a shill for Chuck Shumer and other national "leaders" who forced the "electable" candidate on us all. John Kerry was electable and we all know how that turned out.

If you pick up a copy of the Friday (06/16/2006) edition of the New York Times you can see that the Dem Party agrees with me and is actively going after the growing suburbs close to urban areas. The people moving into these areas - think the Macungies, Hanover Township NC, and Bethlehem Township - tend to be freer thinkers and open to some of the ideas we have been discussing. These are people who agree that Labor is a valuable group and need to have things like livable wages, but need a reason to pull for a D. The traditional Labor line will not work on these voters. Issues like the enviroment, the future (for their children), along with living wages is what wins over this demographic group.

If Demsdefacts doesn't understand this reality he/she will eventually be pushed aside. The best thing for Labor to do is understand that it is in their best interest to melt more inline with reality. Failure to do this will weaken Labor and it's interests in the long run.

Please, Demsdefacts, reread my last statement and take the time to understand it. I AM pro-labor, but see labor, especially locally, making poor decisions that will marginalize their movement and interests. This is NOT what I want to see happen.

Dave

Bernie O'Hare said...

The traditional Labor line will not work on these voters. Issues like the enviroment, the future (for their children), along with living wages is what wins over this demographic group.
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If people wish to disagree with Dave about everyting else, on this point alone he makes tremendous sense. (And I personally agree with just abvout everyting else he did say).

If the Dems really want to distinguish themselves from the Rs, they need to consider and push candidates who are far more progressive than the ones they have produced. A true progressive who actually cares about reform and our envronment would be nice. Or a candidate who actually cares about our less fortunate.