Friday, July 14, 2006

Bloggin' on WGPA AM - A Special Thanks to My Guests

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingOver the past two weeks, I've been bloggin' at WGPA 1100 AM with many interesting guests from in and around the Lehigh Valley. Ron Angle, the regular host of "At Issue," was tipped off that I had too many Democrats, and is steaming back from his vacation paradise with the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. I'm done. Kaput! But I'd be remiss if I failed to thank my guests for making the shows both informative and fun:

Joe Brennan - Democratic candidate for the 133rd legislative district, told us about the need for campaign finance reform, lobbyist disclosure, and sweeping change in Harrisburg. As a county councilman, Joe always had an independent streak. But he also worked as a legislative aide. Joe is the best of both worlds - a maverick who knows how the system works.

Gerry Seyfried - Northampton County's former Executive and Councilman, explained County finances and stressed the importance of "pay as you go" as opposed to incurring huge debt. He also talked about the county's Liberty Bell, which he described as a national treasure.

Nazareth Borough Councilpersons Jack Herbst and Cindy Werner spoke with quiet passion and force against a current proposal to build a new government center inside of a park.

BillyBytes (Billy Givens), noted Bill White Hall of Famer, indefatigable blogger, essayist, independent candidate for Governor, and frequent commenter to this blog, displayed his irrepressible southern charm. (He was unusually sedate).

Jason Slipp, cofounder of Lehigh Valley Beyond Oil, talked about peak oil, the absurdity of widening more roads, and the need for light rail in the Lehigh Valley.

Russ Shade, who managed John Stoffa's astonishingly successful county executive campaign without a dime of special interest money and against party bosses, told us about his own campaign for state representative in the 183rd legislative district. He thinks campaign money should come from residents that actually live in the legislative district, and not PACs located in Toodeloo.

Chris Casey, Democratic candidate for the 134th legislative district, is tired of incumbents and believes Harrisburg needs a breath of fresh air.

State Rep. Rich Grucela took time out on his way to a committee meeting to describe the tax relief package cobbled together in Harrisburg. He explained it's only a start, and would like to see a lot more done to provide relief for people on fixed incomes. He also described his plan to impose impact fees on developers, which should help preserve green space, but is running into heavy flack from builders and developers. Rich voted against the pay raise, refused to take the money, and is running unopposed. Wonder why?

Allentown blogger Damien Brown of Our West End Neighborhood gave us a virtual tour of downtown Allentown. Close your eyes and think about Allentown. Pretty ugly, huh? Now open them and take a gander at Damien's blog. You'll see a different city.

Louis Belletieri, Allentown businessman, lost his bid to become Mayor. But the victor, Ed Pawlowski, liked Louis' vision, and drafted him to serve the city in attracting and keeping business. After listening to Louis speak, I'm ready to move there myself. Come to think of it, my rent is due soon.

Politics: Lehigh Valley Style, Lehigh County Redneck, and Musings From Mudville could not appear without blowing their cover, but gave me plenty of support behind the scenes.

I want to thank everyone involved for the wonderful conversations over the past two weeks. And I'd like to thank Ron Angle, Mark Thomas, and Jolly Joe Timmer, who gave me free reign over guests and format. I'll probably be doing this again around Christmas. If you have any ideas or suggestions, let me know.


Anonymous said...


I think Jolly Joe should fire Angle and have you replace him. At least you know how to make it interesting and ask hard questions. Angle is an idiot and BORING as hell.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I've heard Ron called many things, but never boring. He does use bad grammar and has no college education, but he's one of the brightest guys I've ever seen. And a lot of guys I know who went college are idiots. Look at me! People underestimate him, a big mistake.

By the way, thanks for the nice words. If the shows were good, it was only because we do have some quality people, both on the left and right, with strong views.

Anonymous said...

I'll one further - I think Cholly CHoe should give YOU the Friday AM slot - the valley so NEEDS the type of informed political discourse that At Issue provides.

The more we know, the more we can grow.

Bernie O'Hare said...

On Friday, Don Russo has started a show. After Labor Day, it will expand to 1 1/2 hours and he will have Daday as a co-host. As I understand things, he'll be promoting Democratic candidates. I don't know if it will be "informed political discourse," but it will probably be different from what Ron provides. And Russo knows the players. Most of them run from me like the plague.

I think a great and very flamboyant host for another point of view is a fellow named Jim Hickey. He probably wouldn't be interested, but he'd be good.

Anonymous said...


Angle's show is painfully slow, and about as exciting as Peg Ferraro doing a striptease. Just because the guy says outlandish things every once in a while that no sane person would utter doesn't make him a real talk show host. We've heard most of his rants against Reibman and his threats against Bill White already.

His radio show is a yawn and a half.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I like Ron. And I do enjoy listening to him. He's one of those love him or hate him types. With all his flaws and quirks, I think he actually improves the quality of local government. Most Democrats AND Republicans hate his guts, so he must be doing something right.

As a talk show host, he's pretty popular in the LV and has a fairly large audience for a lowly AM station. That's why he gets paid $600 per week and 20% of every ad he brings in. Not bad.

When he starts talking about illegal immigration or tries vainly to be a cheerleader for Bush, Santorum, Swann, or Dent, I lose interest very quickly. But when he talks about local matters, he is very knowledgable and fairly nonpartisan. He backs Democrats like Stoffa and Brennan because they believe in open and accoiuntable government. He trashes Republicans like Peg Ferraro, who was the R chair, because she's one of those persons who says one thing while she's running and does something else once she gets in office.

The net result is that established politicians tend to hate Angle's guts. They will try to muzzle him with their "Code of Civility," which they themselves violate.

And incidentally, I've never heard Angle threaten Bill White. I think he likes Bill, who comes on the show at times. I wish he would let up on Joe Owens. Joe took some shots at Ron over the years, but Ron deserves it at times. Ron knows this and is fairly thick-skinned, so I can't understand why he is always coming down on Joe Owens, who's a pretty cool guy.

So I guess I disagree with you. But your view is very likely the majority view. Sorry for carrying on so long.

Anonymous said...

Jolly Joe:

You are the owner , fire the Bum and lets fo getta about it,ehh.