But what's really bothers me is Long's seeming inside connection to the embattled Northampton County voter registration office. On May 24, I wondered how Joe Long knew, on election night, that congressional write-in candidate Dertinger had over 3,000 votes. Eight days after the election, the voter registration office informed me that "unofficial" results would not be available for another week. I was told Long could learn this from his own poll workers, but I started getting suspicious.
Then Long began a strident, and ultimately unsuccessful, defense of the Elections Commission Chair, Walter Garvin. Garvin, aka Wally G, was conducting a weekly radio show during the last campaign aimed at getting Democrats elected. He regularly slammed Congressman Charlie Dent, suggesting he was part of a "culture of corruption." I believed it presented an appearance of impropriety. And lo and behold, Garvin was an area chair in the local democratic party. His dual role as party officer and elections chair was a clear Home Rule Charter violation. Long laughed off these problems until Garvin, an honorable man, voluntarily resigned his position in the Democratic party.
Last week, during a WGPA 1100 AM radio show, I began criticizing problems in the elections office. These extend from a ballot designed to promote straight party tickets, to unanswered phones and refusals to make provisional ballots available. They hurt candidates in both major parties. Joe Long called in to defend the elections office again. And while I was trying to point out that the problems affect both parties, he called me an asshole on the air. He then tried to clear things up on my blog. This prompted a question from me. "If you have nothing to do with the control of that office, then why are you so hell bent on defending it?"
Now I finally know why Long doesn't want me sticking my big nose into what goes on in that office. His daughter worked there. According to a report from the county's human resources, I know she was hired by former county exec Reibman as a part-time employee in April 2002, and stayed on board until July 26, 2006.
Boss Long's daughter helped run the elections office.
How convenient! Talk about "appearance of impropriety."
Illegal? No. Sleazy? You bet.