Thursday, January 04, 2007

Murder in Norco Council Chambers: Why McHale Was Eliminated as VP

Wham, bam, thank you, ma'am!

It was an ugly and sad scene.

Ann McHale, a hard-working Democrat well into her second term on county council, was unceremoniously dumped as VP on Tuesday. Her replacement, Diane Neiper, is a newcomer who just two weeks before conceded she doesn't know what the hell she's doing.

So why did council get rid of McHale? What was really going on behind those closed doors? I can't be sure because council deliberated privately in violation of the Sunshine Act. But I have a theory.

Ann McHale intends to run for exec unless Stoffa decides to seek re-election. She won't oppose an incumbent Democrat. Ann's pals on council know this. And they're not happy about it.

Here's why. She's not the only Democrat with her eyes on that office. State representative Rich Grucela is tired of banging his head against the wall in Harrisburg. He is considering a run at county exec as well. Truth be told, he's always felt most comfortable in county government. Obviously, he'd like to avoid an expensive and possibly divisive primary against McHale, who is very popular in Bethlehem. And just as Henry II asked his courtiers, perhaps Grucela asked, "Who will rid me of this meddlesome [councilwoman]?"

And guess who works for Rich Grucela?

None other than council prez Wayne Grube. If I know Grucela is considering a stab at county exec, you can be damn sure that Grube knows it, too. And just as Henry II's knights murdered Archbishop Becket inside Canterbury Cathedral, Grube and his council cronies eliminated Ann McHale inside council chambers. It was a disservice both to McHale and Grucela, who will ultimately be tarnished by these dirty politics.

Just three years after Becket's murder, he was canonized. And three years from Monday, the next county executive will be sworn in.

Update:Rich Grucela has contacted me. Like Henry II, he denies being involved in McHale's removal in any way. He's always beeen honest with me and I believe him. This dark work is not in Grucela's nature, anyway. When he does run, he tends to run for an office and never against anyone. I can't say the same for Grube and his council cronies. They are obvoiusly shoving McHale out of the way for someone.


Chris Casey said...

The Truth Hurts, Bernie, and you are wielding it as Arthur handled Excalibur in lore. Off with their heads!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Chris, I don't know if my theory is true. I believe that like Henry II, Richard Grucela probably had no idea what was going on. I'm equally convinced that Grube wanted to do his boss a favor.

LSTresidentPIA said...

Murder? No. More county BS yes. Sad very sad.

I'm not sure if Pres Grube is senile or not, but he certianly does not believe in open discussion of issues at council meetings.

Bernie O'Hare said...

LST, I don't mean to suggest Grube is senile. I do mean to suggest he can't run a meeting. I don't think it matters whther he's 25 or 125. He's had his turn and he just can't do it. Amd we all suffer as a result. You've attended a few meetings so you know exactly what I mean.

And I'll take Rich Grucela at his word. But there's no doubt in my mind that Grube and his pals on council were clearing the way for Rich with all the subtlety of a buzzsaw.

Anonymous said...

Ann McHale is the ONLY member of County Council with integrity, intelligence, and the interests of Northampton County residents first and foremost.

Those Democrats who voted against her showed their true colors and should be ashamed for what they did.

Ann has a solid voter base (which is more than certain un-elected members can pretend to have) and has always worked tirelessly for the DEMOCRATIC PARTY (instead of stabbing a fellow Dem in the back).

She is a great lady and she WILL make a great County Executive.

There are an awful lot of Ann's friends (myself included) who will be biding their time and waiting to repay those traitors with blood on their hands for what they did to her.

That's not a threat. That's a fucking promise.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bernie Takes No Prisoners,

Good to hear from you!

Tuesday may have been bright in H-burg, but it was dark in Easton. It's clear to me and anyone else with half a brain that McHale was shoved aside to remove her as a possible candidate for county exec.

And in doing so, council removed the only person on that council who actually could guide Grube through a meeting without making him look like a bumbling fool. As a result, we all suffer and end up with bad government.

Council also attacked the council member closest to courthouse workers, and they will remember that in the next election. I'll be sure to remind them.

And I am certain that this is not over. We have Home Rule Charter violations to discuss as well as that Sunshine Act. When council convenes on 1/18, I don't see why Neiper should be recognized as VP. She had only 4 votes. She can't vote for herself.

They obviously don't like strong women. I think you know someone who fits that description.

Anonymous said...

ANN MCHALE didn,t deserve that. the only council person with DIGNITY AND CLASS.

Anonymous said...


Word quickly filtered through the political (chicken) grapevine today that certain Democrats on County Council were "grumbling" about my post on your blog.

And they were not too happy with me (or you).

1) It's always the guilty conscience that grumbles the loudest,

2) It's a long road that don't turn,

3) I've already signed on for Ann's campaign for County Exec and I ain't gonna be stuffing envelopes (although I might be involved in a few Council races in the meantime),

4) Paybacks ARE a bitch.

Ann McHale will make history in Northampton County. Strong, intelligent, talented women always do.

P.S. Once again, your last sentence was 1000% correct.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bernie Takes No Prisoners,

I myself heard some council members are very miffed that you dare get mixed up in a local matter.

I imagine they can have a meeting about it behind closed doors in violation of the Sunshine Act and censure you.

You may ask how a county council has the authority to censure you. Why, they have the authority to do whatever the hell they want. They schedule a meeting in violation of the Home Rule Charter. They let Neiper vote for herself in violation of that same Home Rule Charter. They tried to invade cash reserves in violation of that same Home Rule Charter. But they don't like anyone pointing at their sins.

And as you so eloquently noted yesterday, their hands are dripping with McHale's blood for purely political reasons. They murdered her in council chambers to pave the way for Grube's boss.

And paybacks are a bitch. McClure lives in the Nazareth District, and I am begging someone to come out of retirement and hand him his head for a third time.

Run, Jerry, run!

And McHale is a bright and articulate DEMOCRAT who did not deserve that kind of treatment from a bunch of hacks.

They're obviously gender biased and inserted Neiper in McHales's placve because she's a Stepford wife. She'll do as they say.

They don't like strong women.

The best proof of McHale's intelligence is how she deals with me. She always manages to put me in my place.

And as I said yesterday, this is not over. If those hacks think that a bastard like me is going to let them get away with three Home Rue Charter violations and a Sunshine Act violation in one afternoon, they're in for a rude awakening.

They're going to have to redo that vote and this time Neiper won't be able to vote for herself.

Bernie O'Hare said...

As far as them not being happy with me is concerned, what else is new?

Run, Jerry, Run!!!!

Anonymous said...


This isn't a local matter.

This is personal.

If those chicken shit council members think for a second that I shouldn't be "involved in a local matter," they know how to reach me and tell me that.

But obviously they don't have the GUTS to talk to me unless they want my help when they're running.

And, let me clue you, if they think I'm "involved" now, just tell them to wait... because I won't disappoint them.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I also expect that Branco and McClure will be former members of council this time next year. Then we'll see if Wayne can get 5 votes as council prez.

Since Morganelli is running for DA, McClure and Branco will lock onto him like flies on shit. They'll try to get his support in the primary.

But Branco will be slaughtered by Peg Ferraro in the general election, especially if anyone hears him speak. And McClure won't survive the primary if someone runs.

Run, Jerry, run!

Anonymous said...

Go Ann! Go Lisa! Go Nancy! Go girls! Women fuckin' rock, man!

If the hand that rocks the cradle were truly allowed to rule the world, the planet would no doubt be a far more peaceful, saner & bountiful-for-all place in which to live!

Bernie O'Hare said...

We definitely need more, not less, woman in government. And we don't move in the right direction when we replace a strong and independent woman with a neophyte who follows orders like a Stepford wife.

Anonymous said... the Nazareth District, and I am begging someone to come out of retirement and hand him his head for a third time.

I have connections on high, since you don't seem to want to willingly take public office, I guess I'll have to arrange for you to be put into a deep sleep where you will have a vision. If St. Patrick (notice my choice of ethnicity ;-) can have a vision and end up leading the snakes out of Ire-land, I don't see why you can't continue the eradication - in the land of your ire.

Dammit Bernie...we need you! Just say the word and I'll come out of Anonymity-ville and start stuffing envelopes. I'll even upgrade my rotary phone to touch-tone to increase my canvassing efficiency!

Think about it bippy. Title searching will soon be overtaken by Google and you'll be out of a job anyway.

Methinks I'm not alone in my sentiments.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 12:27, I appreciate the kind words, but the fellow I'm thinking about blows everyone away. Besides I like being a citizen and would like people to thin that I say what I say because I believe it instead of thinking I say these things to get elected to something. That's why I resolved long ago never to seek office.

I don't think I'd be a good public official anyway. I have a past and am always only one step ahead of bill collectors.

You're right about title searching. It's a dying profession. That's why I'm working on my adult film career.

Anonymous said...

Is it that Wilkins boy you're thinking about, Bernie? (;

Gota good stage name for ya for that adult film career of's "Bernie O'Hairy Ass" grab ya?