Monday, February 12, 2007

Is Will Power Challenging McClure For Norco Council?

Northampton County's District 3 is a hodgepodge of Allen, East Allen, Bethlehem, Lower Nazareth and Lower Saucon Townships. It also includes the Boroughs of Nazareth, North Catasauqua, Northampton, Bath and Freemansburg. Its council seat is currently occupied by asbestos lawyer Lamont McClure, a Wilkes-Barre native. He was finally appointed to the post after losing an election . . . twice. In my opinion, the fix was in.

In his last losing campaign, McClure raked in about $10,000 from big city lawyers. Unions kicked in another $3,440. DA Morganelli, who employs McClure's wife, donated $1,500, and one of his detectives provided an additional $500. Reibman sweetened the pot with $1000 in pool party dough, and Council Prez Grube dropped $500. Despite this money, McClure was rejected by the voters. So he owes nothing to us. His allegiance is to unions, lawyers, the DA and Grube. In fact, DA Morganelli is Godfather to one of McClure's children.

McClure's work record in his year on council has been insulting. Council's standing committees conducted twenty-two meetings last year. McClure attended just four, less than anyone on council except Dertinger. He's also ignored pledges to start a child exploitation unit and to yank a $3 million county grant for a road to Walmart. He's violated the Sunshine Act, and attempted to bully me for pointing it out. He's pontificated about criminal fines collections and a theft in the criminal division, but has never even visited the office.

He's a political hack. He doesn't belong on council. His friendship with DA John Morganelli is the only reason he's there now.

Jerry Seyfried, a former county exec and walking encyclopedia of Northampton County knowledge, is the logical choice for District 3. Party boss Joe Long told Jerry the position was already taken when Long was "clearing the field" for Lamont last year. (He does that sort of thing). And Jerry has had enough. I can't persuade him to run for an office he'd easily win.

But there's a fellow from Freemansburg who's now interested. He's no stranger to political controversy. Northampton County's deathmatch politics should not phase him a bit. In another lifetime, he was Darin "Will" Stofko. You may know him as Will Power.

Unlike McClure, Power is a Lehigh Valley native, an 1984 Freedom High grad and honor roll to boot. At Moravian College, he was a Dean's list student who graduated with degrees in political science and business management. He even earned a professional certificate to teach secondary social studies. He's forty years old, married seven years, and has a two year-old son.

Although he's never held public office, he can win. He was elected to serve Pennsylvania's Democratic State Committee in 1988 and 1998, and served in 1992 as a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

Yep, he's the same guy who simultaneously ran for Northampton County Executive and Bethlehem Controller. Everyone laughed at that. Ha. Ha. Will even made it into Bill White's Hall of Fame after that. But then Northampton County party bosses decided last year there was nothing wrong with one person holding two offices, and actually appointed Hellertown Borough Council Prez Tony Branco to Northampton County Council. When it involved one of the insiders, it was good government. I guess the joke's on us.

Will has matured over the years, and I hope he decides to run against McClure. With Will Power, we could at least be assured that he's his own man. He would not be taking orders from the DA or party bosses, but would be following his own conscience. We could do with a bit more of that. And let's face it, McClure has done the bare minimum on council.

Oh, I almost forgot. State Senator Lisa Boscola is his sister. But I think he deserves a shot at council on his own merit.


PA progressive said...

More than a show of willpower, it's a show of balls by the cat.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You know that cat just knows he's driving those German Shepherds nuts. I've had a German Shepherd. And I've had cats. The shepherds are outnumbered.

LVDem said...

Sorry Bernie... you want to take out McClure, you need more that Power. They guy has a really terrible reputation, even here in Allentown where he's been mocked by voters.

Bernie O'Hare said...

LVDem I prefer a candidate with a terrible reputation to a councilman who has been terrible in fact. Will has matured. If he runs a good campaign, he has a shot at taking out McClure.

Anonymous said...

Bernie...nothing to do with this post, but what happened to your link for Lehigh Valley Common Sense (it had been under the "Dark" section)?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon, you're right. Your question is OT.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, sorry if my question was "OT", but I don't know what that means. I am fairly new to the "blog" world...and enjoy your Ramblings the most. I use your site to navigate through the others of interest. That is why I asked about the missing link.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks for the kind words. OT - off topic. Actually, several blogs are gone, including a few that are no longer active. I may eliminate a few more that have not been updated for months. I only have so much room on my sidebar. I'm adding minutes from the elections committee weekly. I think their work is very important, and will sacrifice a few blog links to inactive blogs or blogs I consider "dark" to make more room. My reasoning is totally subjective and that's why I won't go into details about specific blogs. It's not fair to them.

LSTresidentPIA said...

After spending at least 6 months trying to get Mr. McClure to do someting about a historic bridge in his district, I have given up all hope that he will ever get involved in this issue.

LVDem said...

Power has become another Orloski. Smart, decent fellow but he's just not a good candidate b/c he's run for everything and just about everybody knows it. Hey, I hope McClure takes a scare or even goes down in the primary, but Will Power won't be that candidate. He would have to run a PERFECT campaign while McClure runs a miserable campaign. This is one instance in which I'd like to be wrong but I doubt that.

Bernie O'Hare said...

LVDem, I can guarantee you that McClure will run a miserable campaign. His year on council is certainly nothing to write home about. The only thing he has going for him is John Morganelli, who has already been working behind the scenes for his boy. Yes, John, I know!

I know what you mean about Power having run for so many things, but he's been quiet for a few years. In that time he has matured.

In this instance, he's running against someone who stuck a knife in Ann McHale, a Boscola ally. So for the first time, Will's sister may actually be rooting for him to win. And she'd have good reason to do so.

Power will certainly face an incumbent who has all the big boys behind him (because they can control him). One mistake and he's done. He can't afford to look like a nut. People are very understanding and will actually like Will. Not too many people like McClure after they hear him.

I realize I'm going against conventional wisdom, but that's why they have elections and jury trials.

Don't forget this is a district and not an at large race. Morganelli's millions will not mean so much. Will can pull it off.

Anonymous said...

Will's a very nice young man. he's also bull-f****** gooose looney. he could start showing his maturity by changing his name back to its original incarnation.

incidently, in this same vein, i'm thinking of changing my name to Hung Wow.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 7:59, You're the dude who screamed bloody murder when McClure stabbed McHale in the back. Time to put up or shut up.

Anonymous said...

i beg your pardon? i did no such thing.

i haver rarely screamed bloody murder in my life (unless it was at you during a bond hearing).

perhaps you're confusing me with another anonomous poster?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Dear Hung Wow, My apologies. When you identified yourself that way, I thought I recognized you.

Anonymous said...

"hung wow" was a line from "Kentucky Fried Movie"

and a chill wind blew through cyberspace.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Well, I now know who you are, you bastard! I had you confused with another prick. It was nice to hear from you.

Anonymous said...

always a pleasure to converse with you when i drop in from the netherworld. woulda thought the "screamed bloody murder at you during a bond hearing" kind of gave it away.

LSTresidentPIA said...

Gee, I feel as popoular as McClure, everyone else's comment got a response from Bernie except mine...

Bernie O'Hare said...

Uh oh. LST, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. But you said it well. McClure is your councilman, and you got more of a response from Branco than you did from him. He's not in it for consituent service, unless the constituent is someone named Atiyeh.

LSTresidentPIA said...

Mea culpa


I'm to blame. The literal translation from the Latin is 'through my own fault'. Even those who don't speak Latin could probably make a guess that this phrase means 'I am culpable', or words to that effect.


The phrase originates in the Confiteor which is a part of the Catholic Mass where sinners acknowledge their failings before God. Confiteor translates as 'I confess'.

It has a long history of use in English and was used by Chaucer in his Troylus as early as 1374:

"Now, mea culpa, lord! I me repente."

To emphasize the point the phrase is sometimes strengthened to 'mea maxima culpa' - literally 'my most grievous fault'. This also has longstanding use, as here in Watson's Decacordon, 1604:

"Shall lay their hands a little heavier on their hearts with Mea maxima culpa."

The Confiteor uses both 'mea culpa' and 'mea maxima culpa'. In Latin:

Confiteor Deo omnipotenti,
beatæ Mariæ semper Virgini,
beato Michæli Archangelo,
beato Ioanni Baptistæ,
sanctis Apostolis Petro et Paulo,
omnibus Sanctis, et vobis, fratres (et tibi pater),
quia peccavi
nimis cogitatione, verbo et opere:
mea culpa,
mea culpa,
mea maxima culpa.
Ideo precor beatam Mariam
semper Virginem,
beatum Michælem Archangelum,
beatum Ioannem Baptistam,
sanctos Apostolos Petrum et Paulum,
omnes Sanctos, et vos, fratres (et te, pater),
orare pro me ad Dominum Deum nostrum.

... and in English:

I confess to Almighty God,
to blessed Mary ever Virgin,
to blessed Michael, the Archangel,
to blessed John the Baptist,
to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul,
to all the Saints and to you, brothers (and to you Father),
that I have sinned exceedingly,
in thought, word and deed:
through my fault,
through my fault,
through my most grievous fault.
Therefore I beseech the blessed Mary,
ever Virgin,
blessed Michael the Archangel,
blessed John the Baptist,
the holy Apostles Peter and Paul,
all the Saints, and you, Father,
to pray to the Lord our God for me.

In everyday speech more recently mea culpa is used more lightheartedly and with little regard to its religious origin. The contemporary meaning when acknowledging responsibility is more like 'whoops, my fault'. Someone who admits 'mea culpa' may well be doing so in order to deflect criticism, as it could be construed as bad form to point out someone's failings after they have already acknowledged them, especially when the mistake wasn't overly important.

In recent years the US slang term, 'my bad' has been used to mean much the same thing.

See also - Latin Phrases in English.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Alrighty then. "Mea culpa" is so much more elegant than "my bad."

LSTresidentPIA said...

Uhm, I,m just busting on you Bernie.

Yes, intially Branco was more receptive, but now both are nowhere to be found in regards to the issue as far as I know. Mr. Stoffa has taken the lead. He arranged a meeting between the township manger and the township engineer and the county's engineer and various people like the bridge superintendent, and director of public's works. Mr. McClure kept giving me the same excuse that he couldnt get in touch with Tom Kohler to discuss the situation.

I understand that there is alot of responsibilities with being a council member, but if one does not have time for his/her constituents, then do us all a favor and do something else that does not require you to represent the public.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Well, Lamont doesn't have to worry about you. After all, how much dough have you given him? If you were a developer like Abe Atiyeh, who just dropped some dough on him, then I'm sure he'd be returning your calls. Or if you were John Morganelli, he'd be saying "how high" when you ask him to jump. But for everyday people like you or me, we get squat. McClure will attempt to buy the office, as he has tried to do twice before. Remember, he has an opponent in this election. And make sure you vote McClure out of office. This is a dangerous guy who has done nothing, and has in fact come on this blog anonymously and misrepresented himself. I tried hard to see the good in him, but it's not there. If the truth about McClure is made known to the general public, Morganelli and Atiyeh and all the money in the world won't save him.

LSTresidentPIA said...

I didn't know there was a connection between Atiyeh and McClure. I figured there was between Bracno and Atiyeh, since he is now builing condo's on the Saucon Valley Manor property, all in the name of property/school tax relief for Hellertown residents.

I have to admit that I did vote for McClure once. I have since always gotten the impression that McClure was just using his seat on county council as a stepping stone to another public office.

Bernie O'Hare said...

LST, I learned of an Atiyeh - McClure connection this evening. I'm reliably informed there was a contribution, but I need to confirm that before I post it as gospel. But it shows me exactly what kind of councilman McClure is. Atiyeh, the King of KOZs, gives this guy dough. And after all the complaints we've had aboutr rampant development and the need for open space McClure greedily gobbles away at the buffet. You can vote against this guy. You can tell your dad to vote against him. You can tell those interested in preserving that bridge just how helpful McClure has been. He needs to go. He represents the worst in Northampton County.

LVDem said...

LOL... I love lessons in the classics.

BTW, I'm putting together a little article about this. Got some good info that you might want to know changed my mind a bit.

Bernie O'Hare said...

BTW, I'm putting together a little article about this. Got some good info that you might want to know changed my mind a bit.
LVDem, I can't wait for your piece. I'm sure that Will Power will look forward to it as well.