Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Brian Monahan, Easton Mini-Judge Candidate, Victim of Slime Campaign

Easton's magisterial seat consists of Williams Township, Glendon Borough and Easton's south side. Brian Monahan, a Republican lawyer who has served on the state committee and as solicitor to a Republican county council, is in a three-way battle with designer Cindy Greene and former Easton councilman Dan Corpora.

Monahan represented me when I sued the county, so you might think we're pals. We're not. I don't like him. We had a falling out several years ago. Lawyers are usually lousy district judges. No common sense.

But something is going on in the dark corners of Williams Township, and it needs to stop. Monahan is being slimed. A vicious anonymous mailer is being sent to voters. Here's what Lehigh Valley Housewife tells me.

I received a mailer that said, "WARNING - Important information regarding: Brian Monahan Candidate for Magisterial District Judge" in large black and white letters on one side. On the other side the mailer said, "Brian Monahan prevented the prosecution of a heinous double murder - JUDGE FOR YOURSELF." Then it has an EXCERPT (although the reader won't know this since it's not labeled as such):

"The Morning Call - December 10, 1995 - 'Dorney, 18, said he met with Monahan in July to discuss what he knew about the June 29 shootings of his girlfriend, Mary Orlando, 15, and her best friend Jennifer Grider, 17. Dorney maintains Monahan believed he was a 'prime suspect' and told him to 'keep everything to myself.'''

"I don't have a problem with a lawyer explaining options," said Edward Ohlbaum, a former Philadelphia Public Defender and a professor at Temple University School of Law. "I do have a (personal) problem with a lawyer advising a client not to come forward."

"Bethlehem Police Commissioner John Yerk on Friday said that because of Dorney's delay in coming forward with the information, it took investigators more than five months to charge Christopher Bissey, 18, of Salisbury Township with the shooting the girls at the Lookout on Bethlehem's South Side. Police charged Bissey with criminal homicide early Thursday, two days after Dorney met with detectives."

Ironically, at the bottom of the mailer it says, "We deserve an ethical judge who will be tough on crime - NOT Brian Monahan!"

Yes, it's quite ethical to send out a mailer slamming your opponent without identifying WHO is sending the mailer. I am not necessarily a pro-Monahan person (I may vote for Corpora), but this really bothered me for obvious reasons: we have a person who wants to be a JUDGE who is employing an unethical campaign! The voters have the right to know who is putting out this garbage! I call it garbage because the article was taken out of context. Furthermore, the person has to know that Monahan can't defend himself against this because of attorney/client privilege.

Brian Monahan is a quiet guy, and sometimes may give the impression that he's not the sharpest tool in the shed (although he graduated cum laude from Villanova Law, so I'd say that looks can be deceiving). Sharp or not, Brian IS a person who conducts himself in an ethical manner and he does not deserve to have this mailing sent out slamming him.

As far as who did it . . . Well, Corpora has run for office before and didn't rely on negative campaigning. On the other hand, the other candidate, Cindy Greene, has been bad-mouthing Monahan and Corpora during her entire campaign (including these allegations about Monahan), so if I were a betting woman, my bet would be placed on her.

It's extremely disheartening to me to see such dirty tactics being used at a low-level campaign. It's even further troubling to know that it's being used for the position of district magistrate! How can we expect that person to be a good magistrate if she can't even follow the rules of disclosure?
I'm pointing no fingers, but this is about as low as someone can go.


Anonymous said...

I have just been made aware that a 2nd mailer was delivered today, this one is also an anti-Monahan piece. I have had no knowledge of either of these mailers, and would NEVER approve of this type of campaign.

4 years ago, I was unsuccessful in a bid for Easton's Mayor, losing by only a few votes. Many people have told me that I would have won if I had aggressively "gone after" my opponent. I would not do it then, and certainly would not do it now. That type of politics is what turns voters off from the whole process.

I respect my 2 opponents in this race, and hope the voters decide who they want to serve them as District Judge, not on these mailers, but on our experience, background, and commitment to our community.

Dan Corpora

Bernie O'Hare said...


You're a class act. Lehigh Valley Housewife herself stated she did not feel you were culpable.

I hate this kind of slime attack, and am glad to know you do, too.

LVDem said...


Easton missed out on your leadership. I'll certainly take your word on this matter b/c you responded quickly and directly. Besides, if you couldn't bring yourself to take wacks at Phil (and they were easy), why start here?

Sounds like somebody has an ax to grind against Monahan... well, besides Bernie. But we all know that Bernie's touch to a campaign is like tying lead to a swimmer.

However sent out these mailers is missing the critical reason behind identifying yourself in all mailers: somebody has to be held accountable.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It is possible that no candidate is beind this. Monhahn is solicitor in Williams Tp, and sometimes a solicitor can do or say something that enrages a resident. It could be someone not associated with any campaign who is just being vicious. But I don't like hearing that Cindy Greene is promoting this propoganda in her door to door campaign.

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

Correction that Dan Corpora did not mention. He is still on Council. His seat still has two years left should he not get the postion he is running for.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Spike, I stand corrected. Corpora still sits on council.

Anonymous said...

My husband also received the negative mailer about Brian Monahan. Researching permit #172, it is not only Pat Vulcano's but a Democratic user permit number. I am a Republican and Pat Vulcano can attest that I did not request to use this permit or anyone associated with me.

Having met both candidates at the two "meet the candidate nights", both Corpora and Monahan seem to be very nice individuals. When I ran for Supervisor in Williams township two years ago, I also did not engage in negative campaign tactics.

I also agree with Dan Corpora and do not promote negative campaign tactics nor do I bad mouth either candidate. I am busy going door to door working on my own campaign in a positive manner.

What's most important is that voters get out to vote on May 15th for the candidate they feel will serve and better our community for the future.

Anonymous said...

I have received mailings or flyers from all candidates... all have proper disclosures.

My guess - someone who is not a candidate sent it out...

Bernie O'Hare said...

You get a gold star. It's pretty clear this did not come from either the Greene or Corpora campaign. But it is a political flier designed to influece an election. And post office records will eventually reveal how this itemn was paid. The payment had to be disclosed in a campaign finance report, and the flier should have named the source paying to influence the election. The failure to do so is criminal, at least in my view. I'll have plenty more about this tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Wow -- touche.

"Anonymous said...
Ahhhh - the sanctity of Cyber Justice.

What are you people doing?

Here's a thought: get off the internet and go read a factual newspaper - or three. Then go to the library and do some more research. Then go talk to your questionable characters directly. Then go to the Law Library and do even more research. Then go sit in a few meetings where each of these people are doing their "jobs", then - when you have questions about why and how they do their job - ask them directly.

...before getting on "CyberCourt with Judge Bernie" and slinging more mud than all pork farms in the County combined.

Lord knows, even a few of the best news sources may be flawed, but - at least it's held to some standard.

Why are you looking to blog site, written by a wannabe Cyber-Chet Huntley, hanging on every nuance of the BIG MYSTERY TOUR. Or to out the "slimeball" for a certified public cyber-hanging.

My god, you people sound like McCarthy revisited.

Then you put it in writing, with few amusing pictures and cyberquips ..and it's suddenly THE BIBLE OF TRUTH AND JUSTICE.

Bernie, I think it's time to get out of the house a little. And, maybe - while you're at it - think about a little professional degree from NYU's School of Journalism before taking yourself so seriously.

Frankly, I could care LESS who sent the flyer(s).

The insinuation, the suggestive inuendos, your self-proclaimed justice-seeking shenanigans...
...are FAR more disturbing to me than the flyer itself.

As far as I'm concerned, this much maligned perpetrator's worst offense is having REPRINTED (and distributed for your perusing pleasure) a quote from A PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN THE MORNING CALL...that clearly had already established and reported on "the dirty deed": witholding crucial information that held up the process of properly charging a guilty party, which basically left him out on the streets for an additional - 5 months, was it?

The issue is NOT who outted the outing... IT WAS ALREADY OUT THERE!

How about looking at the core of the issue, and doing your own research about what really happened during the original case, and who the candidate really is.

I know Brian Monahan, personally. We were once friends. But, frankly, I wouldn't trust him with my last nickel. Sure, he's a 'nice guy' on the surface - he's got the schmooze down to a science (well, come to think of it - not even - so much!). But, to answer LV Housewife's question? I must tell you - the thought crossed my mind as well. You ask if he was capable of doing this himself? I say ...could be. I didn't say he did, you asked if he were capable - and I say, it's possible.

I don't know Cindy Greene, but if I may put out a word: Relax, Cindy!

You know, when you've rested the ups and downs of your political career on the Blog Bramblings of a frustrated Carl Bernstein,'s time to pack up and go home.

This is not the Gold Standard of Political Analysis.

The issue, as I see it, is a now a crowd of frustrated pundits stirring more mud up for the masses who now feel it is their personal and moral (majority) obligation to HUNT DOWN and CRUCIFY the SLIMEBALL who perpetrated the heinous act of distributing an already-published piece.

In honor of the great POO PAA, Jerry Falwell - may he rest in peace - would be proud!

Grow Up!
Get off it.
It sounds like a high school locker room in here.

The very behavior you're all so incensed about - is the very same behavior you're exhibiting here.

Why not just have a public STONING, once Judge Bernie hunts the scoundrel down...

...then, just for laughs, we'll tar 'n feather 'im and string 'im up for more public scrutiny.

Lord help us.

We're no longer in the Dark Ages where uncertainty, insinuation, and self-appointed judge, jury and executioners run rampant.

It's the Year of our Lord, 2007.

Except now, apparently, we have the luxury of using advanced technology to recreate it! "

5:07 PM

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 5:07 & 6:05,

I feel your pain. I know how upset you must be. You dropped a few Gs for one of your little last-minute mud campaigns, figuring you'd screw Monahan before anyone knew what was up. You knew the MSM, which avoids campaigns like the plague, would not pick up on it. You had a chance of taking Monahan out, so you let the dirt fly.

Now, despite your righteous protests to the contrary, you defamed Monahan. You did much more than take some quotes from the MC, out of context, of course. In a large bold-faced sentence, you accused him of preventing the prosecution of a "heinous double murder." In other words, you accused Monahan of obstruction of justice. Your accusation is a lie.

Ordinarily, you'd get away with this, and it might have actually toppled Monahan. But all your thousands of dollars blew up in your face. And that is solely because of a simple little blog that doesn't cost me a dime. Hurts, huh.

Things aren't so easy for you as they have been in past years now, are they? I don't blame you for lashing out at the blogosphere.

Thanks to the blogoshere, your treachery was exposed for what it was. Monahan's opponents had an opportunity to condemn publicly your vicious mailer, and they both did so.

And your mailer either backfired or had no effect at all. So basically, you wasted several thousand dollars.

And please don't even bother denying you're the person who sent the mailer. The only person who would defend that smear would be the person who actually sent it.

In mailing your pack of lies about Monahan, you made an "independent expenditure." You spent more than $500, and are therefore subject to the 24 hr. reporting requirement. And having spent more than $100 means you must also file another finance report, which you won't do. Your anonymous mailing is a violation of the disclosure requirement of the Election Code. And please don't cite that Ohio case and start screaming about your first amendment rights. It's a different statute, and you're no ACLU member.

I know who you are. I've spoken to the DA. He knows who you are. Because of your friendship, he can't prosecute you. But the AG can. I've reviewed other incidents in which there were "technical" and unintentional violations, where the AG let things go with a small fine. This was no technical violation. You knew what you were doing. You intended to remain in the shadows. You did not want the voters to know you were spending thousands to violate the Elections Code.

That Elections Code is intended to (1) give individuals a right to run for office, and (2) protect the right of voters to elect candidates of their choice.

Your actions were knowing. They were intended to interfere with the rights protected by the Elections Code. It is no de minimis violation. You've done it before. Unless you're stopped, you'll do it again. I intend to stop you.

Must drive you nuts. You sit there with all your money and sneaking around in the dark, and I sit her with a blog that costs nothing and that even you can see.

One of your points was that we have no right to offer any opinions about anything until we read three newspapers, go to the library and then personally speak to all the candidates involved. I've done all those things. But by your own admission, you haven't even spoken for Cindy Greene.

Have a nice weekend.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Wrong again, Ineptitude-breath.

But, I'm guessing you sincerely believe that the ONLY opponent worthy of rubbing a couple brain cells together and commenting on your McCarthy-esque obsession in general - would have to be a non-regular reader/supporter of your CLOG-blog - and therefore, the perpetrator of the mailings.

I find it extremely disturbing.
And the thought that you assume most of your readers are passive followers in this behavior - frankly, makes me CONSTIPATED at the thought.

Has it occurred to you that someone BESIDES the "slimeball", as you so eloquently and objectively referred to the party in question, might object to your pattern of "High Priest of Moral Fortitude"?

I think it's a sad, yet clear insight into the opinion you hold of your regular readers.

They MUST be too stupid to have an objection to this absurdity, unless they happen to be the "guilty party," right?

Give the guy a break, he's got enough flame-throwers on his butt. Don't give him credit for my opinions. With you on the loose, lord knows - he's shivering in his boots already.

Your commentary is beginning to sound a little testy, Bernie. Little unsettling to be called on the carpet for being a hypocrit?

Or is the adderall just not kicking in this week?

Much as I love a good tete a tete, I'll leave the cyber mouse-wheel for you, Bernie. You can dip it in mud, keep running in circles, and - in the process - fling as much caa caa as necessary to keep your psychosis at bay. Have a ball.

6:51 PM

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks, Tom. You've got bigger problems than me right now. You just don't know it yet.

Anonymous said...

first day at boot camp:

rapid-fire attack.
hit'em all. one o' them might actually be him! LoL LoL