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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Real Reason for Norco Council's $1.5 Million Blunder - Punishing a Major Republican Donor

"Is there anyone here who's dissatisfied with ACS?"

That's how Lamont McClure responded when Northampton county council was asked to reject all bids for information tech services with the county. Unless that is done, the county will end up paying Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) at least $1.5 million more than the price provided by the real low bidder, Computer Aid, Inc. (CAI).

McClure was far from alone. Six other council members joined him. Charles Dertinger and Ann McHale complained about the unfairness to poor ACS, which was being penalized for filling out its paperwork correctly.

Council totally failed to consider fairness to taxpayer or the best interests of the county. As Ron Angle complains in a suit against council filed late yesterday afternoon, it breached its fiduciary duty to taxpayers.


On April 12 and May 17, council unanimously agreed to reject bids for cafeteria services and cereal so that the county could get a better price. It did the same thing last year for the courthouse cupola, which is now being repaired at half the price originally quoted.

So why now, knowing damn well this will cost the county $1.5 million, does council refuse to permit the administration to rebid its information technology services? Dissatisfaction with the county procurement process? That's an expensive way to make a point, and punishes the wrong persons - us.


Politics, bippy. Partisanship at its worst.

According to the corporations bureau, CAI's prez is Anthony Salvaggio. And he's a playa'. State campaign finance reports reveal that, in the last six and a half years, he's donated $98,500 to candidates seeking statewide office. Most of these are Republicans, although he will grease the palms of an incumbent Dem like Rendell. Over that same period, Salvaggio has also donated $97,850 to candidates seeking federal office, according to FEC reports. When it comes to federal candidates, Salvaggio donates exclusively to Republicans.

Salvaggio has contributed $10,100 to Congressman Charlie Dent, a Republican opposed by council member Dertinger in the last congressional race.

Is it possible that Dertinger and McClure saw an opportunity to put the screws to a big Republican donor? Instead of letting the bidding process determine a county contractor, were "pay to play" pols punishing someone for playing with the wrong team?

McClure was quick to steer the work away from a known Republican donor. Maybe he thinks that's in the "best interests of the county."

Now he can tell it to the judge.


Anonymous said...

Isn't the word "Republican" a proper noun in you usage, and, therefore, in need of capitalization? Or have I missed some subtlety here? Love the blog - and proper grammar.

Anonymous said...

"your" usage

Bernie O'Hare said...

I appreciate any suggestions you may have to correct grammar or spelling in my posts. I try to get it right there, but am far less careful in my comments.

I try to shy away from the excessive use of capitalization. I believe we capitalize too many words. I don't know why Republicans are considered a proper noun, necause I son't think of them or any political party as a specific group.

But I just checked. Damn it, you're right. I'll correct my post.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible Angle is filing suit to help a well-known GOP donor?


Bernie O'Hare said...


I don't think so. All Angle is interested in doing is getting the project rebid so the county can get the best possible prices and service. Salvaggio is a member of the Lehigh Valley Partnership. Angle detests that secretive group and the feeling is mutual. He opposes them more than most Dems. And some local Dems play ball with that group.

The IT review committee is supposed to award a bid based on price and evaluation factors. Political affiliation plays no part of that decision. "Pay to play" is irrelevant. Satisfaction with the current vendor is also irrelevant. The very reason for the bidding process is to remove party politics from vendor selection.

Partisanship has no place in vendor selection, whether it's done to reward or punish someone. I don't like where Salvaggio's campaign mponey goes, but his politics should be irrelevant. In this case, I think Dertinger and McClure saw a chance to be partisan and took it.

Anonymous said...

Are you claiming that the winning bidder has made political contributions?


Bernie O'Hare said...


There is no winning bidder, at least no yet. Right now there is only one bidder, ACS, the one with the $10 million bid. That outfit is too big for me to follow the money very quickly. I don't know how that outfit funnels its contributions.

The low bidder, CAI, is a smaller and local company, owned by Salvaggio. And he is a big time political donor, especially to Rs.

I believe Dertinger & McClure attempted to steer the business away from him for that reason. That's the only explanation that makes sense.

Those who make big campaign contributions should not be rewarded with big government contracts. But they should not be denied them either. That's why we have a bidding process. McClure and Detringer have attempted to short circuit that process and inject politics where it does not belong.

Anonymous said...

Let me get the Bernie O'Hare "5 step gonzo bidding process" straight:

(1) Give boatloads of money to GOP candidates
(2) Submit a lucrative bid on for county services
(3) fail to complete the bid properly, so that you can't be held responsible for the contract terms.
(4) whine when step one doesn't help win the contract
(5) claim political discrimination


Anonymous said...

If the roles had been reversed and this guy that doesn't know how to complete a bid gives money to Dertinger and Lamont. You would be the first to cry foul if they has called for a "do-over".

I think NorCo should refuse to award ANY bids to political donors, but I'm just a bus driver... what the hell do I know.


Tom Foolery said...

You obviously know alot Cindy.. You sound incredibly smart to me..

Bernie O'Hare said...


You are missing my point entirely.

The guiding star here should be the best interests of the county and its taxpayers.

The whole reason for the bidding process is to remove party politics from governmental contracts.

You apparently don't mind that McClure and Dertinger are subverting that process to punish someone who contributes to the wrong side. But the point is that it is wrong to let politics interfere with county bids, whether it's done to reward or punish someone.

Had the roles been reversed and this dude was a heavy contributor to Democratic campaigns, I would still feel the same way. That is an irrelevant consideration.

Frankly, it's unfair for you to state what my argument would be if the situation were reversed. You have no basis for arguing I would be inconsistent in my reasoning. That's just a cheap shot, Cindy.

Politics should have nothing to do with the bidding process. McClure and Dertinger have managed to inject it unnecessarily.

Anonymous said...

I really don't think Lamont & Dertinger are smart enough or concerned enough to know who the CEO's of each company are.

My first husband is an contractor, I used to type his bids for him. I learned very early on in the process that there are never any "do-overs". Simply put, the bidders screwed up.

As far as my using "a cheap shot" against you... you started this post by claiming you have some facts as to the motivations of council members. You have no basis to make that leap.


Bernie O'Hare said...

Cindy Throws MegaPoop,

I beg to differ. I do have a basis for making my claim. It's the only explanation that makes sense. Every other explanation offered by council is complete bullshit, and that is the sentiment of the editorial boards at both local papers.

The fact not widely known or reported is that CAI's CEO is a heavy duty political playa'. Neither Dertinger nor McClure is bright or concerned enough to know who shells out the dough locally??? Yeah, and the tooth fairy will be poppin' over tonight to put a quarter under your pillow, too.

You say, as someone who used to type your husband's bids, that there is no such thing as a do-over. That's just not so. It happens frequently, especially when there are minor technical goofs. The guiding star should always be the best interests of the county, not the bidders.

Partisanship has no place in local government. The whole reason for bidding is to remove the politics. It was not CAI or CMC who was asking for a do-over. It was the county. And for good reason. It did not want to screw the taxpayer.

It's not ok to screw the taxpayer so long as it's done to punish someone who gives to the wrong team. And it's also not ok to rewards someone who gives to the right team.

And so you know, my thinking here is consistent. If CAI was a big donor to local Dems, I'd still feel the same way. Your assertion to the contrary is a cheap shot. You accuse me of inconsistent thinking without any basis.

I cheapshotted poor Lamont and Dertinger? I gave you a factual basis for my accusation. Sorry if you don't like it, but there it is.

I have long advocated that political donors should not be awarded no-bid contracts. But the whole point of the bidding process is to remove cronyism and pay to play.

Anonymous said...

I sell heavy equipment to municipalities, agencies, and authorities. Bids are re-bid all the time (except in places like North Korea and Northampton County). Any fear that a re-bid will cause potential bidders will shy away from doing business with Northampton County is ludicrous.

Northampton County offers a large, and poorly policed slopping trough. Where there's profligate government spending, there will always be vendors willing to do business.

Don't let up, Bernie. Your "guiding star" comment is prescient.

Tom Foolery said...

I hate to agree with Cindy but I do.. No way McClure and Dertinger knew anything about who the president of that company was. You are giving them way too much credit. If anyone knew it was mister moneybags, ANGLE! Now he wants to give the bid to the Republican bidder. He couldn't even submit a correct bid..

Anonymous said...

Bernie has said it himself....
"The IT review committee is supposed to award a bid based on price and evaluation factors." if that is the case then why is everyone going crazy over the price difference. I have not heard one person give a reason for the discrepencies. Is it possible that the other bids where missing something, not to stick up for ACS, but has anyone compared apples to apples. Are the bids public? Can the public see them for themselves??? When you shop for products and services, do you necessarily pick the cheapest one all the time. What if product "A" does have a feature you want or require, but is cheaper then product "B" do you buy "A" anyway because its cheaper. All I am saying is you hear a lot of harping on price, but no particulars. A newspaper article on the breakdown of services, costs, and budget would be nice.

Anonymous said...

Bernie has said it himself....
"The IT review committee is supposed to award a bid based on price and evaluation factors." if that is the case then why is everyone going crazy over the price difference. I have not heard one person give a reason for the discrepencies. Is it possible that the other bids where missing something, not to stick up for ACS, but has anyone compared apples to apples. Are the bids public? Can the public see them for themselves??? When you shop for products and services, do you necessarily pick the cheapest one all the time. What if product "A" does NOT have a feature you want or require, but is cheaper then product "B" do you buy "A" anyway because its cheaper. All I am saying is you hear a lot of harping on price, but no particulars. A newspaper article on the breakdown of services, costs, and budget would be nice.

sorry forgot the not in the first post

Bernie O'Hare said...


Yeah, right. McClure and Dertinger had noooo idea that Salvaggio is a big time playa who actually contributed to Dertinger's opponent in the last congressional race. And tonight, you can dream about sugarplums nad lollypops.

Anonymous said...

Many people gave money to Dent the last time around. If Dertinger were to spend his time going after them he would have no time to do anything else. I am not a huge fan of Dertinger, but he is not the petty man you make him out to be.

And my dreams are none of your business, sicko.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 10:05,

I do not know whether these bids are now public, but they usually are soon after they are opened.

Right now, the county is stuck with the ACS bid, and may not even negotiate for a lower priice.

The reason that CAI and CMC bids were rejected is because one bidder failed to fill out two last-minute addenda and another incredibly failed to sign its proposal. I don't know why ACS was not rejected as well because it failed to include a price for an alternate proposal requested by the county.

Frankly, the best interests of the county are not served by limiting it to just one very high bid.

That's why the county wants to rebid the proposal. The successful bidder will be the one who has the best proposal. That will be determined by price and a number of written evaluation factors.

It could very well be that ACS is ultimately the best outfit for the job. If it isn't, ACS will fire all of its IT employees at the county, and they'll be picked up by whoever does get the bid. That's the way it works, or so I'm told.

But price alone is not what determines the successful bidder. It is always the best interests of the county. Those interests are poorly served when the county is stuck with only one bid for a very important service.

Chris Casey said...

Boy, you stepped in it today Bo'hare! I know the name Selvaggio well, they are big business in the valley, and you read any, and I mean any, republican's campaign finance report, and you will see a hefty and generous amount in the gift column.
Political players read each others finance reports, I know I do. It's a reality, the players know who each other are, to think elsewise is wishful.

Bernie O'Hare said...


Do yourself a favor and attend a few county council meetings. That should answer your question whether Dertinger is petty. Judge that for yourself.

And yes, I am a sicko. You're right about at least one thing. But it's time for you to admit that you and Tom Foolery dream every night about Ron Angle and his sultry radio voice. I'll try and get both of you an autopgraphed 8 x 10.

Anonymous said...

I have been to many council meetings, even sat near you once before I moved to another seat.

Bernie O'Hare said...


But not Lamont and Charles! They're skipping in a garden right now, blowing bubbles and chasing butterflies.

Gee, what could I be thinking in attributing base political motives to their decision-making? Cindy Throws No Poopies nad Tommy have completely persuaded me.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Cindy Throws No Poopies,

Was that you with the pom poms?

You moved to another seat? Was it my breath? BO? A combination? Just a general feeling of malaise at being near me? If so, I completely undertand. Even I don't like me.

If you've attended many council meetings and don't see it as a circus, then I want some of what you're smoking. Well, at least as long as it's not poop.

Anonymous said...

Donations to the Lamont NoClue and Charles Dirt-inger campaigns may be submitted directly to Cindy and Tom. I'm certain they'll see that the money gets to the boys. I hate blogflakkers.

Bernie O'Hare said...


They're welcome to come here and tell me why they think I'm dead wrong. That's what it's all about. I enjoy the interchange, and already owe Tom Foolery two pop tarts.

river said...

Cindy and everyone else. Lets just look at the bottom line for a moment. An Anon on the first bid wars blog said ACS has 15 people working at Northampton County. $10 million divided by 4 years at 15 people times 5 days a week adds up toaprox $638 per day per person or seventy nine dollars and seventy five cents per HOUR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! $79.75 per hour. Doesn't that sound high to you?? Don't you think the county can do better than that?

Tom Foolery said...


You are right..If the County had taken Angle's buddys bid the call center would have been in India.

Anonymous said...

All I'm saying is that all the facts are not out on the table, and the county was not stuck with one bid. The other companies had ample time to prepare their bids. They had the same amount of time to respond to the bidding requirements as everyone else. 3 bids came in, and one came out. It just happens to be the most expensive one this time, but that is part of the process. First, meet the bid requirements. The solictors office (sorry spelling is not my fortee') which is also part of the process. It is unfortunate that there is only one bid that made it through that portion of the process, but 3 bids were submitted. Second, the proposals get judged on merit and price. What if the solictor found the lowest bidder did not have a performance bond to insure the company could do what they had promised, do they still warrant consideration???? That would disqualify them from the process. Also, where were their lawyers when the bid paperwork was being filled out???? Seems to me something that is this important to you that you pull lawyers out after you don't get the job, should have had them double checking the paperwork ahead of time. I agree as a taxpayer I would like to save money, but not at the cost of all the money legitiation is going to cost us. Would this much stink have been raised if ACS have been the lowest or even in the middle????

Anonymous said...

River, the cost is not for the 24 person (not 15) staff members and the greatest expense is hardware and software maintenence. 79 bucks an hour? puleez sign me up!

Anonymous said...

Its more like 20+ people, $400 per hour. But the real counter point I would like to make is that is the IT budget, equipment purchases, communications cost, etc. $2.5 million/year for all of the county's computer needs. I also beleive that may or may not included salaries, I'm leaning towards salaries are not included.

Anonymous said...

for the record, Bern, you are being inconsistent. Review your statements re the bethlehem hosuing authority. there, you castigated those who wanted to go with the low bid. you could have been right there. you could be right on this one. but you can't be right on BOTH.

you can try to distinguish the two all you want, but it's just mental masturbation. the only difference between the two is Stoffa. Your admiration for the man (and I'm not saying it is, or isn't, justified) has clouded your objectivity.

and turn off the AC in here. Gettin chilly.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Tom Foolery, That statement is just more tom foolery. CAI's call center would not be in India. That's CMC, one of the other outfits.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 10:05, W

hat you don't seem to get is that it simply is not in the best interests of the county to have only one bid on the table. Those other 2 bids had to be rejected for legal reasons. What you propose is unfair to the taxpayer.
You seem to think that the county should just shrug off a bid w/ a technical defect. That's very short-sighted.

The administration simply asked for a redo so that it could consider 3 bids fairly. Council stupidly shortcircuited the porocess. it really was shortsighted, especially since council will have to approve whatever bid is finally awarded.

You talk about litigation? There would be none if the council just allowed the bids to be resubmitted. Now there are formal protests, Angle's suit and it's all because some members of council chose partisanship over the best interests of the county.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 5:39,

A cold breeze blows through cyber space ....

My position re BHAS and here is erntirely consistent. In both cases, certain elements were allowing politics to cloud their judgment. Long and Lumpy wanted badly to award a BHA contract to a major BHA player, contrary to the advice of a well-paid consultant. In this council is ignoring the recommendation of its IT review committee so that it can reject a contract with a big GOP donor.

In both of these cases, I say you better have a damn good reason to ignore advice that disrupts the bidding process.

And I'm not saying that the county should go with the lowest bid. Sometimes that is not in the best interests of the county. I'm saying let these yahoos resubmit the bids, which will surely be lower, and then decide what's best.

Now excuse me while I go hurl myself off some roof.

Anonymous said...

No more forming committees as cover for decisions, Stoffa is a Dem not a Repub. afterall. There is no contract without the Executive's signature. Only the Executive can execute a contract on behalf of the County. So instead of whinning to you and the press and have them fight his battles or set up another phooney balonney committee of donors and friends; be the boss. Say this is not in the best interest of the County and put the ball back in Councils Court. With everybody carrying water for him it's easy. If Reibman had done it you and the msm would have wanted his head, but Stoffa has the option. He already has two editorials giving him cover. Leadership means standing firm for what you believe in. Of course first you have to believe in something.

Anonymous said...

>and another incredibly failed to sign its proposal

1) Recently, I have had occasion to sign many financial documents and if it weren't for the secretary's thoughtful placement of the "sign here --->" sticky notes, I would surely have missed a spot or two.

2) I also count our church's weekly Sunday collection - and it continues to amaze me how many people make their offerings with checks...unsigned checks.

No biggie. Understandable oversights!

Bernie, have a happy 4th!

....by the dawn's early light

Anonymous said...

I have a great idea for the majority of people who post on the LVR blog. Run for public office!

I sometimes wonder why the majority of you who know everything about public policy, public office, public service, and governance don't run for office. The majority of you claim to know how to get the job done based on your postings. You claim to always know what's going on with the pressing issues of our time, and you complain about it. But you really don't do anything about it. Why not run for office, get elected to one of these bodies of government and do your best to make some real change?

There are men and women on the LVR blog who believe and act as though they have better ideas than those already in office (and some do). I think the majority of you should put your money where your mouth is. Why don't you all run for office and change the way our local, county, state, and federal governments operate?

No, I'm not a public official in case I come off sounding that way. Only a regular citizen who cares about the direction of our political and public policy discourse.

Have a great 4th of July everyone. Let's truly remember why we celebrate the 4th, and how this holiday relates to what we do everyday on the LVR blog.

Anonymous said...

"It's the only explanation that makes sense" is a reef that has sunk many a ship, Bernie. People do things that don't make sense

Of course, you writing about it might generate enough interest in the local blogosphere that some reporter might investigate, get the facts and if you're right, write a nice big splashy story about it.

I don't necessarily agree with you, but a 1.5 million pricetag for apparently no reason deserves some noise, if only so that someone decides to dig around a bit.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:35 PM said: I have a great idea for the majority of people who post on the LVR blog. Run for public office!

larry@kisslinger.com says: glad you mentioned "majority" of people b/c I've been there and done that! The late USA Senator, Everett Dirkson, once said "a billion dollars here and a billion dollars there, and pretty soon you're talking about some real money". Re-bid (RFP) NorCo IT contract should be a no brainer of the highest order. Something stinks with the issue, and I hope will soon be corrected!

Anonymous said...

Almost forgot Bernardo, Have a happy and respectful July 4th.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have a great idea for the majority of people who post on the LVR blog. Run for public office!

Anon 11:35,

That's a good suggestion. I am constantly amazed and impressed at the number of good ideas I read in the comments, even from those who disagree with me.

Not everyone is cut out for public office. I'm one such person. I'd be a terrible public official and know it. I have a sordid past, a bad temperament and am a professional procrastinator. I think I do best as an opinionated observer.

I'm sure many of the folks here are volunteers and already serve in some form of public office. But it would be nice if we had some fresh faces jumping into the fray. Cunningham, Callahan, Freeman and this dude named Kisllinger all got an early start.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 12:56, Happy 4th to you and yours as well.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:14,

No more forming committees as cover for decisions, Stoffa is a Dem not a Repub.

I'd hasve to agree with that. If there's a problem, identify and fix it. Committees are too unwieldy and take too long to arrive at answer. In some cases, it might be good. I think the committee worked very nicely for the archives.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"It's the only explanation that makes sense" is a reef that has sunk many a ship, Bernie. People do things that don't make sense.

You're right. This is one of those times. The only explanation that is logical (and intriguing) is the pay to play in reverse. But I'll concede this council may just be acting illogically.

As someone else pointed out, they can't force Stoffa to award a contract. On the other hand, they do have to approve whatever bid he does award. So it makes sense for council to allow the three outfits to produce new proposals because they will all have lower numbers for the same services.

Anonymous said...

You are an opinionated SOB but you mean well and I stand by my wishing you the best on the 4th. I also continue to believe John should refuse to sign the contract, since Council passed a Resolution its not the law. He would force them to: 1)Reaffirm their decision 2)Change their decision 3)Force them to readdress the issue regardless... I believe with the agreement of the current Contractor he can continue the terms of the existing contract(which they should do if they were so damn willing to rebid a bid they had just won) until Council takes some new action. Council will screram bloody hell but only an Ordinance has the force of law. Why am I doing all the work.
Of course there is one more point to be made. Assuming your reverse pay to play is a bit too 'Grassy Knoll' for this bunch, there may be factors we are unaware of. As the public we get to hear the prices and the relative terms of service but not the specifics. There are times when the lowest bidder is not the best choice. RFP's can on the surface not tell the whole story. I wish someone on Council would give more details on their decisions other than thier initial innane statments. I can excuse the rookies but McHale and Dowd have been around. They are either incompetent, dumb or know something we don't.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 1:52,

1) Yes, I am a miserable bastard, but I just saw Transformers. Great flick!

2) The administrative code specifically provides that when the exec feels bids are not "in the best interests" of the county, he can ask council to reject them by resolution.
Sorry, dude.

3) But I still like where you're going. The exec may not award a bid if it is not "advantageous to the county." There is no way council can compel Stoffa to award that bid, and I understand Stoffa has no intention of doing so.

4) Once a bid is awarded, council has the final say because of the amount of money involved. They have to approve it by resolution.

5) I think council should allow everyone to submit new proposals. That enables all bidders to participate, enables the county to make the best choice possible, and if council disagrees, it can simply refuse to assent to whatever award is made.

river said...

Anon 11:35 said

No, I'm not a public official in case I come off sounding that way. Only a regular citizen who cares about the direction of our political and public policy discourse.
Hi anon. we care too, thats why we are speaking out. It is part of the checks and balances started on this day in 1776. Before that our voice meant nothing to the pompous King George. Thanks and Happy 4th to all!

Anonymous said...

BO I agree with your #2. He can request a Resolution to reject. Hoever, only he can sign a contract and he can flat-out refuse. Coucils and County's Solicitors will huddle and ultimately the entire matter will be back before Council. While everyone will weight in on what can and can't be done, without that signature, furthur councilmanic action is necessay.
Annon 11:35. you assume most who blog are neither elected or past elected officials. Maybe some of us are commenting from a position of knowledge, past or present.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 10:37,

I believe that's exactly the way Stoffa will handle this. He won't award a $10 MM bid to a company that itself agreed it could come down. That's simply idiotic. And council can't force him either.

On the other hand, he can't force council to reject the proposals, a necessary precursor to new proposals. So we are in something of a stalemate.

Angle's lawsuit might break this bottleneck, and the fact that the president judge quickly ordered a hearing for this Friday is a message in and of itself. No judge will be enthusiastic over interfering with a legislative decision, but a judge would likely try to get council to reconsider.

As things stand, Angle, Dowd and Grube are in favor of getting new bids. I'm sure that Dertinger, McClure, Neiper and McHale won't be swayed. McHale is rather imperious and can get verey stubborn. McClure and Dertinger will just use theur spinning machine to try and confuse the obvious. They won't change.

That leaves Branco and Cusick.

I still can't believe Cusick tried to force Stoffa to accept a high bid when the bidder itself is willing to resubmit. As for Branco, I've noticed he's willing to change his position if someone can persuade him it's wrong.

Of course, this vote will come back to haunt McHale, Dowd, and McClure if they don't quickly reverse their folly.

Blah Society said...

I have a question...

If there were to be a round 2 of bidding, how much lower would the bids actually be? Any idea what types of numbers we'd be looking at then?

Anonymous said...

Cusick's true colors are beginning to show. This is the same guy who screwed over Williams Township by voting to change the zoning from heavily commercial to heavily residential, thus allowing Lou Pektor to demolish the ball yard in favor of high-density housing.

Cusick claims he was helping remove an eyesore, but everyone knows he was doing it so that his buddy Rooney would have a better shot at getting the state ball yard grant in his district.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 5:28,

This is the first time I heard that offered as a reason. That half finished stadium was more than an eyesore. It was alaso a health hazard. I sure hope you're wrong about Cusick. I know his fellow Republicans on council don't trust him. Siding w/ partisans like McClure and Dertinger on an issue that will cost taxpayers money, is not helping his cause with others like me.

Anonymous said...

Eyesore? Maybe, but Williams would have had a better chance than anyone of getting the state grant, had it not been for Cusick. Instead, we now have ugly fireworks stores and a ton of housing that further burdens our school district.

It's no surprise to me that he's siding with McClure and Dertinger. Many people feel that Cusick ran as a Republican in name only. He has strong ties to the Democratic party. I think his sister is married to Rep. Joseph Brennan, and he is also connected to Rooney (can't remember how, though).

Bernie O'Hare said...

His sister is married to Joe Brennan, but that only proves she has poor eyesight. In fairness to her, it's hard to see Joe because he's about 100 feet tall.

My limited conversations with Cusick reveal someone who is fiscally very conservative, and who claims he's even more conservative on social issues. Joe is fairly liberal on social issues.

I'll bet they didn't need to buy any fireworks for their picnic yesterday.

I have friends and family with extremely divergent political views. I would never hold Joe Brennan against John Cusick. Nor would I hold John Cusick against Joe Brennan.

We're all on the same side, here, left and right.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough. But I still don't like him.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I haven't made up my mind. He hasn't made too many points with the Rs on council or w/ Peg Ferraro, who is running for Branco's seat.

river said...

Bernie Was that Peg Ferarro's husband who died a few days ago?

Bernie O'Hare said...

River, Yes, I'm sorry to say. I just found out about it. Dominic was close to both my mom and dad.