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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Norco Dems File Another Bogus Finance Report: Severson Tied to Sleaze

In the weeks before November's election, anonymous and sleazy robo calls invaded homes across Northampton County. They came from two phone numbers - 484-548-6400 and 484-548-6413, the same ones used to do the push polling against candidate Ron Angle way back in July. The number 484-548-6413 shows up as MCS Industries on Caller ID, and is also the number Lamont McClure used for his robocalls. His campaign consultant? Tom Severson.

Mailings with content identical to these anonymous robocalls were posted with the Northampton County Democratic Committee's bulk mail permit. Lamont McClure, Tony Branco, John Maher and the local Democratic party were obviously using Severson's smear machine. Against Angle alone, there were twelve negative mailers (estimated cost - $36,000) and twenty-one anonymous robocalls (estimated cost - $31,500). I know of at least four negative mailers and ten anonymous robocalls directed at candidate Peg Ferraro.

John Maher, Tony Branco and Bossman Joe Long disingenuously deny having anything to do with the Severson smears. In a letter published by the Morning Call, Long even threatens the editorial board for noting his involvement in dirty politics. "This borders on libel and slander," he huffs. "[T]o my knowledge, the Northampton County Democratic Party has not made any so-called negative robocalls."

Well, Joe, better hold off on that libel suit. Local Dems have just filed their thirty day post election report. (An online version is here and a PDF copy is here.) Guess what? Severrson's sleaze campaign is documented, although only for about a third of the money actually spent.

Here's what happened. In the waning days before the election, local coffers were flooded with $12,678 from Charles Dertinger - $2,500; Lamont McClure - $8,000; John Maher - $750; and Tony Branc0 - $728. Amazingly, the party also accepted a $500 donation from Ronald "I love Wal-Mart" Perin, whose family is embroiled in litigation with the county.

Where did all this money go?

Why Severson, of course. Payments of $1,800 and $3,578 were made to Severson's Political Strategies, Inc, a California corporation that's not even registered in Pennsylvania. And the party is now in debt to this guy to the tune of $9,086.45.

What did Severson do? According to the Dems' own report, he looks like he did phone work, printing and "campaign services." Five separate mailings are reported, costing the party another $7,300.

Here's my problem. The amount of money spent against Angle alone ($67,500) is at least three times more than the $21,000 reflected by this bogus finance report.

Someone is flying under the radar.


Anonymous said...

The nonsense never ceases to amaze me with these candidates and Party leaders (sic)!

I blame "them" for using and promoting knife threatening scam man! larry@kisslinger.com

Bernie O'Hare said...

I can't wait to see the other reports!

Anonymous said...

The MSM sleeps while a local blogger does some actual research to present an actual news story that doesn't include a pig mascot.

And they wonder where their readers/listeners/viewers have gone?

Joe, Sarah? Bernie's done your research for you. You may begin writing your stories now.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 2:57,

I appreciate the compliment, but will also tell you I have the highest regard and respect for both Joe Nixon and Sarah Cassi. They are both great reporters. Sarah is actually the person who first picked up on the Atiyeh connection. I just can go into more detail because I don't have space limitations. Reporters also try to get every side of a story, and I'll often go with just one, knowing that people who comment can poke holes if I've got my facts wrong.

But thanks for the nice words.

Anonymous said...

It is very easy for severson to cover the windfall from his contract and prospective dollars in Morganelli's state AG campaign. And dudes like Atiyeh, Perin etc just drop of the cash to PMI.

Again, the problem is the undisclosed payments to severson. And Morganelli knows it

Bernie O'Hare said...

Again, the problem is the undisclosed payments to severson. And Morganelli knows it

I agree that Severson is flying unfer the radar. But when you say Morganelli knows it, you need to be able to prove it. You can't. So why say it?

Let's stick with wehat we can prove. That's pretty damning in and of itself.

Anonymous said...

BO: if this are bogus reports, why is Morganelli or Corbett not investigating? Please explain or are they just hiding something?

If there has been use of the post office, it is also a federal matter. Perhaps the local FBI office in Allentown should be made aware and someone needs to call the US Attorney in Philly.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:23,

My understand is that Corbett already is investigating this matter. DA Morganelli has a cvonflict and should not be involved in any way.

Next week, after the 30 day post election campaign finance reports are all in, I'm putting everything together and will send it to Corbett.

Anonymous said...

Why Corbett --state elections?--as the Rs are involved with Severson too, are they not?

And if postal use is part of it, it is a federal matter too. Send it to the US attorney too!

keep pressing BO

Bernie O'Hare said...

Good suggestion.