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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bennett Defends POM Salary

On Tuesday, I posted LV Congressman Charlie Dent's observations concerning Sam Bennett's salary at non-profit POM. Kathryn Seck, Bennett's Campaign Manager, has the following reaction:
It’s no surprise that Dent is trying to run from his own record. Dent takes taxpayer funded health care but votes against increasing health care funding for our veterans, and he voted with George Bush 100 percent of the time on Iraq.

Sam Bennett did not take any salary at POM for the first seven years she ran the program. Once the successful program went statewide, the board of directors established her salary. After it became clear detractors wanted to use the salary as a political football, Sam asked her board to halve her salary effective a year ago. So, in fact, her average salary there has been $13,000.

When people make up their minds in November, it will be on issues like the economy, jobs, how we take care of veterans, food and gas prices, and who will change the way Washington works. People will be looking to the candidates to see who shares their views. But when they look to Dent, they’ll just see baseless attacks and politics-as-usual.
I'm not sure how halving a $110,000 salary results in a $13,000 average, but there it is.


Anonymous said...

Bernie, the average comes because they are saying she didn't take a salary for the first seven years.

She was paid an actual amount of $88,000 which if you divide by seven years comes to $13,000 a year.

I guess they think we're stupid and don't realize that Sam was working other places those seven years - so to count those years in the average is quite misleading.

And would someone PLEASE tell Bennett's campaign manager that we're sick of the same old "Dent voted with Bush." Their entire campaign strategy appears to simply be, "Make the voters think that Dent is the same as George Bush."

Frankly, I'm insulted that Bennett thinks so little of her voters that she can't come up with something better. She's an embarrassment to the Democratic party.

Anonymous said...

I see what she's doing - $88,000 in compensation taken divided by 7 years = $12,571 in annual compensation - rounded up to $13k.

It should have been divided by 8 years (1st 7 with no salary + year 8 w/ an $88,000 salary) but who's quibbling over little things like that?

The Banker

Anonymous said...

Also, why is Kathryn Seck doing all the speaking? Sure would be nice if Sam spoke now and again, given that she's the one running - or is the DNC running and Sam just happens to be a silent head?

The Banker

Anonymous said...

Wait, she's getting reimbursed for being a volunteer?

So how is that volunteering?

Anonymous said...

we have discussed this before, but did anyone ever consider that if the rendell administration wanted to replicate POM as a statewide program . . . how much time for union scale state government employees and expenses would it take to get it going? i would venture the costs might be in the $2million area, or more.

the commonwealth is realizing a bargain for getting an already tested POM program for next to nothing. SAM's paltry $88k is nothing compared to what a team of state government employees could rack up if we let them, benefits and all.

bernie, i have read with great interest and amusement your comments over time about the "efficiency" if you call it that of public sector workers. here we had an opportunity to bypass the bloated bureaucracy.

Blue Coyote said...

Let me see if I have this right. Bennett was paid $13,000, or $80,000, or $110,000 for what? Handing out brooms? We are quibbling about someone actually getting a salary for handing out brooms? This is outrageous use of taxpayers money, no matter how much she was paid.

Anonymous said...

First of all, there are so many other important tasks to spend government money on, I won't even get started. Two, if her salary was calculated in a little government office somewhere, it just shows how broken that process and our government is. I need MY money spent this way??? Three, the fact that she allowed herself to accept that percentage of a budget for a non-profit makes me ill.

I'm missing out here! Should have figured out a way to charge for all of the boards and charity work I've done. Stupid me. Then I can finally run for office.

Anonymous said...


I don't consider any of this a bargain. The POM program is a waste of money. There are so many other more important projects that our tax dollars could be funding.

The program should NOT be replicated state wide.

Anonymous said...

Consiglierie --

This is meant as an honest question that others are echoing. Who says POM is a worthwhile program.

It has been primarily focused in Allentown for approximately 8 years I suppose, based on her spokesperson's comments.

What are the metrics that show the program has been working for Allentown?

In a newsletter they sent to my home (more of my money spent) they boasted that they had cleaned up 6,000 pounds of junk from alleyways over the course of a year.

Should we pay her per pound?

She's making a lot more than my garbageman makes and he works for a living.

Anonymous said...

O'Hare is a sexist pig!

Anonymous said...

Millan does Dents talking all the time banker. He hides behind him a lot. So let's be fair.

Anonymous said...

This race is a microcosm of the presidential race.

Rs are running moderates and Ds are running hard-lefties from Central Casting.

It's difficult to understand how Ds could so deftly snatch defeat from the firm jaws of certain victory.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 8:53, aka Bill Villa,

It's cowardly to make an irrelevant and anonymous attack, something you do all the time on this and other blogs. Being critical of a female candidate, while insisting there be no personal attacks, does not make me a sexist. But what you do makes you a troll. I will delete additional OT personal attacks w/o comment.


I think you make a valid point. In theory, I think POM is a good idea. Before Bennett got that hefty salary, she did spend years doing it for nothing.

What concerns me is whether she is accepting a salary now. It's pretty obvious that she is running full time. If she is still collecting a POM salary, that means taxpayers are helping to finance her run.

Anonymous said...

Anon 859, while true Millan does speak often, I don't see the same amount of hiding in Dent's campaign than I see in Bennett's.

Also, I admit to a bias because Seck was brought in from Washington to run Bennett's campaign, and it is very negative. I know Sam, she is not the person Seck is portraying her to be with her comments.

I'm voting for Charlie because I think he's the best candidate, but Sam has good points to make that are getting lost in the dirt. It's a shame.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

Good point, Bernie. Sam's been so busy campaigning this year that she hasn't even updated her website. It looks the same as it did back in the fall of last year.

For someone who's supposed to be taking this program state-wide, you would think that making sure the website is updated would be a priority.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kathryn Seck,

You are certainly no David Axelrod and your candidate is certainly no Barack Obama. The Bush analogies have grown quite old. Time for a new strategy and some ideas of your own.


A Lower Macungie voter

Anonymous said...

If you were a community driven person, someone who believed that an organization based around a good idea could change a community, and you came into an enormous grant from the state -- what would you do?

Would you expand the services your organization offered to the community?

Would you buy a great deal more of whatever tools you need to better do your job helping your community?

Or would you give yourself a six-figure salary?

Morning Call July 1, 2007:

"The organization pays Bennett, one of two people on staff, more than the heads of the Alliance for Building Communities and the local Habitat for Humanity -- whose budgets together total $2.5 million -- combined."

Completely unjustifiable and a slap to people who actually do real charitable work.

Bill Villa said...

"Anon 8:53, aka Bill Villa,
It's cowardly to make an irrelevant and anonymous attack, something you do all the time on this and other blogs. Being critical of a female candidate, while insisting there be no personal attacks, does not make me a sexist. But what you do makes you a troll. I will delete additional OT personal attacks w/o comment." -Bernie O'Mcall

Bernie: this is the 2nd time you have lied to your readers and told them that an anonymous comment came from me. It did not come from me. And you know it didn't come from me.

I stopped posting comments on your blog on August 11 when I caught on that you would delete anything I posted and then lie to your readers regarding the reason why you deleted me ("personal attack," "OT," etc.)

Do this one more time to me ("Anon 8:53, aka Bill Villa") and there will be severe consequences for you to pay ...

Anonymous said...

I think I have it backwards. For years I thught charity meant that you earn money in the private sector and give it to charitable foundations to help people. Apparently the NEW version is that you go to work for a charity and make a huge income for yourself and then tell people about the good you have done

Bernie O'Hare said...


There is no doubt in my mind that statement was made by you or your wife. It's the same claim you've made publicly before, it is off topic, is a personal attack, and is made by someone using AOL as an ISP.

In other words, it's you.

You (and your wife) post comments anonymously. You do it to attack other people. You have even bragged about it in emails to me. If you insist on claiming you don't do that sort of thing, I'll post your email.

I won't stop there. I'll post your emails dancing on the graves of laid off Morning Call reporters. Since you could not keep a confidence with me, I'll lay out exactly what kind of snake you are. I'll also post some of the other things you have said about some bloggers who thing you are their friend.

Between you and me, you've given me plenty of ammo. Ordinarily, I would not do that to somebody, but I'll do it to you.

You publicly revealed information I told you in confidence. You apologized and then did it again. You did it under under your name and as "Ernie" at the MC reader forum.

Naturally, I no longer believe a word you say. You lie and do whatever you can to advance your personal vendetta against the MC and the Lehigh County DA.

What's worse, you're a bully. You have threatened Michael Molovinsky, telling him he should walk to the other side of the street if he sees you coming.

Do whatever the hell you want. But you have to accept the consequences of your own dishonest behavior. One of them is that I no longer believe a word you say.

When you post here anonymously, I will nail you every time I think it is you.

All my respect for you is gone. Your daughter's death is no excuse for dishonest behavior. It's no reason for you to threaten people.

Your whole boycott of the MC is just more bullshit from a sick man who blames everyone for his daughter's death. You want people to boycott a site that your pepper with comments. How irrational is that?

All you've succeeded in doing is alienating every person who tries to help you. Well, I'm done trying to help you.

Like most bullies, you turn tail when you actually have an opportunity to do something. On the evening when you were present in the same room w/ DA Martin before the LC Comm'rs, you were as quiet as a mouse. You had every opportunity to publicly challenge him, and in a setting where he could defend himself. But you did nothing.

So you want to dance? Knock yourself out.

You know who I feel sorry for? Not your wife. She enables your dry drunk behavior.

But I feel sorry for your son. You spend every waking moment at war with this person and that. In the meantime, your son is growing up and you are not helping him. Is he in even one sport? You are so caught up with your departed daughter that you are ignoring a son who is very much alive. When you're not in NYC being an advertising whore, you spend your time sending emails and commenting on blogs, like that will bring your daughter back.

It won't.

It's time for you to get your head out of your ass and take care of and cherish the children you have. I am done trying to be nice to you. From this point forward, every threatening remark you make will be forwarded to the appropriate authority.

michael molovinsky said...

a clarification is in order; i am not threatened by bill's email that i should cross the street if i see him coming. i am perplexed that he thinks i should have followed, word for word, the o'hare-villa dispute, and that i should have taken a side. i am disappointed that he feels my failure to take a side, justifies him attacking me on various comment boards. i am offended by the attacks he has made against me and my motives on certain topics.

Bill Villa said...

"Villa, There is no doubt in my mind that statement was made by you or your wife." -Bernie O'Mcall

Then you should have no trouble convincing a judge of the same. We'll see you in court.

Bill Villa said...

"When you post here anonymously, I will nail you every time I think it is you." -Bernie O'Mcall

Ex-Councilor, FYI, the standard of proof you will need is 'beyond a reasonable doubt.'

Bernie O'Hare said...

Really? You decide the standards used in court now, too? Unfortunately for you, this is not the United States of Bill Villa. If you want to allege libel, you are the person who has to prove it. By your own admission, you post anonymously and under pseudonyms with all kinds of nasty snarks. By your own admission, you are dishonest. Good luck.

Bill Villa said...

"If you want to allege libel, you are the person who has to prove it." -Bernie O'Mcall

The relevant anonymous comments, i.e., the two you have publicly and libelously attributed to either me or my wife are at 8:53pm of this post and 5:03pm at your sycophant post of August 8 that was aquiveringly entitled, "What will replace Newspapers? Don't Count on Blogs."

I mention this so your readers can watch for the poofs.

Bernie O'Hare said...

In order to prevent Bill Villa from hijacking this blog thread, as he does to this and several other blogs, this comment thread is being closed. He can bray about whatever he wants on his wife's blog.

Anonymous said...

Ex-Councilor, FYI, the standard of proof you will need is 'beyond a reasonable doubt.'

Actually not. The standard of proof in a civil case is the preponderance of evidence, i.e. tipping scales. The more heavy burden of "beyond a reasonable doubt" only comes in in criminal cases where the subject defendant's liberty is at stake.

Then you should have no trouble convincing a judge of the same. We'll see you in court.

This is another quite common statement, which basically says, "I'll sue you" or "I'll see you in court". Whilst having no skin in this game, the comment is made quite often. My thoughts on this tactic is not to threaten a lawsuit. If one believes he or she is harmed, then go ahead a sue. A threat means nothing unless backed up, but many fear the threat.

I will note that one who injects himself into the public discourse, which applies to both parties, will not normally be protected to the same level as one who does not, likewise issues deemed to be of public importance, even if the ultimate statement is in error, unless the statement in error was make recklessly, a high bar..

An analogy is that of a public official, but the purported statements at issue, or a public controversy, may give rise to the same defense.

Again, no skin in the game. But to each party . . . be careful what you wish for.