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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, March 09, 2009

Judicial Class Acts in Northampton County

I'm a miserable bastard. I've read somewhere that you should refrain from blogging whenever you're sick, tired or angry. If I followed that advice, this would be a blank blog. I'm usually all three simultaneously, and right now is no exception. But I've noticed that even when I'm in the best of moods, I still manage to piss everyone off.

It's a gift.

Most of you already know this, so why the hell am I bringing it up? To make a point. I'd be a lousy judge. I'd even be a lousy mini-judge. I'd probably leap across the dais and grab one of the lawyers or litigants by the throat about five minutes into any proceeding, just out of general principle. But there are some people who are perfectly suited for the bench. Let me give you an example.

John Morganelli, after a very tough and bitter campaign, was first reelected DA about a thousand years ago. After the vote tally was in and it was clear he had won, he was celebrating his victory with some of his supporters, hoisting a few. In the midst of this jubilation, a lone figure walked into the saloon, approached John, and extended his hand. That person was Emil Giordano, John's opponent in that race. He could have just picked up a phone, but instead sought John out and personally thanked him. "I never forgot that," John tells me years later.

Giordano is a class act. I'd like to think voters noticed that and that is why they elected him judge not many years later.

This year, voters will be deciding three judgeships in Northampton County. What makes this race especially difficult is that nearly everyone running is a class act. Lenny Zito has established that on the bench, where he has impressed everyone, including his harshest critics. Sam Murray, a hard-working and unassuming custody master, would carry little slips of paper with words like "compassion" inscribed, to remind him of judicial qualities. Craig Dally has devoted his adult life to improving his community, whether as an attorney or state legislator. I graduated from law school with Karl Longenbach and Barb Hollenbach, and would readily trust my life to either one of them. I do not personally know Candy Barr Heimbach, but know she has distinguished herself in the complicated field of medical malpractice.

I would rule out Jim Narlesky, who tried to play footsie with both Republicans and Democrats, to the point where some Republican are convinced he lied to them. His taste in political consultants is questionable, too. I'd also rule out Michael Koury, who is running for judge and magistrate simultaneously and has a history of negative campaigns. These two are both excellent attorneys and I may be a bit harsh in ruling them out, but we can afford to be picky.

That still leaves six candidates for three vacancies, each of them class acts. I would be happy to see all six elected, if that were possible.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Of course it was Zito who played the Republican Democrat game. Hey, facts never stoped O'Hare before.
Coming from you most people now know who to NOT vote for.

Anonymous said...

Of course it was Zito who played the Republican Democrat game. Hey, facts never stoped O'Hare before.
Coming from you most people now know who to NOT vote for.

not so casual observer said...

I have to agree that Lenny Zito has proven himself to be a class act. He and Craig Dally are about as good as they get.

Hey Bernie, is it true that it was Micael Khoury who erroneously spread the rumor that Zito was using Severson? If so that would surely rule hime out since that made the blog one day before Khoury announced his run!

Now that's slimy.

Anonymous said...

I doubt very much that Koury cares whether Zito used Severson or not and I seriously doubt that he spread any rumor about it. However, you are doing a good job of being slimy by writing this without facts..Very clever, but very slimy..

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Of course it was Zito who played the Republican Democrat game."

Lenny Zito switched parties, true, but was always honest about it. Many Rs believe Narlesky lied to them.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"is it true that it was Micael Khoury who erroneously spread the rumor that Zito was using Severson"

I did not hear it from any of the candidates or from a Mike Koury supporter.

Anonymous said...

Good analysis. You're too kind to Narlesky and Koury. But you're right to say we can be choosy this year.

Any word on Dally's seat?

Anonymous said...

Candi Barr would owe too many people

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't blog when you're angry? What could have our little Bernie so upset? What could make him so unhappy? Is Tony Soprano following you around again? Or some other mythical enemy that you have imagined?

Bernie O'Hare said...

No, pathetic trolls like you don't make me angry. They make no impression at all bc you have nothing to say.

Anonymous said...

" I graduated from law school with Karl Longenbach and Barb Hollenbach, and would readily trust my life to either one of them."

How dare you put yourself in the same league, let alone the same sentence, as two upstanding contributors to the betterment of our community! You dirt bag!

Bernie O'Hare said...

This must be written by one of my former law school professors.

I never said I was in the same league w/ Karl or Barb. I did say I graduated from law school with them, and I did. Cum lousy.

Anonymous said...

Yea Zito was honest about becoming a Republican that is why so many Dem's are pissed. Hey O'Hare don't let the truth trip you up. It shows he was willing to trade values for a robe. Think we will pass.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Zito was completely up front about it. You may be pissed bc he switched, but you can't complain he was dishonest about it.

Lady Rep said...

There are any number of candidates that I have spoken to over the years who have been registered as Dems because they didn't think that they would garner support (or the inverse - take alot of crap) if they weren't. That's just a fact of life in Northampton County.

Anonymous said...

O'Hare, "Zito was honest about his deception". Logic as per O'Hare.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This is a bullshit statement. Zito was never deceptive. He switched parties, never hid that fact, and even explained why he switched parties. You can condemn him for switching parties but not for being deceptive. Repeating this claim does not make it true.