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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cunningham Camp Pa. Report Pulls a Fast One

Blogger's Note: Below is a report that published at 3 AM. By 9:00 AM, I was aware that it is largely incorrect. I do not delete posts, but wish I could delete this one. Be sure to read the Update that follows this post if you want the whole story.

As many of you know, I'm a fan of Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham. He makes a difficult job look easy, and is cruising easily to a second term. He's also considering a bold move that bucks the odds - running for Governor when Rendell steps down. Whether you're Democrat or Republican, it's hard to deny that electing a Bethlehemite would be a boon for the often ignored Lehigh Valley.

When Don's camp sent me a news analysis concluding he "will be a very serious challenger for the Democratic nomination," I was only too happy to post a blog about it. The source cited is a subscription only political newsletter called The Pennsylvania Report. In the email from Team Cunningham, I was told I was getting the "entire piece." They even included Pa. Report's banner, which made me feel very special.

I was a little puzzled that an "insider" newsletter would only compare Cunningham to Jack Wagner. I'm an Auslander, but I know that Allegheny County Exec Dan Onorato is a leading contender. He's even visited the Lehigh Valley to listen to crickets at a Joe Long Meet 'n Greet. Philly gazillionaire Tom Knox is never mentioned either.

Morning Call poliblogger John Micek, who really is an insider, teed off on Pa. Report. "[I]t's massively weird that the Report would go through all the trouble of handicapping the Democratic field and not make any mention of Onorato or Knox. That's kind of like writing a history of World War II and starting with VE-Day."

Micek and I were both scammed.

What the Cunningham camp calls the "entire piece" is actually a modified version of the story. All references to Onorato and Republican Pat Meehan are eliminated. Because Pa. Report is subscriber only, there was no way for me to check if the story sent to me is what appears in the newsletter. Turns out it's not.

While I was blissfully ignorant at a Northwestern Little League baseball game against some fierce sluggers from Lower Nazareth, Micek was astute enough to exchange emails with Pennsylvania Report's Jeremy Adlon, and learned that Cunningham's advisers had pulled the old switcheroo with the text of a news analysis. He has posted the real account, which you can read here.

As I mentioned at the onset, I am a Cunningham supporter. But there is no way I can defend a probable attempt to deceive voters. There's little difference between deleting references to Onorato's name and blocking Stoffa campaign signs. Micek claims he will "aggressively pursue an answer about these apparent differences from Cunningham's camp on Friday." I hope it's a good one.

As for me, did I screw up, too? Yep.

Update: It is Pa. Report That's Playin' Us!

One difference between printed newspaper and blog is you can always change or delete a blog. This is good and bad. You can make changes to correct misinformation. But you can also make changes to cover your tracks. I am highly critical of bloggers who delete or alter posts unless they explain exactly what they are doing to readers.

I've spoken this morning with Frank Kane, who works for Don Cunningham. Then I spoke to Don himself, who actually called me. He tells me that the online newsletter forwarded is exactly what was published on April 17. He has even supplied the hard copy. "My integrity and honesty is very important to me."

Get this. The folks at The Pennsylvania Report actually changed their online newsletter to add Onorato at some later point, and have admitted it to Morning Call reporter John Micek.

I pretty much feel like a jack ass right now. At 3 AM, I published a post that condemned a person I happen to admire and respect. At 9 AM, I learned I was wrong. I apologize to all involved, especially Don Cunningham, and am now headed to my bunker. For those of you who want to slam me about this mistake, I deserve it.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

it was clearly an attempt to keep his funders and supporters in his corner. in 2002, ed rendell was the outsider candidate, but he was raising a ton of money and was building a statewide network. Cunningham is nowhere near that. He needs any kind of good news... being considered a very serious candidate is very good news.

it's not unusual for candidates to do. don't feel too scammed. get onto more candidate email blasts and you'll get more like it.

Anonymous said...

It is funny to me that nobody ever wants to say what is true about this guy, that he is a backroom dealing disingenuous politician that hands out your money to his friends in exchange for donations.

key word... disingenuous.

This guy will never be Governor.

Not now or ever. He is small time.

His one attempt at the big time flopped miserably and left the Governor in the lurch.

Forget this guy and move on people.

An Exorcist said...

Dude, you are reading Decartes, now!

You are really starting to scare me. They force me to read these authors, but you choose to. What's up with that? Can I get some help on my homework?

For this semester we are reading Karl Rahner, Duns Scotus -again, William Ockham -again, Siger of Brabant, Bonaventure -again and again, Rudi Te Velde, and the all of the Saints Gregory's, and Aquinas -for the 400th time! And they are the ones that I can remember.

Can a brother get a little help?

Peace, ~~Alex

Anonymous said...

Deceipt, is Cunningham's middle name. Look what he did at Cedarbrook. Liking someone, at times, clouds our vision.
I know..... Believe me, I know.
Bob

Anonymous said...

Everyone is so quick to rush to judgment on an honest guy. Go read Micek's blog, where he just apologized for any pain he caused because the PA report CHANGED THEIR STORY after his email blast.

All of the anonymous commenters should be embarrassed for rushing to judgment.

Anonymous said...

Cunningham = Rendell

Just as Rendell enjoys the baaas of his useful idiots, so does Daaaahnny when he takes the biggest one in his Amen Corner for a ride.

Kudos for admitting you were duped. Your continued support reminds of a battered spouse who won't leave, however.

Thank you, sir! May I have another?!

Cunningham = Rendell

Anonymous said...

Shame on you Bernie. Now go stand in a corner between Will Power and John Stoffa. That's where all the wack jobs are standing now.

lighthouse said...

While I understand the "embarrassment", I actually was impressed this morning to see that you were willing to call Cunningham on it, when presented with information contrary to your praise of him yesterday....is there such a thing as "blogger integrity"?? So while the story has changed, yet again, it is through no fault your own. I'd rather read your corrections and re-corrections, than a pig-headed blow hard who would have refused to correct him or herself.

Anonymous said...

B O' Hair needs a lot of correction. When is he going to tell the truth instead of innuendo and gossip?

Anonymous said...

Bernie, We all make mistakes. It's the ability to admit it and say "we're sorry" that makes for character.

Anonymous said...

Admitting error is a vital strength.

Anonymous said...

I an amused to see the great O'hare taken in by another fly by night "news" organization.
In his rush to show he will criticize anyone and prove his lack of allegiance to anyone, all he has done is prove irrevocably is that he is full of shit.
LOL! Bernie O'Hare Blog Genius. NOT!
Fuck You, you Sanctimonious prick. You deserve it Someone should. knows you need it! LMFAO!
I'd leave my name, but the last thing I need to do is sober up and see I put a comment on your blog, Donny C would not be happy, neither would Eddie P, but who really gives a fuck?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Well, I certainly screwed up. But I'll keep trying 'till I get it right.

Anonymous said...

How is Frank Kane part of "team Cunningham"? He's a full-time Lehigh County employee. Why is he sending out campaign newsletters? Oh, I guess it's on his "own time". So because they're not in Harrisburg they get away with it, right?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, the emails were not from Frank. The emails came from the Cunningham campaign w/ their eamail address. It supossedly came from Don himself, but i think someone sent it for him as part of an email blast.

I did get a phone call w/ Frank Kane. He called me at an ungodly hour early in the morning, somewhere around 6 AM. He knew the facts and wanted me to know them, too.