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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Are You a Joe Long Dem?

Are you afraid that you just might be a Joe Long Democrat? Never fear, I'm from the blogosphere and I'm here to help.

First, take the Long Dem quiz.

1) Do you find registered voters a nuisance that get in the way of you choosing our rulers?

2) Do you think only homeowners should have a say in government?

3) Are you the only people left on the planet who endorse in primaries?

4) Do you like calling a Northampton County Council member a "low hanging fruit" or joke during a public meeting about guys holding hands?

5) Does every candidate you endorse lose?

6) Were you illegally elected to your position as Party Boss?

7) Do you create havoc, discord, mayhem and chaos every time you appear uninvited to a municipal Democratic meeting?

8) Do you have a tiara in your glove compartment and 600 Stoffa signs in your trunk?

9) Do you like using a political consultant convicted of disrupting a funeral mass with a few well placed "Fuck you"s.

10) Do you like using a political consultant currently being prosecuted for deceptive campaign practices?

11) Do you believe council candidates should stay away from meetings because it might spoil the surprise?

12) Do you believe council's best work is done behind closed doors with corporate executives?

13) Do you think committee work is for chumps?

14) Did you walk out of a Michelle Obama speech because you were denied a front row seat for stupid military families?

15) Did your daughter get knocked up by Ron Angle at your primary results party?

16) Do you feel under some sort of compulsion to note daily, on this very blog, that I am a suspended lawyer and drunk who changes in the men's room after I ride my bike to the courthouse?

17) Are you sexually attracted to me, but too shy to ask me for a hug?

18) Have you ever opened the paper the day before an election to find that County Council member Ron Angle has spent his own money to expose you to the public, thus helping to cause your defeat 24 hours later?

19) Are you bitterly opposed to a Democratic county exec whose fiscal policies have saved taxpayers $10 million per year and have increased the county's bond rating?

20) Are you bitterly opposed to a Democratic county executive who actually gave voters their first open space program?

21) Are you bitterly opposed to a county executive who has improved county services and saved lives by bringing us reverse 911 and pictometry, which enables 911 dispatchers to see oblique angles inside buildings?

22) Are you bitterly opposed to a Democratic county executive who supports a regional health department?

23) Do you feel some inexplicable urge to hug Mike Fleck right now?

24) Are you afraid of getting on a LANTA bus to have your picture taken with those people?

If you've answered yes to any of these questions, chances are you're a Joe Long Dem. If you've answered yes to #s 1, 8, 14, 18 &24, you are probably Council Prez Ann McHale. If it's all of the questions, you're probably Charles Dertinger or Bossman Long.

If it turns out that you are a Joe Long Dem, don't worry. I can help. Here's what you do. Go to the courthouse, take off all your clothes in the can and then streak through the courtrooms inside and fountain outside. While doing that, try shouting, "I love birdhouses."

If this fails to cure you, you'll still be locked up long enough to enable John Stoffa to get a few things done.


Anonymous said...


You forgot the prizes:

10 yes's and above: 2 Stoffa signs from the trunk of McHale's Lexus

14 yes's and above: a secret dinner in a Nazareth basement bar, just you and Bossman Long alone, where if you're lucky enough you might witness and be solely responsible for his future re-election as Chairman. "Everyone present say aye!"

20 and above? You get to drive the short bus to Severson's Harrisburg trial with a free "Set Severson Free!" bumpersticker.

All 24? The camera purchased for Council Chambers that will never be installed which is currently attached to the ceiling of Dertinger's bedroom.

Lady Rep said...

Bernie, Bernie, Bernie!

Since I answered "No" to all of the questions in your little quiz, I am asking you one MORE time...please let Joe Long go so he can do the voodoo that he do so well. We've got some really good people who need to win this fall and Joe Long is going to help us do it. You are messing up a good strategy here.

Anonymous said...

Im such a LongDem, I climaxed by the time I got to 15.

Anonymous said...

The Dems are pitiful this year with the exception of Deb Hunter. How do the Reps look other than Cusick and Ferraro? Are you going to focus on each with a little video the way you did in the primaries? I think with the poor quality of people we're cursed with, choosing five out of ten is not going to be easy. We need 20 or more to get five good ones.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Deb Hunter looks good as does peg Ferraro and John Cusick. Bruce Gilbert is supposed to be the "most qualified" of the bunch, but he's also the lousiest pol. He ran no primary campaign and actually failed to fill out an ET questionnaire until the waning moments. Wallace has come a long way bc he takes the time to attend meetings and inform himself. I realize he is tight w/ Dertinger and McClure, but ran his own campaign when everyone else was using Severson.

I'd like to do a video of the candidates and several have agreed.

Anonymous said...

What exactly makes Bruce Gilbert the most qualified?

Anonymous said...

The Angle comment about "knocking up your daughter", is vulgar and disgustingly sexist.

If this is what Stoffa Dem's say, I chose to be neither a long Dem or A Stoffa Dem.

Anonymous said...

They are not Stoffa Dems, I think it is more like "Angle Dems"

There is a facebook quiz for you.

Are you a racist?

Are you a hypocrite?

Is your idea of dental care a bucket of floss in every home?

I'm just getting started.

Anonymous said...

Can Lady Rep explain to us in the Real World what Joe Long exactly "do so well?"

Inquiring Minds said...

The Angle knocking up your daughter must refer to the fact that the night McHale lost she told the papers she didn't want to win anyway because both her daughters became pregnant that night and she wanted to spend more time with them at home. I don't think it was Angle though, it could be their husbands. I was shocked to learn McHale had kids. It's not like she ever had a website or voters guide filled out that you could learn such a thing about her. It might have helped her had we known that she had spawned.

Anonymous said...

The idea of a regional health department does suck...Especially because it will be created at the expense of Human services..doesn't mean I'm a Stoffa or a Long Dem because I disagree with one or the other on issues. It means I'm a Dem who thinks about issues not personalities.

Lady Rep said...

To Anon 7:50

Because of Joe Long's "tactics" for his candidates, it helps the public to look at the OTHER candidates who won't indulge in poor campaign behaviors. There are many good choices for County Council. Gee, could I mean those Republicans?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The Angle comment about "knocking up your daughter", is vulgar and disgustingly sexist"

The comment is a play on Letterman's joke about Sarah Palin's daughter in NYC. Everyone tells palin to lighten up, it's just a joke. I thought I'd see how people would react if i took that joke and applied it locally, steering clear of any specific person as victim, but making Ange the perpetrator.

If you feel this joke is offensive, how did you feel about what Letterman said?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"What exactly makes Bruce Gilbert the most qualified?"

I don't know that he is the most qualified, but that's what I've heard from those who speak to him, based on his knowledge of finance. Angle claims he could actually hang with him on that topic, something few can do.

I don't know myself and have to see and hear him. Unless he makes an effort to be seen and heard, he'll lose.

Anonymous said...

How to you know if you're a Don Cunningham Dem: Do you collect two taxpayer paed salaries for you and your campaign manager then spend most of your time on the road raising money for your next career move instead of on the people's business?

Rising Sun said...

Anon 10:29,

Stop making yourself look like a fool. Don has a manager, and he does not work for the county. Nice try though.

Anonymous said...

talk about a circle jerk! u got one going here! keep it up!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Stop it and hug me already.

Danny Dem said...

Looking forward to hearing more about the Republican choices, looking forward to seeing a video...we can only scrape the bottom of the Dem barrell for so long before we have to forget about party labels.

Anonymous said...

Knowing how to dupe a widow out of her farm house is Angles "financial espertise", very little help at the County level. If this is a compliment for Gilbert he is in trouble.

Angle has shown over the years he is all blow and no go.

Dick Cheney said...

I'm a long Dem?

Just A Plain Old Democrat said...

I see my god and savior Ed Rendell has just proposed raising the state's income tax to pay for more profligate spending.

I'm all for it and will love Rich Grucela and all of my fellow Democrat sheep who vote to extract more money from the pockets of the productive, then complain that companies and educated people are running - not walking - running from this state. I also don't care about the shrinking number of corporate HQs that reside in the LV. They're greedy bastards anyway. We should simply take more from the morons who are too stupid to leave.

I'm all for higher taxes and more spending. I'm off to the casino in my matching sweat suit. I'm just a plain old Democrat.

Rising Sun said...

Anon 4:43,

Ahh yes, profligate spending, like schools and roads. Yup, smaller government, it works good, especially when you can't read, hit a pot hole the size of a black bear, and are unemployed.

Anonymous said...

Rising Sun, PA's schools are consistently in the bottom ten states in SAT scores. We're talking Mississippi and Louisiana here. If money were the answer, we'd have Einsteins abounding. Our roads are consistently voted worst in the nation by truckers and travelers publications, despite our tax burden and never ending schemes to pay more for them. How about expecting more for the already high price we're paying? I want to do work at your house. You seem willing to pay more first and ask questions, maybe, later.

Rising Sun said...


The path of conservative "small government" is straight to Katrina 2.0, because "small government" has become code word for ineffective government. The defunding of essential departments and services, for a "small government" philosophy causes things like the economic mess, but hey, you can have that if you want down in Alabama.

Now, onto your argument about spending, unfortunately, you are misguided, but my guess is that is on purpose, due to your usage of "SAT scores." The U.S. Chamber of Commerce gave Pennsylvania an A for our teachers, a B for our academic achievement, and a B on preparing students for post-high school, on it's 2007 report (the latest I have found). We have some issues in the report as well, but they are issues common to states with cities around 1 million in population or more. In other words, our issues are similar to New York, California, Florida, Illinois, etc. That is to be expected.

Anonymous said...

Rising Sun,
Regarding your Katrina assertion, you should be cautious to speak about something of which you clearly have no idea. The destruction associated with Katrina was largely the direct result of the failure of a government system set up to oversee the levees. The levee district became too large and branched far outside its original purpose of merely overseeing the levees. Instead of effective government, the levee boards became havens for political patronage and ripe for corruption.

The federal response was the typical federal response, throw extremely large sums of money at a problem and hope. Both parties are guilty of this response. Problem is that this breeds corruption and exposes a number of systemic failures at all levels. Let us speak frankly, regardless of the response to Katrina, critics (like you) would have derided Bush for some reason or another, while supporters would note the amount of money that was dedicated to the problem as a sign of the commitment to rebuilding the area. Either way, to use Katrina as your mantra for why smaller government is bad and why we need larger government is laughable for those who have witnessed pre and post Katrina New Orleans.

Anonymous said...

The Republicans have taken this country to the brink of disaster. that is why they have been soundly defeated at the polls and why no one admits being one. They suck, pure and simple..They have always served the rich and powerful and still do. There was a revolution in this country in 2008. They lost and will be in the wilderness for years. Thank God for that.

Bernie O'Hare said...

They are certainly down, but it's a swinging pendulum.

Anonymous said...

Just read the quiz aloud to my family- we all failed but laughed like hell.

lighthouse said...

"...a vital government is essential to secure liberty. Sound judgement show these can never be separated. And dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the zeal for a firm and efficient government. History teaches us that of the men who have overturned the liberties of republics, most began their career proclaiming their devotion to the people. They gain position by arousing people's prejudices and end as tyrants." Federalist #1.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Lighthouse, Not sure what you're trying to say here.

Rising Sun said...


I spent a solid amount of time in the Gulf South. The "large sums of money" you speak of are laughable. They didn't even have enough trailers. You may use the levee system as an example if you like, but again, the Army Corps of Engineers hadn't touched them in years due to a lack of funding. Again, this is the result of the language of "belt tightening" and all that stuff. It doesn't work. It has nothing to do with being a Bush critic, it's just a bad way to run a government. Comparing the government to a household, or even a corporation, is misguided. It is not the need for "large" government or "small" government, it is the need for a government that funds itself to do the jobs it needs to do. If that is big, then so be it. The language of "small government" though has lead to systematic failures in many, many areas of government.

lighthouse said...

I've always read bits and pieces, so I decided tonight to read the Federalist Papers this summer. Already tonight, some quotes jumped out at me as relevant in today's politics (local and national).

The above quote made me think of some of the comments posted on this site over the past two election cycles, including the past few days...on ALL sides (D vs R, Obama v Bush, Stoffa v McH, Long v O'Hare). I'm sure 10 different people will read their own spin into it. I'll let you do the same. Another:

"A further reason for caution--we are not always sure that people who advocate the truth are influenced by purer principles than their antagonists. Ambition, avarice, personal animostiy, party opposition, and many other motives no more laudable than these, operate as well on those who support, as those who oppose, the right side of a question."

Larry Longdem said...

Those ten different peeple certainly won't be us LongDems. Them's some big words there.

Anonymous said...

one thing Joe Long and John Stoffa have in common is they talk alot and accomplish little.

Is there a third option?

Alan Earnshaw said...

Serving on a school board, it seems that every dollar spent by a government body has at least one advocate and one critic. One person's waste is another's vital program. Whether it's gifted education, special education, electives, core subjects, athletics, the arts, or extracurricular activities, I've yet to find a single expense that has universal approval. (Even for subjects like math, I've been told we should have larger classes, smaller classes, lower teacher salaries, etc.)

"Idealism increases in direct proportion to one’s distance from the problem."
— John Galsworthy, UK writer

Lady Rep said...

The more that government does, the more it takes from people who will never benefit. The bigger any system, the less efficient it becomes. Oh, not one word anywhere about any personal responsibility. I would also like to make decisions about who I "share" my own money with. I actually do pretty well in that regard using my very own brain. Just love people that underestimate the inherent generosity of others when there is need. C'mon! Get over this government being mommy & daddy thing. Time to leave the nest.

Rising Sun said...

Oh yes Lady Rep, evil government. Evil government that built the interstate highway system. Evil government that put a man on the moon. Evil government that helped build the railways that connected our nation from sea to shining sea. Evil government, where the Pentagon built the first versions of the internet before selling the technology. Evil government that educates our masses. Evil government that has helped protect us from foreign attack, pandemic disease, Depression 2.0. Evil government.

You and those who agree with you believe in a romanticized vision of false American history, where "rugged individualists" created wealth with no help from government, where "big brother" has been a bumbling fool who gets in the way of innovation, and where "welfare queens" and other "government dependents" have taken the food directly from the mouths of the hard working. Fortunately, history has chronicled the good that has been done by government that works. Fortunately, the majority of Americans voted for President Obama, and his vision of America, last fall. Government is inefficient, when compared to corporations, and is able to spend into debt when compared to households, but government's job is not to cut a profit, nor is it to balance a check book, but it's job is enforce the law, regulate societal actions, and step in during market failures.

Anonymous said...

PA is a mess and Rendell and his cronies and their loyal sheep have made it that way.

Anonymous said...

Which local Democrats who've never earned a private sector dime will be voting with Special Ed to raise taxes on the productive in PA?

Which taxpayer paid pension compilers will vote in lockstep with the the slimy governor?

Rich Grucela? This is a great opportunity to shore-up one of your taxpayer paid pensions. You on board with Ed?

Let's hear from Bob "I'll do whatever Ed wants" Freeman. Which proud tax raiser will go after Dally's seat?

Step up loyal Democrats. Be counted for your support for higher taxes on PA's productive.

lighthouse said...

Rising Sun [It is not the need for "large" government or "small" government, it is the need for a government that funds itself to do the jobs it needs to do. If that is big, then so be it."]

2001: $128 billion surplus
2008: $455 billion deficit
2009: $1.8 trillion projected deficit

"... a need for a government that funds itself..."

As you can see from the above, neither Republican nor Democratic Presidents/Congress have done that...charge it to the Chinese government, or print more money...

I agree that the "small govt" voices have come out of hypocrtical lips over the years. However, I suspect that if we actually "funded (our)self" and had to raise taxes or cut services, "smaller govt" might actually resonate with the majority. I am not saying I oppose all government programs, as I certainly don't. However, there is absolutely no concept of costs, and that is where the rubber is failing to hit the road. I read the following recently:

"Understanding the deficit means putting it into terms the lower to middle class voter can understand. Based on the Congressional Budget Offices 2009 comparisons, a lower to middle class family would have to have a tax free income of 50K per year, but be spending almost 93K per year while carrying a mortgage/credit card debt that by the end of the year, will reach 277K."

Lady Rep said...

Rising Sun, where is the line for you? How far are you willing to go with other people's money? That is the question. Seems to me that you are willing to push the envelope pretty darn far. You don't acknowledge waste and spending that is putting a great strain on American citizens. The backs that are being broken are the people who are marginal. One more straw and people who are making their own way are crushed under the system. Oh, but then we can put them into a government program which will take more spending to support them. That way we get someone else to pay for them and increase the demand. I've seen it firsthand. Crazy.

lighthouse said...

Lady Rep.

I think Barry Goldwater said it best: "Remember that a government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take away everything you have."

lighthouse said...

And to repeat from last night:

"And dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the zeal for a firm and efficient government."

Rising Sun said...


The idea the government wants to come take something from you is crazy. We've seen it resonate with conservative thinkers on spending, guns, and even social issues. It doesn't make any sense for the government to do that, and I will venture out onto the limb here and say they never will.

Lady Rep, I'm willing to go as far as needed with "other people's money." Look, for starters, again, unlike a corporation who needs to make money, or a household, who has to balance it's books, government's job is to work. The argument that "it's with other people's money" is tired, because it's with all of our money, your's, mine, the guy down on the corner. Government, in any form, requires taxation to run. Taxation is not an evil thing, it is reality. The conservative movement always points to the government being "too big," but when asked what part to eliminate, their answers have never gathered majority support. The education department? The fed? veteran's affairs? All have been proposed as an area to cut at one point or another, as have others, and all have flatly been rejected. Are there places we could make savings? Sure, one must only look at the thousands of school districts around America that could be consolidated and save thousands of dollars a year for their constituents in school taxes. It is not so much that we should not address situations like that, which are so obvious, it is that these actions are not more important than having a functioning SEC, EPA, FEMA, or other departments. Having a government that can function is more important than one that is lean. We can always lean it out once it's actually capable of doing what it's supposed to. We saw the last 8 years what incapable government looked like.

Rising Sun said...


Up until this current budget in Congress now, annual deficits did not take into account such things as war supplemental spending, social security excess receipts, or any other expenditure not counted into the main budget released each year. The current deficit for this year is taking into account all war spending, the stimulus, social security, and is accounting for future spending this year not yet planned, to deal with whatever disasters come. In other words, it's the first time we've really had to look our deficit in the eye in this country. To say it is staggeringly high, I agree with you. To claim it is especially high is to ignore the obvious: The overall national debt rose by $5 trillion under President Bush, and 2009 is so far, just a logical extension of that. Tax cuts, war spending, a one time stimulus, and social security and medicare issues will have to be addressed to begin shrinking the real debt issues that we face, but fortunately some of these take care of themselves. Provided the stimulus works this time, it is not something we have to do again in future years. As we withdraw from Iraq, fighting one war instead of two will cause savings. The Bush Tax Cuts will no longer be on the books in a few years. Social security and medicare? Hey man, good luck, I'm doubtful any Congress can work through those.

lighthouse said...

Rising Sun,

One reason I went back to 2001 was precisely to show that BOTH parties are guilty of lack of budgetary responsibility. I will agree with you that shell games have been played, but you go back many presidents to see that.

I did not quote the Federalist or Goldwater out of some fringe thinking of big bad government knocking on my door....BUT, the point I was trying to convey is that the POWER and COST of government has grown tremendously, especially ever since the New Deal, at the erosion of the federal system our Founders set up. Just look at the last presidential election, or your own postings....what is the NATIONAL government going to do about education, health care, the banks, gas prices, the auto industry, New Orleans, housing, etc...

Everytime the national government takes on more whether it be federal bribes to the states, states holding their hands out to the "deep Washington pockets", or simply the demands of the people that "something be done" without any concept of how to pay for it all....everytime, the government gets incrementally more powerful, and deeper in debt. And there are those politicians from Huey Long and FDR to George Bush and Barack Obama who have campaigned on "concern for the people", but behind that mask lies an increase in personal influence/power.

Even locally (and I don't want to mention names, or specifics, and get sucked into a personal debate), I see some who beat their chest as being there for "the people", but really are trying to elevate themselves.

Well, while fun, I think you and I went pretty "big picture", far and beyond the stated topic of "Joe Long Dems".

Lady Rep said...

The current system of government is not set up in any way to "lean down" later. We all know that every government entity budget is set on the premise that an increase will be needed the following year and items are "found" oftentimes to make sure that no money is ever reduced. Government workers will NEVER eliminate themselves. Let's put some reality into the mix.

Rising Sun said...


I think you and I are not as far apart as we may have believed. You are right, shell games go generations back, as do folks who dishonestly portray themselves. We did go quite a ways out of the context of the posting, but it was fun. I actually think the debate we had is applicable much more closely to LOCAL government, where I believe more people actually can sort out waste much, much easier.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for area representatives to voice their opinions....

Will Rich Grucela and Bob Freeman do as they're told and raise our taxes? They're pretty good at slopping the trough and compiling the pensions. They work for us and should answer immediately.

Perhaps a quick response while laughing all the way to the bank?

Jebediah said...

Ann McHale will never let the meetings be filmed. She is Amish and her soul will be robbed by the devil by a camera.

Anonymous said...

God Bless you Joe. Don't let the haters on this blog get you down. You are a great leader and we appreciate all you have done.
Sadly, we are all doomed to the Stoffa debacle for another four years.

God Bless you Joe.