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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dertinger Alienates Some Bethlehem Dems

On Monday night, Charles Dertinger decided to drop in on a well-attended meeting of Bethlehem City Democrats. They've been upset by county endorsements and state mailings that are made on behalf of some, but not all, candidates. But they're also embarrassed by the divisions within their own party.

Charles Dertinger, playing the role of Boss Long's hatchetman, tried to snap everyone to attention. But instead of playing peacemaker, he alienated the very people he needs this election year.

He went after Bethlehem City Council member Karen Dolan from the minute she walked in the door. After her complaints during the last meeting, Dertinger had pledged she would lose. Not too surprisingly, a whisper campaign was orchestrated against her in the waning days of the campaign, but it backfired.

Armed with pages from this very blog, Dertinger slammed Dolan for airing her views publicly, instead of confining herself to backroom politics like him. He showed a complete disregard for any other opinions. Bossman Long was unusually subdued, but certainly went along with Dertinger.

Charles was unwilling to compromise or even pretend to address Karen or Willie Reynolds' (another Bethlehem councilmember) concerns. Essentially, to sum up his position, it was "Screw you guys, we're not going to address any of your concerns, we're going to declare you wrong, and you're going to leave here unhappy, AND still, you will be loyal and follow us." He faked outrage at Karen, got into it with Willie, and was outright dismissive of Northampton County Controller Steve Barron. He even took a half shot at Callahan in the meeting, complaining Callahan has never been to a county party meeting to pledge fealty. City Hall sources report Dertinger even called Callahan today. Lorraine Pasquali has hitched her wagon to Charles, while Bill Wallace is more concerned about unity.

Basically, Stoffa's solid victory has Charles running scared. He hurt himself Monday night. Snarking a popular Democratic Bethlehem Mayor during a meeting of Bethlehem Democrats is idiotic, and is certainly another nail in his coffin.

Bethlehem Dems are really upset that their meetings are turning into steel cage matches.


Anonymous said...

If these Longoons ever again darken our doorstep, I will personally OUT them and the anti- Democrat, anti-free-speech ideals, they endorse.

Support free speech: for example, Karen Dolan, Jean Belinski, Gordon Mowrer, and Willy Reynolds all have the right to free speech. They are elected Bethlehem officials. So, what do you have to say about primary endorsements? We are listening?

Behlehem said...

Charles, you ingnoramus,

Shut up, shut up, and in case you didn't hear it clearly: Shut Up!


Anonymous said...

God Bless Charles Dertinger. He is not afraid to stand up and confront those Dem's who spit on their own Party.

Donald said...

The Bethlehem City Commttee has always been a thoughtful bunch and never engaged in the divisive, gossipy politics that one always found in much of the rest of the county. Infighting always seemed to be beneath it.

Because it staddles two counties it never wanted to march in lock step with either county party leadership.

Anonymous said...

Thank God for Faithful County Councilman Charles Dertinger. He was top vote getter in the primary and will be in the general. Charles !

Anonymous said...

Do people really think that the Beth committee people are going to support someone who came to their meeting and lectured them?
Remember, for Democrats, as Bethlehem goes the County usually goes.
Also, the problems being discussed are not Bethlehem Comm. problems, they are State and County Comm. problems. Unfortunately, the City Comm. is being attacked because the members refuse to follow the party and do as we are told.

Anonymous said...

Dear 2:29

Jean belinski's right to free speech was taken away a long time ago because everytime she opens her mouth she puts her foot in it.
The mayor and everyone else did their best to knock her out but jay Leeson decided to sleep through the election and gave her his seat. That aside, her right to free speech no longer exists. Anyway, when she does speak, no one listens..

Anonymous said...

Why are committee meetings appearing on your blog is a good question?

Loose lips sink ships.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Local Dems are upset by the autocratic rule of joe Long and Charles Dertinger and all the decisions made behind closed doors. Your response is to advocate more secrecy.

Anonymous said...

Your hyping of this fight on your blog is advocating the steel cage matches.

I don't expect people in the party to march in lockstep but I think its reasonable that we settle our disagreements in primaries and move on.

Maureen said...

Lets also not forget that the Bethlehem Dems are MAD that Meg Holland was smart enough to run a write-in campaign in the Democratic primary and get enough write-ins to prevent them from nominating opposition! Stupid Dems.... get angry and don't do anything... that's why I'm Republican.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Then why is it necessary for Dertinger to come and lecture and belittle Bethlehem Dems? As you point out, the primary's over. Now is the time when some Dems - like me - begin to evaluate whether the Rs offer better choices.

It's bad enough that Dertinger and other Longoons are a disgrace to the Democratic party. They are also a disgrace to good government.

Dertinger should be top vote getter, but he will lose this election. In addition to his domineering style and arrogance, his whole campaign is based on a lie. He takes credit for the work of others.In truth, he is the laziest member on council, one of the reasons why they could not produce a quorum. He also is its most divisive member, playing right into Angle's hands. He spends most of his day in NYC bc that's where he works. We can do better than a NY city union hack on Norco council. There are people who actually live here who want the job.

If he thinks insulting Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan is the way to get Bethlehem votes, he better think again.

Anonymous said...

Dertinger was not too smart by calling out and insulting two popular elected officials in the City of Bethlehem at the City Dems Meeting. Political suicide.
Wish I could have been there to hear it.

A.J.C. said...

Two anonymous comments praising God for Charles Dertinger?

Well, you know, the Devil does work in disguise...

Anonymous said...

Maureen: That was not brought up at the meeting.
If the Dems wanted to really run someone, then they would have gotten a Dem on the ballot by petition.

Anonymous said...

Always good to see that someone like you with no connection to Dem politics other than Stoffa who puts himself out as a nonpartisan can decide what's good for Democrats. Long and Derringer have helped get more candidates elected in this region than anyone in Bethlehem. More to the point as far as Bethlehem is concern Dertinger has always supported us in the city.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Who did Dertinger and Long help get elected? McHale? Branco? Maher? Dertinger for Congress? Bennett for Congress? Driscoll for Congress?

How did that whisper campaign against Karen Dolan go? How about the thugs sent out to steal signs and block Stoffa signs with Mchale signs? How about the snarks at Cunningham? And now it is Callahan, too?

Stoffa is more of a Democrat than either Long or Dertinger put together. He stands for Democratic principles while Long and Dertinger stand for raw power.

New Democrats are tired of these power play politics. If we have to elect a few Rs to make our point, so be it. I'll take a decent Republican like Meg Holland, Peg Ferraro or John Cusick over Dertinger or Long any day of the week. If that makes me impure in some people's eyes, too bad.

On a local level, that should make no difference anyway. Insisting that we elect bad candidates simply because they are registered d will just ensure the perpetuation of assholes.

Do you honestly think any real Democrat can support someone who thinks he has no obligation to listen to you unless you own real estate? Or someone who refers to an elected official as a "low hanging fruit?" Or someone who takes a shot at a council member with a homophobic remark after that council member suggests another male hand.

We don't need people like Dertinger.

Anonymous said...

Dertinger and Long reflect the national mood of the Democrat Party. There is no room for dissent when you're piloting a juggernaut. Chicago politics rule. Pawlowski owns Allentown for another four. Northampton County Dems have been slow learners. This is Barack's and Rahm's and Rendell's and Cunnigham's and Pawlowski's moment. They're not going to let you screw with it.

Anonymous said...

"Dertinger and Long reflect the national mood of the Democrat Party. There is no room for dissent when you're piloting a juggernaut. Chicago politics rule. Pawlowski owns Allentown for another four. Northampton County Dems have been slow learners. This is Barack's and Rahm's and Rendell's and Cunnigham's and Pawlowski's moment. They're not going to let you screw with it."

it is a great disservice to callahan, donnie, and even ed, to compare them to those two hacks.

Anonymous said...

Please. Ed is a hack of very special merit.

Anonymous said...

And Donnie is Ed's lapdog.

Anonymous said...

Dertinger didn't lecture. He yelled, pontificated, huffed, puffed, and made an ass of himself. I haven't attended a NorCo Council meeting in a few years, and the newspaper accounts just don't capture how divisive, arrogant, and blatantly mean this guy is.

He was preceded by Fadia Halma who proved beyond a doubt that she is no longer the wide-eyed Democratic idealist she once was. Now that she works for T.J. Rooney, she's at best a party hack. A terrible transformation.

Dertinger was followed by Joe Long who was as loud, blustery, and arrogant as Charles, minus Charles' good grammar, weird New York accent, and crass all American flag outfit. He looked like he'd just come from a rodeo. Charles!

Relatively new Dem City Chair Jim Schlener took responsibility for not informing all the Bethlehem candidates what "perks" T.J. offers, but when Fadia explained the perks system, she had to admit, when asked several times, that the rules are not in writing and they can change at T.J.'s whim at any time. In other words, there are no rules.

I think any love some local Dems had for Joe Long is long gone or waning, and those of us who didn't know the full extent of the wrath, pettiness, and unmitigated power lust of Charles Dertinger, know it now. And we are going to talk, and blog, and make calls, and send emails, and do whatever it takes, legally and democratically, to put an end to the political career of Charles! Dertinger.

Anonymous said...

Do you want to know why the tone in politics is so bad right now, blog post like this. Politics at all levels have turned into national enquirer postings. I swear this reads like your reporting on an Oscar eve dinner where two actor ex's run into each other.

There can be a debate over whether or not the Northampton Democratic Party did the right thing in the last election. Those debates are best held during committee meetings.

However, now we get people posturing for Bernie's blog. We've seen politics denigrate into a pissing contest on the national level over the past 8 years and the reporting of gossip instead of policy debates is the biggest cause. Should not be surprised it is there now on a local level.

People are more interested in Sarah Palin's clothes than in her policy positions. People are more interested in the President's date night than what is in the health care reform bill.

I'd criticize Bernie, but the public eats this crap up so the public is more at fault than Bernie or the Politicians involved.

Anonymous said...

Charles Dertinger is an honorable family man. By all accounts he is a good Son, Brother, Father and Husband. Boonie is none of these things. Boonie's wife kicked him to the curb when his children were still small.

Charles Dertinger is an incorruptible public official. Unlike Boonie, who once sold out his client for $60. Boonie then forged his client's name and settled the legal case without his client's knowledge

Charles is honest. Unlike Boonie, who lost his license to practice law because he lied to his superiors at the United States Justice Department.

Charles has no vices at least none that are out of control. Unlike Boonie who is an admitted drunk and who brags about having an extensive porn collection.

Most importantly, Boonie hangs out with Rong Angle who has been arrested for shop lifting and fleeing and eluding the police.

Donald said...

This year before the primary I noticed that Dem slots for boro and twp offices there many without a name on the ballot and there was often Republican, who will now get a free ride in November. It is these offices that a party builds it's bench strength. Is it not the chairman's role to find people to run for these offices?

I have been out of the loop within the party for awhile and maybe things have changed but I don't think so. If for no other reason the county chair is a failure and perhaps another one should be found.

Anonymous said...

To Donald,

Look at those slots and ask yourself if they were competitive slots for a democrat to run in.

When people are recruiting candidates on both sides they have to be honest with the candidates. You don't discourage people from running but if they are going to have an extremely hard battle you need to let them know. Its not easy to sell someone on running a campaign as a democrat (which is a substantive personal effort and opens your life to full scrutiny) against an incumbent in a district that is heavily republican or vice versa.

Anonymous said...

The Dertinger is nasty and uncouth, but his political manner is not unlike Obama and Rahm Emanuel and the change crowd that everybody craved. A recent post about "new" Democrats was backwards. Dertinger is a perfect example of exactly the new Democrat we "changed" to in November. Stoffa and the like are old school and very out of fashion.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"People are more interested in Sarah Palin's clothes than in her policy positions."

The subject of this post is no idle gossip. It's pretty important to me and other new Dems. We adviocate more transparency, while backroomers like Joe Long and Charles Dertinger prefer closed doors. I advocate open government and have long maintained that the way Northampton Dems select their candidates leads to officials who step all over the Sunshine Act.

Bernie O'Hare said...

With respect to the numerous personal attacks coming from Anon 7:56, everyone knows all about my past. I have hid nothing from anyone. But these attacks always come anyway whenever the Long Dems are criticized.

Shall I go into Dertinger's personal life? I can start with his brother. You wanna' dance? I generally stay away from people's personal lives. It would be in your best interests to do so as well.

Donald said...

To the person not willing to use his or her name. Why is that?

I did look at those slots and more times than not over the last 30 years they have been held by Democrats.

There are few places in this county that a Democrat will not run as a favorite?

Surely there had to be some lawyer or young person willing to brave the waters and start building for the future.

By the way I really don't understand why people who express his or her opinion do no have the conviction in that opinion to put his hor name to it

Anonymous said...

Charles Dertinger is very obnoxious and insufferable oaf. He thinks he is God's gift to Democrats. After running a million times he finally won. Talk to him and you find out that this guy thinks he is the smartest and greatest political mind ever.
He is the best, just ask him.

Anonymous said...

Donald, Bernie has stated his acceptance and understanding for people who choose to post anonymously. I used to hate it too, but this is a popular blog, and publicly expressing political opinions can cost one a job. I know I can't take that risk.

Anon 6:55, your focus on my fashion reference -- at the expense of actually dealing with the true substance of my post -- is an attempt to reduce my factual recounting of what happened on Monday to my sole fashion observation that Charles Dertinger came to the meeting dressed like a flag. Sorry, Anon., but I think it's a telling detail, in a story about Democratic values being put to the test, that the most anti-constitutional guy in the room was dressed in an Uncle Sam costume without the stilts, or the stature.

To Anon. 7:56, your deeply personal and undated attacks on the host of this blog were irrelevant to the subject. The troubles Bernie had in the past don't matter in this moment; what matters is he is the best Blogger host we've got in the Valley. Do you not enjoy the opportunity to exchange ideas? Do you not appreciate the quality of discourse available on Bernie's blog as opposed to the racist, idiotic, and grammatically offensive Morning Call Topix? I do not agree with all of Bernie's posts or all the posts I read when I am on this site, but Lehigh Valley Ramblings is local democracy on the web.
Anon 6:40

Anonymous said...

Heavily edited and opinionated statements dressed as fact democracy;yes, this is true.

Anonymous said...

Why the $%^& did he even go? What business does he have there? Who the hell does he think he is? He's a nobody.

Anonymous said...

Charles is sexy hot. He is better looking than Angle.

Anonymous said...


Running for office is an enormous of time, privacy, and investment. Finding people willing to run is not easy. Finding qualified people willing to run in a district with a republican incumbent in a district with more republicans than democrats is nearly impossible when you are honest with them. What would you suggest party leaders lie to people to get them on the ballot?

Being qualified makes them not stupid. Which makes the party leaders jobs hard in making a sale.

That and the limited resources the local parties have and the many hands who want those resources and the fact that the party is a totally volunteer run organization.
I swear if you read Bernie's blog you'd think we had a Washington D.C. Style DNC up and running here.

But keep your criticism, its easier and makes you feel better about not being involved.

Other than Donald. I have no clue who the heck you are.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, my brother is a multiple felon who has served time in more than one state prison. What does that say about me?

Anonymous said...

You have just made Dertingers argument for him in offering to attack his brother and perhaps other family members. You are a hateful individual!
Dertinger ran for congress and all the Republican / Dent attack machine could dig up was some ridiculous unamed connection to a "corrupt political wheeler dealer". I'll bet Dertinger is squeaky clean or else you Dent and the Republicans would have brought it out then.
And since you have tried to throw everything including the moronic "low hanging fruit" Bullshit you have already shown your hand and...You got NOTHING!

Anonymous said...

Dan says,
"Charles is sexy hot"? anon 3:38 am, what are you snorting? If my dog looked like him, I'd shave his ass and make him walk backwards!

Anonymous said...

Lorraine Pasquali hitched her wagon to Charles? What's that about? Miss Progressive Democrat hot on national issues is a Longdem? That is odd.

Anonymous said...

The LongDems are experts at their own demise. They couldn't be more adept at alienating themselves and losing support for their cause if they tried. Who the hell does Dertinger think he is going there? What if Stoffa crashed a Bangor Democratic Committee meeting and started lecturing people?

Anonymous said...

Why do some people write anonymous comments? Maybe because retards like Dertinger print attributed comments out, take them to political meetings start reading them and confronting people for expressing their opinion. Not everyone likes immature, unprofessional, catty confrontational catfights. Hooray for Karen Dolan. I love her. She has more balls than Long and especially Dertinger.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I'll bet Dertinger is squeaky clean or else you Dent and the Republicans would have brought it out then."

Hey, I'm a lot nastier than Dent. And I'm not running for anything. But unlike Long Dems, I like to fight fair.

I'm just reminding Long Dems that if they continue to get personal with the same tired old complaints, I can hit my readers with much juicer information that hardly anyone knows about and that will make Dertinger and other Long Dems look like pieces of shit. In doing so, I reduce myself to your level. I have gone for years w/o doing that but you are begging me.

As far as the "low hanging fruit" or the remark about holding hands is concerned, let Dertinger explain it to the gay community. Not all of them are as forgiving as Hopkins. He should be called to account for those remarks.

I'd also like to know why the whisper campaign against Karen Dolan started the moment she complained about Long Dems.

Anonymous said...

It's sad that Dertinger and Long have to crash a meeting where they're not welcome or invited to get their point across . Norco Dem Party doesn't even have meetings anymore because no one will go.

Anonymous said...


Saying you have dirt than not revealing it is as bad as revealing dirt. Leaves too much up people's imagination.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Really? Consider my comment a not-so-friendly warning. My last.