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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, June 26, 2009

Northampton County Council Post Primary Finance Reports

Ten candidates, Democrats and Republicans, will duke it out this Fall for five at-large seats on the most dysfunctional legislative body in the Lehigh Valley - Northampton County Council. There are three incumbents - Democrat Charles Dertinger and Republicans Peg Ferraro and John Cusick. The remaining candidates are newcomers.

During his first term, Northampton County Exec John Stoffa has often run into a wall of Joe Long Democrats, intent on obstructing every initiative. They've attempted to punish Stoffa because of his nonpartisan, common sense, approach to government. They prefer the "pay to play" Reibman era, in which cronyism was exalted over professionalism. John Stoffa found himself running against the party machine for the second time. This time, he refused to accept any contributions, spending just $* of his own money. He was elected with 57% of the vote. His opponent, Ann McHale, lost every district in the county, including her own.

Northampton County voters have spoken. They obviously prefer a council that will govern over a three ring circus that always tries, and always fails, to hamstring John Stoffa.

But who are these people? Campaign finance reports help answer that question. Even in the smaller races, they distinguish those beholden to vested interests from those who just want to serve voters. Unfortunately, unless you have time to make a trip to the voters' registration office on a weekday and before 4:30 PM, you really have no way of knowing which candidates are bought. Newspapers provide some information, but they have space limitations in the hard copies.

This is where the Internet can be a powerful tool of democracy. Lehigh County has started posting campaign finance reports online, at least for the county races. I've copied, scanned and have uploaded the post primary reports filed by Northampton County Council candidates.

John Cusick: Cusick has neither raised nor spent any money. In his first campaign for county council, he spent mostly his own money. He has no report.

Charles Dertinger: Post primary report available here.

Tom Dietrich: No money and no report.

Peg Ferraro: Post primary report available here.

Walt Garvin: Post primary report available here.

Bruce Gilbert: No money. No report.

Deb Hunter: Post primary report available here.

Lorraine Pasquali: Post primary report available here.

Barb Thierry: Post primary report available here.

Bill Wallace: Post primary report available here.


1) Long Dem Charles Dertinger is bought and paid for by an alphabet soup of unions and the "pay to play" crowd, consisting of folks like Christian Perrucci and Lee Butz.

2) Long Dem Lamont McClure is trying to buy influence. His boss, Baltimore lawyer Peter Angelos, gave $250 each to Dertinger, Wallace and Garvin.

3) Long Dem Charles Dertinger is trying to buy influence. His union - IBEW Local 102 - gave $500 each to Pasquali, Wallace and Garvin.

4) Only three of the Democratic Council candidates - Dertinger, Wallace & Garvin - helped pay for a mailer that featured them, running as a team, with then exec candidate Ann McHale.

5) Deb Hunter appears to have resisted contributions that tie her to the Long Dems.


Anonymous said...

So Hunter and Pasquali didn't pay for the mailer with their pictures and the checkboxes. I wonder if they even knew about that mailer.

Anonymous said...

who paid for the picture ?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Judging from what it looked like, I'd say Angle.

Anonymous said...

Is Reibman still that involved with the LongDems or is he just unloading all the money he raised and didn't get to spend in 2005? I thought he was in exile.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, Reibman's report for this period shows he has more money now than he did before the election. Heckman gave his $5k and reibman gave each Democratic council candidate $500 and gave McHale $500, too. He did not distinguishe or play favorites and he has more $ (about $75k) than he had before. He is by no means in exile, but can't seek office w/o violating the Hatch Act. So he appears to be working on his third pension w/ the bridge Comm'n.

Anonymous said...

Heckman didn't give him $5K, I asked him. Reibman gave him a check for a possible Executive run but Heckman never ran so he gave the check back uncashed.
Reibman had to note it on his expense report but as Heckman never cashed the check and is not a candidate he didn't get or give anything.

What is it with you and always smearing the guy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I didn't smear anyone. I reported the facts. Someone asked why Reibman was handing out $. Reibman got $5k from Heckman and spent the money as indicated. Heckman filed no report so I have no way of knowing whether your claim is true or false, but it's a possibility I already mentioned.

I have no problem w/ Heckman, whom I like. I do have problems with fanatics like you.

Anonymous said...

This is like the fifth time I've read someone comment about Heckman, relaying his thoughts to the masses. THe comments always include, "Heckman told me" or "I asked him." I always picture Heckman like one of those mountaintop gurus in the New Yorker cartoons with some poor slob scaling the top, "Oh great guru, O'Hare says that you gave Reibman $5k. Is it true, great guru?" "Tell O'Hare I did not and tell the people I support the bi-county health commission. Now go in peace." "Yes, great guru."

Anonymous said...

Is that really Dertinger's handwriting or did one of his kids fill out his report?

Anonymous said...

I think Heckman pefers Love Guru.

lighthouse said...

Why does Peter Angelos a.) attend NorCo Dem function to be introduced to prospective candidates, and b.) give money for LOCAL politics in PA?? Does he have that much money to flush away every election cycle? What is the cost-benefit for him, a non-local, to repeatedly give money for NorCo politics?

lighthouse said...

The "stated purpose" of """LOCAL""" 102 PAC is "To advance the economic interests of IBEW electrical workers and their families."

What is so "local" in the "economic interests" of a Parsippany, NJ union in Northampton County PA? I wonder if the poor chumps, "and their families", who have their union dues taken out realize just how loosely their money (that could otherwise be in their pockets) is spent. "Local" PA politics? for a non-local NJ union?

Unions have, and continue to serve a legitimate purpose in our country. This is an abuse, however.

Dertinger, Wallace, Wally G. Getting money from NJ (union) and MD (Angelos) for a PA county race?!? Gee, if you have to go that far for support, makes me wonder if you really are in it for Northampton County's best interests.

Anonymous said...

Heckman thinks anon6:00 sounds foolish.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Heckman does think it's foolish. I asked him and he told me.