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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stoffa's Reelection Sure Thing

The Morning Call and Express Times are both reporting that Republican J.C. Kelleher, citing "pressing family matters," is out of the Norco Exec race. It is unlikely the local GOP will search for a substitute.

With his reelection all but assured, John Stoffa and his supporters are now free to concentrate on council races. There are some good government advocates from both parties who deserve consideration.


Anonymous said...

Now that Stoffa's home free, I hope he endorses five candidates. Since no one pays attention to Long anymore, Dems could use some direction.

lighthouse said...

I recall reading comments on a few LVR posts before the primary that this very scenario would play out if Stoffa won. Interesting.

Muncipal election years already have a low voter turnout, which may now be even lower. If the Republicans put some effort into this, I think there will be some tight Council races.

Bernie O'Hare said...


On a local level, party affiliation should be meaningless. Although he is a liberal on social issues, Stoffa is a fiscal conservative. His approach to government is that he tries to do what is right, w/o regard to political expedience. He has drawn the ire of the Long Dems bc he has been willing to appoint Rs to his cabinet. These are people like Vic Mazziotti, who has found ways to save $10 MM annually, and John Conklin, whose focus has been emergency preparedness. he has had outstanding workhorses like Steve DeSalva and Ross Marcus, who work untold hours. Stoffa's special interest group has always been the taxpayer. If they are better served by a Republican, why not install them?

Council needs people who recognize they are here to serve the taxpayer, not promote divisive partisan politics. There are five open seats. I can tell you off the bat that two of the Democratic candidates - Dertinger and Garvin - are only interested in party politics. I can also tell you right off the bat that two Republicans - Ferraro and Cusick - have consistently stood for good government.

No one needs a Stoffa sycophant. But we do need people who recognize they are here to serve the taxpayer. They will all say that, but people like Dertinger have proved otherwise.

This election represents an opportunity to change Northampton County Council for the better.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Most Dems I speak to (myself included) are going for Hunter, Cusick, and Ferraro, but it's the last two choices that are going to be tricky.

Anonymous said...

Stoffa has a big decision to make relative to Council races and I am clear in my mind what he should do.

He should stick to his already established pattern in appointments; he should support candidates who are in harmony with his values no matter their party.

lighthouse said...

Bernie: "This election represents an opportunity to change Northampton County Council for the better."

We can only hope. And I do truly hope.

However, I can not help but be cynical and predict regardless of which party should gain a majority, they will early have their eyes on the next election cycle, and within a year will increasingly start looking beyond Stoffa. As much as we may all say we don't like the partisanship, it seems to be part of the NorCo culture. Some (not all) Dems will undermine him to solidify their own party status, and some Reps will turn on him and take strategic advantage where they can to increase their partisan objectives.

There are a few candidates who I believe are genuine "good government" types. But even winning, they will be in the minority, or get sucked in to "the way things work around here."

Yikes, must be the days of rain! I am in such a cynical mood today!

Anonymous said...

I thought it really strange that Dertinger voted for Stoffa's bond quietly two weeks after trashing it and voted for the BI County Health Initiative quietly with no histrionics or insults or catty remarks. My crystal ball tells me that he is cozying up to Stoffa hoping to get his help for the election. But beware to Stoffa because if the LongDems get who they want on Council, it will be all out war once November is done. Are five months of professional cooperation worth more years of unprofessional obstruction?

Anonymous said...

Thank God for Charles Dertinger!

Sorry Bernie, had to say it.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

While Kelleher did not represent a serious challenge, it is sad that there will be no executive debate on issues of importance prior to November's election. This is not good news for voters.

Bernie O'Hare said...

But there will be plenty of council debate, and that's good news for voters.

Anonymous said...

There would have been council debate anyway. I'd like to see a write-in challenge to encourage a healthy debate. Uncontested elections are bad; not good. I get the feeling Stoffa is Roy Shuman's guy, though. If so, Shuman should do the right thing and step down. I don't advocate a Joe Long approach. I'd just like to see options and reasoned debate, especially given the importance of the position and the challenges currently faced. This is a sad day. I get the feeling John Stoffa would agree on the grounds I've stated as well.

Donald said...

The GOP can replace him on the ballot. Does anyone know if they are planning to do so?

Anonymous said...

I think it's good that the focus will be on Council this election. We have a good Exec that both parties like . It's County Council that has the problems. The more sunlight focused on them and their race, the more likely things will improve, like with mold.

Anonymous said...

Hey anon 6:51, hows the light up Stoffa's rump. If the Republican Party I love has any "sack", it better put up a candidate, a real candidate. Stoffa is a tax-increasing, bureaucray creating liberal Democrat anyway you slice it.

H is aligned with a nut like Angle and there are plenty of Republicans that don't care for him or our Party leadership if it rolls over for this guy.

Someone like Peg Ferarro or Ken Smith should be given the slot and run a real campaign against this liberal lightweight. If Stoffa is Shumans guy, Shuman should do the right thing and step down.

Anonymous said...

The problem is, who wants to run against someone they can't beat? Isn't that why everyone dropped out when Stoffa put his hat in the ring? Reps and Dems alike? Stoffa welcomed the competition but it seems to dissipate. Wait till four years from now, it will be mayhem when there's a power vaccum.

Anonymous said...

There's a power vacuum now! Stoffa is God awful. If the Press didn't prop up his Administration he would be easy to take. He is incompetent and has accomplished absolutely nothing.

As one poster said, I like nothing happening in governemnt; well he got what he wanted in Stoffa.

Vince said...

""Muncipal election years already have a low voter turnout, which may now be even lower. If the Republicans put some effort into this, I think there will be some tight Council races.""

Lighthouse, that is interesting. What are you saying? That there will be a low Dem turnout and the Reps can make a go at it?

Anonymous said...

Nobody beats Stoffa.

There isn't a single R who can do it.

The R's will re-arm and take out Dertinger - and I can assure you that discussion is already taking place.

If Charlie wants to keep his seat he had better be raising a boatload of bucks and trying to recruit a serious campaign communications person - hell, I'ld consider doing it, but I'd want $50K. If he thinks the unions, and employees, support will make the difference - well, all he has to do is look at how the unions and county employees failed to influence the primary.

Meanwhile, I predict we'll see strong support growing for Deb Hunter and Bruce Gilbert. Lorraine and Garvin are already toast.

I predict a 5/4 Repub dominated council come November.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:55 : Sounds good. Where do I sign up to help?

Anonymous said...

Dertinger will be the top vote getter.

lighthouse said...


The overall voter turnout in the primary was a 60/40 % D to R, which is roughly equal to voter registration, if not mistaken.

However, I hope the following makes sense the way I have it laid out...

17,389 Dems voted in the primary, and were allowed to vote for 5 Council candidates should equal 86,945 votes cast, yet only a total of 32,516 were cast for all six. In other words, statistically only 37.39% of the voting Dems even bothered to vote for Council members.

11,538 Reps voted, and were allowed to vote for 5 Council candidates should equal 57,690 votes cast, yet only a total of 26,381 were cast for all six. In other words, statistically 45.72% of Republicans bothered to vote for Council.

Look at the primary. There really was nothing to draw Republicans to vote, other than sheer civic duty. Yet, they turned out equal to registration. However, the Democrats had the whole Stoffa/McHale race to draw some interest, without a bump in voter turnout, and voted in lower percentages for Council which shows many were unfamiliar with the candidates.

In a general election, without an Executive race to raise some concentrated interest, no, I do not think there will be as high of voter turnout as otherwise would have been. So, yes, I do think if the Republicans actually made more than a half-hearted effort it could make the difference in what looks to possibly be a 5-4 council...who has the 5, who has the 4?

Currently, two Dems and two Reps are sitting District council members.

Meanwhile, what other races are there in the Dem numerical strongholds of the cities of Bethlehem or Easton to generate any interest (aka, turnout)?? Callahan is unopposed. Panto isn't up. Many local offices are uncontested.

So, who gets the majority? Does anyone screw up between now and November? What is the weather on election day? Who gets the voters out?

Yes, I do think without a contested Executive race the Republicans would have a chance if they wanted to fight for it, especially with the Democratic in-fighting.

lighthouse said...

and don't forget the independents who didn't vote in the primary. Who defines themselves, and their opponents, with the independents??

Anonymous said...

To 7:28 PM:

"Hey anon 6:51, hows the light up Stoffa's rump. If the Republican Party I love has any "sack", it better put up a candidate, a real candidate. Stoffa is a tax-increasing, bureaucray creating liberal Democrat anyway you slice it."

News flash for you, Exlax! The voters of Northampton County approved the tax increase in a referendum. Take YOUR head out of your own hershey highway and pay attention to reality. Your Republican koolaid mantra is old and boring.

Stoffa is fiscally conservative and has proved it time and again, much to the consternation of County Council. The reason for Stoffa's fiscal success is his inclusion of Republicans and listening to both sides of the political spectrum on his cabinet.

When it comes to social services, Stoffa is passionate, because that's were he dedicated his life.

Vince said...

That is really INTERESTING Lighthouse.......Food for thought....thanks.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that Shuman said in the paper that all the Republicans were concerned about was that McHale didn't get elected.

Anonymous said...

Shuman and all Republican Party leaders who endorse this should be thrown out. Republicans donot endorse an incompetent tax and spend liberal Democrat.

If that is the case than I say to all Republicans follow in the Shuman path and throw out Ferraro and Cusik.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Stoffa is cerainly a social liberal, but fiscally, he is also conservative. but that's not why Rs like him. They like him for the same reason that 57% of Northampton County's Dems like him - he is an honest man.

You'll have to wait for your patronage job.

Anonymous said...

The backroom deal was always true. Kelleher was there to block any write in by a dem. If McHale had won, Kelleher was to drop out and Stoffa would change Party registration to Republican and be appointed to run as Repub in Fall.

This was all worked out by Shuman, Bradt and Stoffa.

Real Republicans need to show what we think of this. If Shuman wants a Democrat than fine, I will vote straight Democrat in the fall. After the Democrats have the Executive and County Council, we can officially dump Traitor Shuman.

lighthouse said...

The allegation was made before the election. I would rather have partisanship to fraud, so IF true I would hope it would become public. Otherwise these are anonymous allegations on a blog. IF true, I would hope someone would be mad enough to expose it. As the cliche goes, "in politics perception is reality, right or wrong." I'd like the truth. Or, does someone stand to gain by going for Shuman's head after the election? Or, is it not true? Is all the talk of "good government" a hypocrisy? Again, I would think someone would be talking IF this were true.

Then Pilate said, "what is truth?"

Bernie O'Hare said...

Lighthouse, The "Backroom deal" mentioned is bullshit. Local Rs admire Stoffa. Cusick dropped out of the race when he heard Stoffa was running. Kelleher was never a serious candidate. But the simple truth is that, had Stoffa lost in the Dem primary, he'd be out. He could not just change paries and be named the R's candidiate. Nor could he run as an Independent, as Lieberman did.

Under the sour grape rule that exists in Pa., he coud win on the Dem ballot or be written in on the R ballot. Pa is funny about losers trying to run some other way.

I believe Stoffa was asked to switch sides like Specter did, but Stoffa declined.

Anonymous said...

If the Republican Party is a serious Party in Northampton County they will field an Executive candidate. If they donot it is because of the Shuman-Stoffa deal that was cut in January.

Please O'Hare your propaganda and Outhouse feigned, "I'm Shocked and Appaled" act, are known to many.

There are Republicans who donot want the Party headed by a liberal Big Government career bureaucrat.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I've pretended no shock. It's no secret that Republicans like Stoffa. But the scenario suggested is legally impossible. Had he lost the primary, Stoffa could not legally be named as a candidate for exec by the Rs. Pennsylvania law forbids it, even if he changes parties. had Stoffa lost, I'm sure there would be a serious campaign directed at McHale. I don't think that will happen now.

Long Dems are now trying to bully Rs into finding a candidate. But Rs know their best strategy is to try and seize control of council. They have a pretty good shot, as Lighthouse has made clear.

Anonymous said...

5:13 and 10:18 were written by Longdems, not Republicans. The spelling mistakes and the angry desperation are a dead giveaway.

Anonymous said...

Why are Democrats pressuring Republicans to run someone against a Democrat?

Anonymous said...

Republicans will be voting a straight Dmocratic ticket for Northampton County this fall. This is in line with the teachings and example of our leader Roy Shuman.

Roy is right, we don't have any credible candidates so we must support Democrats. We will do that Roy.

By the way, why not Peg Ferraro or Mike Dowd, they both are much more competent than your buddy Stoffa. But then Roy some of the R's know who gave you your marching orders.

After Novemember your reign is over.