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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, October 30, 2009

NorCo Rs Eat One of Their Own

If Northampton County Democrats manage to sweep all five at-large Council seats on Tuesday, I hope they remember to send a Thank You note and flowers to Bob Kilbanks. He may be former Chair of the Northampton County Republican Committee, but he's just pulled the most idiotic move I've seen this election cycle.

Now I'm sure most of you have bumped into hardcore right to lifers at some point in your life. The most extreme are those who think nothing of exposing children to gory billboards of aborted fetuses, picket abortion clinics and sometimes kill the people who work there. All in the name of Almighty God, of course. There are also those who feel very passionately, but express themselves at the ballot box.

Now, abortion and stem cell research have nothing to do with County government, and Kilbanks must know that. But over the years, he's collected a list of about 2,500 hard-core right-to-lifers, and likes to sell it to unwitting candidates. All in the name of the Almighty Dollar, of course.

He's managed to con four of the five Republicans seeking a Council seat to give him money for a post card to the Deliverance crowd, assuming they can read, portraying them as avid anti-abortion advocates. But he's omitted candidate Peg Ferraro from this list because her views are just a little too ambivalent.

What Kilbanks just did is marginalize Republican candidates in the eyes of Democrats like me, who might otherwise be inclined to vote for some of them. What's really pathetic is that he's done it on a very divisive issue that's totally unrelated to County government. Worst of all, his actions have hurt a very popular person who very likely will still be the lead vote getter.

"We need to look out for ourselves," is how one of the candidates explained their stupidity. Really? The best way for them to have done that would be by attaching themselves to Peg Ferraro's coat tails and hanging on. Instead, they have needlessly attached themselves to a divisive issue while Kilbanks lines his pockets.


Anonymous said...

I agree the way this was done is stupid and will mean very little to the average voter in a general election. A Republican Primary maybe but in a local, general it is silly.

As was posted earlier, I agree the non-incumbant Republicans should have distanced themselves from the liberal incumbant Republicans. The incumbants and the establishemnt Republicans support liberal Democrat John Stoffa for Executive and his 9.5% tax increase.

That is an issue that rings on any level with any Party. They should have played up their outsider staus and denounce the cozy insider game of Ferarro and Cusik. Cusik wants to run for County Executive one day but he will have a real Republican opponent who will remind real Republicans of how he worked closely with the Stoffa Administration in bringing on this massive tax increase.

Abortion?? Really!!! Taxes, now that is the ticket.


Anonymous said...

Wow. As a Dem who is very disappointed with the Dems up for vote (except Hunter) I was planning on voting for more Reps than Dem but this is a real turnoff. Now who the **** do I vote for?

I've been here before... said...

The irony to me is that this is how we got into this mess in the first place. The Rep party distracted its own with gay marriage and stem cell and abortion while bankrupting the country among other disasters....now we're stuck with the mess and the same Reps are bitching because there's no money left and they dont want tax increases...here come the values BS police again to distract everyone from the real issues...in this case county issues that have nothing to do with "values." And if they really cared about values, why are they against healthcare?

Anonymous said...

The Dem's are clearly the better candidates. At least they will serve as a check and balance on the Administration.

We need an independent council, vote Democratic!

Anonymous said...

ok. I'll vote for Peg and four of the Dems not named Lorraine.

Anonymous said...

OK, but what will be priority #1 for a Republican dominated County Council? Repealing Roe v. Wade, ending County funding of stem cell research, or keeping Dertinger and Angle from getting married on the crumbling steps of the Courthouse? I think it should be the last only because with those steps there could be a lot of liability for the County if one of them falls.

Anonymous said...

Bernie - This story must have been fed to you directly from either Peg Ferraro herself or Ron Angle.

This is a fact because:

A. The mailer has not dropped yet and so nobody you know could have received it.

B. The only two people at the NCRC meeting crying about this issue were Ron and Peg.

You should have tried to verify this with some NCRC members who were at the meeting or with Kilbanks himself. Ron and Peg were upset but not really anyone else. Agree or disagree everybody pretty much understood this is a free speech issue.

Since when is it wrong to tell identified pro-life voters who is pro-life? Or pro-gun voters who is pro-gun? Or Pro-choice voters who is pro-choice? Or pro-gay voters who is pro-gay? Its called politics and that is what we do. Most republicans are in fact pro-life just as most democrats are probably pro-choice. Would you be as offended if a democrat candidate for council sent a mailing to woman saying something like.... "Jane Jones is pro-choice and will be a strong advocate for woman and woman's issues as a member of council..."?? Of course you would not be offended nor should you be.

There is nothing wrong with telling voters how you stand on issues even if that issue has nothing to do with the office you are running for. Its called politics. The republicans and democrats running for president last year were all asked during debates if they believed in evolution. Most of them answered. What the hell does that have to do with being President? Nothing. Yet it was still asked and answered because there are voters who would have wanted to know the answer.

Accusing Kilbanks of profiting with respect to this specific mailing is an outright lie. This was brought up at the meeting. Kilbanks, though he had no obligation to do so, offered to provide details and invoices as proof. Ron and Peg were not interested in the truth- only in flinging unfounded accusations.

This is a touchy subject for Ron because he has tried to get on these pro-life mailers in the past but has been refused. Its an even more touchy issue for Peg because this issue probably cost her the county exec primary against Bob Nyce. Peg will no doubt be a top vote getter on Tuesday, which is another reason it does not make sense for her to be upset about the mailing. She is proudly pro-choice. Why in the world would she want to be on a pro-life mailing anyway? Angle is another story. He cannot figure out the difference between pro-life and pro-choice so his confusion on why Peg was not included is more understandable.

I also know first hand that Kilbanks offered privately through email to show Peg invoices and asked her to stop saying this was done for profit. You can say a lot about Kilbanks, but not that he is a liar. When he said to Peg that he did not earn one cent from this project she knows him well enough to know its the truth. So why is she still spreading this lie though Ron Angle and/or you?

You should be pissed at either Peg or Ron, whichever spoon-fed you this nonsense, for using you to slander Kilbanks when they both declined to see the documents proving they were wrong.

I cannot decide if this school yard gossip or tabloid journalism---either way I hope you will do the right thing and try to verify your accusations instead of just taking the word of someone who is using you to peddle their personal agenda against an individual---an agenda laced with slander and lies.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 8:08,

I heard about this from SEVERAL sources that even included some Dems who were laughing their asses off. Comments were being posted on this blog last night, abnd they did not come from Ron, who could not use a PC to save his life. I tried calling Peg for comment, but she was in the middle of something and could not speak about it.

What the hell difference does it make anyway whether Angle and Ferraro are my sources? What, are you going to visit some sort of retribution on them, like having them shunned or pioketted or something? How very Nazi-esque.

The mail has not dropped? Then why do so many people know about it? And if it has not dropped, what the hell are you doing Kilbanks, waiting until the day after the election?

I will repeat this is the most idiotic thing I've seen this election cycle. In a county council race involving a controversial tax hike, you take a divisive issue that has NOTHING to do with county government, and use that issue to drive a wedge between your top vote getter and the remaining candidates. And you make those remaining candidates - people I might want to for - look like kooks.

Ansd yes, I would be just as stunned if someone sent a pro-choice mailer to another group bc this is such a divisive issue and has NOTHING to do w/ County gov't. You needlessly inject animosity where it does not need to exist. It's why your party is falling apart.

Absolutely brilliant.

Look at some of the comments. Way to go, morons.

There is also very little doubt in my mind that Kilbanks did this to line his pockets and I suggest very strongly that he does not want to go there.

Anonymous said...

Somebody explain to me what abortion has to do with a county election

Bernie O'Hare said...

It's totally nuts and divisive.

Anonymous said...

While I'll agree the tactic is crazy for the county level, your characterization of religious people who might oppose abortion is offensive. It's your tone that invites the same from the other side of the debate.

And Peg Ferraro should go for a variety of reasons; none having to do with her support of abortion. This is the most dysfunctional council in county history and she's been a major player on it for years.

It's time to take a shower from the old guard that has so screwed things up. Clean house of Ferraro and all incumbents.

Maureen said...

I think most of the public that vote have no idea what particular elected officials even have the capacity to do. For example... while working the polls for a Republican municipality (city) race ... a woman yelled at me and told me that the candidate was a Republican and therefore a supporter of water boarding and she would NEVER vote for a Republican because of that. It's ridiculous that everyone is so drawn to party lines... and forgets to look at the job duties/capacities and the best candidate to complete the job. Instead they stereotype the candidates....

Bernie O'Hare said...


What has happened here actually re-inforces that stereotype. On a very divisive issue that will never be heard by county council, 4of the 5 R candidates are trying to proclaim themselves as rabidly pro-life. They want to be stereo-typed.

It is a very foolish exercise.

Anonymous said...

Can one be "rabidly" pro-abortion? I've seen the protesters and the answer is yes.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I believe you. It's a divisive issue having nothing to do w/ counmty politics.

Anonymous said...

No reason to panic Bernie.. I just got two 8x10 glossy mailers from Peg and Cusick...Joe Long semt out some stupid piece that didn't even have Stoffa on it. None of the Dem candidates sent out individual pieces so there is no way , despite Kilbanks piece, that Cusick or Peg will lose..It will be Ferraro, Dertinger, Hunter,Wallace, and Cusick...Frame it and take that to the bank!!!Joe Long was able to trump Kilbanks by putting out a crap piece with Panella's face on one side and the County candidates on the other..How pathetic is that!!!

Anonymous said...

The Republicans had a chance to catch a sleeping Northampton County Democratic party this year and blew it.

Without an Executive candidate many Republicans won't even bother voting. By giving a pass to Stoffa, the Republican illuminati doomed the rest of the ticket to obscurity.

The only survivors Ferraro and probably Cusick.

The only strategy worse than the Republicans was the Democrats. Why some didn't run their own campaign is a mystery. All they did was ensure the top of the ticket wins.

Are Joe Long and Roy Shuman brothers?

Anonymous said...

The hysterical thing here is that Joe long will probably consider three democrats winning here a victory..Actually when the dems have a huge edge in registration in an election that nobody wants to vote, anything less than a sweep is a disaster!! Even with Kilbanks helping him I'd bet on Long blowing this election royally..

Anonymous said...

I think introducing waterboarding at a County Council meetings would be an improvement and I wish some of the candidates' parents had practiced birth control more sucessfully.

Anonymous said...

"Without an Executive candidate many Republicans won't even bother voting."

Be serious. Republicans, though outnumbered, always show up. It's Ds who can be easily distracted from voting by shiny objects.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bernie,

Any idea where Cusick got the money for his big glossy mailer? Maybe you should look into that.

Anonymous said...

The lack of the head if a ticket will seriously harm the Republicans. I know super voter Republicans who will not vote for Council Candidates because of their support of the liberal tax and spend Stoffa.

If you want to be RINOS then good luck with the Dem's.

Anonymous said...

Peg Ferraro will get us out of Iraq if re-elected to County Council.

Anonymous said...

That Republicans are even part of the conversation in this county is remarkable. Ds can control their own destiny, but aren't smart enough, or organized enough to take advantage of the opportunity.

It's like the national Obamacare debate. Ds have all the votes. But somehow, it's still supposed to be the Rs fault that the boondoggle hasn't passed?

NorCo Rs deserve a good bit of credit for still holding substantial cards in this game. Registration numbers indicate that they really shouldn't matter.

Anonymous said...

Hey BO,

Anonymous 9:29 am has a good point! But I believe cusick is up to two glossy mailers sent to R's D's and I's with only $6000 on hand, how does that happen, can u find out for us?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Tell me when you rec'd these mailers. be specific. If you can send me copies, do so.

Anonymous said...

The pro-life postcard in question was delivered to mailboxes today with a postmark of yesterday.

Bernie is not a pro-life republican so it should come as no big shock that he does not understand WHY this was a smart move by the council candidates.

The list Robert has built consists of only the most most ardent pro-life voters. These are people who will not support their own mother for teacher of the year if they are not pro-life. HOWEVER, once this voting block knows that someone is pro-life they are 100% sure to show up and vote in even the most local of elections.

We should all know by now by looking at our most recent council races that even a couple of hundred votes can be the difference.

So if this is a close election these few thousand republicans can make the difference for the four pro-life candidates. Keeping in mind that the mailing ONLY went to KNOWN ardent pro-life republicans, they are surely not going to lose any votes over it. If its a close election it can make all the difference in the world since this voting block may not have voted for candidates whose position on this issue they did not know. If its not a close election then it does not matter anyway. Either way, for these candidates there was nothing at all idiotic about telling known pro-life republican voters that they are pro-life.

A few things. Craig Dally is running for county judge. He sent out a similar pro-life card. His opponent for county judge has touted for months that she is pro-choice.

Last thing I would point out is how odd it is that Peggy Ferraro would be upset or "hurt" as Bernie put it about this. When she ran for county executive she raised money by bragging about her pro-choice credentials. She touted that she was a supporter of Republicans for Choice. She brought in Christine Todd Whitman who asserted that Peg Ferraro would stand up for woman's issues. Peggy Ferraro did that while running for county executive. Bob Nyce fired right back with a last minute effort to reach these same voters that the council candidates are trying to reach the weekend before the election telling those voters that Peggy had been using her pro-choice position to raise money in the county executive race. Peggy lost by a few hundred votes on election day.

Like it or not this issue is something people care about at all levels of government and there is nothing idiotic or "nuts" about telling a known and ardent pro-life voter that a candidate is pro-life. In fact its a very smart political move and can make all the difference in a close election.

Bottom line, the four candidates will certainly not lose any votes by telling an identified pro-life republican voter of their stance on that issue. After all they may be running for higher office in the future. Just ask Dertinger, Ferraro, and even Craig Dally who were all council members and who have all run for higher office. That is why these voters care.

Bernie a great guy who truly cares about his community. That is clear to anyone who visits on a regular basis. But you were little harsh which I am attributing to the possibility that you just don't understand this particular voting block that candidates are trying to reach. And as I have pointed out this has been done before at the county level in this election cycle and in many other in the past.

Anonymous said...

As far as I know, there are Abortion clinics in Allentown and P-burg. I know PP has an office in Easton. Correct me if I am wrong but there are no Abortion Clinics in Norco. If I'm right let's keep it that way!

What is so divisive about Abortion? Don't have sex, then you won't need one! Don't want to get raped, then don't dress like prostitute and go around at night unaccompanied. If an unmarried man touches a woman, cut his TRUNK off! Shut down all those $20/night trucker motels like you have in Nazareth. Problem solved!

Anonymous said...

As we've seen with Jack Panella, sometimes little local judges grow up to be big statewide judicial candidates where the abortion question is quite relevant. Best to check them at the local level, as that's where statewide judges originate. I'm not sure where the council candidates figure in this. But the issue is valid in judge races.

Anonymous said...

ANon 9:54 could be right...just shows how stupid REpublicans are...they just got Dertiger elected.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you understand how we, pro-lifers, think. You see, I won't vote for someone who isn't pro-life - not because that person can affect abortion laws, but because their stance on life and death tells me what kind of person they are.
We got into this mess on a larger level by people trying to be all-inclusive and NOT standing by their morals. We have to stand for what we believe, whether we are voting for dog-catcher or president!
You can't punish people for standing by their values because it hurts someone else's feelings.

Bernie O'Hare said...

A person who decides how to vote based on one issue is too intolerant for me.