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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bethlehem Drowning in $298 Million of Debt

In his 2007 State of the City address, Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan pledged that he would eventually cut taxes. "[W]e need to give a direct financial return to all of our taxpayers in the form of a tax cut." Just two years later, in2009, Hizzoner was still optimistic. "[I]f things go as projected, there is a very real possibility for a tax decrease."

Now that $7.5 million in Sands Casino revenue is being pumped into city coffers annually, when can Bethlehem residents expect that promised tax cut?

Don't hold your breath.

Callahan opposed a 2008 City Council effort to use half of the casino's host fee to provide a 22 percent tax cut. The Christmas City is drowning in debt, to the tune of over $298 million! Bethlehem actually has more debt than either Easton or even Allentown. If the City could manage somehow to hold the line on all other extra spending, it would still take nearly forty years to eliminate that debt.

Here's how it breaks down this year.

General Fund - $103,842,635
911 Fund - $5,018,018
Water Fund - $174,327,507
Sewer Fund - $4,712,014
Golf Fund - $514,826
Subtotal - $288,415,000
plus 2010 water debt - $8,100,000
plus 2010 sewer debt - $2,600,000
Total - $298,115,000

Before you get the idea that I'm dumping all over Callahan, his administration has reduced this debt by about 12% over six years. When he took office in 2004, it was $338,301,406.

84 comments:

Jacob said...

Bernie,

Anyone thinking they are getting a tax cut from the state, county, or municipal government they live in during these economic times are fooling themselves.

Bethlehem doesn't have the option of monetizing it's debt like the federal government.

The recovery has been tepid at best, non-existent if you take at increased governmental spending.

Simply put, revenue is down, expenses are up.

Government is operating at 2007 levels with 2010 realities.

Cuts or more debt or tax increases are coming, no matter who is in charge. In some cases a mixture of all three.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, if Bethlehem could say based on the Casino and ensuing development and revenue, there will be no property tax increases in the future, many Bethlehem resident's would be thrilled.

My major concern is rather than use the revenue to keep tax rates stable it will be used to fund new and more involved programs.


We don't need a tax cut if you can assure homeowners our City and County tax rates will remain stable. That in and of itself would be great.

Joe Hilliard said...

Yes,

"Big Government" Callahan is fiscally irresponsible.

"Big Government" Charlie Dent has cast many votes that has created $12 TRILLION of debt for the USA.

Who is more irresponsible? That is an irrelevant argument. Both are irresponsible.

Anonymous said...

BO, you are usually good a citing your sources. What is the source of this information?

Anonymous said...

Anyone know where Bethlehem stands with its pension obligations? Next year is looming large for pretty much all governmental entities.

The Banker

Bernie O'Hare said...

My source is an inside source and the information is accurate.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it is. You don't cite your source neither will I. Dent has his numbers wrong.

Anonymous said...

I'll take a miniscule local tax increase any day over giving wanton tax cuts at a federal level while our economy is crashing like Charlie Dent.

Anonymous said...

there will be no property tax increases in the future, many Bethlehem resident's would be thrilled.

Does the city of Bethlehem assess a property tax? Counties and school districts do.

Anonymous said...

the fact that he managed to narrow that debt 12% since he took office tells us about his record. since dent took office, the national debt has gone off the charts. he will claim that he voted against "this, that, and the other thing" in 2008 and 2009, but in 2005, 2006 and 2007, he voted for things that sent the snow ball rolling down the hill. Looking at records over the last 6 years, I will take the man who cut debt 12% any day.

Bernie O'Hare said...

As I indicated, my source is an inside city source. This has nothing to do w/ Dent, ans neither he nor his campaign have anything to do wiith this source. And the information is completely accurate. I will not identify my source because the person fears retaliation from people like you. You deny the truth for political reasons. Imagine what what happen if you knew where I got this.

Anonymous said...

Nothing to do with Dent? Funny.

Bernie O'Hare said...

As indicated, this has NOTHING to do with Dent or anyone in his camp. This is totally a Bethlehem issue. Some of us actually take an interest in local government and how it works. We consider that more important than even a congressional race. As interested as I get in the LV Congressional race, my main focus has always been the local stuff.

Of course, partisans will politicize everything. My goal here is to make readers aware that Bethlehem's debt is massive, and that's why nobody there can expect a tax cut anytime soon. That's reality.

Callahan does deserve credit for reducing that debt 12% over 6 years, and I point that out for those sycophants who think everything is about him. On the other hand, I think his tax cut promise is one he'll never keep.

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone else a "sycophant" but when kiss the ass of Dent continuously, you are just reporting truth? Take a look in the mirror.

Sure, you say this is about Bethlehem taxpayers but it is also about slamming the opponent of Charlie Dent in the upcoming election.

The Central Scrutinizer said...

The purpose of the casinos overall was to reduce school taxes across the state and take the burden off suffering districts and provide relief to taxpayers. Seeing how many local districts are in dire straits, it would make sense to have the money start flowing from the state. Unfortunately, our state legislators are the worst of the worst and lack a spine to do anything. Instead of relying on casino revenues, the state should increase taxes statewide (on everyone and not just property owners) and increase the subsidy to public education.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Central, I agree. The main selling point for gambling, about which my feelings are rather ambivalent, is property tax reduction. Do you see it?

Anonymous said...

I am a retired banker.

Debt service analysis is never based on amount but on ratio analysis and trends.

The most common trends are:

The ratio of debt service (excluding self supporting debt) to total operating revenues. An increasing ratio or a ratio in excess of 15% are not good trends.

the ratio of long term debt to total assessed valuation. An increasing ratio or a ratio in excess of 10 % are not good.

The ratio of long term debt to the population. An increasing ratio is not considered good.

I dis agree with your conclusion that Bethlehem has a serious debt problem. The fact that debt has decreased in and by itself would be contributing to a positive factor because population and valuation have not decreased and operating revenues have increased.

This comment strikes out as well as your uneducated source in City Hall. and if you want to check my comments go to PA websites and look up the manual on state financial monitoring. and ask your source to go back to school

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:27,

You're wrong and getting a little hysterial. The sun does not rise and set on that congressional race. If I were interested in bashing Callahan, I never would have pointed out that he has reduced the debt 12% over 6 years. My primary focus in this post is to inform, not politicize. Most people are unaware that Bethlehem has such a massive debt. It explains why city council wants to control where those casino fnds go.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:37,

My source may lack your background, but when you've finished looking down your nose, the debt is what it is. If a city the size of Bethlehem has a $298MM and that's no problem, then why is Callahan trying to reduce it? I think it is a problem, and a $298MM one.

Anonymous said...

The post is about fiscal irresponsibility under Callahan. Point made. In the expected Congressional race, however, his opponent has a shaky record in a body that re-wrote the book on fiscal irresponsibility during Dent's tenure. The point is a draw. Those seeking a fiscally responsible Congressman must look elsewhere.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This post is NOT about Callahan's fiscal irresponsibility. When he assumed office, the city debt was $338MM. He's knowcked it down to $298MM.

This post is abut Bethlehem's massive debt, and whuy I don't think the city will see a tax increase any time soon.

Anonymous said...

So if it's not about anti Callahan sentiment, can we expect a post tomorrow about the administrations plan for debt reduction?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I would be delighted to sit down w/ Hizzoner and report on whatever he is doing to reduce this figure. His efforts - both successes and failures - would make for another informative post, and I'm sure my readers would appreciate it.

But as you may recall, I can't even get him to return a call about Boy Scouts. Maybe I should wear an SEIU T-shirt.

I'll try again today.

ironpigpen said...

There will be much entertainment here this year, I predict.

Always dig your pictures, O'Hare.

Anonymous said...

You have not offered any empirical evidence that the city's debt structure is bad. No one can accept your position other than your personal opinion.

Callahan said in his 11/9/2007 budget message "Since taking office in 2004, my administration has reduced the City’s debt by $35 million, and is on track to further reduce our debt by 50% in 7 years and 61% in 10 years. This is the 5th consecutive year that we have committed to reducing the size of our debt for future city budgets and taxpayers."

That is his plan. Council can accept or reject. They can divert funds from debt reduction to reduce taxes if they so desire.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"There will be much entertainment here this year, I predict."

Fasten your seatbelts.

Anonymous said...

"That is his plan. Council can accept or reject. They can divert funds from debt reduction to reduce taxes if they so desire."


So I'm not getting property tax relief I was promised from the casino revenues?

Anonymous said...

either way, you get tax relief

Anonymous said...

Bethlehem is a great fuckin city compared to the 2 others.
Take a walk down Main St, after 6 and you'll find many friendly people. No thugs, druggies or prostitutes!

Spend some more Mayor Callahan, I don't give a shit...

Anonymous said...

Joe Hilliard said...

Yes,

"Big Government" Callahan is fiscally irresponsible.

"Big Government" Charlie Dent has cast many votes that has created $12 TRILLION of debt for the USA.

Who is more irresponsible? That is an irrelevant argument. Both are irresponsible.
___

This is a claptrap argument.

Fact: John Callahan has either raised or voted to raise Property taxes 3 times.

Fact: John Callahan has never cut taxes sinces he's been in government.

Fact: The City property tax relief that was held out to the people of Bethlehem as the major reason to locate a casino here will not be delivered, in fact cannot be delivered anytime within the next five to ten years. (And don't tell me that's not what was promised -- I got the damn brochures in the mail.)

Fact: The City of Bethlehem is obligated to pay $7.3 million in debt service in 2010 -- that's the interest on the debt that John Callahan helped accumulate along with prior Bethlehem Administrations. The City will only receive $7.5 million in host fees.

Fact: Hopefully that addresses the comment someone else made about O'Hare not proving that the City's debt structure is bad. This is like saying that the interest payments on a maxed-out credit card aren't bad. Not a very compelling argument for John Callahan supporter's to be making.

___

Fact: Charlie Dent was consistently bashed by his Democrat opponents in the last two elections for voting for extending the 2002 - 2003 Tax Cuts and for ending the "Death Tax." He has voted to end the Marriage Penalty and has consistently voted at all levels to reduce taxes on businesses, as opposed to hamstringing them with globally out of line CNI rates.

Fact: Dent actually has voted for spending cuts -- not reductions -- cuts -- at both the state and federal levels.

Fact: Dent has already voted against Stimulus I and Stimulus II. He has voted against Cash for Clunkers and againt President Obama's Budget and for the Republican alternative budget.

He has correctly voted against CAP & Trade and against Pelosi's Health bill.

Further he opposes Card Check legislation which could add further hundreds of billions of dollars of labor cost to goods and services across the nation if it passed.

Those are reasons enough for me to support Charlie Dent over John Callahan.

I don't buy your argument that someone like Charlie Dent and John Callahan are somehow "the same."

Charlie Dent is not just a better choice than John Callahan for Congress -- he is the best choice -- at least for me.

Pyrex

Anonymous said...

"Hopefully that addresses the comment someone else made about O'Hare not proving that the City's debt structure is bad."

Like Ali said to Foreman "Is that all you got, Joe." Your arguments are a joke. You don't have any understanding of Bethlehem's debt structure and what is due and when it is due.

Anonymous said...

Fact - this is nothing but BO's weak attempt to promote dent as he slams callahan - no matter how many times he protests that it is not. BO has already shown his true colors to many times to be believable.

Fact - as an insider I do not dispute the figures - they're pretty close - but they are lower than what he inhierited.

Fact - the City now has to pay for decades of financial mismanagement from many previous Mayors.

Fact - The City also suffers from being a one horse town (steel) - now it also has to pay for that mistake

Fact - JC is doing a credible job of closing old woulds - leave him in Bethlehem to do just that - he'll do much more for the city here then he ever will in DC

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You don't have any understanding of Bethlehem's debt structure and what is due and when it is due."

I did not set out to write about Bethlehem's debt structure. I set out to write about the massive amount of debt in Bethlehem. The facts are what they are.

And like I said, if I were interested in making Callahan look bad, how do i do that by showing that he has reduced a massive debt that he inherited? That's not the point or focus of this post. Not everything is Dent v. Callahan.

Ryan O'Donnell said...

"As indicated, this has NOTHING to do with Dent or anyone in his camp. This is totally a Bethlehem issue."

Pretty freaking annoying when you tell people things a thousand times, but they don't believe you. Isn't it, Bernie?

My favorite part about this post was how you slammed Hillary's post praising Bethlehem for being nothing but a pro-Callahan update.

But when you post an article about Bethlehem's debt problems, you're getting angry that people are constantly attacking you for an Anti-Callahan update.

The irony is so good!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hey, Mr. Independent, How much money did you collect for your work on Pawlowski's campaign? You were, I'm told, a paid campaign worker. Funny how you don't point that out while claiming to be so independent and everything.

Ryan O'Donnell said...

I didn't make much! It was part-time.

I do work on campaigns though. I worked for Obama too. And I really enjoy doing stuff like that while I can.

I guess you're right, though. The fact that I've worked for those two Democrats specifically prohibits me from being able to have an independent thought.

Apologies! Apologies, all around!

Bernie O'Hare said...

You don't think your involvement as a paid operative merits some disclosure? How do we know you're not being paid now, Mr. Independent?

Ryan O'Donnell said...

As a commenter on your blog? Do you want me to send you my resume, or something? I didn't know that was required.

I don't think I've ever even commented on one of your Pawlowski posts. And I stopped working for him after the election, so it's been a while. Especially since we started our blog two days ago.

And a paid operative? Geez. Did you ever think that weird shit like that is why so many people think you're crazy? Did you think I was sent on here by the campaign to refute you on stuff, or something? If that's the case, you should probably check your ego. I did almost entirely database work.

Finally, you can know that I'm not being paid by anyone right now, because I'm not being paid by anyone right now. That simple. And good God am I not being paid by anyone right now! I could certainly use some money. If something comes up, I'll let you know!

So since I'm not getting paid by anyone, you're saying I can be Independent again?! Wow, thanks! I was waiting for your seal of approval.

-Mr. Independent.

Ryan O'Donnell said...

Ah! Sorry.

In the meaning of full disclosure, per your rules, I worked for the AMC Movie Theater starting when I was 16 and I worked as a lifeguard at a day camp before that.

Carry on!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mr. Independent,

I have to apologize. I thought you were a Democratic partisan. I had no idea that, until very recently, you were actually a paid Democratic operative.

When someone is for sale, like you, the appropriate thing to do is make full disclosure when you decide to start an "independent" blog about politics.

This failure is unethical.

I'm also learning that, contrary to what you assert, you were paid rather handsomely in 2008. $946 biweekly is not bad at all for part-time work. And you must have loved that bonus.

Did Pawlowski pay as well? No wait, don't tell me, I'll find out myself.

So are you auditioning for a role in the Callahan crusade?

Ryan O'Donnell said...

You certainly do love to try to start rivalries! And listening to you, I'm thankful that I'm usually not one to sink down to your level.

But since you're asking, I worked for Obama full-time and Pawlowski part-time. It was the latter's campaign that I talked about not making much money for doing part-time work. Obama paid pretty well.

You certainly can believe whatever you want! God knows hearing any sort of fact or reasoning won't stop you from that.

If I choose to get involved electorally, I work for whoever I think will make effective progress. I don't just jump from Democrat-to-Democrat. If there's a Independent that believes in progressive policy running for something around here, sign me up!

And I also worked for Clean Water Action for a very short time in 2001! Since you were probably wondering.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mr. Independent,

Trust me, there's no rivalry. I'm laughing my ass off.

By the way, how many Independents have you worked for?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mr. Independent,

As hard as this may be for you to understand, because you're so independent and all, the person who sinks low here is the one who fails to tell his readers that he was actually much more than a Democratic partisan, but was actually a paid operative. Your readers should have been told that. But don't worry. I'll do it for you.

Ryan O'Donnell said...

I'm just trying to keep things respectful!

And no Independents yet. If I was old enough to work (and had any experience) for Nader back in 2000, I certainly would have. His campaigns in 2004 and 2008 I didn't work want to work for, because they were more unfortunate than anything else.

Maybe in the future! I'll keep my eyes open!

Ryan O'Donnell said...

Thanks, Bernie! Doesn't bother me.

Besides responding to you, I haven't even really presented much opinion on our blog yet.

Feel free to add the movie theater, too!

I had a good time at that movie theater.

Projectionist extraordinaire!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, the blog is quite good. And let's get something straight about blogs. The more readers you get, the more I get, and vice versa. If I had a real problem with you, I'd ignore you and would not have linked to your blog.

You did make two mistakes.

First, the blog's title is simply wriong and misleading. Even Jacob agreed with me on that, and I've been lecturing him all day, too.

Second, because you were actually being paid by the pqwlowski camp until very recentlky, and have a history as a paid campaign worker, you should disclose that when you blog. I don't care where you do it. It could be in your profile or intor, but it should be done as a courtesy to your readers.

Ask a few other bloggers who have been around sor awhile.

Now I'm going to torment you tomorrow, and you can tell me ehat a horse's ass i am or how low I'm going, but I don't want to discourage you from continuing what you're doing. You're young, and I've been kicking you around. But we needd more young bloggers, so in that sense I am wrong. But i can't help myself bc i am a miserable bastard.

usa1 said...

"Bethlehem is a great fuckin city compared to the 2 others.
Take a walk down Main St, after 6 and you'll find many friendly people. No thugs, druggies or prostitutes!

Spend some more Mayor Callahan, I don't give a shit...

8:43 PM"


WELL SAID. PRIVILEDGED TO LIVE HERE.

Ryan O'Donnell said...

...I guess that sounds fair?

I'm really not seeing the whole 'scandal' here.

If I ever had a post specifically praising or slamming Pawlowski, then I could see myself writing that I worked for him. But other than that, I don't see the point.

I guess I'm still learning blogger etiquette.

I'll just never know how doing part-time data-work for Pawlowski affects my ability to write about Keith McCall stepping down from his PA Speaker seat.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I guess I'm still learning blogger etiquette."

Yes, you are.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Mr. Independent, How much money did you collect for your work on Pawlowski's campaign? You were, I'm told, a paid campaign worker. Funny how you don't point that out while claiming to be so independent and everything.

Why did you deflect the question?

Anonymous said...

Is Senator Bernie Sanders not an "independent" because he caucuses with the Democrats? O'Hare's argument is nuts.

I love the "operative" bit.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I deflected nothing.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 10:44,

Let's see how nutz people think this argument is.

Anonymous said...

I deflected nothing.

Of course you did. The commenter asked why you hypocritically slammed another bloggers post as being pro-Callahan yet you attack commenters on this blog for accusing you of writing pro-Dent shlock.

Then you defelected his very pertinent question with nonsense about the commenters previous work history.

I'm still unclear on how working on a Dem's campaign negates one's independent status. It just shows that you know very little about politics given this absurd notion. You even fail on basic federal legislative process in past posts about the health care bill. A Slate Belt homer with no real context except to bash any and all urban areas of the region. Bravo.

Anonymous said...

Let's see how nutz people think this argument is.

You mean you, your Slate Belt homers, retired bankers, and other nutty right-wing regulars? Ha!

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Of course you did. The commenter asked why you hypocritically slammed another bloggers post as being pro-Callahan yet you attack commenters on this blog for accusing you of writing pro-Dent shlock."

I slammed another blogger for writng what a post comparing Bethlehem to Atlantis, and there is nothning in this post that is either pro-Dent or anti-Callahan. If anything, it is pro-Callahan.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You mean you, your Slate Belt homers, retired bankers, and other nutty right-wing regulars? Ha"

I see. Maybe that blog should be called LV Elitist.

Ryan O'Donnell said...

Holy shit. I would work for Bernie Sander's in a second.

Anonymous said...

LV Elitist? How so? You passed yourself off as a left-leaning blog but now simply surround yourself with Repubs and constantly slam the left. Why not be who you are? I don't think you even know who you are - you are just angry.

Anonymous said...

So O'Hare. Is Senator Sanders not allowed to be an independent? I really want to know your uninformed and skewed view on this subject. Since it is obvious you do little reading, why not GET a television.

Anonymous said...

Holy shit. I would work for Bernie Sander's in a second.

According to O'Hare, I think you'd be a valid Independent then. EVen though Sanders is the most left Senator currently in the body. I'm not sure O'Hare knows who Sanders is though. Crickets.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"LV Elitist? How so? You passed yourself off as a left-leaning blog but now simply surround yourself with Repubs and constantly slam the left."

Your comments make that apparent. You just slammed the slate belt. I guess they're not good enough.

What I am is an equal opportunity offender. I am left leaning, but will and have voted for Republicans and even conservatives. I do not view this as us v. them. That's been my philsophy from the start.

"Conservative or Liberal, Deist or Pagan, Jersey transplant or Lehigh Valley native, we're all in this mess together. Let's talk. Let us do no harm."

That's been on my blog since it started, except for the "do no harm" part, which was urged on me by a reader.

In some cases, the conservative argument is actually the beter argument. In some cases, it is the liberal argument. We canot blindly follow some ideology with no regard for reality.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I'm not sure O'Hare knows who Sanders is though. Crickets."

Ahhh. The final refuge of the opartisan Demorat or Republican. Demean the person you disagree with, especially once he establishes that you're for sale.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh. The final refuge of the opartisan Demorat or Republican. Demean the person you disagree with, especially once he establishes that you're for sale.

Answer the question then.

I can only conclude what I have based on your response. And not knowing who a United States Senator is IS pretty demeaning for someone who purports to comment on political matters.

You have demeaned Democrats, liberals, the Speaker, the President, even the arts community. Yet no one is allowed to call you out on your circle of cohorts and the seemingly inbred circle-jerk mentality of this blog.

Anonymous said...

In some cases, the conservative argument is actually the beter argument. In some cases, it is the liberal argument. We canot blindly follow some ideology with no regard for reality.

Hehehe. Let me know when you actually support any liberal or liberal position.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You have demeaned Democrats, liberals, the Speaker, the President, even the arts community"

How true. How true. Today, I demeaned Republican Sam Rohrer, who is running for Governor, as a wing nut. I've demeaned Santorum and Toomey and Bush. I was higly critical of LC Exec candidate Scott Ott, another conservative Republican.

That's the way I roll.

As for supporting liberal positions, I generally do that. I think government exists to help people, and thus have supported a living wage consistently, a bi-county health departmen, SCHIP, help for the homeless, foreclosure relief, the right to choose, transparency in goveremnt, etc.

I do not support elitists or machine politics. I have no problem condemning supposedly liberal politicians who really are self-promoters.

As for not answering you question, I've done so several times. It's just not an answer you like.

Anonymous said...

"especially once he establishes that you're for sale."

A baseless ad hominem attack in an attempt to condemn a perceived ad hominem attack. Your cognitive dissonance is staggering, Boonie. Must be all those decades of boozing. I hope someday I can match your mastery of substantial and non-personal criticisms like calling your critics "partisan hacks" or "Democratic lever pullers" or comparing private citizens to Senator McCarthy because they objected to having their private religious beliefs made an issue in a political race. Clearly O'Hare, you only traffic in the issues and refuse to climb down in the muck with the rest of us.

As for anon 11:23am, how dare you assault the character and integrity of a man who is forbidden from practicing law in Pennsylvania because of his involvement in fraud, forgery, and other unethical practices??? Attack the issues, not the person, even when that person has no coherent issues or political positions save for being a sycophant to whichever Republican official can stomach speaking to him. Or is that too hard for a level-pulling partisan McCarthy-ite hack like you to understand? You're lucky that Cuckoo Boonie doesn't crawl out of his hovel above the Army/Navy store and bash you over the head with the laptop computer he received from the President of the Northampton County Council, a man he just coincidentally fawns over in 4 or 5 articles a week. ;)

Anonymous said...

"Liberal" O'Hare was a registered Republican in 2004 and 2005, the heyday of the Bush Administration, and that he was appointed to the US Attorney's office under Reagan. You were taking them down from the inside, one cocktail at a time, weren't you Boonie? ;)

Bernie O'Hare said...

I've been a Democrat, a Republican, a Green and Reform party member. I have mostly been a Democrat.

I switched to R when Specter was facing a challenge form the right by Toomey. In fact, I persuaded other good Democrats like Danny Cohen to swithc with me. About a year or so after the elction, I switched back.

I did serve as an Ass't US Att'y and was hired by a US Att'y who never asked or cared about my political affiliation. He hired me although I made clear I am philosophically opposed to the death penalty.

It's amazing how discovering that someone is for sale leads to all kinds of personal attacks launched at me.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"A baseless ad hominem attack in an attempt to condemn a perceived ad hominem attack."

Neither baseless nor ad hominem. It was established that one of the three bloggers of a supposedly "independent" blog is in fact a pwerson who is a paid Democratic operative and who is cureently looking for work. This is something that readers need to know when evaluating his credibility, but it was never disclosed.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"comparing private citizens to Senator McCarthy because they objected to having their private religious beliefs made an issue in a political race."

This private citizen was a Democratic nominee for LC Comm'r, and as such, was smearing her opponent's campaign by faqlsely claiming that they were anti-Semitic. Ironically, his biggest campaign contributor is jewish, and his chief campauign worker is also Jewish. Kwiatek was correctly compared to McCarthy for engaging in a witch hunt.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You're lucky that Cuckoo Boonie doesn't crawl out of his hovel above the Army/Navy "

More elitism from someone who will diminsih me bc I'm not a rich Democrat like him.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"bash you over the head with the laptop computer he received from the President of the Northampton County Council,"

More disinformation, just what I'd expect from a LV "independent." The laptop was a birthday gifty from many people, most of whom have no involvement in politics.

Anonymous said...

Boonie, it's not even 1pm, even you shouldn't be wasted at this hour.

You've admitted Angle bought you the computer. Why not just leave it at that? Sure it calls into question the cloying and relentless favorable coverage you've given him, as well as your reflexive need to defend him against any and all attacks wherever they might appear. And, you know what? That's OK! It's not like anyone takes you seriously.

As for your idiotic comparisons of a private citizen (she holds no office, Boonie) to Senator McCarthy, you have consciously and aggressively misrepresented her position. Kwiatek made no allegation of anti-Semitism, did not she link it to the Eckhart campaign, and explicitly stated that it likely had no bearing on the outcome of the election. After your ridiculously false portrayal of her statement, she was kind enough to craft an eloquent response that you again maligned. Perhaps the booze has destroyed your brain, O'Hare, or perhaps you simply don't care for the truth. Given your extensive history of deceitful and destructive behavior, it's probably both.

To reiterate: A commenter on your blog harshly criticized Kwiatek's religious faith. The commenter was a professed conservative Jew, thus presumably an Eckhart supporter. The thrust of his comment was to claim that Kwiatek's personal religious beliefs were too liberal to be acceptable or sincere; in short, he called her a bad Jew. Any reasonable person would take offense to such an allegation, as it had no bearing on the County Commissioner race and was the sort of intimate slur that no one should ever have to face. Eckhart likely would have taken similar offense if his faith in Christ were demeaned, and it would be a nice gesture if he were to express his sympathies and disassociate himself from such attacks. Heck, it would be the Christian thing to do.

The fact that I'm not a 58 year old man who lives in a hovel does not make me an elitist. It simply makes you a bum.

Bernie O'Hare said...

1) Angle is just one of many people, most of whom have no interest in politics, who chipped in to buy me a laptop for my birthday. I never said anything different. And guess what? I DISCLOSED it, the very night I received it.

2) What Hillary Kiwiatek, the Democratic nominee for a public office, did to Glenn Eckhart, is ourtrageous. She accused his campaign of anti-Semitism, and without basis. You point to one anonymouse comment on my blog as proof. proof of what? For all I know, you posted that comment. You support her McCarthyism because you are a partisan.

3) Diminishing me bc I live in an apartment is exactly what I'd expect from an elitist. And other apartment dwellers will be delighted to learn they are bums. I guess both slate belters and apartment dwellers are ineligible for admission into the Democratic party. When you really come down to it, you're no liberal. You're just some smug asshole who judges people by their portfolio.

4) A operson who hides behind anonymity to launch personal attacks, is a coward.

Anonymous said...

1. Is it permanently and prominently disclosed on the site? Do you disclose it every time you write your bizarre sycophantic accounts of Angle's alleged greatness? If not, you're being unethical, but that's par for the course for you.

2. Again, Kwiatek never accused the Eckhart campaign of being behind the statements, nor did she ever use the term "anti-semitism." Even your alcohol-soaked brain is capable of better reading comprehension than this, Boonie. Maybe you can have Ron Angle read Kwiatek's comments out-loud to you; it would be a good way for the two of you to kill a few hours together.

3. How could anyone diminish you more than you've diminished yourself. You're a worthless bum O'Hare, plain and simple. I'm doing your readers a service by indicating that you are a bum. You demean only yourself and the intelligence of your readers by denying this fact.

4. See 3. What's the difference between commenting anonymously and lashing out like a rabid animal when you have no reputation left to ruin? You needn't worry about the consequences of the things you say because you've so extensively fucked up your life that it couldn't possibly get any worse. So just grovel grovel grovel and maybe Ron will pay your rent this month.

P.S. Are these the "progressives" you like to claim support Angle? They sound like Neo-Nazis to me.

http://www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php?t=14408

Anonymous said...

1:28 PM is a coward.

Anonymous said...

2:06 PM is Boonie O'Hare posting anonymously, as he has been known to do. By doing so, he only serves to demean himself and the proud tradition of the Army/Navy store.

Anonymous said...

You never answered if Bernie Sanders is allowed to be an "Independent." How about Joseph Lieberman. You claim to have answered but have not.

Bernie O'Hare said...

1) It is not prominently and permanently disclosed on my blog bc it need not be disclosed at all. As I mentioned, Angle is just one of many people, most of whom have no interest in politics, who chipped in for a birthday present. No matter how many times you repeat your lie, that does not make it truthful.

2) Kwiatek did make the accusation, saying it is a "very liekly possibility" that his campaign was secretly making an issue of her Judaism. In short, she was baselessly claiming anti-Semiticism.

3) If you want to establish that I'm a bum, you don't establish that my demeaning me for living in an apartment. Your elitism is showing.

4) A person who makes anonymous personal attacks is a coward. Little wonder you link to hate sites.

I will be deleting any garbage you post from this point.

Anonymous said...

Like a maroon, Callahan raided every City fund possible for years, by voting for it when he was council person and by actually doing it as Mayor.

Water Fund, Sewer Fund, Parking Authority, Swear Jar Fund -- you name it.

He systematically robbed those funds and took their year end surpluses to balance the city's general fund. While doing so he necessitated increased indebtedness for those funds.

The weird thing about debt is that it costs money -- which is kind of crazy when you think about it. I mean the reason you're in debt is because you need money in the first place! It's like a financial gotcha!

Anyhoo -- So in order to never have to cut spending, or you know lay someone off a city employee, or you know -- not negotiate better deals for the taxpayers on contracts with city workers, Callahan just blithely flowed along robbing Peter to pay Peter's friend, Pektor -- no, wait I mean Paul. To pay Paul.

Unfortunately for Mayor John, his buddy and mentor, Mayor Don, farted in the elevator and stepped out just as John was getting ready to go in.

Yep, you guessed it. All the big bonds and financial stuff that Mayor Don got the city involved with had big ballo0n payments that kicked in long after Mayor Don would be out of Bethlehem and in the Governor's office -- or whatever.

So dang! Who woulda thunk it, but in 2010, because of all those mushroom cloud ballo0n payments John had to come up with $7.3 million just for debt service alone. Not for putting police on the streets, not for putting asphalt in potholes or ribbons in hair -- nope.

$7.3 just to pay the interest on all he borrowed.

Ouch.

Now, admittedly some on this blog will think that Mayor Callahan deferred pain, only raised taxes three times and all without ever putting a single taxpayer-funded government worker out of a job.

Hell! He even found a way to get his brother-in-law or someone a job as the top muckety-muck at the Water Department.

But what you need to know is that people who are in the know realize there will not be a property tax cut in Bethlehem in the next five years -- period.

Many of the good folks who post here make the statement that the casino host fee is not there to provide property tax relief. They say it's supposed to provide for additional police and social service assistance for problems that arise from gambling.

Well -- it's not going to fund any of that. It's all going to go to pay off the debt that John Callahan and Don Cunningham built in Bethlehem from 1998 right through this year.

You can quibble, you can shout, you can even pout -- but the truth will ever out!

-Optimus Primer

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Ryan O'Donnell is independent like Rush Limbaugh is intelligent.

-Optimus Primer

Anonymous said...

Water Fund, Sewer Fund oh My. Sounds like it is time for some Regionalization to spread some of the debt around.

Anonymous said...

That's a little sarcasm folks.