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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Onorato Stiffed Judge Panella, Too

Last week, I told you that Allegheny County Exec Dan Onorato, who'd like to be your next Governor, promised DA John Morganelli all kinds of help in last year's race against Tom Corbett for AG. Since both Morganelli and Onorato are fellow Democrats, and it was well known that Corbett intended to do a swan dive from the AG's seat right into the Governor's mansion, it would only make sense that well-heeled Onorato would help. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, right?

Wrong. Onorato stiffed Morganelli. Three times, he lured the Democratic nominee for Attorney General for a six hour trip to Pittsburgh, where Morganelli would be greeted by empty hotels or promises that the checks are in the mail.

Now, Onorato is telling Capitolwire he made no promises to help Morganelli, who's just disappointed that he lost his AG race. In other words, the Northampton County District Attorney is being politely called a liar.

That's interesting because last year, there was another Lehigh Valley running for statewide office. Superior Court Judge Jack Panella was seeking a seat with the state supremes, and was opposed by Joan Orie Melvin, a judge who comes from Onorato's home turf in Allegheny County. According to campaign finance records, Onorato couldn't spare a nickel for his fellow Democrat.

I would never ask Judge Panella about this, but sources in his campaign tell me that Onorato made promises he failed to keep. Amazingly, Judge Panella could never get him on the phone. Imagine that!

Are you beginning to see a pattern?

As a candidate, Onorato is ignoring the Lehigh Valley. Although he has money to burn, he's ignored two excellent Democratic candidates for statewide office when their Republican opponents came from Allegheny County.

If that is how he acts as a candidate, what will happen to the Lehigh Valley if he becomes Governor?

Blogger's Note: Blogger comments enabled.


Anonymous said...

Yeah we see a pattern. You are out to trash another politician you hate. So based on old bruised ego JM and I didn't talk to him Panella, you deduce Onorato is a dirt bag.

Oh! wait, you were trashing Onorato last year when he was supported by Joe Long.

Oh yeah, we sure do see a pattern Ohare, you are a hypocrite.

Why not keep diquss up for all your thread, oh wait, no one will post if you do.

Whats a matter Bernie why not use diquess for everything. That way you and your five buddies can twitter all day.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It's cerainly true I've had my reservations about Onorato from the start. His drink tax, layoffs and the police state he imposed should concern anyone.

What I can say is that he made promises to two LV candidates seeking statewide office, and broke those promises. In both of those cases, their opponents are from Allegheny.

The pattern I see is that he will favor the western part of the state at the expense of evetryone here.

Your personal attacks don't make a dent in those arguments.

Anonymous said...

Ultimately, the Judge lost the race by himself. He approved several negative campaign advertisements and the voting public does not expect that from a judicial candidate. Once the negative ads ran, the public couldn't stomach it. That decision, is what lost the campaign for Jack. And, it was unfortunate because the average John Q. Public didn't know the difference between the two candidates. They just remember the negative ads. Then the worst candidate won.

Anonymous said...

The only true word we have on these, "alleged" promises are from the camps of two losing candidates.

That is how Ohare would be reporting this if he didn't already have an axe to grind with this guy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

When a candidate for the state's highest office is reported to me as a person who breaks promises, I think that's worth noting. When he does it to favor Allegheny County and at the expense of the LV, I think that's worth noting. When one involved is a DA and the other is a Superior Court judge, i think that's worth noting.

Onorato is proving himself to be untrustworthy, not the best candidate in a Governor. It's no surprsie to me that he's using Fleck as his field guy in the LV.

Anonymous said...

I remember when John Morganelli did not publicly endorse Ed Rendell on his first governor election against Casey. I don't think big Ed ever forgot that. Especially after he endorsed Morganelli for Attorney General.

It's called political karma.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If rendell were interested in playing that game, he'd have a long list of people to thank bc the party endorsed Casey over him.

The party needs to stop that practice in open primaries.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been paying close attention to this race at all, and definitely the JM stuff seems super shady, but I can't help but wonder what it is that makes you trash this guy for not having party loyalty when you so often praise others for being willing to overlook party affiliation.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm not trashing Onorato bc he lacks party loyalty, something that means little to me. I am trashing him bc he is untrustworthy, something that means a lot to me. When he gives his word, as he did to Morganelli and to the Panella camp, he should keep it. If he lies to help out others in Allegheny County, what will he do as Govenor?

Anonymous said...

Onorato isn't the best qualified for governor. He knows nothing about harrisburg or how to work in a political setting in which there is republican competition. The D that does have that experience is Joe Hoeffel. He is a commissioner in a county that is R dominated. He won a congressional seat over an R incumbent. He worked in DC and Harrisburg when R's ran the show. He is also as honest and value-driven a pol as you will ever find.

PA would be best served by an election feature Hoeffel and Rohrer. Then, both guys would have to figure out how to navigate the cess-pool that is Harrisburg. If it is Onorato or Corbett, things will just go back to being the same as two premier insiders do nothing for 8 years.

Anonymous said...

Can you prove he stiffed Panella? That's a large statement to make if Panella isn't agreeing. Are you being truthful about Morganelli's campaign, or are you spreading inuendos to get attention from the statewide press as your popularity as a (ahem) blogger, has seemd to dwindle? What is the truth here? Can you back up these statements with facts and not unnmaed sources, heh, heh. i don't think so.

Anonymous said...

He sounds like the kind of sleaze Panella and Morganelli should not have been pursuing in the first place. You've certainly had him figured out for a while. I guess all politicians are blinded by money. It doesn't speak well for the LV guys or the statewide D party.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 12:57,

Actaually, pretty much everything I've averred has been backed up. The day my original post about Onorato appeared, Morganelli himself acknowledged that he had been stiffed by Onorato. He explained the situation, in great detail, to Capitolwire, PaPolitics and The Pittsburgh Tribune.

Aa far as Judge Panella is concerned, I refuse to speak to him directly. He can't get involved in political matters.

But my statements about him have some backing, too. Look at the state campaign finasnce reports, which are a matter of public record and are linked to in this blog. They show Onorato gave Panella nothing.

Does that make sense? Onorato knows that election determined whether Democrats or republicans were in charge of reapportionment, but gave nothing to the democrat who could make a difference?

Sources inside Panella's campaign tell me that, despite promises, Onorato ended up stiffing Panella, too.

With both Panella and Morganelli, their opponents were from Allegheny County like Onorato. It appears to me that he is favoring his area over the LV.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not trashing Onorato bc he lacks party loyalty, something that means little to me. I am trashing him bc he is untrustworthy, something that means a lot to me."

An untrustworthy politician? Hell no, there is no such thing!!!!

To be serious, they are ALL untrustworthy and they ALL have their own agendas. Politics are such bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, the first poster was correct to say if you keep Disqus your blog will dwindle away to nothing, which is why I assume you have enabled blogger for the many post after the Disqus rant. Face it your blog is nothing with out the controversial "trolls" as you call them. Just remember just because someone does not agree with what you believe that does not make them a "troll". I posted under disqus and you labeled me a troll presumably because I said something you did not agree with. It was not personal, nor was it disrespectful yet it I was labeled a troll!! I can only guess that was to label your Disqus experiment a success. Again since most of the post since then have been back to the old way, I assume you are admitting that my guess is correct.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If you were deleted on Disqus, it was definitely a trollish comment, just like your most recent comment, which is off topic and just attacks me to divert attention away from Onorato.

Disqus is on experimentally and I will go back and forth between Disqus and Blogger until people are used to both. But I intend to dump blogger so I can dump and ban trolls like you.

Anonymous said...

You are right anon 10:25. I want Bernie to use duquss. He really needs a lesson in humility and the lack of posts will show that.

Sure he will get angry priest, the "new" ass sucking Chris Casey and Banker, Scott and some others who generally agree with Ohare or don't go off the OHare reservation.

But be it Dent, Stoffa, Angle or any Ohare mancrush he will censor anything that isn't gushing.

It would be easy to label his baseless attacks on Onorato as a "troll" attack. Seriously, this is so much bullshit but in the Ohare universe it is proof positive of something Ohare wants to believe.

Point is whether it is Angle Stoffa or others, Ohare's blog is pretty much a puff blog now so why not go all the way.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You get deleted bc you are a liar who posts outragreous comments, like your pedophilic accusations on the Pia Varma post. Disgusting people llike you are not needed. And you're agreeing with yourself.

Donald said...

Onorato seems to be picking up a lot of local support / at least on facebook - do you think this will hurt him? I am leaning Hoeffel but not really made up my mind yet.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Donald, These revealations could keep Onorato from capturing the endorsement of the state committee. He needs 2/3 of them, and his unwillingness to support LV Democrats may hurt him. Then the people, instead of the state committee, can decide on the nominee.

Anonymous said...

there's a lot of LV folks who support Onorato. You claim he's been ignoring the valley, yet he's been out here rallying up a lot of support over the last few months.

Don't know what to say about panella. morganelli sounds like sour grapes from an undistinguished candidate who ran an unremarkable campaign.

Anonymous said...


It sounds like you are complaining that a politician (Onorato) is acting like a politician. And State politics at the level of Governor has always been about bringing $$ and power to their region. And that is party neutral. Rendell has brought a lot of $$ to his base in the NE, and you can surely expect a lot of $$ going to the Western part PA if Onorato wins.

Money is power and I am sure that Morganelli has used $$, by either contributing to or not contributing to specific candidates to use his influence. (I assume that Panella wouldn't/ couldn't, and certainly shouldn't give political donations. Judges in this County/State are corrupt enough without exerting the power of the purse)

Unfortunately this is the system we have.

Bernie O'Hare said...

What disurbs me is Onorato's inability to be trustworthy to people here.

Anonymous said...

Total bullshit post by Ohare. He doesn't like Onorato, so the JM he condemned over Angle is now a trustworthy source.

What a crock!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Um, I have been highly critical of JM when I think he is wrong and have priased him when I think he is right. I have never once questioned his honesty.

In order to believe Onorato, I'd have to conclude that the Northampton County DA is a liar. I'd have to conclude that his refusal to contribute to Panella means nothing. I'd have to conclude that sources inside Panella's camp are lying.

I'm unwilling to make those leaps. I choose to believe Morganelli.

Donald said...

I was on state committee during the 90's and the endorsement did not always mean anything back then is it more effective now? I am now just catching up on this race but Onorato seems to be winning the money war.
If you look back over the last few elections there seems to be an east west back and forth Thornburgh west, Casey east, Ridge west, Rendell east. Not sure what that means it just sort of hit me while I was typing this

Bernie O'Hare said...


I do see that east v. west distinction. I think Onorato sees it, too, and will favor western Rs over eastern Ds.

To those saying he's picking up a lot of endorsements here in the LV, I don't think so. He has yet to pick up Cunningham's endorsement. Or Stoffa's.

Anonymous said...

On no, not the Stoffa endorsement. Gee, now he will lose sleep.

I guess that means he lost you and Angles endorsement as well.

PA progressive said...

For the record I spoke with Judge Panella and asked him about this. He has no comment and doesn't wish to be dragged into a partisan race, especially now that he cannot be partisan under the Canons of Judicial Ethics.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Pa Pro, I did not ask Jusdge panella about this for precisely that reason - he can't be involved in politics as a judge. But I did speak to people who were part of that campaign, and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Onorato made promises he never kept, just like he did w/ Morganelli.

Anonymous said...

First of Bernie - Pittsburgh is 4 and a half hours away, not even close to 6, not even for an old coot like you.

How in the world do you get your information. As someone who knows what promises were made, trust me Dan lived up to his end of the bargin.

Are you such a loser that you just wake up one day and decide you are going to start bashing this person, or that person for no reason? I don't mind the opinions so much, and I do believe in free speech - but you have NO PROOF of this. You know why? Because it isn't true. You made it up, like most of the shit on your site. Now back to washing up in the County Building's restrooms! Loser.

Anonymous said...

It's no surprsie to me that he's using Fleck as his field guy in the LV.

Aha! There it is sorry for the questioning in the last post. I just read this. More of your personal battles taken to the web. Please ADMIT you made up this shit about promises or you will be proven wrong. Again. Just say you heard it, or it seemed that way- but ADMIT you have no proff and there is no way you know 100% that Dan made any promises.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Excuse me, but if you've been following this story, you'd realize that Morganelli himself corroborated what I posted, and it does take 5.5 to 6 hrs to get to P-burgh for people who obey the speed limit.

Do you think the Pittsburgh Tribune and Capitolwire lied, too? They quote Morganelli directly.