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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, April 30, 2010

Why Steve Barron Supports Arlen Specter

It's no secret that Northampton County Controller Steve Barron supports Arlen Specter over Joe Sestak for the U.S. Senate. He was actually Specter's surrogate in a recent endorsement meeting among Northampton County Democrats. I've asked him to tell you why. Bar Johnston, who is heading up the Sestak campaign in the Lehigh Valley, has agreed to provide a similar essay, which I will be happy to publish whn it arrives.

Below is Steve's essay. May the best man win!

As you know I support Arlen Specter for US Senate in the up coming primary. I have been on the stump for him all over the Lehigh Valley.

The first thing I tell those groups of voters is that Arlen has delivered for the Lehigh Valley countless times. He recently found key funding to update the safety equipment for the Lehigh Valley International Airport, and secured a major grant for a Workforce Training Center on the Southside of Bethlehem, run in conjunction with Northampton County Community College. The Bangor Outpatient VA Clinic has also had a huge impact on veterans from this area who need outpatient care. Arlen was instrumental in making sure that clinic was placed here to help the veterans of the Lehigh Valley.

Specter has also delivered for the country. The Obama Administration’s response to the worst economic downturn in 80 years might not have gotten off the ground if Arlen hadn’t supported the economic stimulus package. Now, Bernie, I know your readers can turn on Fox News and hear 24 hours of criticism of that bill. But as Northampton County’s Controller, I keep my eye on the financial markets every day, and the upturn we’ve experienced nationally in recent months is testimony to the decisive action the White House has taken on several fronts.

Specter has tons of endorsements from folks I work with and look up to—from the governor and legislators, mayors and county executives—but maybe the biggest reason I support Arlen is because he won my Dad’s support. When I was a teenager, my father hit a rough patch in his life. Compounding his problems was the fact that he faced a ton of red tape landing a VA home loan. Arlen Specter and his staff stepped in and delivered for us. I remember the day we got the call telling us the loan was now approved; and that the VA was sorry about the problems and misunderstanding. It was the break my Dad needed to get back on his feet. My Dad told me that Arlen always had his vote anytime he was up for election; and he’s got mine too.

This state needs Arlen to be there fighting for the Citizens of Pennsylvania. Especially when there is so much more work to be done in Washington. Pennsylvania needs his leadership, dedication, and ability to fight for us here in the Lehigh Valley and that is why I am working hard to make sure he is our candidate in November.


Mitch Cumstein said...

Pure unadulterated arrogance.

Arlen is an old man who, if he any shred of decency, would retire gracefully.

Unfortunately, his lust for power crowds out everything else.

BTW, I've predicted since the beginning that if it looks like he'll lose the general election, he will find an excuse to leave the race no matter how late it is. Probably for "health" issues. His ego will not allow him to lose.

Anonymous said...

Arlen's switch was pure politics. The Democratic big-shots and the Party machine are supporting him. Since Barron is a key figure in the high Valley Democratic machine of course he will support him.

This is pure Party politics over principle. Sestak's service to our country has recently been smeared by the Spector campaign and the Democratic Party hacks like Barron just pass on the message.

Barron wants a future in the Party and knows this is what he must do to get the power brokers to support him.

Very sad, some people thought the kid had integrity. Looks like he is just another Long Democratic machine politician looking to suck off the public tit for life.

The Tock

Anonymous said...

Arlen is the ultimate political whore who believes in nothing but keeping his job and remaining relevant to himself. The centrist, moderate stuff is pure bullshit. He's never stood for anything for long. He embodies everything that is wrong with American politics.

Steve Barron's mom likely told him to watch those with whom he associates. Today, my opinion of Steve Barron has crashed. His support of the worst Senator in the country shows an appalling lack of judgment and a clear disregard for character and honesty.

Anonymous said...

Is this you writing in the blue? Was it your dad or Bar Johnson's?This is a little confusing. Thought Bar Johnson was running Callahan's campaign?

Anonymous said...

Arlen lied to the people. Said he would stay Republican and after taking donations, changed his mind. Nothing can erase this.

Anonymous said...

How does this make Barron a Long Dem? People like Stoffa and Cunnimgham support Specter and they are far from Long Dems. Barron has proven time
and time again he is an effective controller willingnto
work to make the county better.

There is not one elected Dem on board with Sestak at all. Not even Unions have endorsed this guy. He is wrong for PA.

As for Barron crahing I think he hit a homerun here and has answered his critics as to why he supports the best guy to defeat a scary fellow in Pat Toomey.

Anonymous said...

I'll say this for Specter: he has a great office. Last year I had an issue with my health insurance company that tried to drop me (with a pre-existing condition) claiming that I had voluntarily quit as opposed to being laid off (Cobra) despite the written proof to the contrary. I had an insurance company rep actually say to me, "You need to understand that insurance companies are in this to make money, and if we accept sick people like you, there will be no profit." I was livid. I called Dent's office first. I talked to what sounded like a 14 year old boy who seemed clueless that one could even be dropped from their insurance, despite the fact that health insurance reform was all over the papers and the TV. He had me on hold for an eternity and finally returned with a mysterious number to call, who would answer? He would not reveal. "Just call." he said, with disintest in his voice. It turned out to be County Medical Assistance, which of course I'm not eligbile for because of income. In contrast, Specter's office (who I called next) seemed aware that insurance companies drop members sometimes and that it is upsetting for the dropped AND that there was an insurance reform debate raging out there. The young man there expressed concern, repeated a canned speech on Specter's insurance position (which was appreciated) and carefully explained how to file a complaint with the state Insurance Commission. He gave me all his contact information and actually called to follow up. I was happy to report to him that my situation magically fixed itself within minutes of my informing my insurance company of the filed complaint. I even got an apology from my insurance company for the "misunderstanding." As I recounted my story to other people, it was interesting how many people had similar positive stories about the people Specter had working for him....and unfortunately also about how Dent's office is not very useful above and beyond getting a color laser printed thank you certificate for your great uncle that fought in the Spanish-American War.

Anonymous said...

"But as Northampton County’s Controller, I keep my eye on the financial markets every day, and the upturn we’ve experienced nationally in recent months is testimony to the decisive action the White House has taken on several fronts."

Please provide links or specifics. And please provide an analysis of how the uptick in the major indices will offset the enormous addition to the debt or how the "Decisive action" is doing anything in terms of real job creation.

For someone with such a deep understanding of economics, someone who is so confident in his bona fides that he would offer them as his qualification for endorsement the "Decisive action", this should be a slam dunk.

I look forward to the details supporting such a claim.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to hearing what Bar has to say. Personally, I am leaning toward Sestak, but it hard to discount stories like the one that Steve told about Specter helping his dad when it was needed. Those are the stories that win voters for a long time.


Anonymous said...

Barron should stick with the best candidate, Barron. I don't care for specter because of what he did. I won't vote for him and I will probably hesitate on Barron in the future. Your best candidate is yourself. Stick your nose in your business. This move only hurts you. Besides you won't gain one vote for Specter. You have probably lost one vote for yourself.

guy williams said...

feels like this whole place is full of Shawn millan groupies.Arlen jumped ship cause the rep boat was headed right.. far right.Thats okay, time will tell, Rush...Rush...Rush....Limbaugh..Rush.. to judgement all you sore losers.Now lets compare Rep Arlens impact on the valley with Rep Dents impact so far.So i see a time when dent, as powerful as he is in washington, will be one of the ones bailing out that rep boat.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 7:25, I'm going to have to look at my blog post. and see if I can make it more clear. The essay in blue is penned by Steve Barron. Bar Johnston is working Sestak's race.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 7:25, I added a sentence to make it clear that it is Steve's essay. I apologize for being unclear and thank you fortelling me you were confused.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:42, Just as I am interested in what you have to say, I am also interested in Steve's perspective. And if he supports someone, I like when he explains why.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I am leaning toward Sestak, but it hard to discount stories like the one that Steve told about Specter helping his dad when it was needed."

Bingo. That's what wins votes. Stories like that have a big impact on me.

Resident of Allentown said...

I have heard good things about what Specter has done locally on this board and in the past. Two things tho that make me think twice about voting for the guy: One is the "magic bullet theory" he invented many years ago which was preposterous and the other is the fact that he was the deciding vote recently which shot down the bill to accept a state's License to Carry Firearms across the U.S. just like a car license. I guess he dosn't feel I need to protect myself or loved ones once I pass PA's borders.

Anonymous said...

Bernie O'Hare said...
Anon 7:25, I added a sentence to make it clear that it is Steve's essay. I apologize for being unclear and thank you fortelling me you were confused.

10:02 AM

Oh Bernie Baby, don't give it a thought. we're confused a lot!
We'll go back and re-read the
statement. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

We agree that Annonymous 8:35 AM post is the best kind of advertising any candidate can have. But now, how can anyone believe anything he says?

guy williams said...

7:21 He embodies everything thats wrong with politics.Our forfathers thought differently.Piss and moan about them. All our views even the shallow ones like yours somehow make for the end result.Not crazy about Arlen either but he gets shit done.

Anonymous said...

Arlen Specter voted for much of what has led us to this dark time of war and unemployment and insurmountable debt. The stories of retail constituent service are heartwarming, but don't speak to his role as our representative on national issues. All politics is local. That's why some here choose not to see the damage Arlen's votes have caused. He didn't just show up yesterday. He's been a big player in the mess for years. He's never led on any issue of importance in his entire tenure. He was a D before he was a R before he was a D. He'll dump the Ds again just as soon as it suits him. And how about the vicious attacks on Sestak military record? What a great guy, that Arlen. He's Swift Boating a veteran from his own party. He's a go along-get along whose main focus is self-preservation at any cost. He's whatever is the opposite of statesman.

Chris Casey said...

I consider Steve Barron a friend, and while I disagree with him concerning Arlen Specter, I accept his reasoning for giving his support. Just as he accepts my support for Sestak. No animosity is felt either way.
I do take issue with those who personally attack Steve for supporting Arlen. He ran for Controller pretty much on his own, and has done a great job.
Steve has earned a great deal of respect for the professional way he has approached his duties.
The anon personal attacks do not diminsh that.

Anonymous said...

Does Steve Barron believe the despicable Specter Swift Boat attacks on Sestak's military record are acceptable?

A simple yes or no will do, Steve.


Thought so, Steve. Don't ever complain if the same political shit is pulled on you. If it's to your liking now, you must be prepared to eat it when served back to you. After all, it's the type of politics you apparently support.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 3:40,

You condemn Steve for failing to answer a question in a comment you haven't posted? That's just ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

My question is rhetorical and has already been answered by Steve's deeds. Steve knows what Arlen's done and obviously still supports him.

Guy Williams said...

smaller government,loosen regulations,get out of way of free markets. Where the hell is BP,coast guard is cleaning up.Where are the caps like off the coast of South american.Oil companies put them on down there.the other night was a bad storm,i think it was political wind change,or wind brought on by spin,in any case a month ago rep were predicting the end of the dem party in nov.Oh yeah,dont think so.The debate continues

Anonymous said...

"political wind change"

What a riot! The only political wind change is between Obama's oil money-soaked ass cheeks. Read about Barack's BP money and close ties:


Barry, you're doing a heck of a job!

Anonymous said...

Hmm, Steve worked for Joe Biden. Biden and Specter are friends. Coincidence?

Whether or not you agree with Sestak, he is a man who served with honor. The swiftboat ads are disgusting and should be condemned.

"Arlen is with us when it counts" -Rick Santorum

Bernie O'Hare said...

I only saw the ad once, and it is accurate. Sestak was, in fact, relieved from command for creating a poor command climate.

"Sestak's Navy career ended in a less-than-ideal fashion. In July 2005 - within a week of Adm. Michael Mullen's swearing-in as chief of naval operations - Sestak was dismissed as deputy chief of naval operations due to a "poor command climate," according to the Navy Times. (Mullen was later named chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, meaning that the two men now periodically face off in Congressional hearing rooms.)"


It's negative campaigning but, in my eyes, there's nothing unfair about it. Sestak has stressed his military career. In a robo call I rec'd, the first thing he did was call himself Admiral. He wasnts people to vote for him bc he was an admiral, but doesn't want people looking at his military career. He can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

It is worth remembering that Bar worked to get Ed Pawlowski elected as Allentown’s mayor. Was that a worthy cause? Did she demonstrate sound judgment by working on that campaign?
Is there any shame in politics?

Scott Armstrong

Guy williams said...

Bar did her job.You know what a job is.Or do you need an explanation.

Anonymous said...

Guy Williams,

Struck a nerve did I? Is it anyone’s job to get an Ed Pawlowski elected to a position of power where he can wreak havoc on a city of one hundred thousand? Think about you own words man.
By the way, I do know what a job is and I do understand the meaning of integrity.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Arlen Specter is nothing more than a self serving political animal struggling to preserve his access to power and influence. He his advocating positions now as a Democrat that stand in stark contradiction to the positions he held not so long ago as a Republican. How anyone could in good conscience support this type of character is beyond me.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Mr. Barron's support of Arlen Specter is not surprising. He is a situational politician himself. Last year he told Ann McHale he was supporting her and he told Stoffa he was not supporting her. He plays the odds in the political winds.

His endorsement of an opportunist self-serving politician like Specter is illuminating. His behavior is a very clear signal as to his political character.

Sorry the "swift-boat" attacks on Sestak are just that and Mr. Barron with his folksy and maybe true little story is playing the old political game of which candidate does the establishment want so as not to tarnish my political future with Democratic power players. It will haunt him.

That is indeed a sad thing.

Anonymous said...

I like Specter too becuse he represents his people well. He is more accessible and has done more locally than my State Senator.

Anonymous said...

Nice that Barron has a public tax payer job so he can run around campaigning for Arlene Specter. The deserve each other.

Anonymous said...

"I am leaning toward Sestak, but it hard to discount stories like the one that Steve told about Specter helping his dad when it was needed."

Bingo. That's what wins votes. Stories like that have a big impact on me.

This is great......"Stories like that have a big impact on me."

Yet you continue to go to bat for a man that forged his own fathers Will for his own benefit, and when that didn't work he filed a lawsuit on the same estate. You are such a effin hypocrite!!!!

Does it have an impact or not. You are so transparent it isn't even funny.

Anonymous said...

Agree. The latest money grab lawsuit is outrageous.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 12:43, 5:30,

What does Ron Angle have to do with Arlen Specter? What do I have to do w/ Arlen Apecter?

I've discussed the will in numerous post. And as far as his most recent lawsuit agianst his father's estate goes, I knew he was going to do that a long time ago. His father actually encouraged the lawsuit before he died, stating that's why he has homeowner's insurance. I don't think the lawsuit is a disgrace any more than I think any slip and fall lawsuit is a disgrace. Does this make Ron look bad? Yes. Does he care what you think? No. Does it mean he is some evil monster? No. He brought a slip and fall action, something that is done every day. If this were anyone other than Ron Angle, there would be no story. The insurance company was hoping he wouldn't sue bc they know he is a public figure and Angle's enemeies will use this to make him look even worse than they do already. They thought wrong.

Assholes like you will remain anonymous bc unlike Angle, you are a coward.

Anonymous said...

Bernie O'Hare said..

"His father actually encouraged the lawsuit before he died, stating that's why he has homeowner's insurance."

Doesn't that smell, just a little bit, like insurance fraud?

I mean, you don't encourage a lawsuit, you make a claim. And to collaborate on it ahead of time, waiting till dad is gone, just doesn't seem like how it is supposed to go.

This is the problem for Angle supporters. He makes us look like the idiots the opposition would paint us when he pulls these stunts. At some point, the bad is going to overtake the good.

Bernie O'Hare said...

No, it doesn't. His father created a hazardous condition and his son was injured as a result of that condition. Fred Angle had an obligation to cooperate with his insurance company but had no obligation to lie for them. Relatives sue each other every day over auto accidents and similar matters. Does this make Ron look bad? Yes. Will you make hay with it? Yes. Does he care? No. He follows his own compass and does not base his decisions on how to live his life on the basis of how it is perceived by his detractors.

Now the post here relates to Arlen Specter. Future anti-Angle comments on this thread will be deleted.

Lady Rep said...

Folks, just remember that EVERY government official's office (from US Senate to State Rep) has constituent stories from both ends of the service spectrum. I hear how wonderful and how awful EVERY office is depending on what is able to be done at any given time, what the person expects, which staff person handles it, and how much effort is needed to navigate the damn bureaucracy we've allowed to be created at our expense. An official helping someone makes a nice story (which you can find for any official), but is not a true measure of what is important or needed in our country when you walk into the voting booth.

Anonymous said...

Barron like Angle loves the spotlight. both continue to show the public what they are about.

Arlen Specter, well I guess prostitution is still alive and well in Northampton County politics.

Atif Eric Gulab said...

Arlen Specter is a great public servant who deserves to be re-elected!

Anonymous said...

Arlene Spector is a political opportunist who needs other political opportunists to shill for him.

No loyalty to anyone but himself.