It was 1966 when then Bethlehem Attorney Al Williams, Jr, ran for judge. In those days, there were only two other county judges, and it really meant something to be elevated to the bench. Williams' opponent was Easton Attorney Michael Franciosa.
During the election, Williams received a higher bar association rating than Franciosa. This led to sour grapes - charges of anti-Italian and anti-Easton bias were hurled back and forth. Things were so acrimonious that the bar association really hesitated before evaluating judicial candidates again, and even now, it remains controversial among lawyers.
Franciosa had to wait until 1970 before his Ascension into the judicial heavens. What his official biography fails to tell you is that, to increase his visibility, Franciosa was elected "treasurer" of the Northampton County Democratic Committee. That's when real political bosses like Justin Jirolanio ruled the realm. Lots of money, in paper bags, went to the polls on election day. Completely legal, too.
One of the runners who grew up in that machine atmosphere, on Bethlehem's south side, is DA John Morganelli.
That's just another reason why it's hard to accept Franciosa's denial of bias in the politically-motivated quo warranto proceedings against Northampton County Council Prez Ron Angle.