Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How Ron Angle Got Elected to County Council

Ron Angle was first elected to Northampton County Council in 1999. Republicans and Democrats have both been moaning ever since. How could it happen? It almost didn't. Ron himself has told me the story. Believe it or not, he got his big break from a nursing home.

Like most gazillionaires, Angle hates to spend money, especially for political races. But he does like to work. And when he was running against Nick Sabatine in the '99 Republican Primary, he went through several pairs of shoes pounding on doors. He even went to tiny Walnutport, the western boundary of the County so detached from everything else that it might as well be in Carbon or Lehigh County. It was there that he struck gold.

Going through his street list, he saw a house with 14 Republican occupants. Now he thought that only happened to Democrats, but he decided to investigate. When he got there, he realized it was a tiny nursing home that State Rep. Julie Harhart had visited some years before. She convinced them all to register, and they did so as Republicans.

Ron must have made a good impression because several of them told him they would vote for him, but were unable to get to the polls. Angle told them they could cast absentee ballots, explained the procedure, and left.

Around 3:00 PM one afternoon, the woman running this small nursing home called Angle in a panic. She told him that eight residents had decided to vote by absentee ballot, had filled everything out and had voted for him, but they all had forgotten to send the ballots into the courthouse. That very day was the final day in which absentee ballots would be accepted.

Angle hopped into his truck, drove from Upper Mount Bethel to Walnutport to pick up the ballots, and then from there drove them to the voters' registration office, making it just five minutes before closing time.

On election day, Angle won his race against Sabatine by just three votes. Had he not made that trip, or had he been five minutes later, Nick Sabatine would have won that race by five votes. He went on to defeat Charlie Dertinger in the general that year, and that is how we got the Northampton County Bulldog.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did these people sign their votes, or did Angle take care of that for them?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Maybe you should ask the PSP to investigate, like you do about everything concerning Angle.

Anonymous said...

I was just asking a question. Which is a legitimate question in light of what he has been accused of in the Court of law.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If it's such a legitimate question, file your complaint. The truth is that your insinuation has no legitimacy. There is a large group from both parties who hates Angle bc he does not bow to the special interests like the rest of them. File your damn complaint.

Anonymous said...

I thought he and Sabatine were tied in the primary and they flipped a coin at the Election office and Angle won. True Story Bernie, check your facts.

Angle won, Northampton County lost.

Anonymous said...

Angle IS a special interest unto himself

Anonymous said...

Again...is he or is he not "on trial" for forgery? The answer is yes, therefore making it a valid question for us taxpayers.

Clem said...

How about one on how Marcia Hahn got elected? That RINO POS just voted to kick the pension problem down the road.

So much for "they really ought to do something about the pensions", her empty quip to me during the campaign.

Just another pig with her snout deep in the trough.

Ron needs to move a little south and run her off.

Anonymous said...

Bigotry, forgery, bullying. You sure know how to pick your friends. Ron's a master at working old folks. This is well known.

Anonymous said...

The Snyder family can tell you all about Angles love of senior citizens.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 12:30, At one point it was a tie, but Angle eventually squeaked ahead by three.

Anonymous said...

Those absent ballots he put together really made the day. Ron is the undisputed master of deception.

Anonymous said...

Bernie
If, this is true, it's a wonderful story on American politics. Thanks for sharing. It really needs to be told to young people who think their vote doesn't count. Loved it.

Anonymous said...

You are partially correct. He does not bow to the special interest groups except for one, his own. It is the only special interest group that Angle cares about. There is not time to even consider the interests, special or otherwise of others. Advancement of his own private interest has been his exclusive long standing goal. He would probably agree with the assessment in an unguarded private moment and take pride in the fact of his ability to fool most of the people most of the time.

Apparently he cant help himself. That he is able to do so with such success is more of a sad testament to those who choose to suspend their critical faculties when there is a consistency of interest,only to be tossed aside when their usefulness is done. That has always been his pattern.

You may wish to treat this as a personal attack but truly it is not. Real personal attacks are the disruptive, cruel, unnecessary, vicious and spiteful rants that have been uttered by him and minimized by you. Personal invective and attack are his trademark. His cries of protest for the even the mildest forms of legitimate criticism given his use of a tactic employed by him for his entire career in public office is truly humorous. Its obviously lost on him. The fact that it is apparently lost on you, given your intelligence, is harder to understand.

Its also funny how you find the advocates of Gracedale to be this band of disruptive ruffians. If such is the case, don't you see them as the fruit of all your hero's labors? He has dragged public discourse into the gutter. He has displayed consistent disrespect for his fellow elected officials. Would Angle or you leveled the same criticisms if the group was opposed to a Reibman initiative?

Anonymous said...

Aren't Absentee ballots required to get to voter registration via us mail, or hand delivered by the voter?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Someone can bring it in for you, but there should be an authorization form. Don't know if that happened. Do know that Mr. Benner accepted the ballots. He may have required that.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"If, this is true, it's a wonderful story on American politics. Thanks for sharing."

Thanks for the nice words. Angle tells me it's exactly what happened.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 8:46,

Here we go again. Angle is always being accused of using his public office to advance his private interests, but you're a little short when it comes to actual proof. The best you can ever do is innuendo.

Has he himself been divisive? Yes. Has he engaged in this kind of personal attack? Absolutely. But there are two important distinctions fro the insults I see hurled by his detractors. First, Angle is willing to identify himself and face the consequences for his words, even if they get him in trouble, while people like you hide behind a blanket of anonymity. Second, his agenda is to do whatever he thinks is right, unlike the agenda of most politician, who serve special interests. In the final analysis, it's why he and Stoffa get along, despite deep ideological differences.

As far as the real advocates of Gracedale are concerned, those are really people like Ron. The thugs who insist on County ownership have no interest in what is best for Gracedale. They ae looking to preserve their own union pensions or, n the case of the fake Rev, are kooks. f you want to know who created these goons, look at the politicians who succor favor with the unions. You don't have to look very far.

Anonymous said...

"Someone can bring it in for you, but there should be an authorization form. Don't know if that happened. Do know that Mr. Benner accepted the ballots. He may have required that."


Maybe you should have checked to see if the authorization form was in fact filled out. I can assure you that the "someone that can bring it" can not be someone that is trying to get elected.

Bernie throws Angle and his suspicious unethical activities under the bus yet again.

Bernie you just dropped the dime on your boy for illegally taking absentee ballots to be counted. This is interesting...thanks for the info. Although it will be a bitch to go back and undo all Angle as screwed up while on council, it is refreshing to know it wasn't the people that actually put him there!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Here we go again ... again. Every thing Angle does is "suspicious," "unethical," etc. It gets old after awhile, but by all means, demand an investigation.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, i support the county ownership of the nursing home, despite the costs. i suspect, sooner than later, lehigh's cedarbrook will also be "upside" down, because of union costs and legacies. never the less, i see the homes as a historical responsibility and commitment by the county government. I would do whatever necessary, cut whatever possible, to maintain them. i've known people who ended up at cedarbrook who would not have received that care otherwise. i did not have long-term faith in deed restrictions or sale contract agreements to safeguard county residents. as you know i'm not a union person. I think you must allow that some people may feel differently than you, without being "kooks"

Anonymous said...

Agree that the tone is too often harsh in every direction here

Anonymous said...

mm
well said

Anonymous said...

"Angle hopped into his truck, drove from Upper Mount Bethel to Walnutport to pick up the ballots, and then from there drove them to the voters' registration office, making it just five minutes before closing time."

After doing a google map search, it takes between 55-59 mins(not including traffic) to get from Mt Bethel to Walnutport. Angle received a call around 3pm from a woman in a panic.

So Angle gets into his truck, drives 55-59 mins (not including traffic) to Walnutport, picks up the ballots, then turns around and drives them to the voting station.

The ballots have to be in by 5pm on the Tuesday before the election. So assuming Angle got off the phone and jumped right in is truck, he did all this with in 2 hrs? I call bullshit!!

This does not even answer the question of whether or not Angle should have been handling ballots of an election he was running in!!

It is nice to know he started his Council stint off with questionable tactics and continued said tactics through the years. At least he is consistent!!

Anonymous said...

....continued from above....there is a form that must be filled out and accompany these ballots

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_160329_770857_0_0_18/Designated%20Agent%20Form.doc

So if these ballots were not accompanied by these forms we the taxpayer should not have been putting up with Angle for all these years. He in fact would have lost that election.

I want to know if this form was turned in with the ballots?

Anonymous said...

Along with that form...there should have been this form

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_160329_770854_0_0_18/Certification%20of%20Authorized%20Representative%20Form.doc

But since Angle got there with just minutes to spare, I can assure you neither of these forms were completed.

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM, I will agree that some people of good will oppose the sale of Gracedale, from you to Rich Grucela to Dave. My barbs are intended for those who claim Angle is Saddam Hussein or that Buddy Christ is on their team.

Wayne said...

Clem said...
How about one on how Marcia Hahn got elected? That RINO POS just voted to kick the pension problem down the road.
-----------------------------

Clem, why single her out as a RINO?

Every R (and D) in the Lehigh Valley voted to kick the problem down the road. And I'm not aware of any effort of the Republican leadership to vote against the measure.

RINO is a term that's there to give the R party some cover. Instead of saying "Republican In Name Only" we should hold the party responsible the same as if it was a D vote. Until party leadership shows some actual leadership the votes reflect on the party.

If the vote was against party wishes and was condemned for that we could say "RINO". But if the party refuses to take a stand the term RINO implies that R stands for something -- which in this case I guess they don't.

Wayne said...

Bernie O'Hare said...
MM, I will agree that some people of good will oppose the sale of Gracedale
----------------------------------
Bernie,

I suppose former councilman Heckman is one of those people of good will, but the tactics I saw him put on display at tonight's meeting at Chrin disgusted me.

He waited till the very end of the meeting to raise his hand to ask a question of the lawyer. He then proceeded to engage Angle instead of going straight to the question. During this display he claimed that the people up front (implying Angle and council) were "painting a picture" and then in the very same breath used the phrase "shuttering Gracedale" multiple times.

It was not lost on the audience as to who was "painting a picture".

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm really sorry I had to miss tonight's meeting. I was at a ZHB. I heard that Heckman was at the meeting. And if he waited until the end to speak, that means the meeting lasted a good hour more than it should have. He likes to talk, just like Ron A. But I would think Angle was getting tired. He had a news conference at 3m then a ribbon cutting, then a council committee, and from there to Chrin. Same for other Council members.

Ron H has to know there is no intention to shutter Gracedale, and I would hope that is just a poor choice of words on his part.

If you have an extra 15 minutes, write an account and I'll post it.

Wayne said...

He may have came in too late to sign the sheet for comment, hence making him last
---------------------
"Ron H has to know there is no intention to shutter Gracedale, and I would hope that is just a poor choice of words on his part."
---------------------
When he was called on it he explained that since Gracedale was not in the 2nd half of the 2011 budget he could only imagine it would be shuttered if it was still in county hands.

Which of course is BS.

Anonymous said...

I see a 1000% improvement in your posts, since you adopted my personnal appearance policy. You are truely
"only pretty as you feel"
No pic, No flight bag required.

Clem said...

Wayne -

I singled her out simply because she is my elected representative. I knew she'd be a weakling, go-along-to-get-along troughfeeder. Folks here climbed my case about that prediction just a few months ago, so just a little "told you so" on my part.

I stand in complete agreement with your assessment of the larger issue. But she is new, and she could have shown independence and leadership. Instead, she whets her snout, as feckless as those she seeks to gain favor with.

Back to Angle, we should be so unfortunate as to have him, warts and all.

Anonymous said...

Different people hear different things Wayne. I heard Mr. Heckman and he never said the place would be "shuttered", he was trying to reassure the people who have relatives there that even if the Home is not sold by the end of June when County funding runs out, that Gracedale "would not be shuttered", because a judge would not allow the County or anyone else to just stop funding it. Angle kept interrupting him so I am sure you heard what you wanted to.

A few comments were made about not wanting the County to spend another nickel after the end of June and he was trying to reassure people that you can't just stop funding a Nursing Home. Even in the midst of a sale.

From my perspective the minute he said he favored keeping Gracedale Angle jumped over him and kept interrupting the way her does to anyone he disagrees with. Angle has a history of being rude and argumentative, Mr. Heckman does not whether he agrees with you or not.

I spoke to Mr. Heckman a few weeks ago because he knows a Hell of a lot more about Gracedale than some of these people and he stated he saw no real changes in care in the short term and was more concerned with how a "bullet-proof" contract can be written.

He also sated while he agreed with the budget numbers for 2011 he felt the $60 million over ten years was not something he agreed with.

At no time in the discussion I had did he bad mouth anyone. In fact he said this is a big issue and a major decision for County Council and could appreciate their dilemma.

I guess it is in the eye of the beholder Wayne, I thought after Mr. Angle kept screaming about grandstanding and "Reibman", Mr. Heckman just wouldn't back down. Even with you tea party types doesn't the Angle show ever get tired. These meetings would be a great deal better if Mr. Stoffa ran them.

But of course Angle and Heckman are both Dutchmen, so I am not surprised. Neither one seemed all that offended by ether's remarks. It sounded like they have both been there before.

Concerend Relative

Wayne said...

Well, I was directly in front of Mr Heckman, turned around in my seat and was looking directly at him. I guess we can disagree on what context he used the phrase --- but he most certainly used it, and he had to know it was inflammatory. I saw someone who knew how to rhetorically charge the argument while attempting to look sweet at the same time.

Yes, I did see two rivals who knew how to push each others buttons. And that's what it seemed his rambling pre-question statements were all about. I saw quite a few people react pretty negatively toward it - even from the attendees that gave little indication on what side they were on. His question may have had merit, the rest was theatrical Angle dueling.

And yes, I do not appreciate Angle's interruption tactics one bit but:

"I thought after Mr. Angle kept screaming... "

No one screamed

Maybe you're ultra sensitive to arguments, but there was NOTHING anywhere near a scream.

So our impressions were different.

Anonymous said...

Hey Wayne, I am a retired employee and was there. I really don't think Ron was 'grandstanding". I believe he was concerned that when a comment was made about after June 30th the County should not spend one more nickel on Gracedale, he wanted to re-assure the families that a judge and/or the Commonwealth would never allow that to happen even if it was being sold. That and the very real threat of numerous lawsuits from residents would be a disaster. I do believe that was his intent. When the remarks were made by an audience member I, was surprised that the Councilmen there just nodded their heads like cupie dolls.

I have noted over a variety of meetings over years run by Mr. Angle he allows those he agrees with to go on and on and repeat themselves without uttering a sound but he does constantly interrupt those he does not agree with. It's a tactic he uses and I think Ron was wise to it and called him on it. Ron is a private citizen now and has the same right to speak as we all do.

My own experience with Ron when I was an employee was that he was always pushing Gracedale to get on the stick and even warned of this day coming if they didn't produce. He even got a consultant in there and they started making money. When Stoffa was elected he tossed out the consultant at the urging of the Gracedale management. At that time myself and others didn't believe him. I am glad I am retired.

Not looking for an argument, I guess I am just trying to flesh our the event. I agree that Gracedale is out of control and should be sold now.
I think Ron knows it will be sold but is just much more passionate about the County Home based on his history.

As you said, impressions vary between people based on our own beliefs.

M.

Wayne said...

Anonymous said...
"I have noted over a variety of meetings over years run by Mr. Angle he allows those he agrees with to go on and on and repeat themselves without uttering a sound but he does constantly interrupt those he does not agree with."
-------------------------------

Trust me, I've seen it and I'm not happy with it. Hey, I was asking my councilwoman why she thought care at Gracedale would possibly be less compassionate when in private hands - and thanks to Angle I didn't get her answer, I got his! I wish I redirected it back to her but I got side-tracked.

OK - but really, do you think Angle was screaming?

Bernie O'Hare said...

" have noted over a variety of meetings over years run by Mr. Angle he allows those he agrees with to go on and on and repeat themselves without uttering a sound but he does constantly interrupt those he does not agree with. It's a tactic he uses and I think Ron was wise to it and called him on it. Ron is a private citizen now and has the same right to speak as we all do."

hat Angle does is engage those with whom he disagrees. Perhaps you'd prefer to hear nothing but silence. I tend to like these exchanges unless they get personal, and I'll agree that if a question is posed to s specific person, that's where the answer should come from.

Anonymous said...

Hey Wayne, not really. I don't think anyone was screaming. Frankly, I enjoy people debating even if I disagree with them. I learn more. Actually, while I don't like Mr. Angle interrupting and I disagree with Ron thinking Gracedale can be saved, I believe both are smart and at least willing to talk, argue, debate whatever. I prefer that to people just nodding their heads to whatever they think is the most popular opinion in the room. I didn't see any Press and the save/sell people seemed pretty evenly divided, I didn't see any political advantage in either argument. I really believe they expressed their gut feelings, and I am OK with that. It has been a very emotional topic that even Bernie would agree has divided good people from all sides and got some agitated. I didn't sense any game playing. Just my opinion.

I do agree with your comment, I wish the person asked the question would be allowed to answer, she is an elected official. But in the end, she should have told him to shut up and answered, but I guess she is too much of a lady.

On this subject the verdict is in and Gracedale will be sold. I think all involved realize that and now it is just a grieving process.

Peace.

M.