Monday, November 08, 2010

Zombies of Allentown, Bethlehem & Easton

Not all that long ago, it was difficult to win a regional race without picking up at least Allentown, Bethlehem or Easton. If you lost in all three, you're toast, right? Well, Lehigh Valley Congressman Charlie Dent was able to beat Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan easily without winning in any of our three cities. Increasingly, it appears that our urban core is out of touch with the rest of the Lehigh Valley. They're unthinking zombies who just pull a lever. Even our older boroughs have completely different voting patterns than the cities.

Believe it or not, Callahan beat Dent most convincingly in Easton, where Dent's 1,439-vote tally was just half of Callahan's 2,996 total. Lots of lever pullers. This might explain why the Vulcanos, both of whom are brain-dead, keep getting re-elected. Or the Fleckster, whose most notable accomplishment is getting caught lying about his college graduation when he first ran for Mayor.

Dent served as a State Representative and State Senator in Allentown, and did better there than in Easton. His 8,142 head-count put him at 76% of Callahan's 10,700 votes in a Democratic haven in which lever pullers are carted to the polls at 5 PM.

The City in which Dent did best, believe it or not, is the Christmas City, Callahan's hometown. Dent hit Callahan hard on Bethlehem's $8.5 million deficit, and was rewarded with 7,799 votes. That's 81% of Callahan's 9,594 total. Dent actually beat Callahan in six North Bethlehem wards in Northampton County. And in Northwest Bethlehem, where Callahan grew up, Dent captured another three precincts. There was even a tie (197-197) in Bethlehem's 13th ward, 8th district.

So Dent failed in the three Cities, but Callahan failed everywhere else, even in the older boroughs. Hellertown, for example, is made of of many retired steel workers and NYC commuters. It still went with Dent, 791-750. So did Emmaus (1765-1465) and Nazareth (784-659). These older boroughs are very much like the cities, except they are less transient and are likely better informed about local races.

Last week, I asked an Allentown City Council member (I won't mention his name because I never asked for permission to quote him) whether it's still possible for a Republican to win in Hellertown. Without batting an eye, he said No. Too many lever pullers. Instead of electing people who will serve you, the cities are electing union agents. And because people like Jenn Mann knows nobody can beat her, she'll take a consulting job with a state contractor.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

We called you on your hypocrisy and you are on full censorship. Yea, you really want a discussion, not!!!

Patrick McHenry said...

Bernie -

I don't know about the other cities but if the zombies want to know where lever pulling will get them, they should take a look at how things have gone in Allentown.

Anonymous said...

as a D voter in allentown I need to point out an over-riding trend: the GOP has all but given up on talking to voters in the city. D's knocked on my door 3 times and I got calls from several candidates in Sept. Nothing from R's except direct mail. 1/2 of the time, the R's don't run a candidate, and if they do, the candidate is a dud. The last thing R's should be doing is blaming voters. Give us an alternative and we'll give you a chance.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

as a D voter in allentown I need to point out an over-riding trend: the GOP has all but given up on talking to voters in the city. D's knocked on my door 3 times and I got calls from several candidates in Sept. Nothing from R's except direct mail. 1/2 of the time, the R's don't run a candidate, and if they do, the candidate is a dud. The last thing R's should be doing is blaming voters. Give us an alternative and we'll give you a chance.

6:30 AM

Have to agree with 6:30. Live on south side. other than Justin Simmons who worked his "tail" off, never saw another R anywhere. Can't figure out what Scott Ott really does. Wish him well, but what does he do?

Anonymous said...

I like how you dismiss the urban voters as being zombies for voting D, even though democrats have a party platform that is primarily about the working class, while the republicans have a platform that is all about protection of wealth. On social issues, people who live in cities trend towards more open-mindedness simply by virtue of living in diverse neighborhoods. Its the republicans who fight for civil rights, right? Oh wait, that's right, its the republicans who pander to the SWM sitting on their couches and turning their noses up at "those people." There are reasons why cities trend D - it happens across the entire country, not just in the LV. Are all urban dwelling voters zombies?

Anonymous said...

I would have loved to vote for an R instead of Jenn Mann, but there was none.

The Rs really haven't articulated any vision for the city. When they do speak up all they do is bash us and our communities for issues we have little power over.

This post is just an extension of that.

Looking To Escape said...

I like how you dismiss the urban voters as being zombies for voting D, even though democrats have a party platform that is primarily about the working class, while the republicans have a platform that is all about protection of wealth
.
Wealth creates wealth which then creates a working class.
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This late 19th century thinking shows an inability to understand basic economics.
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If "spread the wealth" worked, America's cities would have those streets paved with gold thanks to innumerable federal support programs.

Anonymous said...

Yes Anon 7:18 R's are for protection of individual wealth- that people have earned through hard work and sacrifice. The D's cater to those who want government to take care of them. The true "working class" includes doctors who work 60 hours a week, bankers and financial advsiors who put in long hours with no guaranteed rewards, and other hard working families who have moved to the suburbs to escape the crime and filth of the cities. Those who collect welfare, watch TV all day can hardly be characterized as the "working class." Maybe the "loafing class." They like you certainly distain ambitious people who have earned wealth through hard work. And that is what the D's just don't get. The "loafing class" that they count on to vote lack motivation beyond a free ride to the polls from a D ward boss. "Zombies" is an accurate term to define their knowledge of candidates and the political process.

Anonymous said...

Bernie
Permission to change the topic:
Right now there is an horrific news story and court case about a Lehigh University student accussed of child abuse. Apparently this man is being represented by a very well known Bethlehem attorney. Who pays for that representation? Might you know how that works?

Chris Casey said...

It is fair to say there are R zombies as well. Look at the Burbs.
I hate the idea of class warfare, but it is evident that there is resentment by suburb residents toward some city residents.
I agree that "loafing class" would be a good way to describe some inner city Dem registered voters.
When I take a cursory look at voter turnout and see some inner city precincts had less than 25% turnout, that sort of says it all, doesn't it?
It is kind of ironic that AMC previewed a new series, "the Walking Dead" two days before the election.

Anonymous said...

I highly doubt there are many loafing class welfare recipients in that 25% of registered voters who drug their arses out to vote.

The simple fact of the matter is people in the outer areas are scared to death of "those people" and the Republicans play into that very well.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Who pays for that representation? Might you know how that works?"

I'd have to know more.

Patrick McHenry said...

Anon 6:30 am said:

"The last thing R's should be doing is blaming voters. Give us an alternative and we'll give you a chance."

********************************

First off, the names Tom Burke (City Council), Charlie Thiel (City Council), and Vic Mazziotti (Controller) are a few of the many good Republican names which come to mind that have been rejected by 'D' lever pullers.

Secondly, we are talking about lever pullers since that was mentioned by the anon city council member. Vote the person, not the lever. Even if you vote for every Democrat on the ticket, do so because you believe they are the best PERSON for the job - not because of their party. Pulling the 'D' lever only helps the dead weight on the 'D' ticket. Make each individual earn your vote.

Finally, have a look at what all that protection of the "working class" has gotten you in Allentown: A higher OPT tax, a proposed increase in the earned income tax, and numerous fee increases that are nickel and diming city taxpayers to death.

City Council and the Controller are quiet or actively cheerlead for even the worst ideas put forth by the Mayor. Even if you are the most ardent Dem, you can't possibly believe that one party rule has been good for the city.

Remember the definition of insanity? It's time to wake up and try something different!

Anonymous said...

nonymous said...

I would have loved to vote for an R instead of Jenn Mann, but there was none.

The Rs really haven't articulated any vision for the city. When they do speak up all they do is bash us and our communities for issues we have little power over.

This post is just an extension of that.

8:00 AM

Do you mean Mann did not have any opposition? Good grief. Someone just mentioned Scott Ott. Isn't he in charge of getting good candidates for the party?

Anonymous said...

What portion of the city is considered Northwest Bethlehem?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The simple fact of the matter is people in the outer areas are scared to death of 'those people' and the Republicans play into that very well."

Of course, now, matters of race and ethnicity are brought up. Sure, there is some of that, but it goes way beyond that.

Patrick McHenry said...

Anon 10:34 said:

"The simple fact of the matter is people in the outer areas are scared to death of "those people" and the Republicans play into that very well."

********************************

That's bull. You ought to check who is still serving on many of the boards and helping out in the churches and other organizations in the city.

The fact is we are squandering a generation of people who have left this city, still remember what it was like and believe it could be restored under decent leadership. Unless the direction of the city changes, their children will have no positive frame of reference regarding the city and no reason to frequent the city over competitors in the suburbs.

I think what suburbanites fear the most is that Allentown has become another urban area where reason and common sense no longer matter. Where failed leadership gets re-elected merely because it is the "right" party in control.

Why should suburbanites support directly or want their tax dollars spent on the same policies that have failed Philadelphia and other large cities? Why would they want to support the corruption and pay-to-play politics that goes on?

Until city voters show suburbanites that there is a reason to be hopeful, what possible reason would there be for those living in the suburbs to take us seriously?

Patrick McHenry said...

Anon said:

"D's knocked on my door 3 times and I got calls from several candidates in Sept."

********************************

Take a look at where the money backing your candidates is coming from. City government has been bought by unions and outside interests.

There's a reason for that, and they are being repaid with your city tax dollars.

Wake up!

Anonymous said...

"First off, the names Tom Burke (City Council), Charlie Thiel (City Council), and Vic Mazziotti (Controller) are a few of the many good Republican names which come to mind that have been rejected by 'D' lever pullers."

And none of them were on the ballot in 2010, the year when D's were slated for huge losses. Hell, Thiel is now supposedly a D and is making money off of the city's camera system.

The R's stopped trying in the city. If you stop trying, you can't complain when you lose. For what it is worth, I did vote for the only R that did bother to send me mail. The rest didn't think I was worth their time and effort (I know b/c somebody else in my house is a registered R... that person was getting mail from R's by the table load). For a party that talks so much about responsibility, the party seems to miss that not showing up for an election is the responsibility of the party leadership, not the voters.

as far as money/D volunteers... we both know that R's had their fair share of money in this election. They chose to spend it outside of Allentown.

Patrick McHenry said...

Anon 11:40 said:

"And none of them were on the ballot in 2010, the year when D's were slated for huge losses...

...as far as money/D volunteers... we both know that R's had their fair share of money in this election. They chose to spend it outside of Allentown."

*******************************

Anon -

You do realize that NO city (or county) offices were up for election in 2010. The county and muni races occur on the odd number years.

I hope you'll consider your vote in 2011.

Anonymous said...

"You do realize that NO city (or county) offices were up for election in 2010. The county and muni races occur on the odd number years.

I hope you'll consider your vote in 2011."

Bernie's assessment is that D's voted the way they did b/c they are zombies. I'm pointing out that they had no options. You threw out a bunch of good people. I pointed out that none of them were options in 2010. Will any be candidates in 2011? My guess is that they won't be. Heck, the GOP didn't even field a full slate in 2009's city races.

Patrick McHenry said...

Anon 12:55pm said:

"Bernie's assessment is that D's voted the way they did b/c they are zombies. I'm pointing out that they had no options. You threw out a bunch of good people. I pointed out that none of them were options in 2010."

*******************************

If you're saying that there were no good R candidates on the 2010 (national and state) ballot, or that the 2010 D candidates (for national and state offices) were all superior, then I think that you are proving Bernie's original point.

Anonymous said...

Since there a lot more D's in pa. than there are R's my guess is that more R's pulled straight levers than d's because although the independents leaned to R's it wouldnt have been enough to get them their wins in Pa.

Anonymous said...

"If you're saying that there were no good R candidates on the 2010 (national and state) ballot, or that the 2010 D candidates (for national and state offices) were all superior, then I think that you are proving Bernie's original point."

Consider looking at this another way: did the R's expect the Republican voter in my house to vote R b/c that voter is an R? Doesn't that suggest to anybody that the GOP views ALL Allentown voters to be zombies not worth convincing to vote a certain way? If that is the case, then I expect the 2011 muni/locals to include either no R candidates or terrible R candidates with no party support (similar to 2009). That is a guarentee for electoral failure.

For what it is worth, the Republican voter in my house voted for Callahan, Onorato and Brown (didn't vote in the state house race b/c she was insulted that there was no choice). Why? B/c the D's showed up to our house (b/c I'm a D) and asked both of us to vote for their candidates. Well, she knew Orloski is nuts, but was happy to vote for people that she could say had asked for her vote. The R's thought that filling our dining room table with crap was enough to get the R vote in our house.

I'm offering this commentary as somebody who was horrified at the GOP options available to me in 2009, amazed that Mann didn't have an opponent of any kind and wants some real effort on the part of the county GOP to at least give me some options in these races. I'm a D who will vote for R's if there is an effort to actually win my vote.

Anonymous said...

Rs have given up on cities because cities gave up on Rs. Cities have become concentrations of societal and economic takers. This includes individuals and investors who won't invest a dollar without tax incentives not available to businesses outside the cities. Ds wage Santa Claus campaigns with cardboard checks, while Rs demand an end to their Christmas. The party that robs Peter to pay Paul can always rely upon the support of Paul. Cities are Paul.

The suburbs and neatly trimmed boroughs are largely populated by contributors. They are Peter. And they vote for the party that claims it wants to stop the pickpocketing.

Looking To Escape said...

Well, she knew Orloski is nuts, but was happy to vote for people that she could say had asked for her vote.
.
You and your wife seem to be more interested in having your egos stroked than taking your future seriously.

Anonymous said...

"You and your wife seem to be more interested in having your egos stroked than taking your future seriously."

Sorry you don't think voters are worth paying attention to. That seems to be the the mentality of the GOP when it comes to allentown, bethlehem and easton: pay no attention to them and then when they don't vote for you, call them zombies. Expecting people to vote for you without paying any attention to them whatsoever is classic egotism.

Anonymous said...

The burbs are subsidized much more than the cities, several times over as a matter of fact. Economic insentives to locate or expand in any given city are pittance compared to the state/federal funded infrastructure (and services too) paid for in the burbs. If we are really going to cut state and federal budgets the suburbs are going to need to be haned over to local municipalities. This will either mean high taxes in the locals over the death of the burbs as we know it.

Clem said...

"Anonymous said...
Rs have given up on cities because cities gave up on Rs. Cities have become concentrations of societal and economic takers. This includes individuals and investors who won't invest a dollar without tax incentives not available to businesses outside the cities. Ds wage Santa Claus campaigns with cardboard checks, while Rs demand an end to their Christmas. The party that robs Peter to pay Paul can always rely upon the support of Paul. Cities are Paul.

The suburbs and neatly trimmed boroughs are largely populated by contributors. They are Peter. And they vote for the party that claims it wants to stop the pickpocketing."

4:58 PM

We have a winner.

Anonymous said...

Aonon 611. Are you crazy? Do us all a favor and reveiw the per capita investment by PADEP, DCNR, DCED, and Counties and you will find you are mistaken.

I think it is odd that you like to include investment in Route 22 and Route 78 as suburban investment. These are Regional trans-valley investments.

Name one Check that Governor Rendell delivered to the somewhere outside our core community, traditional neighbood, third class cities.

Just tally up the Stimulus grants to Bethlehem and tie in the recent biomedical award. Tally up all the main street, HUD and DCNR and Trexler grants to Allentown.

While I am not oppose to investing in our Cities, I have a problem with our across the border neighbors getting the shaft.

Please visit DCED Investment tracker and I suspect you will be surprised.

Anonymous said...

7:00 AM

I don't disagree with you on DCED funds, but that is a pittance compared to overall government infrastructure spending.

Airports, highways, and an extensive network of state roads traversing the burbs are not privately funded. Without this burbs would not be successful, period. The mortgage interest tax write off is also a huge subsidy for the burbs by essentially forcing families with growing incomes into new homes rather than fixing up their old ones.

Lets be real. Suburbia would not exist if not for the taxpayer.

Anonymous said...

"Take a look at where the money backing your candidates is coming from. City government has been bought by unions and outside interests."

******************

Cowboy Justice John Roberts and right leaning justices ruled that Corporations and outside interests can give unlimited contributions to PACs without disclosure. No one knows where this money comes from. You or I give $20 to a candidate and we have to disclose our name address and employer.

This ruling place the power of Corporations over the Power of the People. We have no idea who funded Toomeys race.

Anonymous said...

"Economic insentives to locate or expand in any given city are pittance compared to the state/federal funded infrastructure (and services too) paid for in the burbs."

OK then, fix Route 22 instead of encouraging Corporations to consider Center Valley or the Route 222 Corridor for invesment or expansion.

Anonymous said...

Better yet, hand 22, 222, 78, and center valley parkway over to the burbs, (actually lets bill them for it too) and see how low there taxes remain in a few years once they have to maintain it all. Cities will be much more competitive then.

Guy Williams said...

Its a shame the local city R's cant seem to figure it out.Guiliani and Bloomberg win in NYC.They get many Dem voters.They have done well for the city.There really is no excuse to not field candidates.

Anonymous said...

929. I do not understand your logic.

Anonymous said...

Dems leverpull in the cities, Republicans lever pull in the burbs. whats the big secret? I have posted this freakin statement with more explanation four times and Bernie has deleted it each time.

I don't get what the problem is for Christs sake.