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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, February 07, 2011

The Case Against the Mobocrats

Northampton County Bulldog Ron Angle and I formed an Unholy Alliance to prevent government by mob rule on January 25. We filed a Court challenge to a proposed initiative that place Gracedale's fate in voters' hands, instead of the people they elect. Judge Stephen Baratta heard the case on Friday, and he'll rule on Wednesday.

As an active participant, I took very few notes. The Express Times and Morning Call both have excellent accounts.

One of the points I wanted to make clear is that, although both Ron and I were suing together, I was not representing him. We each represented ourselves. Angle got some chuckles when he told Judge Baratta, "Nobody can represent me."

It really was standing room only. Court Administrator Jim Onembo made room for the press in the jury box. And there sat Morning Call columnist Bill White, The Express Times' reporter Sarah "Sassy" Cassi and Morning Call reporter Jenna "I'm on deadline" Portnoy. A hanging jury, to be sure.

I did have a pretty good handle on the law and the myriad of arguments that preceded actual testimony. But when it was time to call my first witness, I got in trouble very quickly. Unaware that the Elections Office had copied the petitions I was complaining about, I flailed around with the originals, moving at a snail's pace. Fortunately, the judge took a brief recess.

"What now? Are you going to try your exploding shoe defense?" asked Attorney Rich Pepper. He was referring to a closing I had once given to a jury in a DUI case many years ago. While walking up and down, making my points, one of my shoes inexplicably fell apart. Then the other. The jury laughed their asses off and my client was acquitted. The general view is that the jury felt sorry for a guy who was stuck with such a lousy lawyer.

That story, and the neatly organized petition copies, settled me down. Things went smoothly from that point forward. Ron Angle took two of the witnesses himself, giving me time to get ready. He was excellent. Of course, he's had so much experience in courtrooms he could probably pass the bar exam.

Election law expert Larry Otter represented the Gracedale Initiative Committee and Gary Asteak represented two witnesses. Both were very tough and knowledgeable, but both were also gentlemen. Larry Otter really did give Angle a can of hornet spray.

In the afternoon, two witnesses admitted they had lied in their affidavits, and had not circulated the petitions claimed when the petition was filed. That's 3,498 signatures down the toilet.

There were similar problems with other petition circulators. Two of them, brought in by the USW, do not even live in Northampton County. One circulator had his wife fill in biographical information. Another circulator was not even a registered voter.

There was also a woman who admitted to handing out as many as 15 petitions at one time, making it impossible for her to witness each signature.

Otter scoffed at my suggestion that petitions were languishing in bars and clubs until I called Bill Coker, who testified that he saw unattended petitions in various bars.

The Gracedale crowd tried to shout out at one point during the hearing, but Baratta stopped that very quickly.

You never know what a judge is going to do. Obviously, I think he has little choice but to invalidate the Initiative petition. The testimony revealed a real disregard for the integrity of the election process. In addition to circulators who lied in their affidavits, Voting Registrar Dee Rumsey discounted 1,000 duplicate signatures. That's simply incredible. Another 1,000 she disallowed comes from people not registered to vote in Northampton County. Basically, 10% of the signatures were outright fraudulent.

I never knew that myself until she testified.

If the judge agrees with us, the Initiative is dead. We'll find out Wednesday.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

You and Angle loved the mob rule when Reibman was Executive. Angle revelled in it. Staff and clients were used to try and embarrass the Administration.

Now when things like that come up, its hands off by Angle and some of the hypocrite's still on Council. That is an Administrative function, not Councils job. They can't even discuss it. Hypocrites all.

I guess mob rule is bad when it is "their" mob.

But it is just great when it is "your" mob.

All you and Angle accomplished was to create more distrust of the political system and cement the belief that you Angle and Stoffa have had this sale hardwired form day one.

You just weakened the political process and confidence. Congratulations.

Sadness

Anonymous said...

More Nazi propaganda from Bernie, The Fuhrer is proud of you.

Anonymous said...

It is what it is, they tried and apparently they have now failed... so sell the damn thing and pay for all the legacy costs of the pensions etc and be done with it.

Anonymous said...

If the evidence proves the petitions were bad or illegal according to the law and it isn't enough signatures...the Gracedale people should concede and back down and admit that they erred.

In their haste to get as many signature as possible they failed to realize that it would be looked at with a magnifying glass and picked apart.

You would think one leader in their group would have enough intelligence to brief and handle the petitions properly to ensure they were done properly and according to law.

How can some of their people go on the stand and say in open court that they lied in their affidavits to obtain signatures?

Amazing how the union backed scare campaign would stoop to that level and admit it in court.

Anonymous said...

It's real simple - there are laws and rules governing the collection of signatures. Abide by them.

Anon 131am, not sure how you equate illegal activity as 'weakening the political process.' It's obvious you didn't have the support you needed, so you tried an end-around and got caught.

Be a man and admit it already, your whining is getting old.

Anonymous said...

ACORN

Anonymous said...

And it is funny, the union clowns were talking about more facts coming out and the press not reporting everything, i guess they meant that the signatures were even worse than we thought lol...

Guess they better find a new government teat to suckle, i hear a guillotine on its way down, with some union necks underneath...

Bernie O'Hare said...

"All you and Angle accomplished was to create more distrust of the political system"

I see. Gracedale's AFSCME union president had to admit on the stand that her affidavits were all false, and we're cresting distrust?

No, the petition proponents - people like Ellen Weiss- thumbed their noses at the rules, rules designed to protect the integrity of elections and prevent fraud. What Weiss, the Fake Rev and others have done is threaten our electoral process.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Although he was not in the standing room only crowd, blogger MM has a post up about the hearing. He's never one to let facts get in the way.

In his post, MM makes two things very clear.

First, I am unable to practice law. That point is made here on a near daily basis.

Second, he calls the rest of my post "the usual smears." Um , I don't know about you, but it is highly significant when two witnesses take the stand and admit their circulator affidavits were outright false. It is equally significant that over 1,000 people signed twice, and another 1,000 were outside the County. What MM calls a smear is actually evidence that the Gracedale Goons thumbed their noses at the integrity of our election process.

http://molovinskyonallentown.blogspot.com/2011/02/attorney-ohare.html

Anonymous said...

Fuehrer.

How many times have we been over umlauts?

Danke.

Bucks Guy said...

Are you serious? The proponents of this thing have stooped to making NAZI references? Bernie, your victory is assured. Congratulations on uncovering these losers.

Anonymous said...

"VIDEO - PROGRESSIVE / LEFTIST RACISTS CALL FOR CLARENCE THOMAS' LYNCHING"

http://exposethemedia.com

Anonymous said...

Bernie, you pig. You want to sell gracedale and the 100 acers there for quick money to line your pockets and pay for Stoffa's mismanagement when he should dump half of the NC employees....... How about that big prison scandel!!!!!!!!!!!!! Henry Schaadt aka river

Bernie O'Hare said...

Cuckoo.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
More Nazi propaganda from Bernie, The Fuhrer is proud of you.

7:12 AM

The third Reich is still alive with socialist O'Hare Sig Heil! RIVER aka henry schaadt

Bernie O'Hare said...

Cuckoo.

Anonymous said...

"All you and Angle accomplished was to create more distrust of the political system"

I see. Gracedale's AFSCME union president had to admit on the stand that her affidavits were all false, and we're cresting distrust?

No, the petition proponents - people like Ellen Weiss- thumbed their noses at the rules, rules designed to protect the integrity of elections and prevent fraud. What Weiss, and the Fake Rev others have done is threaten our electoral process.

10:41 AM

who your rev alex? Don't make me have to bring up Jim Jones

Anonymous said...

and its spelled coocoo dummy River

Bernie O'Hare said...

cuckoo.

Anonymous said...

Bernie...requiring a name attached would get rid of alot of these whack nuts...

Anonymous said...

I'm seem to be missing your efforts here Bernie. What is wrong with the citizens of Northampton County voting on this issue. I also have a question, if it would have taken a 20% increase to fund Gracedale in the budget and county council only funded it for 6 months, why wasn't there a 10% tax increase....doesn't seem to add up to me

dumbfounded in Northampton County

Anonymous said...

anon 7:25

what is wrong, is that there are several procedures and requirements necessary to get the issue on the ballot. Just like for example, jobs and or degrees require certain things before you get them. The problem in this case, is that a very interested party (a party with money at stake) got together and attempted to skirt the rules by playing on media sympathy and trying to garner public support (ie: all this "we the people stuff") when in fact, the only real proponents of keeping gracedale were the union employees that see the writing on the wall and a few families that were drummed up and roused by the "they wont take care of you" rhetoric that was no doubt spread by the union employees. Now, that isn't the "bad" part. The problem is as i mentioned before, they failed to meet the requirements necessary to get the issue on the ballot. IE they CHEATED in order to attempt to get the issue on the referendum. Now, if we just say okay, you didnt really meet the requirements, but we are going to let this on the ballot anyway, we are setting a horrific precedent, not to mention breaking the laws.
The law states that you need to do X,Y, and Z before an issue can be put to vote on a referendum. Furthermore, While executing X,Y, and Z, you have to follow certain rules, we'll call them 1,2, and 3. These people neither achieved X Y and Z, nor did they follow rules 1,2, and 3 in attempting to achieve the requirements.
Is that more clear?

Colin Patrick Monahan

Anonymous said...

That is exactly why Federal authorities will be contacted as soon as one Vic Mazziotti petition hits the streets. If he has not resigned from his County trough by then, he is violating the hatch Act.

That is the law, don't believe it call the Fed's.

Yes, we should all obey the laws.

By the way there were many people not connected to the unions but with far moire experience than most of the baggers who question both the numbers and "better care" opinion rendered by the pro-sale crowd.

The more honest position would have been, "we will destroy this village in order to save it".

Serenity Now

bill said...

"I also have a question, if it would have taken a 20% increase to fund Gracedale in the budget and county council only funded it for 6 months, why wasn't there a 10% tax increase....doesn't seem to add up to me"

Does this mean you would be happy with a 10% tax increase? How much did your social security go up this year?

bill said...

"I also have a question, if it would have taken a 20% increase to fund Gracedale in the budget and county council only funded it for 6 months, why wasn't there a 10% tax increase....doesn't seem to add up to me"

Does this mean you would be happy with a 10% tax increase? How much did your social security go up this year?

Bill Coker said...

Last comment should have read from Bill Coker.

Anonymous said...

Bill are you or were you a
"floor flusher"
I do alright with my employment
not rich not poor
I would not blink at 20%
if it would keep the place in county hands
I suggest you quit burdening the system taking SS payments in excess of what you paid in
your type is the cause not the solution

Anonymous said...

The 20% tax increase, much like the $60 million dollar price to operate is a creation of the Stoffa Administration. By playing with the numbers and years used to base the calculations they got exactly the results they wanted.

We The People!

Anonymous said...

you need to do X,Y, and Z before an issue can be put to vote on a referendum. Furthermore, While "executing X,Y, and Z, you have to follow certain rules, we'll call them 1,2, and 3. These people neither achieved X Y and Z, nor did they follow rules 1,2, and 3 in attempting to achieve the requirements.
Is that more clear?

Colin Patrick Monahan" peoples lives are not letters in the alphabet nor numbers. clear that up in your thick skull. Henry Schaadt

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hnery Schaadt, Instead of attacking my readers, pay your judgments. Courthouse records reveal two werre just filed. One is by Asset Acceptance and the other is a City of Easton municipal lien filed bc you have ignored your responsibilities. Pay your liens, then talk.

Anonymous said...

O'Hare continuing his "secret police" tactic on any who he deems a threat to the Angle/Stoffa Regime.

Who's a good Bolshevik, your a good Bolshevik!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

If Henry wants to call me a "pig", I might as well give him a reason.

Henry, aka River, explain this:

1) Asset Acceptance LLC v. Henry Schaadt, 2010-C-13305, filed 2/2/11, for $3,648.31.

2) Easton City v. Henry C Schaadt, 2010-ML-12090, filed 10/25/10, for $855.13

Anonymous said...

Hey Bernie, why don't you post the Angle judgements? In the interest of public disclosure.

Bernie O'Hare said...

There are no judgments against Angle. If River, aka Henry C Schaadt, wants to come on this blog and cast stones ...