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Monday, February 21, 2011

Dent Gives Early Endorsement to Bernotas, Carroll and Simao

Although it's by no means unusual for LV Congressman Charlie Dent to endorse a candidate for local office, he had to take some personal satisfaction in seeing a full slate of Republicans - Al Bernotas, Tom Carroll and Tony Simao - willing to take on "one party rule" in Bethlehem. Dent left Washington, D.C. at 5:30 AM Saturday just so he could publicly give them his good government stamp of approval following a Lincoln Day breakfast at Hotel Bethlehem.

Dent, who became intimately familiar with Bethlehem's mismanaged city government during his most recent Congressional race against Mayor John Callahan, stated Bethlehem "deserves better that what it's getting right now from the current administration." Noting that Bethlehem's bond rating has been downgraded, Dent said it's time for some "meaningful oversight." He called on City Council to be "watchdogs for this administration, not lapdogs."

"You will have better City government because of these guys," he said.

Dent did recognize some "voices in the wilderness," people like Jean Belinski, Mike Schweder and Dave DiGiacinto.

Below are excerpts from the candidates.

Al Bernotas on YouTube: "I'm not waiting until we get elected to City Council. We've already started to make a difference by going out for the past year and a half, two years, just listening in. We're going to do a few Right-to-Knows, we're not going to allow only City Council to see the budget, P&L and what's going on. I'd like to see the check register posted to a website. A little bit of sunshine never hurt anyone. ... I know how to balance my checkbook and take out loans and pay them back. I'd like to help the City administration learn to do that, and I'd like to make sure that City Council watches everything that's going on, and communicates with the people."

Tom Carroll on YouTube: "The City is already $300 million in debt. That means that for every adult over 18 in the City of Bethlehem, we all owe, just for the debt of this City, $5,000 a person. ... The administration says, 'We have a revenue problem. They do not. They have had a 150% increase in revenue since 2000. They do not have a revenue problem. They do not have a tax problem. They have a spending problem and they have a borrowing problem."

Tony Simao on YouTube: "There comes a point in time when the tough choices have to be made. ... Ron Angle comes to mind, the Northampton County Bulldog, as he's known in some circles. I believe that that's my type of character as well. I don't like incompetence. I don't like waste. It seems like there is a lot of it going on in the City of Bethlehem to the point where now, at a national level, Wall Street is taking notice and lowering bond ratings."

On the Democrats' side of the ticket, City Council Prez Bob Donchez and J. Willie Reynolds are seeking reelection. Mike Recchiuti, a lawyer and member of the City's Parking Authority, is also seeking your approval.

(Blogger's Note: I was unable to attend this endorsement due to a family commitment.)


Anonymous said...

time to get rid of donchez and his 16 years of adding to bethlums problems. talks the talk but never walks the walk. next get rid of wee willy reynolds. he has a rubber stamp in one hand and callahan kool aid in the other. send him packing to his "hot girl friend"

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know of any qualified Dem's in Bethlehem who would actually be responsible city council persons?

Are there any people out there who understand the government and are also competent. I am not impressed with the current occupants of the city council. This new Dem running seems like Wee Willie light.


Anonymous said...

I agree, time to change everything smelly in Bethlehem. Mayor Callahan gives his opinion and his hand picked City Council members they just rubber stamp what he wants and they just SPEND, SPEND, SPEND. I watched this just last week after Callahan got up and gave his opinion on the Super Majority Vote on Zoning Hearing Board. Donchez,
Slick Reynolds and others were going to vote for it until King Callahan and the Planning Committee head and the Zoning Board got up to say they opposed it. The City Council Flip-Flopped and voted Against it. This is nonsense. No backbone... They kiss-ass the Mayor all the time (not Karen Dolan or DiGiacinto) but the rest of them are useless. We are in jeopardy of more tax increases and the Mayor and Council just don't care all they want to do is Spend Spend!!! Get those Democrats who think they are a shoe-in OUT. Republicans come out and vote and Democrats switch your party now so you can help the great city of Bethlehem before it gets so bad and can't get up from under all the debt that's been mounting under Callahan's and this City Coumcil's watch.

Anonymous said...

they'll be circling the wagons now trying to decide which lies and unkept promises they can spin to their advantage.

Anonymous said...

hey Bernie, did u see that jc got a turkey by the ET for the whoppers he told in his state of the city debacle. donchez and reynolds don't want to hang on to those coattails

enjoy your perks and free music mess tickets this year boys. the party is over

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with one party rule? We enjoyed its benefits for 8 years with Bush and a republican controlled house and senate. We had Utopia until Obama managed to destroy the economy in less that 2 months.

Destroy all unions, elect only tea baggers, fund the military and deliver the mail. Bring back child labor, DDT, pollute the air and water, abolish nasty OSHA regulations,eliminate fire departments, replace the police with a militia. The rest is evil government.

Captain Boo Yah said...

To 8:12 --

You must REALLY have been guzzling down that Kool Aid!

Since when was the House and Senate under Republican control? Bush had a Democrat majority in both houses! Guess it's convenient for you to forget that fact or lie about it to suit your needs on a blog comment. If you say it enough times it becomes true. Right?

I highly doubt that any City Council will [as you put it] "Destroy all unions, fund the military and deliver the mail. Bring back child labor, DDT, pollute the air and water, abolish nasty OSHA regulations,eliminate fire departments, replace the police with a militia." You do realize that those functions are all controlled by either the State or Federal Government. Perhaps you had a progressive teaching you about civics and social studies. Skipping over that part seems to be a common thing to do now a days.

Fiscal conservatives on City Council can clean up the mess that has been made of Bethlehem's finances while holding accountable those who got us into this sink hole of debt. It's as simple as that, there's no more to it no matter how much you want to twist the truth. Bottom line is that the city is broke and with a poor credit rating.

Also, please inform me as soon as the City of Bethlehem gets it's own military because I'd like to join!

Tom Foolery said...

To 9:04,
You must be drunk..You really have no idea that Bush had a Republican house and senate under him? Talk about Koolaid..Fox news Koolaid..Not good for morons to drink..Idiots aside, I can't thank Charlie enough for this endorsement. In 2009 when there was no race bethlehem slept while County council elected 5 at large republican members for the first time ever..A race here will bring out more voters and help ken Kraft secure his County council seat..Thank you Charlie and thank youi republican candidates..Finally, the full slate that the Bethlehem Democratic committee hoped! Way to go charlie!!!!!!!

Bernie O'Hare said...


Not every D is a lever puller. I know of many City employees who are Ds and who are very frustrated by what they see from Callahan. But I agree this is an uphill battle.

Patrick McHenry said...

Anon 8:12 am said:

"What's wrong with one party rule? We enjoyed its benefits for 8 years with Bush and a republican controlled house and senate. We had Utopia until Obama managed to destroy the economy in less that 2 months."


Nice try at revising history. I'd like to give you the benefit of the doubt (regarding control of Congress) and just say you're ignorant, but the facts are so easily found that I have to assume that you're trying to deliberately mislead people.

Ten seconds at the computer would allow you (or anyone else) to find that the Democrats took control of both houses of Congress after the 2006 elections.

Yes, the Congressional Republicans spent too much when they had power (i.e. the new prescription drug benefit), but it wasn't like the Democrats were trying to spend less.

Things really went the heck after the 2006 elections when the Democrats in Congress (including then-Senator Obama) began their wild spending spree.

I do fault Bush greatly for trying to work with what the Democrats passed (in the name of bipartisanship) and signing off on the Democrat spending. And of course the Democrats turned around and blamed all the spending on Bush in 2008, as if they had nothing to do with it.

But if you want to see why and where things really went off the rails, look no further than the 2006 elections.

Tom Foolery said...


I'm frustrated with Callahan..However, appaerntly enough people aren't frustrated enough since his boys on the democratic side have no opposition as of yet. I know i still owe you a pizza but I forgot my google password and couldn't sign on..I was in though as anon, lol..Now i'm back as me..

Jon Geeting said...

The transparency argument from Bernotas is good, but the rest is pure crap. Bethlehem hasn't been overspending. There's no extravagancies in the budget. This past budget season was brutal, and what it showed was that they're now cutting past the fat into the bone. Callahan bragged during the Congressional campaign that he hadn't raised taxes in years. That may poll well, but from a governing standpoint it's a disaster. It is obvious that Bethlehem is under-taxed. City council needs to buck up and raise taxes.

Callahan needs to say something like - "For too long we've been paying last year's bills in this year's budget. For too long we've been borrowing to pay for current expenditures. I am committed to get this city's fiscal house in order, but we need your help. We can get this city back on track in two years, but in order to do that we're going to have to ask you everyone to chip in."

Voila! Raise the earned income taxes you need to get the city's structural deficits ironed out in two years and then see where you're at.

But Charlie Dent's not off the hook. Like all cities, a large portion of Bethlehem's financial troubles are the result of the sluggish economy. Less taxable economic activity is happening so tax receipts are artificially low. That's Charlie Dent's fault. He continues to resist any government action to boost growth, and now he's trying to pass an austerity plan that will kill 1 million jobs. That's only going to make Bethlehem's budget problems worse.

Also, has Dent ever balanced a budget ever? It's not clear why he believes he has any credibility on this issue to be making endorsements. His record is pitiful on this front.

Anonymous said...



That is your plan for everything.

Thanks, but no thanks.

It's the spending, stupid.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Tom Foolery, I let you off on the pizza.

Anonymous said...

One party rule is all we ever get. One party wants to stay in. One party wants to get in.

And DDT should be brought back. It's discontinuation on the basis of junk science has cost millions of lives in Africa and Asia. Buy it's more important to smite an evil corporation than save the lives of funny looking people who don't give a shit about labor unions.

Do-gooderism requires lofty and complicated conjuring to stay focused on the assigned bogeymen.

Anonymous said...

4:29 Rocks.

That is all.

Anonymous said...

geeting, u r a complete idiot. callahan, cunningham, richard have ruined the city with their smoke and mirrors/ rob peter to pay paul tactics. only a fool like you would deny this. if this were not bad enough the majority of union based council drinks the kool aid and rubber stamps jc's agenda of spend, spend spend as he blames the same federal administration that he voted for and backs. Wake up fools and take your city back from the greedy, self serving pols.

Anonymous said...

4:29 is obviously on the same medications as getting. 2 bad the drugs r not working

Anonymous said...

...when your bellies become empty you should know many of Charlie Dent's supporters have farms.

Do not look for the Democrats to help you either.


Anonymous said...

You're right Jon Geeting we should all be taxed at 99.9% because His Royal Highness the Mayor along with his Lords of Ye Towne of Bethlehem know what to do with money better than us stupid and unwashed peasants. You can't squeeze blood out of a rock Jon no matter how hard you squeeze. That rock will just roll right out of your hand and into a more comfortable place.

What do you think the NY and NJ transplants moved here for? It wasn't just for the fresh air and open spaces. They moved here to get away from high property taxes and corrupt government at all levels. If you want to pay more taxes you should just make out a check to "The City of Bethlehem Voluntary Tax Donation -- 10 East Church Street Bethlehem, PA 18017"

Please give until it hurts Jon, because your Mayor needs a few more ribbons to cut before his next run for higher office. Willie "Rubberstamp" Reynolds also needs to keep his "hot" girlfriend and college aged drinking buddies believing he's going to be Mayor someday.

Something tells me that the city will not see a check from you. But you'll continue to spout off at the mouth about the rest of us paying more taxes.

Anonymous said...


Bernie O'Hare said...

The way that is put makes Gracedale sound like a prison. That's one of the reasons a new owner is needed.

Anonymous said...

So will this Simian guy be obnoxious, rude and argumentative at meetings. Angle is his hero. I guess he also must be a fan of Jeffrey Dahmer and Joseph Stalin.

All the Dem's have to do is put that on a mailer. "I am like Ron Angle", this guy fried his election chances before he even started. A little too much sanity in the Christmas City for Angle's brand of crazy hate.

Taco Tim

Wayne said...

Ah yes, the character assassination begins. Let's all bask in the love of those who project their hate onto anyone who disagrees with them...

I really don't think the candidate was referring to Angle's obnoxious, rude style.

If someone told me their goal was to be the opposite of Ron Angle I'd worry that they'd be in office to "make nice" and be never be confrontational. That's how we have arrived at our our current predicament. Politicians who don't know how to say no. Or to be less rude, "No thank you". Public servants who find it easier to get along at contract time, to say yes to everything the architects wants to build, follow every fad, and just be too generous with the taxpayers money. It's human nature to want to "make nice" but in someone who has the public's purse strings it can become a very undesirable quality.

It's all sunshine and roses while times are good but when revenues drop and the interest on bills from the past come knocking they seem to be like deer stuck staring into a spotlight. What to cut? Which constituency dare they tick off? It'll just be easier to raise taxes...

Times are good, raise taxes. Times are bad, raise taxes some more. As long as the public sits on its hands that will be the non-confrontational route that most politicians take.

Anonymous said...

I believe he said that he was like Ron Angle in that he can't stand incompetence and waste. There you go twisting things around again.

Silly progressive!

Tom Foolery said...

I'll get you the pizza eventually bernie..No need to let me off. however, tried nazareth pizza shops..They aren't that good compared to bethlehem..Anyway, geeting was right..Anyone who attacked him has no credibility, as usual with the no tax at all costs morons..Their third grade education is showing. Obvious they have never served and never will serve in government..Thank God!!!
You need to cut and raise revenue or things fall apart. Then it costs ten times as much to get them back in shape..I have to laugh at all my anti tax increase buddies at the casino who lose more in one day there then they pay in city or county taxes..It's the schol districts that kill us all. That's because the state keeps cutting back on their committment to education and therefore pushes all costs on to the property owners..Geeting, good job..Ignore the third graders..they watch Fox news and we can't expect them to be informed

Tom Foolery said...

See that..The school districts are so bad i can't even spell school, lol...And yes, I've seen these tea bag party people at the sands crying about their taxes while losing hundreds on the slots..Again, good lord, County taxes for the average taxpayer are about 40 dollars a month. Of course for property owners who are millionaires like Angle it might be steeper, lol..But he's not exactly your average taxpayer..

Anonymous said...

Oh Wayne. You really think Angle is a great political because he agrees with you today. Angle is about Angle, always has been. You are the "group" of the day. If you buy all his "revisionist" history, good for you.

Facts are this guy has accomplished nothing in his political career. Every body he has been part of has raised taxes. He isn't on Gracedale about you or small government, its a grudge match and he has the votes.

The opposite of Ron Angle is hardly "make nice". The opposite of Ron Angle is effective leadership, the opposite is accomplishment. The opposite is rational logical thought.

I thought that was what the baggers were all about. You want Angle as your poster boy, good for you. You guys won't last long in Northampton County with him as your figurehead.

Sometimes people say it like it is and that isn't character assassination, it just is what it is.


Bernie O'Hare said...

lucius, a hater by any other name.

Wayne said...

Oh Lucius, in my comment I called Angle rude and obnoxious and you respond by claiming he's my poster boy. Any excuse you can fabricate so you can use the term "bagger", eh?

I responded to character assassination. A post then mocked the man's name, attributed false motives, and said he must be a fan of Dahmer & Stalin. That's what you're defending.

Patrick McHenry said...

Tom Foolery said:

"...And yes, I've seen these tea bag party people at the sands crying about their taxes while losing hundreds on the slots..."


I'm no fan of the casinos, but there's a big difference there Tom.

The Sands doesn't force anyone to spend their money at the Sands. And the Sands doesn't take anyone's home away from them if they don't spend what the Sands wants them to spend.

Again, I'm no fan of the casinos but how people spend the money that they work for is no business of mine - or yours.

Donald said...

How is a Republican Congressman endorsing a slate of Republicans news? I know Charlie is your guy and clearly you are interested in spreading his gospel and I'm OK with that but really is this news?

Bernie O'Hare said...

It made the Morning Call so I guess it's news by the standards of journalists, but what do they know?

Donald, this is a blog. I sometimes write news stories and other times write opinion pieces or just have fun.

Donald said...

It should not have been a news story for the Mcall either - Cause it's just not news - just like Joe Paterno supporting a Republican is not news or Ed Rendell supporting a Democrat is not news - News would be Dent supporting Sal Panto or Bob Freeman supporting the GOP guy running against Sal Panto.

This is one of those things that has bugged me for years - not sure why - but what the hell do I know

Anonymous said...

Yeah Donald; what the hell DO you know?

It's almost like it would only be news if the candidate gives you a big bear hug. Or maybe you want to make it seem like it's not news because you know these guys are going to win.

You're a silly progressive!

Donald said...

I do not know who will win in November and neither does anyone else.
Not sure what was meant by the bear hug comment - made no sense or seemed connected to anything else written here

I am done with this stream - Thanks Bernie -

Anonymous said...