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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, May 20, 2011

Rumor Mill: Callahan Nixes Congress For County Exec

Earlier this week, I told you that that Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan had filed a 24-hour report listing a $2,000 contribution from Abe Atiyeh. Obviously, old Abe is buying Hizzoner's good will in that crusade for an apartment complex at the corner of Center and Dewberry. But that's only part of the story.

For the past two years, Callahan has been depleting his local campaign treasury, which he's unable to use to any significant degree in any federal race. Callahan was actually returning checks to contributors, who then gave to his Congressional race.

The Atiyeh contribution, which is to Callahan's local fund, signals a sudden reversal. Here's what I've been told. John Callahan has scratched that whole Congressional thing. Two other names are being shopped around: LC Dem Party Chair Rick Daugherty and PSEA Union Boss Michael Crossey.

Rick will run, but only if nobody else steps up. He is the default candidate, as he was two years ago. Crossey wants to run in an effort to drive up union excitement for 2012.

So what about Callahan?

He plans to finish out his term and then run for Norco Executive. Barron wants to run, but is continually shooting himself in the foot and looks more and more like a joke candidate. Sure, unions will back him big time, pointing to Callahan's municipal layoffs this past year. But unions don't have enough money to make a go of it.

In the picture above, you can see Callahan stomping all over a Barron portrait, as shocked children look on.


Anonymous said...

Well if he runs, I prefer him over Barron any day of the week from now until kingdom come. Barron is the biggest joke to hit the county, I dislike Angle but I agree with him regarding Barron. I'm a democrat and embarrassed that Barron is a party member.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see Panto run, He's proven himself to be a leader and a slo a facilitatot who can work with all groups and special interest groups toward a common goal. But my sources tell me that he is committed to four more in Easton. That said, Callahan would be a breath of fresh air as well. Say what you want he knows local government and he has been effective.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Excuse me. Is this John Callahan you're talking about? Northampton County is not Bethlehem. Nothing like it. In addition to the return of pay to play, I'm concerned he'd divert too much money to Bethlehem.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe that Johnny Casino will run for county executive. Just another ego trip for the boy blunder. He needs a perch to sit in for a bigger run.

I agree with Bernie. This will put the Reibman affinity for cash to shame. Callahan knows less than nothing about county government.
I doubt he would know the 911 center from Gracedale.

I am continually amazed at how gullible Democrats are. They are so in to personalities that competence and knowledge are unimportant luxuries.

I bet dimes to donuts that once the five years are up, if Johnny Casino needs a few quick bucks he will dump Gracedale in a heartbeat and sell it to a casino.

Please spare us from this phony. Or at least take him to wind Gap, it will take him three years to find his way back to Bethlehem. Has he ever been north of route 22?

Terrible idea!

The Reality Channel

Anonymous said...

He can cover for a lot of drunk drivers in that position. Get off the sidewalks! What a filthy scumbag.

Patrick McHenry said...

Bernie -

You're saying the Dems will either run a party boss or a union boss against Dent in 2012?

Is Charlie PICKING his opponents?

I can't imagine two candidates that would do more to unite the Republican party behind their candidate and against his opponent.

Anonymous said...

Panto is probably the only person that can beat Callahan in this race. It's been rumored that Panto is actaully the Dem's first pick. He would be effective but I doubt he will run.

brenda said...

Ok, now I must eat the words I previously posted.

A philadelphia flaming liberal labor rights dog vs. Barron.........

I said i'd vote for the dog, anyone is better than Barron

But if the only equally worse candidate such as John Callahan is up against Barron in a county exec race, I suggest we all pack our bags and head for Afghanistan.

It seems that Barron DOES know how to operate a calculator to ascertain that 5-7= -2, but CANNOT seem to combat that union shaped diarrhea of the mouth problem . He needs to have a toilet strapped to his chest permanently to contain the vile vermin that is projectile from that union mouth of his.

Callahan, on the other hand, with his strapping good looks, can walk the walk and talk the talk. But put him in a kindergarten class and ask him to count the lincoln logs, I am afraid he'd make 4 seem like 4,000.

Turbulence is ahead for the SS Norco.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I can't imagine two candidates that would do more to unite the Republican party behind their candidate and against his opponent."

Until Scott Ott decides Dent is not conservative enough.

Anonymous said...

Callahan has to run for office. He has no productive skills that he could fall back on in the private sector. He doesn't have enough of a resume to become a 'consultant' or 'lobbyist.' He has no chance to beat Dent because the DNC will run him as a flaming liberal again, and he'll get hammered again.

What does that leave? County Commissioner.

red897 said...

He has no productive skills that he could fall back on in the private sector. anon 8:40

youdo know he graduated cum laude from Moravian in Biology and actually worked as a consultant for Pfizer for 13 years

Anonymous said...

What do you expect Bernie. If panto ran he'd focus more on Easton than other communities. Besides Bethlehem is the county's largest taxable community. Although, I have to say I'm biased since I'm from Bethlehem.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bethlehem is a great place to live and work, probably the nicest place in the LV. That is a testament to its people. I suppose you're right about Sal, but as others have suggested, I don't think he has that much interest. His passion is Easton.

Anonymous said...

Wow he would be worse then the last two ass clowns

Larry Kisslinger said...

NC Executive possible candidate?

Panto-Yes but sure not interested for good reason. Easton his home and passion, but if he does run, I'll be there for him. Callahan is a big maybe but he's too involved with political crap and needs no advice from those of us who've been there and done that to seek offered opinions. Callahan already knows it all, same as many others who never need advice from anyone.

Can you say Joe Longy-Poo and/or his puppet Dave "Lumpy" Sanders who are both clueless about true government public service. Same as disgraceful NC Controller Barron with same stupid non-skilled, politically or/and any government service realities.

I'd love to see Longy-Poo offer his good name, ask him, run for "any" public office so he will learn how little his trumped up political skills would garner votes for him in a real election!

He, and his goons, would soon learn the error of his nonsensical ways over the years. I think any "dark horse" from the largest city in NC, Bethlehem, might be able to win as NC Exec. Political experience not necessary! Hey, not to worry, Longy-Poo and Lumpy still carrying water at BHA for their good friend, Mayor Callahan. What do I know and who cares? Oh, wait please, forgot, maybe Darth Vader horses ass anon will also advise that I'm too old and my opinion is worth nothing these days. Oh well, can't win 'em all. Ask Hector, former BPA Exec.? Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Panto has papered over a lawless city where good people are afraid to go at night. Clean and safe describes the block of Third Street the police station is on. Callahan can't account for the change in his pocket and actually couldn't meet city payroll without a little cheating. They are working examples of the Peter Principal. These douchebags are not the answer.

Lighthouse said...

Going to take your first paragraph in a different direction.

Since you believe Abe is trying to get friendly people elected, what would you make of the following in the Bethlehem Township Commissioner races? Among contributions: Taras Zawarski $6,000; Randall Weston (Weston Group) $2,000; Ramzi Haddad (Abe partner) $1,000; Chrin $500; Posh $500; Mukherjee $500. This just for a primary in a community in which candidates rarely have spent more than a few hundred dollars in the past for signs.

Can't wait to see how much flows to Mrs. Atiyeh's race in the Fall against Nolan, or how much more will flow to Zawarski should Murphy win the Democratic write-in votes. And Barnard will probably get some more, too, since he faces an opponent.

I have said before on this site: Ovem Lupo Commitere = to set a wolf to guard sheep. This is especially dangerous when the wolves wear the sheeps clothing of tea party slogans, and lip service generalities like support of the Community Center and Athletic Associations in their mailers.

But, in politics a voter's perception is their reality, so if the above doesn't come out in the press, and opposing candidates don't point it out, then Abe and friends will eventually be successful in taking control of a quorum of Bethlehem Townhip's governing body.

Anonymous said...

Larry, I have to agree. Callahan would be a disaster at the county level. All the great negative pieces done by Dent are out there ready to be used. Do you think Dent wants this guy to have a political platform.. Callahan would not like the position. county Executive is a labor of love and not a glamorous position. As mayor Johnny can hang at the casino and bounce around in police cars. No glamour in county politics. Ask Don C., he has been bored shit-less for years.

I cannot believe the county after eight years of Stoffa vacuum could survive eight years of Callahn "business".

God save us. I think some folks will emerge Larry. We are a year and a half out and the race is anyone's game at this point. Callahan and company have an attitude of entitlement. Don't think the Edge/Apollo vibe will sell up county.

Just a hunch!

Donald said...

Do you think Charlie Dent is influenced by his contributors? If you say no then - I may have to stop reading you. If you say yes, Are you bothered by that but choose to look the other way or do you think all of Dent's money comes from noble and honest sources?

Anonymous said...


Where did you get the darth vader horses ass anon not caring about what you old folks say? I think you lost something in translation there old guy..

Bernie O'Hare said...


If agreement with me is a prerequisite for reading this blog, I suggest you stop now.

I think Charlie Dent is influenced by his constituents, many of whom are his contributors and are from this district. He's even influenced by you. He reads what people in this community have to say.

One of the Dems' big problems is that their Congressional supporters and even the campaign machines are from outside the district.

Anonymous said...

I will give him this, he can raise money like no one's business. Of course he will sell off the rights to the county to do it. Still, he would probably be the first county executive candidate to raise over a million dollars for the position.

By the way enough with the Panto talk. He is happy on Easton.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I wonder whether his crushing loss to Dent, along with all the negative publicity, will hamper Callahan's ability to raise money.

Anonymous said...

Too bad we can't get a developer to flip. Then Johnny Casino can spend many days making license plates. He has no problem attracting cash, pocket cash.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I believe he can raise cash for any race. In the case of county executive, as you know there are plenty of opportunities to make vendors and contractors very happy. Mr. Callahan is a prolific money raiser and I agree that he would probably raise more than anyone if he chooses to run.

I am concerned that his brand of politics would be bad for the county. But we do get to have Wee Willie Reynolds as the Director of Fiscal Affairs, who could ask for more.

Anonymous said...

I can only hope Shake Down Johnny can do as muck for the County as he's done for the CIty.

Could be a bit easier, more walls at the County for smoke and mirrors.

Donald said...

If someone else wrote your response to me I suspect you would ridicule it. You really really really believe what you wrote? I will continue to read because you speak the truth to power in some cases. But really Bernie..What has Cong. Dent done to earn you blind devotion? He is not in any way influenced by his contributors? really?

Bernie O'Hare said...


I really do believe what I wrote. In federal and state races, where such large amounts of money are spent, individual contributions mean very little.

I admire Congressman Dent, and certainly would not call it "blind devotion." I rarely agree with more than 60% of any elected official's votes, no matter what his party. It is not Dent's voting record.

What I admire is his accessibility. If you reach out to him, he reaches back. My first meeting with him, and this is when I was highly critical, lasted over three hours.

I suppose you could say I like him on a personal level, too.

He has been very generous with his time, his only commodity, to someone who has never given him a dime.

I also admire him because he does his homework. He is deeply immersed in federal issues, and will reach out to constituents to get as many perspectives as possible.

For example, and I hope John Morganelli does not mind me repeating this story without his OK, but he tells me Dent once had a lengthy conversation with him about illegal conversation. As they were finishing their talk, Dent asked for the contact information for David Vaida, so he could get the other side.

I don't think Morganelli or Vaida are contributors. They are constituents, and they influenced Dent's thinking.

Dent is a good man who represents the LV and its thinking. Most of us are fairly centrist. Dent is a centrist who leans right. I am a centrist who leans left.

I feel that I learn something whenever I'm around Dent. I don't get that feeling from most other pols.

You take care.

Donald said...

I agree Dent is a good person and I will even go as far as to say he is honest but to pretend he is not influenced by his contributors is naive at best. I'm dropping this. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Not sure of your source, but your way off base here Bernie. I assure you the mayor is still weighing all his options. Most of us wish he could run for another term as mayor but term limits take that option off the table. The city is really looking up in many ways, several new hires in leadership roles will bring in some needed new blood (even if some of your readers don’t agree). Many new business and places to work and play will add to the cities already wonderful ambiance. Back to the main point though, If in fact mayor Callahan chooses to run for county exec he will win without a doubt and I assure you will be able to out raise and outperform any and all challengers. I really like Panto as much as the next guy, but he can’t beat Callahan on his worse day. If Mayor Callahan chooses to run for Congress, Charlie will need a new playbook, he has made some very difficult votes over the last year that he will have to explain to all of us. I also feel the redistricting may have a major impact too, do the republicans think Dent is a safe district (should with his electoral record) and break off part of his base? It’s going to be an interesting several months to come…we politicos are going to have a blast.


Anonymous said...


You got to be kidding. Same Callahan that couldn't win his own city. He can raise money mostly from out of area donors but he is pure teflon and blames everybody else for his loss. Ask other local Democratic leaders.

Anonymous said...

don't know what planet your from but he most certainly won Bethlehem...take out the overwhelming Republican turnout throughout the district and its a completely different race...if Republicans keep making charlie vote along party lines and against the social safety net, education, etc...and 2012 is a new race too.... I have chugged the numbers believe me.


Anonymous said...

And for the record Mayor Callahan blames himself and his team only. Though I'm saying, the Democrats will never win this seat unless we can coalesce behind one candidate. This saying one thing in public than saying another behind the scenes is killing the party.