Thursday, October 20, 2011

Barron Defends His T-Mobile Extortion


Sometime last year, Northampton County Controller Steve Barron threatened non-union T-Mobile with repercussions when they refused to meet with him and union organizers.

"Please remind him [T-Mobile VP Brueckman] that if he needs anything from Northampton or Lehigh County, we're going to remember this day and we'll make sure that it will be part of the negotiations."

Later that day, in a video message to T-Mobile, Barron added this remark.

"I'd also like you to think about why you didn't meet with one of the local elected officials here in the Lehigh Valley, and how that can benefit your company. And when you do that, I'd like you to give me a call - my numer is [redacted] - and discuss it with you."

This, of course, is extortion.

During their Debate at the Slate, Barron defended his union thuggery, trying to depict himself as a champion of worker rights. But as opponent Steve Salvesen correctly observed, nobody had a problem with standing up for the worker. What bothers him, and should bother all of us, is a Controller who uses the authority of his office to threaten others.

Barron: "First of all, I was on my personal time when I was at T-Mobile, so I just wanna' be clear about that.

"Second of all, thank you for the question, I've always stood up for workers, working families and the middle class. I'm a grandson and son of a steelworker. When I hear that workers are being abused in the workplace, regardless of what office I hold, regardless of what position I have, regardless what the impact might be or the personal harm to myself, I will speak out."


Salvesen: "What troubles me about T-Mobile is not the fact that Mr. Barron was doing a civic duty and that he was doing it on his own time. I think that's laudable. I really do.

"My problem with it is the veiled threat to T-Mobile from our Controller that says, 'If you don't do what I think you should do, we're gonna' remember it the next time a contract comes due. I don't think that's appropriate for any Controller."

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Bernie, isn't your headline a bit biased and not built out of the sliver of video you show us?

Based on the video, the headline should read 'Salvesen commends Barrons's laudable swnse of civic duty'.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I believe the headline is entirely appropriate. Barron engaged in extortion, and that's what he lamely tried to defend. Salvesen tagged him for that.

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is if we had a truly independent legal wing in Northampton County, Mr. Barron should have been charged with extortion. What he did was low brow wannabe gangster extortion. He must have been watching a Sopranos rerun. He clearly wanted to intimidate the company with his position as County Controller.

He is an embarrassment to his office and should have resigned. He was showing off to the union like some 10 year old. He has done the same thing with Gracedale. He used the hard work and reports of others then pretends he helped the Gracedale folks.

The guy is a phony wannabe. Unfortunately, without money his Republican opponent will be beaten by the incumbent. This is a shame for the Party, this was an easy take by a well funded and well run Republican campaign.

Another feather in the hat of Mr. Shuman, our lame Party chairman. Please contribute what you can and help Mr. S in his bid to unseat this crooked pol.

Anonymous said...

Don't you have to break laws, or at the very least wilfully disregard them, to be 'crooked'?

What laws did Barron break?

The really sad thing is that you guys will stop at nothing to level falsehood on top of invective on top of innuendo, all because Barron has a different point of view to you. He wants to help the little guy, you wingnuts want to run them over to make roads for millionaires.

Get your priorities straight first, and then do something about your facts.

Lighthouse said...

"...all because Barron has a different point of view to you. He wants to help the little guy, you wingnuts want to run them over to make roads for millionaires.

Get your priorities straight first, and then do something about your facts."

I am not associated with Bernie nor Salvesen, and far from a wing nut, but find this defense kind of laughable. Remembering the video, I clicked on the tag for Barron, and found it on Sept 1, 2010. Having just rewatched it, I distinctly heard Barron saying, "Please remind him that if he needs anything from Northampton or Lehigh County, we're going to remember this day." How is that to be interpreted? Merely a "different point of view"? Just what "facts" do you think people are missing from watching that video?

Anonymous said...

You will get what you paid for with Barron. That lispy, fat dress wearing fraud is a disgrace to his office.

Any office holder that threatens a private citizen with his public office should be removed. End of discussion!!!

Anonymous said...

Defense? What defense? I wasn't defending anybody, I was making a comment about how quick people are to accuse someone whom they don't agree with.

If you hadn't been so desperate to make your point, you might have noticed that.

Anonymous said...

No wonder the voters are going to re-elect Barron in a landslide. 5.25 is typical of the Republican dirty tricks campaign in Norco - bankrupt and effete.

Has Charlie Dent got the same problem with kilt wearers, heavy set people, and those with a lisp? He should at least be given a chance to disassociate himself from his Republican brethern's scumbaggery before he ends up painted into a corner, tarred with the same brush.

Anonymous said...

but callahan gets excited about barron's fat ass all dressed up in a skirt.they will make a he3ll of a team behind closed doors in nirco

Anonymous said...

Barron was telling people about how he wore no undies under his dress on St. Patricks day. Maybe he then paid Johnny C. back for all his campaign help.

Anonymous said...

"This, of course, is extortion. "

extortion, no. shameless grandstanding, yes.

Charlie Dent said...

"Has Charlie Dent got the same problem with kilt wearers, heavy set people, and those with a lisp? He should at least be given a chance to disassociate himself from his Republican brethern's scumbaggery before he ends up painted into a corner, tarred with the same brush."

Let me state unequivocally that I especially love effeminate, skirt wearing men and defend their right to speak out using their most hilarious lisps. I further disassociate myself from all sullen liberals who wouldn't know a sense of humor if it came free with every issue of Mother Jones.

Yours in Love and Democracy,
Charlie

Anonymous said...

As the old saying goes, one man's humor is another man's bucket of slime.

I'll pass the marketing tip on to the good people at Mother Jones.

Anonymous said...

He threatened a business owners future business with Northampton County with the power of his office.

The tape is pretty clear. If that ain't extortion what is? He didn't say as Steve Barron, he proudly proclaimed I am the Controller and....

Like ken Kraft conveniently working when a hot button issue is up for a vote on the Zoning board, Barron another Long Dem showed his total disregard for ethical behavior.

Slimy Dem's. God is there one honest Dem out there.

Anonymous said...

@2.43

How dare Kraft work!

Why isn't he unemployed like the rest of the workers who might be able to move our infrastructure into the 21st century.

8 years of a Bush predidency and three years of scorched Earth obstructionism and the guy is STILL working. All our buddies on Wall Street and the public spirited wing of the party (i.e. the Koch Brothers and Rush Limbaugh) chipping away, hammering away,at what's left and this Kraft guy is still WORKING. There ought to be a law against it.

Hey, we have Charlie, we have Toomey, we have Corbett, we have Boehner: let's all get together and stop this Kraft guy from working. I mean he's an anachro....an anarcho... he's out of date, being a working union guy and all....

I for one am ashamed, embarrassed, and disgusted that there is still a union guy in Bethlehem working to feed his family.

Welfare too good for you, Ken?

Anonymous said...

Barron is a lispy dress wearing crook. You deserve better, vote this corrupt fraud out of office.