Friday, November 11, 2011

Landside Lamont's "Victory" In Question

I first saw Lamont McClure the day he announced his County Council candidacy at a Courthouse news conference, way back in 2001. I was a bit surprised to hear him repeatedly bash me, of all people, over my opposition to a $111 million bond. I wasn't running for anything. After he had finished braying, I walked over and introduced myself.

Lamont never made it past the primary.

He did a little better when he tried again in 2005, but still finished 9th out of 10 candidates in the general election.

Something about him turns voters off.

After two losses, McClure was one of two Democrats appointed to Council vacancies in a back-room deal. Those were created when Executive John Stoffa named Republican Mary Ensslin and Democrat Michael Corriere to his cabinet. Instead of appointing one Democrat and one Republican, a partisan power play stacked the deck.

In 2007, McClure had to face the voters again. He raised and spent all kinds of money, most of which came from other asbestos lawyers and unions, to smear Democratic challenger Will Power. In one mailer, McMud claimed that Power had assaulted his own disabled brother. Dead, Will's brother was in no position to refute these accusations. But in a sad news conference, Will re-played a years-old video in which his brother denied there had ever been an assault.

Will had no power and went down in flames, but McMud obviously left a bad taste in voters' mouths. They don't like incessant smears and robo calls. So in the general election against little-known Mark Schwartz, McClure won by just 91 votes against a person who ran no campaign and spent no money.

Landslide Lamont.

In this election, Lamont repeated the same mistakes he made in 2007. He flooded telephone lines with incessant robocalls, painting himself as the Savior of Gracedale. He also smeared Connolly over real estate taxes owed by two businesses in which he is a partner.

Right before the election, Lamont also circulated a last-minute flyer that smears Connolly again, and with a picture that makes Matt look more like Satan than a race car driver. Democrats were so turned off that they started giving these mailers to Connolly, telling him that McClure had lost their vote.

Once again, McClure has spent a lot of money to barely defeat a candidate with practically no money to spend or time to campaign, although Connolly tells me he did knock on 1,200 doors. According to the unofficial results on the County web page, McClure has defeated Matt by a scant 114 votes out of 8,052 votes cast. A 0.014% victory.

Landslide Lamont.

That victory is anything but certain at this point. When the official count takes place, that number could go up. Or down. On top of that, there are reports of problems with a voting machine in one of the precincts, which refused to light up for voters who wanted to vote for Connolly.

According to one voter (I do not have his permission to identify him at this point),
"[M]ost voters trying to vote for Matt would push his button more than once when his light didn’t light trying to get his light to come on. And the same machine worked perfectly if you voted for his opponent and the marker next to his name lit up. And according to the poll worker I reported the problem to that is exactly how you cancel a candidate selection when you change your mind or make a mistake. You can be almost sure he lost some votes because of this problem.

"And when I reported the problem they were skeptical that there was a problem. I offered to show them but he said anytime they reset the machine it will count as a vote if we test pushed buttons. Another poll worker overheard the conversation and offered to vote in the same booth. We then verified the problem was happening and they said they were taking that machine out of service, but I left the polls and can’t be certain they did. And at no time did he mention to me that it would count the vote whether the light was lit or not."
Obviously, this problem is being investigated. If the machine was failing to record Connolly votes, probably all votes cast on that machine should be invalidated.

A look at the results in that District reveals that McClure's position as Defender of Gracedale meant little to voters. He lost in the Townships and won in the boroughs.

Allen Township: Connolly, 297 to 253. (Voters here killed an open space referendum, and this issue likely increased turnout.)

Bath: Connolly, 101 to 91.

Bethlehem Township: Connolly, 1462 to 1410. (Three disputed Commissioner seats, especially the Atiyeh-Nolan race, probably increased Republican turnout).

East Allen: Connolly, 350 to 270

Freemansburg: McClure, 106 to 42.

Lower Nazareth: Connolly, 320 to 271. (Why did the Champion of Gracedale lose in the Township right next to it?)

Lower Saucon: Connolly, 703 to 622. (Another open space referendum here probably increased turnout).

Nazareth: McClure, 380 to 276. (McClure got 1.3 votes to every vote garnered by Connolly in a community where many Gracedale workers live. Shouldn't the Savior of Gracedale do better?)

Northampton: McClure, 510 to 307. (Heavy Democratic edge).

North Catty: McClure 259 to 116. (That's right next to Catty in Lehigh County, where McClure convinced Council members to give $10,000 to its YMCA. With your money).

I'm not certain Landside Lamont has even won this race. But I am certain that, in contrast to the claims made by earnest Express Times' columnist Tony Rhodin, this race had nothing to do with Gracedale.

Perhaps Landside Lamont should think twice or even three times before bombarding people with robocalls and sending out vicious smears.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keep telling yourself what you want to hear Bernie. One landslide is definite, the oine that buried Angle, Folks just didn't like him.

Anonymous said...

Wait, Lamont didn't win? Is this some type of Jedi-Mind Trick?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes. His results can change with the official count.

Anonymous said...

Unlikely. The Republicans blew it here again. Poor party leadership that needs to change.

Dent's stalking horses in Bethlehem contributed to Vaughn losing. Angle should have been primaried. He would have lost and the R's would have easily kept the seat. His seat is the most Republican and it was lost by the largest margin. Krill sunk Dowd. And this very winnable race a flawed candidate with no money was put up.

Can Wayne Woodman take over NCRC?

Anonymous said...

Bernie
That district is always close for a democrat. Check out the vote total when Michael corriere ran against a no body republican who spent no money. Corriere, son of former DA and with a well known name and a likaeable person won only by about 90 votes. Let us know after you check that out that no dem wins big there.

Anonymous said...

Bernie you really need to evaluate your idea that Gracedale played no role in his win. There is no love lost between the two of you. You ran his attendence record above the American Flag on the flagpole. Asbestos lawyer comments (I don't see how that matters) might have hurt. Just the mere mention that he is anykind of lawyer creates the vision of "rock snot" in peoples minds. That said if it were not for his pro Gracedale stance those few marginal votes would not have been there. He would have lost HUGE this time. Maybe even greater than 8%. I know you're in denial I guess we will need wait and watch Barbara go down to change your mind.

Bernie O'Hare said...

In the last race, Lamont just squeaked by. Gracedale was no issue at that time.

In this race, Lamont barely squeaked by, if he really has won. Although Gracedale was an issue, it obviously had no effect on his victory, such as it is. He lost in the townships and won in the boroughs. He lost Lower Nazareth, which is right next to Gracedale. His victory in Nazareth, where many Gracedale workers live, is hardly spectacular. He lost in Bath, home of many Gracedale workers.

McClure can thank Freemansburg for his win, if he did win.

Anonymous said...

"if he did win."

??????

Anonymous said...

Bernie it is called politics.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm aware what it is called, and I'm also aware that Gracedale played next to no role in McClure's victory, if indeed he did win. And the reason I express doubt about that is bc the official count has not yet occurred and we know one of the machines was malfunctioning.

Anonymous said...

Personally I believe the results would probably be much different if Connolly has been a stronger candidate without all the extra baggage from his past and present.

Anonymous said...

Always fun to see Bernie trying desperately to spin, but in this case, it's a little sad too. Sorry, Bernie, nobody's buying it. With a loss by eight percentage points, Angle would kill to have that margin of victory of McClure's that you're so desperately trying to downplay.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This post is about McClure, not Angle. You have not addressed any of my points. You just take shots at Angle.

Anonymous said...

Does election law state that all the votes be tossed from that machine or precinct in the event there is an error?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I would imagine that if one machine is found defective, the only votes invalidated would be those coming from that machine. Courts would be very reluctant to get involved in anything affecting the finality of an election, so this issue will be raised only if it is rock solid, and changes the outcome.

Anonymous said...

Norsampn. Where the local doughnut eaters arrest, but don't test, a guy they say is drunk and beating up a kid at a football game, where they get off at 3, drink til 5 and then go home and beat their wives.

Can't we just lop that shithole off the district map?

Anonymous said...

A simple led light burned out, the vote, even though not lit up, counted, when the "problem" was found, the machine was taken out of service, a new led light was installed, and the machine was then put back into service. This is how it works everywhere. Fixed, according to state voting rules, end of story

Anonymous said...

At this point any attempt by Angle or his angleites to invalidate the election would destroy his already pathetic reputation.

Bernie O'Hare said...

11:11, If you don't think this was a real problem, why was the machine taken out of service? I seem to recall elections officials insisting to me that voting machines were state certified a few years back, and it turns out they were wrong and conducted an election with machines that were never certified. So don't get cocky or smug. If someone has a problem, address it honestly, not condescendingly.

Anonymous said...

Testy tonight?
I don't think he was smug
Just matter of fact

Bernie O'Hare said...

No, the commenter was smug. A person's right to vote is not something to be smug or condescending about. This person actually returned to the poll, and the machine was taken out of service. It was a problem, not a "problem."

Anonymous said...

So Stoffa and Conklin screwed up again.

Anonymous said...

Where is Connolly? I would think that since he has a chance of winning, he'd be somewhere in the paper, TV or even right here. This should be front page news. He should be in front of a TV camera explaining to everyone how he's going to contest the results. I want to hear Connolly's response to this right away. He needs to be fighting for this.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we all know how acorn stole the elction for McClure. I heard they had an electronic mastermind set up an electromagnetic field to change Connolly votes to McClure votes.

Or it could just be aliens from space.

Anonymous said...

As a legend in his own mind and a selfless champion against pervasive election fraud, Bernie is the only one behind this story. He in his relentless effort to disenfranchise voters will stop at nothing to get to the truth. Even if he needs to create a solution looking for a problem.

Anonymous said...

I beleive Lamont has secret tape recordings of meetings were he "fixed" the voting process. Keep looking into it Bernie for you are the champion of the little people.

Thank God the little people who can't think and figure things out for themselves have you and Ron Angle looking pout for us. Where would we be without you.

Oh and Joe Owens too, who has been very very quiet about the elections. I think he is checking out some conspiracy theories as well. He will report them as soon as Stofffa gives them to him along with the new Gracedale numbers.

The Little People of Northampton County.

Anonymous said...

Lamount McClure won face it.and get over it.
And don't bring up about his mailers, Look at Angles smears, and lot's of laugh's . All I can say is you are a sore looser just like your right hand man.

Anonymous said...

I think the press conference is a good idea. First questions should be, Matt do you live in the district ?

Anonymous said...

re/ sore losers
if wishes were horses, beggars would ride!

Anonymous said...

Exactly, if there was any 'truth' to this delusion, the republicans would be storming the elections office with torches and pitchforks.

Ooopppppsss, got dramatic there, starting to sound like this blog's author. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Stoffa is the one who lost big time. I can't wait for that creep to get nailed to the wall by the EPA. Then you'll be 0 for 4 Bernie. Face it--Gracedale did all of you in. McClure would have LOST if he hadn't gotten Gracedale supportiers to keep him afloat. When McClure is sworn in you owe him an apology. And $15,000 for the taspayers' money you Angle and Stoffa spent on that harrifsburg law firm for yourselves.

Anonymous said...

The would-be Leader in his final cramped bunker, ordering around armies that don't exist any longer, issuing commands that only the faithful hear and then ignore, helping himself to another spoonful of schlage on his dessert...

Anonymous said...

If there was unusually high Republican turnout in Bethlehem Township, why did all the Dems except Nolan win?