Last week, I told you that LC GOP boss Wayne Woodman is pulling out all the stops to have his protege, Scott Ott, installed as the next Chair of Lehigh County's Board of Commissioners. Never mind that Ott has absolutely no experience in serving in any elective office. Now comes word that he is stacking the deck for the race in the 134th State House seat that will soon be vacated by newly elected Judge Doug Reichley.
Once Reichley steps down, a "special election" will be scheduled, probably one that coincides with next year's primary. Instead of electing party nominees who will square off in the General election, voters will choose between candidates who have already been pre-selected by their parties.
Who will Democrats nominate? That doesn't matter because whoever is chosen is going to lose. In this heavily Republican district, the GOP will essentially be choosing Reichley's successor.
This is where GOP Bossman Wayne Woodman flexes his muscle. You see, he's already picked Reichley's successor. He's a Harvard man, too, having just graduated from its Business School with an MBA. His name is Ryan MacKenzie, and he's currently employed as "Policy Director" at Pennsylvania's Department of Labor and Industry.
According to MacKenzie's LinkedIn, he's a "self starter" who is able to handle "multiple, high priority tasks." That must explain how he's able to maintain two residences simultaneously. He works in Harrisburg and has an apartment there, but uses his parents' address so he can pretend he still lives in Reichley-land .
Those Harvard dudes are pretty smart!
Woodman, himself a Californian, is unfazed by petty little things like residency. In fact, he was downright abusive to a woman who has expressed interest in the party's nomination.
Her name is Wanda Mercado Arroyo. She's President and CEO at AM International Consultants, Inc. But she has a problem. Instead of graduating from Harvard, she attended the University of Puerto Rico. Woodman told Arroyo that Reichley country just isn't ready for a Latina.
Kinda' like the country was not ready for Obama.
In fact, in a meeting that Arroyo describes as "abusive," Woodman instructed her to resign her position as a Republican State Committee person. Maybe they're unready for a Latina, too.
Woodman also told Arroyo she has no name recognition. I see. A person who has served on the Board of Casa Guadalue for 8 years and has operated a business in this area for the past 6, has no name recognition. And a recent college grad who lives in Harrisburg does?
"[Y]our methods and approach are counterproductive to the vital goal of expanding the Republican Party and conservative ideals here in the Lehigh Valley," Arroyo claims in a letter to Woodman. She also complains that the Rolex-wearin' party boss impugned her character and integrity.
Actually, he impugned every person who votes in Reichley's district.
What is it with some of these candidates! First that guy from
Philly living in the townhouse while his wife and kids lived elsewhere.
Now this Woodman pick living in an apt. What do Emmaus residents say about all of this? Thanks for letting us know. Doubt we'd read this anywhere else.
I used to work with a guy in New Jersey, and, later, Michigan and Massachusetts who grew up in North Dakota, undergrad in Montana, MBA at Vandy. He said the best place he and his family lived was in densely populated north Jersey. He said larger metro areas were more welcoming than smaller areas, likely due to the transitional nature of many in larger population centers. Smaller areas are populated with parochial minds that don't much like "outsiders" from places like California, or worse - Harrisburg. It reminds me of a southern politician in the 70s who assailed his "carpetbagging Yankee opponent" as deviant who caroused with thespians and homo sapiens "up north." Same thing with throwing racist grenades because a more qualified candidate is favored by a typical, admittedly rotten, party apparatus. Politics is filthy when insiders call shots from smoke filled rooms and bloggers flail back with incendiary race baiting. You are all disgusting.
Actually, if I wanted to do some race bating, my headline and story would have been much different. I instead wanted to be accurate. Like you, Woodman thinks that the "parochial" voters in Reichley's district are just not ready for a person of color. Like you, he insults them.
I realize you have an ax to grind against Woodman, but you're way off base on this one.
anon 7:38, i would prefer if bernie dropped the rolex wearing as imagery. historically, democrats seem immune to such defamation, such as the kennedy's, while success if held against republicans. if mr. woodman's leadership is unsatisfactory, he will not be re-elected as chairman.
7:47, Let's see. I have in my hand a 12/9/11 letter from Wanda Mercado Arroyo to Woodman and have reported its contents accurately. According to her, he was a abusive and condescending.
MacKenzie was living in DC, and now resides in Harrisburg. He uses his parents' home for voting registration purposes. MacKenzie is Woodman's choice, and he is stacking the conferees with his own people.
Now I have not spoken to Woodman, but there's a reason for that. He has lied to me in the past abut his supposed neutrality in a R primary when, in fact, he was circulating nomination petitions for his favored candidates. I would not believe anything he told me.
What bothers me about that Rolex is that Woodman was in front of LC Comm'rs last year, at the front of the tea party, pretending to speak for the common man. It was a bit tough to take as I noticed the Rolex.
The sad thing is that the way the new 134 district boundaries are configured, it includes the ultra conservative areas south and west of Kutztown. "Lily White" would be a good way to describe it.I doubt if any D could win it.
Both of these people are good people. However, you do not realize that Mackenzie has a family history generatrions deep in Lehigh County,and The GOP and has worked for many different candidates and eleced officials . Many involved in government use their home (family) addesses and vote by absentee because if they do not do that they no longer live in the district they represnt, they live much like long term military contractors. Mackenzie himelf has labored and sacrificed a personal life for many years to "earn his chops"
As I said they are both good people but your attack on Mackenzie was as nasty and prejudicial as Woodman's attack on Arroyo.
I back Mackenzie because I know what he has done for the community as the employee of elected offcials and the broadbased knowledge he has of matters concerning that voting district. Wanda Arroyo is a good person but she does not have the experience or broadbased knowlde that Mackenzie has amassed in his young life. SHe should have a bright future in government but she needs a bit more experience in government
9:58's description of MacKenzie sounds good. No doubt he cares. But if he was a Democrat with the same descriptions attached, the R's would call him a taxpayer leach and would condemn him for not having a real job.
I wish the man well. He seems to be bright and have a genuine interest in service. I won't expect the same treatment for Democrats with similar records of service.
Re: Arroyo... she can still run for the seat in the primary. Nothing is stopping her from doing that. She'd have to work her butt off. Nobody will hand this to her. If you want the honor of serving, you got to fight for it.
Politics ... Politics... Politics as usual ... Except that no native Reichley land people are involved ,,, Locals are given less respect then outsiders ,,,
Why should Lehigh County's boss get to call the shots - much of this district is now Berks County. A bit presumptive on his part to ASSume that the new rep will come from Lehigh.
Anon 9:58 makes a good point. Mackenzie may very well be a great candidate from a great local family. Lots of people working in Harrisburg keep two addresses. Especially if he grew up here, having an apartment in Harrisburg for a year shouldn't disqualify you. The problem here is Wayne.
I don't think Wayne is racist at all. The problem is that Ms. Arroyo is not in his pocket. He has no guarantee that she'll be a puppet for him. Regardless of whether or not she's Hispanic, she hasn't clearly indicated that she'll be his lapdog.
It's a sign of a weak and insecure leader when he'll only support his puppets.
Look at running Dean Browning out of office over one vote. He's the ultimate in "because I said so" politics.
As long as local republicans continue to let him run their party, this will be the outcome. No surprise.
I'll bet if Wanda Arroyo swears fealty and kisses his ring, they'll find a spot for her.
Great point, anon 10:56 --- Bernie, how involved will the Berks Chairperson be in the selection? How much of the district is in Berks County?
Bernie throws false racism charges around when it suits him. When Ron Angle levels documented bigoted comments, Bernie defends his hateful friend. Bernie is just another part of the continuing problem of race politics. It's the world he and Angle and Duke and Sharpton and racists of all political persuasions grew up in. Time is on the side of future generations, however, as old bigots slowly die off.
This is much ado about nothing.
There is both a special election (to fill the remaining 6 months of Reichley's term) and a primary election (to see who is the Republican candidate in the general to vie for Reichley's former seat). Both elections are on the same day (the May primary).
Like the General Election, only one candidate from each party can run in the special election, so the candidates (Republican AND Democrat) will have to somehow be selected. The reality is that no matter what the process is, someone will complain.
Since you are taking Woodman to task for his apparent involvement in the SETTING UP A COMMITTEE to select a candidate, can we expect a followup post about how the Democrats are fairly and impartially selecting their candidate?
The beauty of it all is that anyone is free to run in the primary election being held on the same day (assuming that they can gather enough signatures to get on the ballot). Arroyo and anyone else are free to run in the primary to win the seat in November. They don't need Woodman's or anyone else's permission.
They can all make their case to the voters as to who the better candidate is for the General election, and let the voters decide.
Will you be scrutinizing the replacement process with respect to D'Amore's soon-to-be availaible seat on the Allentown City Council in this same, thorough manner?
We know we will be getting another Rubber Stamp Apparatchik (read, Democrat) and we know the whole thing will smell bad (figuratively speaking, of course, as is par for the course with that crowd).
Can we expect articles about Democratic party bosses and what kind of watches they have?
RACE CARD PLAYA'
12:05, I think I'me pretty much a prick to both party establishments, and call them both out when I see bullshit.
And I played no race card. Woodman did, when he told this woman the area was not ready for a Latina. This Californian must think LC Republicans are bigots, or, as another reader here noted, "parochial."
"Arroyo and anyone else are free to run in the primary to win the seat in November. They don't need Woodman's or anyone else's permission."
I see. Then why did Woodman tell her she would have to step down from the R statecommittee if she were to do that?
"Bernie throws false racism charges around when it suits him."
I threw no racist charges around, but your little head can't dseem to get that.
"I'll bet if Wanda Arroyo swears fealty and kisses his ring, they'll find a spot for her"
"As I said they are both good people but your attack on Mackenzie was as nasty and prejudicial as Woodman's attack on Arroyo."
There was another candidate who was looking into the 134th house seat - Ron Young.
Young was "making the rounds" and was gaining support, and his wife is a top person at the Chamber of Commerce. This sent the MacKenzie camp, along with many GOPers who have ties to MacKenzie's father, in a tizzy b/c Young is well respected in the area and has a much better work background (it appears MacKenzie has only had one real job, and for less than a year). At the last minute (just prior to the legislature voting to adopt the maps) the area where Young lives in So. Whitehall was taken out of the 134th district, leaving only one precinct in So. Whitehall in - and guess who uses an address in that precinct? You guessed it - MacKenzie.
Rather than allow Young, MacKenzie and Arroyo screen in front of the committee, the power brokers are trying to ram MacKenzie through.
Young or Arroyo would make an excellent legislator. Not sure about MacKenzie - it makes me wonder why a Harvard guy was not able to find a better job than a political patronage position, and not a very high profile one.
Anon 11:47 said: "The beauty of it all is that anyone is free to run in the primary election being held on the same day (assuming that they can gather enough signatures to get on the ballot). Arroyo and anyone else are free to run in the primary to win the seat in November. They don't need Woodman's or anyone else's permission.
They can all make their case to the voters as to who the better candidate is for the General election, and let the voters decide."
Factually correct - however, since the special election will be the same day as the primary, whoever is on the ballot for the special election will have a huge advantage in the GOP primary. The republicans who vote for the special election candidate - which will be a huge majority of the republican voters - will most likely also vote for that same person when they see the name again on the ballot for the primary.
With respect to Ron Young, my understanding is that the redistricting takes him out of Reichley's district and into the new Jennifer Mann district, as you aptly observe. He probably would have been everyone's first choice.
Is he the son of former GOP chair Charles?
"I see. Then why did Woodman tell her she would have to step down from the R statecommittee if she were to do that?"
Why would Arroyo believe Woodman is correct?
Maybe you (and Arroyo) should check with the rules of the Republican State Committee. Woodman is chair of the LEHIGH COUNTY Party, and doesn't set the state committee rules.
If Woodman has his facts wrong, it should be easy for Arroyo (as a state committeeperson) to verify.
As mentioned earlier, you're way off base here.
"Is he the son of former GOP chair Charles?"
I believe so, but am not certain.
"If Woodman has his facts wrong, it should be easy for Arroyo (as a state committeeperson) to verify.
As mentioned earlier, you're way off base here"
Again, you miss the point. Whether Wayne Woodman can actually do what he threatened to do, is not the point. The threat is the point. You have a county boss who is bullying other party members. That's the point. And he has no confidence that LC voters in Reichley's district would be willing to support someone who brings ethnic or racial diversity to the table. That seems to be a point you share with him.
"That seems to be a point you share with him."
That's unfair, and a sign of a weak argument.
Well, you yourself made the same point about parochialism in that district, unless i have you mixed up with somebody.
I think you do.
7:38 is the person who expressed disdain for the small-minded people, including me, from smaller areas. He/She prefers the more enlightened thinking of larger metropolitan areas. That person was exhibiting a condescending and, to be frank, bigoted, attitude towards more rural areas. It is exactly what I have condemned in Woodman. It assumes that certain people, whether they are Latino or the community in western Lehigh County, will act a certain way. That is bigotry.
If I have you mixed up with 7:38, I apologize. If not, I stand by what I wrote and would urge you to re-evaluate your thinking.
Bernie, do you even know Wanda? I do. It has nothing to do with her color, and everything to do with the fact that she has NO accomplishments to her name. Just because she gets herself these positions, doesn't mean she has ever done ONE thing for that group. Ask her what her accomplishements are with the LCRC or the state committee. Now, as for Wayne.... he is an IDIOT who should NOT be head of the LCRC. But, that is another story. His choice of words were insensitive. He needed to focus on her actions, not her color. As for Ryan living in H'burg.... who cares... He is the best representative for this area. Many legislators live in H'burg, too, while representing this area. I don't seem to recall you having a problem with Karen Beyer who OWNED a home in H'burg when you were chastising her opponent. How far did THAT get you! Bernie, before you slam Ryan, get your facts straight on Wanda. Just ask her what she has DONE..... She will go blank!
Um, Karen Beyer owned a home in H-burg where she could stay while the legislature was in session. Many LV legislators do this. But MacKenzie, a state employee, is another story. MacKenzie lives in H-burg and uses his parents' home for voter registration purposes. I do not think hs actions are illegal, but they are ethically questionable.
Arroyo has accomplished quite a bit as a member of the County and State Committee, as a member of a Latino board, within her church and in the business world.
I have nothing against MacKenzie, who seems like a fine young man. But he has less name recognition than she, and if he wants to run, he should at least live here.
Ryan is the son of former GOP Chair Charles. Charles probably called in the favor of the last minute "correction" to the 134th district to eliminate Young from possibly beating his son. They eliminated their toughest competition before there was even a chance. Look at campaign donation reports for the key republican leaders in the area, and you will see Charles' name pop up frequently.
They obviously could not eliminate Lower Mac, where Wanda lives, from the district, so now they are spreading the word she cannot win b/c of her ethnicity and trying to use that to pressure her to step down. Kingmaker Woodman is going to appoint people to the committee that chooses the special election candidate, and it appears he will choose individuals who will do his bidding to pick MacKenzie (I hear his key crony Scott Ott will be one of them, and Ott will try to bully the others to go with MacKenzie).
You seem to think you know so much, despite knowing so little.
Why not get the rest of the story before making up your mind?
NAME HER ACCOMPLISHMENTS BERNIE! Here's what most people know about Wanda. She gets her name out there because of her ethnicity! But, she accomplishes very little. I want you to name a few of her accomplishments...name them! Don't just say she has done good, because she has done NOTHING, NADA for the LCRC!
Oh, I don't know, being the CEO of a local tech business is an accomplishment So is serving on the state GOP and County committees. So is serving on the Hispanic Board. So is her work at Kutztown.
THOSE ARE TITLES BERNIE! JUST TITLES! What has she done with those titles? That's what "I" want to hear. I bet you can't name ONE!
FYI Bernie! Wanda has a reputation of being named to committees and NOT doing a thing once she is there. But, who will argue with it....bottom line...she's the token Latina. There, I said it! Sorry Bernie, but it is what it is!
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