Thursday, December 22, 2011

GOP Party Boss Wants Scrappleface to Chair Lehigh's Commissioners

After running Dean Browning out of office for voting his conscience, Lehigh County GOP party boss Wayne Woodman is now pulling out all the stops to insert protege Scott Ott, aka Scrappleface, as Chair of Lehigh County's Board of Commissioners.

Of course, Ott has never served in any elective office, to say nothing of County government. His idea of "limited government," at least during his Executive race was to advocate refusing all state grants. That would have resulted in a 400% tax hike because most of that money is for mandated services. But Ott will do whatever Woodman wants. Never mind that neither one of them has a clue about County government. Never mind that Woodman himself was never authorized by his own party to play Kingmaker. Never mind that no party chair, from either party, has ever inserted himself in deciding leadership on a County board.

Ott calls himself a member of the "new media," but he's really an old-time huckster. On his Facebook page, he's trying to sell his Laughing at Obama tome for 99 cents.

Must be a real page turner.

Woodman will be unable to count on Glenn Eckart's support. Glenn has resigned, effective December 30, to give himself time to buy a calculator for his new role as Controller. I'm sure Glenn will be just as nonpolitical as Steve Barron is in Northampton County.

California Wayne, the Rolex-wearin' party boss who lays off a secretary, is also unable to count on Percy Dougherty's support. Unlike Woodman or Ott, Dr. Dougherty does know a thing or two about County government. He's chaired Lehigh County's Board before.  He enjoys going to CCAP meetings, which are rated by most county officials up there with a root canal or colonoscopy. He even has a moustache. Most important of all, Dougherty has already been promised five votes.

Someone will have to betray him and go back on his word, a la Northampton County.

Woodman and Scrappleface could never hope to snag a vote from the Board's two remaining Democrats, Dan McCarthy and David Jones. But he can rely on the Unholy Trinity, which consists of Scrappleface himself, Vic Mazziotti and Woodman wife Lisa Scheller. They ran on a "We'll forget being independent and vote like lever pullers" platform.

They called it "reform."

Woodman is hoping to pick up the remaining two votes by pressuring newly elected Brad Osborne and incumbent Tom Creighton. Woodmont has been bugging local committee people and state reps to pressure Creighton with the hard sell.

Will they crack? If they don't, will Woodman run somebody against them, as he did to Browning?

Stay tuned.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Unholy Trinity who made that one up?

Anonymous said...

Reform is when you jettison a politician who spent a breathtaking campaign war chest to tell his party's voters he was a fiscal conservative after he needlessly raised taxes 16%.

The system works; sometimes, well.

Anonymous said...

Bernie
For those of us never as smart, it's hard to follow this story. Is Woodman wanting Ott "in" and if so
with 5 Rs how can he lose? Who would you suggest be chair?

Anonymous said...

Make him chair and watch as the mess unfolds. Lehigh county deserves as much... All ideology all the time. Your boy vic is as much a part of the problem as ott is.

Anonymous said...

Know you love politics but please soon write about Allentown's week of violence.

Anonymous said...

We may hear about A-town's mayhem, but reporting on another, brazen daytime shooting in Easton doesn't fit the "clean and safe" script of the county executive hopeful who can't control more than four square blocks of his dark and dangerous city.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6 58 One week of violence in Allentown, no one writes about the other weeks in when it is safe and quiet and so much to do in Allenown.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Reform is when you jettison a politician who spent a breathtaking campaign war chest to tell his party's voters he was a fiscal conservative after he needlessly raised taxes 16%."

Really? By using a PAC that files its reports in Harrisburg so that it is more difficult to see who is funding them? By raising and spending your own breathtaking campaign warchest? By running a campaign that essentially punishes someone for voting his own conscience? With a party boss who has nt been elected to anything pulling the strings on these puppets behind a curtain? That's reform?

Bernie O'Hare said...

The topic here is in-party intrigue, not violence in A-town or Easton. If you would like to suggest a topic for me to write about, I would prefer you to send me an email than to see a blog post disrupted.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Your boy vic is as much a part of the problem as ott is."

I have never understood why he has allowed himself to be allied with that cabal. We will see.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" it's hard to follow this story. Is Woodman wanting Ott "in" and if so
with 5 Rs how can he lose? Who would you suggest be chair?"


Sorry for being unclear. Party boss Wayne Woodman apparently think his job extends beyond getting Rs elected to office. Now he thinks it's also his job to get involved in deciding who chairs the Board. He would like his boy, Scott Ott, in there, basically so that an unelected person (Wayne) can run things behind the scenes. That's some reform.

True, there are 7 Rs. But another of the Rs, Percy Dougherty, would like to be chair. Unlike Ott, he has experience. Unlike Ott, he has been promised 5 votes.

So Woodman is waging a behind-the-scenes campaign to pressure Comm'rs to abandon Dougherty in favor of Woodman's puppet.

Is that better?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The Unholy Trinity who made that one up?"

I stole it.

Anonymous said...

Mr Woodman has set himself up as kingmaker for what reason? This California transplant could be a democratic manchurian candidate, or a sociopath, maybe both.

Anonymous said...

According to the Mcall today you have obtained used and profitted by an unauthorized, unedited, uncensored copy of the taser video.

Any comments on your pending arrest?

Anonymous said...

I can laugh at Obama for free ...

CHEAP DUTCHMAN

Bernie O'Hare said...

"According to the Mcall today you have obtained used and profitted by an unauthorized, unedited, uncensored copy of the taser video."

The video is part of the complaint filed by Orloski, a matter of public record. It costs $20 and anyone could buy it. So my use is completely legal and proper. As far as profit is concerned, I have made no money by publishing it.

Anonymous said...

Bernie:

Does "voting his own conscience" exempt Mr. Browning from review by the voters? I don't think so. So, maybe, he voted his conscience (I don't think so), but one thing we know for sure. Republicans did not support his votes. He tried very hard to convince them that he was "Mr. Conservative". he failed. The voters did not buy it. And for good reason. He did not vote like a conservative. He had the resources to defend himself. He was held accountable. He lost. You seem to have a problem with that. Why? Isn't that the way democracy should work?

Anonymous said...

Bernie

Who said, It's a new slate of commissioners, with four out of the nine coming in," he said. "It would be fitting if one of those individuals did end up as chairman or chairwoman because there are four people coming in with similar goals?


I'll give you a hint, it was NOT Mr. Woodman.


The above quote is from then GOP chair Bob Lovett,in Jan 2004, after his handpicked slate of Kelly, Roman and Fredricks took 3 of the 4 open republican seats. Republican Marc Grammes took the 4th.

The GOP did not support any of the incumbent Republicans that preceding primary election. The GOP's action was in response to the Jane Irvin 70% tax increase after Republican commissioners failed to pass a less onerous Republican sponsored alternative. Sound familiar? It does to me.

Source for the quote is here.

Anonymous said...

"The above quote is from then GOP chair Bob Lovett,in Jan 2004, after his handpicked slate of Kelly, Roman and Fredricks took 3 of the 4 open republican seats. Republican Marc Grammes took the 4th."

David, so nice of you to point out that Lehigh County Republicans have a long line of party bosses waiting to tell their soldiers what to do.

Marching order politics is wrong... it was wrong in 2004 and it is wrong in 2011. But seeing as you were one of Woodman's hand-chosen, we should expect nothing less.

Anonymous said...

NLVLogic,

Thank you for linking to an article that mentions and quotes 2003's high vote-getter Jim Kelly:


But seeking to lead the board virtually from the moment he joined might cause ill will, he said.

"I don't think that would be a welcoming way to come on the board," Kelly said. "I don't want to alienate the board … I have to get some experience" before becoming chairman.



In fact most of this article contains quotes from Commissioners at the time saying it is a bad idea for someone with no experience to be Chairman.

While Bernie's post is mostly about Wayne Woodman, it's known Ott wants to be Chairman. Let's see if he can follow Kelly's lead and set his ego aside for the sake of good government.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Dave, No Chair of either political party has ever injected himself in the selection of the chair of the Lehigh County Board. That is a simple reality.

In fact, the quote you provide makes my point. All Lovett was concerned about was that a fellow R be elected. But he did not mandate it nor did he express a preference for any of them.

Here, you have seven Republicans coming to a nine-member Council. They've been elected by ALL the people. They are in a better position to make the determination about who should chair that board than is California Wayne. He should not interject himself into this matter, but is doing so, just as he worked for Dean's defeat.

What happens when he decides that Vic or you are not Republican enough for him?

I like you. You stand for open and transparent government. I like Vic, too. I'm glad to see him elected, and would have been happy for you, too. But I'll never understand how the two of you, who are bright guys, could allow yourself to be reeled in by this rolex-wearin' outsider who tries to buy his way into politics. And Scott Ott really is a huckster.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Does "voting his own conscience" exempt Mr. Browning from review by the voters?"

No, Of course not. Dean owes the voters is best judgment, and he gave them that. If they disagree, they are free to replace him, and did. But I would much prefer someone who votes his conscience, even if I disagree, to someone who snaps to attention when a party boss starts barking.

And that is what this is really about. Despite his pledge to be Switzerland, Woodman actively worked against Dean. He lied during a lunch with me, completely misrepresenting his stance and temporarily fooling me, which really pisses me off.

Instead of letting the voters make the call, Woodman injected himself to work against a R.

Anonymous said...

Good point, Jim didn't seek Chairman. I'll give you that.

I'll take you up on your point tho.

Who said: . . . serving three last four years and three prior years as Chair is enough?

Well, that was Percy Dougherty just two yearsw ago in the January 4 2010 reorg meeting, (chairmen typically serve two years).

The minutes are on the LC website.

In sum, there is enough bs, er um, shenanigans, to go either way. Take all the rhetoric with a grain of salt. This post and my comments included.

Anonymous said...

The political sausage making is intriguing, but should not obscure the fact that Browning was sent packing by an electorate that voted its collective conscience. Browning changed his view on taxes and his party changed their view of him.

Anonymous said...

But I'll never understand how the two of you, who are bright guys, could allow yourself to be reeled in by this rolex-wearin' outsider who tries to buy his way into politics.

I disagree with your assessment, but the answer for me is easy. The former insiders were hucksters. They changed nothing. I know. I worked with, and for, many of them.

The gang of three will stir the pot. They will ask questions and cause others to question. That's a start to possible change.

Or I will work to throw them out too!

Chris Casey said...

Scott Ott isn't qualified to be dog catcher in a one dog town.
His Trail of tears and distortion of facts began at least as far back as 20 years ago in Lewiston. He always misrepresents his past.Everywhere he has "Worked" if you want to call his brand of B. S. that has ended with him vacating the stage before he has to face the audience. His Internet shows are perfect for him because he can filter his critics and ignore them.
He is going to get a taste of his own medicine on the County Commissioners Board.
I have attended more meetings in the past few years than he has, and that wasn't that many.

It is one thing to run on slogans, another to govern on them. So they want to cut taxes. That's all well and good, but expenses are not declining, they are rising.
It is folly to cut taxes $50 dollars one year if you have to raise them $250 2 years in the future. But don't let the reality of the bills that have to be paid get in the way.
Go ahead, give a few bucks of free money out now, ignoring that we will have to pay it back and more later in spades.
Maube if Scott owned a home and actually had to pay a property tax bill to East Penn or Lehigh County he could understand the true difficulty most working families face. We don't have rich "patrones" like Wayne Woodman looking out for us like he does.

Ask Jane Ervin how that worked out.

Anonymous said...

After the election Osburne has attended at least one of the meetings ... The Republican three have attended none ... Is their excuse that they can see it on the internet when released ... Hope they attend their inauguration ... Then sfter thst, when ome of them obtsind the chairmanship that person must attend the meetingd ... The rest of the three will participate by tele-conference so the citizens can't look at their eyes for the truth ... Oh I am so bad today ...

Anonymous said...

So much whining from very sore losers. Way to pick the scab, Bernie.

Anonymous said...

Chris Casey said: "It is folly to cut taxes $50 dollars one year if you have to raise them $250 2 years in the future."

Chris -

That's why budgets are for one year - so that each year decision-makers are faced with the difficult decision of having to raise taxes or streamline government. Padding the budget just keeps government fat.

By your logic, why not just triple taxes now to avoid having to raise taxes for many years?

I don't think that very many people would think that is a good idea.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I see. So it is perfectly acceptable to see a resurgence of party boss politics? I did not like it when Joe Long did it, don't like it when Walt Garvin does it, and don't like t when Wayne Woodman does it.

And I'll have more about Wayne next week.

Anonymous said...

When you say scrapple face do you mean herion junkie pok face from picking and not only his nose.

Anonymous said...

Wayne Woodman is a control freak, it is that simple. You either co-operate on his terms or suffer the consequences. This approach may work well in the business world but it is toxic to volunteer organizations like Republican county committes.

Scott Armstrong
Former LCRC member

Anonymous said...

Wow. I see many have devolved into personal subjective attacks, save for Bernie who at least offered something. Yes Bernie, I'm all for contested primaries. I attended those committee meetings before 2003 primary election. The contrast between then and now was stark.

And despite the accusations, the GOP chair did not handpick me. I spoke almost nil with him.

Scott motivated me to run and we had a very strong ticket. I commend him for that.

Compare and contrast the R tix versus the D tix, or even the 2003 R tix.

The incumbent had strong support from State entrenched party officials, many of whom I pissed off over the years with my blog alone.

Casey, if you think folks who rent homes are not qualified to run for office, work to change the home rule charter.

Good luck with that one, my friend!

ghandi said...

Dougherty or Osborne, Osborne has atleast been President of a board of Commissioners (South Whitehall)

Dougherty - Chair
Osborne - Vice Chair

Anonymous said...

Bernie--you got this one totally right. Woodman/Ott is the reason I don't volunteer for the county party anymore. There are a lot of us out there.

Anonymous said...

I am sure Brad Osborne would have attended more lehigh County Commissioner meetings, however he was kind of busy fulfilling his duties as President of the Board of Commissioners for South Whitehall, which happen to meet st hte same time especially with Budget hearings going on etc. osborne is the only new commissioner elect to be worth anything of value

Anonymous said...

Bernie I am comparing the political philosophies and actual actions of two local politicians and I am amazed.

In Lehigh County only a fool would think that Dean Browning is not a conservative. The fact that he worked to get the tax to be 16% was actually good work. If you want to throw stones at someone, throw them at D. Cunningham, for the typical second term monster tax increase these guys are famous for.

Speaking of D Cunningham , the new Long Dem wannabe Don, Steve Barron, "schooled" Northampton County Council on how they don't need to have enough revenues to pay for increased expenditures. Of course the Barron approach was purely political and while it has bought him some votes from the union fanatics, it will ultimately come back to haunt the county and the new county council members. Actually the budget itself may be illegal, until the county council amends it to reflect the new added revenue from the reserve fund.

So on the balance I will take a thinking conservative politician like Dean Browning over a grandstanding progressive politician like Barron.

What say you?

Anonymous said...

We're straying from the real issue. Lehigh County Republican Committee has a Chairman that is getting involved in the workings of government.

THIS IS NOT THE ROLE OF A CHAIRMAN! It is to RAISE MONEY for LCRC and impartially SUPPORT Republican candidates.

Since Woodman has taken over LCRC has gone bankrupt, fired a staff member because of a lack of funds, and is on it's 3rd Executive Director in 2 years.

Instead of fundraising for the County Party, he funnels money into a PAC for candidates of his choosing. He is now also using the threat of this PAC money to tell sitting elected official he will Primary them if they do not bend to his wishes.

He annoys elected officials with daily phone calls when he cannot get his way and uses them to put pressure on people.

He is not impartial. He helped form the slate with a former employee of the county and his wife.

And David don't feel good about
Ott asking you to join the slate, they asked many other people before you but those people had the good sense to stay away. You were even on the chopping block a few times.

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:50, I'd say your analysis is right on the money.

Anonymous said...

Woodman is bob brady... And that is dangerous

Anonymous said...

No, change is not always pretty. We went through three Twp secretary-treasurers when I came on board. One week, we almost missed payroll. But the change was worthwhile.

The loudest anonymous complainers where often those left out of power. One can spin anything but only time will tell. And Scott treated me honorably.

nlv

Anonymous said...

"And David don't feel good about
Ott asking you to join the slate, they asked many other people before you but those people had the good sense to stay away. You were even on the chopping block a few times."

That's just mean. Because it most certainly is not true.

Makes me wonder about the truth of the rest of your post, which I WAS inclined to believe before this lie...

Anonymous said...

Dean Browning also wanted to be chair when he was first elected, because he got the most votes. It's wrong to appoint a newly elected official to be chair of anything, in my opinion. Let them get a year or two of experience and be proven first.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't know whether it is true. It certainly is a mean thing to do, but it is not a mean thing for the Anon to point it out to Dave. What I do know is that Woodman is exerting his pressure in an area where he does not beling.

Bernie O'Hare said...

10:49, I agree completely. It takes an elected official in County government about 2 years to feel his way around. In my opinion, it is foolish to place such a person in leadership, no matter how many votes he has. But if the Commissioners want to do that, they can. They were elected to make those decisions, not the party boss. If he inserts himself n matters like this, where will it stop?

Anonymous said...

They were elected to make those decisions, not the party boss. If he inserts himself in matters like this, where will it stop?

Although you disagree, I think your complaint is about politics in general, but you're focusing one one person.

I'll give you another example: Some said Lovett exerted pressure on an effort to defund the Trexler Zoo. I was sitting right next to him at that Commissioner meeting.

And does a party whip not threaten to pull funding for a district office or staff if the person does not go along? The futility of is why Carl Mantz did not seek another term.

Politics is about influence and, I agree, it sucks. It just is what it is.

The anon comment about not selecting me doesn't matter. I would have been happy not to run.

Brad Osborne said...

Bernie,

Good story.

From my experience, there are several key attributes to consider when selecting the leadership team of a governing body. Among these considerations are experience and record of results in previous significant leadership roles. Personally, I also place value on qualities such as integrity, respect for others and trustworthiness. Admittedly, personal qualities are sometimes hard to measure, which is why they are sometimes referred to as "felt leadership".

In the recent county-wide election for Lehigh County Commissioner where approximately 20,000 votes were necessary to win a seat, it made sense to engage friends and supporters in your efforts. I certainly did, and I'm glad I did. I wouldn't have been successful without the help of others.

I see the selection process for the leadership positions on the Board of Commissioners quite differently. I view it as an opportunity to introduce ourselves to our fellow board members and gain their respect, trust and confidence. Each commissioner is accomplished in their own right; this process can be used to recognize that and serve as a beginning for coalition building and progress going forward. To pass this opportunity up, or supplement it with outside pressure, seems short-sighted to me.

I know Wayne Woodman to be passionate, articulate and direct. If asked, I suspect he would be willing to provide comment on this topic.

Brad Osborne

Anonymous said...

I would like to see Scott Ott made the Chairman of the Board. Hell, the guy came within a few votes of being County Executive. If you are serious about cleaning up Lehigh county, elect Scott Ott chairman.