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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

NIZ Developers Reilly & Topper Lined Politician Pockets With $88,725 in 2011

I've told you before that Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski has 40,900 reasons to like the Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ). He received $40,900 last year, a nonelection year, from NIZ beneficiaries. A more detailed report by Morning Call reporter Scott Kraus reveals that, when you add in a few NIZ-related law firms and PACs, the figure is actually closer to $72,240 of the obscene sum of $238,265 reported during 2011.

That's a lot of hockey pucks!

Let's face it. This has nothing to do with Allentown's transformation. It has everything to do with Pawlowski's transformation from Mayor to Governor. It has everything to do with making J.B. Reilly and Joe Topper, the two NIZ developers, even richer than they already are.

A lawsuit is looming, challenging the tax grab provisions of Allentown's NIZ, which will enable Reilly and Topper to use Lower Saucon Township voter-approved open space money to fund their own idea of open space - luxury hotels and office buildings.

Not to worry.

These guys have insurance. In addition to buying Pawlowski, the NIZ twins lined the pockets of local and state pols with a whopping $88,725 last year. Here's where their premiums were paid.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski - $20,000. A small price to pay.

Governor Tom Corbett - $25,000. We don't want him to cut out this tax break so he can balance his budget. Cut education instead.

State Senator Joe Scarnati - $20,000. As President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Scarnati is an ex-offcio member of every Senate Committee, wields a lot power and could kill the NIZ

Senate Republican Committee - $4,000. Let's keep them from doing something goofy like eliminating this tax break so we can fund the homeless.

State Senator Pat Browne - $5,000. A royalty for the author of the 2009 NIZ legislation, which was buried in a budget.

State Rep. Mike Turzai. - $1,000. Let's keep the state House majority leader from attempting to balance a budget.

State Rep. Justin Simmons - $2,000. The last thing Reilly and Topper need is a revolt from some freshman State Rep.

State Rep. Joe Emrick. - $1,000.

Allentown City Council member Peter Schweyer - $1,250. 

Judge Doug Reichley - $500. We don't want a judge to rule against us. Unfortunately for Reilly and Topper, this case will be decided in Commonwealth Court.

Ex Judicial candidates Melissa Pavlack and Dan McCarthy- $375. A consolation prize.

DA Jim Martin - $2,000. Maybe we can get him to talk about blight or something.

Charlie Dent - $2,500. - Let's keep Charlie focused n the sorry state of Bethlehem's finances.

Citizens for Prosperity in America Today PAC - $5,000. Yeah, Reilly's prosperity. It all trickles down, or so Alan Jennings hopes.


Anonymous said...


Move along now, there's nothing to see here!!!

Anonymous said...

If tradition holds, Corbett gets re-elected rather easily and is replaced by a D in 2018. Does Pawlowski intend to be the sacrificial lamb in '14 or is he waiting for a legitimate shot in '18?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I believe Paewlowski thinks God hs ordained him to run in '14.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Reilly has turned sucess into greed. This is certainly a smokefilled room adventure.

Greed, Greed, Greed!

Anonymous said...

Do we have the numbers for the political contributions related to the Phila. $750 million convention center? Rendell in particular? Don't even think about the political money in big sports complexes in Phila.

Corbett is a rooky in the game Rendell mastered.

Anonymous said...

if corbett's numbers continue their bad movements (he is at 41/41 approval/disapproval), he's going to draw somebody with bigger accounts and gravitas than Eddy P. Watch State Treasurer Rob McCord's movements after this election. If he reloads his accounts quickly after the fall, he's in. He is already a fundraising dynamo and comes from a strong base in SE PA.

Re: $$$$... this legislation isn't going to get over turned by any court b/c it rests on the fundamental power that the state legislature calls all the shots on taxation, which is why Reilly put so much money into the campaigns you listed above. Corbett, Browne, Emerick and Simmons all have good reason not to change the legislation. Reilly ensured that.

Anonymous said...

How about a Candidate like Jack Wagner for Governor.

Vietnam Veteran and HERO!

Anonymous said...

Corbett indicted Rs and Ds and likely has the dirt on most potential opponents from either party.

Ds need a Sam Bennett to sacrifice. Pawlowski will do. He'll make sure not to resign to run his campaign. He'll need the job after he loses.

Anonymous said...

good old Charlie maxed out.... and you have the nerve to mention Bethlehem's finances? Where was the story on the state of the city address?

Anonymous said...

King Edwin.....gotta love him.

Anonymous said...

Buy lots of tickets to the Palace of Sport NOW.

Or else!


Anonymous said...

"Corbett indicted Rs and Ds"

Apparently, he missed a few R's out in Western PA. Good grief: the AG's office wishes it could get the number of changes to stick that the DA managed with the Orie case. Not a surprise... he needed their donors.

If Pawlowski is the D nomination, we can watch the 2016 election turn into another landslide. If it is McCord or Wagner (good point 12:53, but he couldn't even beat Onorato in the primary). Corbett's approval ratings compared to Casey/Ridge/Rendell 2 years into his first term are terrible (and Casey and Rendell raised taxes!!!). Corbett has problems on his hands but he is too isolated to see it. Instead he sends his cabinet secretaries out with a few weak talking points and hopes for the best.

Anonymous said...

Despite Corbett being a relatively awful governor, devoid of logic and common sense, nobody cares about Pawlowski outside the Lehigh Valley and won't pay any attention to him if his delusions of grandeur get the best of him and he runs.

Nobody is going to go out and vote for a mayor of a failed third class city. He has about the chances of the mayor of Reading or Scranton.

The arena isn't an asset to his campaign, it's a liability. With the mood trending towards less government and taxpayer funded adventures, any Republican worth his salt will pick apart that NIZ scheme in a single debate. He has no balanced budget to demonstrate and Allentown hasn't done much improving in his tenure.

What's he going to run on?

Anonymous said...

At least nobody can say that I had anything to do with this.

The NIZ Developer Reilly & Topper never put anthing in my campaign. Then again nobody else did either.

I am free to make my own judgements but I really do not have the power to enforce them.


Anonymous said...

"What's he gonna run on?"

The same question does not seem to be stopping OBAMA, does it?



Anonymous said...

At least Corbett finally put regulation on frackers. Like it or not, Rendell let them run wild. Cheney is considered fracking's patron saint. But Rendell is considered the original godfather of PA fracking. He was much more of friend than the current guy.

Anonymous said...

Figures. Corruption at its best. Why was none of this work or the "idea" put out for proposals like it is all over the country? Why? (PS: because its a professional service is a crap answer too.)

Sam White said...

Whores all

Anonymous said...

Simmons talks a good line and then does the opposite.

He also stabbed Citizens Alliance of Penna. in the Back after they assisted him with his election victory.
He has also attempted to put middle class families out of work by closing the state stores.

Anonymous said...

Pat Brownwe has turned into a RINO. His tax grab scheme is nothing more than an Obama wealth redistribution.

Do you think Fleck sits on Ed;s lap?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, I'd argue that Pawlowski is a DINO. ote that Reilly & Topper give almost exclusively to Rs, but have $20k for King Edwin.

Bernie O'Hare said...

DLP, You're a little too honest for these guys.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"What's he going to run on?"

1. Lots of money.

2. Unions.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Where was the story on the state of the city address?"

I was never invited. I would have gone. I will be looking into what I've heard, and if City finances have turned around for real, I will be happy to say that.

ironpigpen said...

Money and Unions.

Yeah ... I meant anything even remotely resembliing something involving Moral Substance.

But I hear you, Herr O'Hare ... Chairman Pawlowski is really just like General Secretary Obama ...

Nothing but dirty Money and corrupt Unions.

Anonymous said...

Since when is an invitation needed for you?

Anonymous said...

A Day at the Office-District 131

SIMMONS...Plaschke, get in here!
Plaschke..Yes, Mr. Representative
SIMMONS..I've been outed by Ohare!
PLASCHKE..What did you do this time
PLASCHKE..You What!!, Your for transparency and rightousness.
SIMMONS..Plaschke, your such a Boy Scout,that's before I was elected!

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Since when is an invitation needed for you?"

When I don't know about it. I had no idea until it was too late.