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Monday, January 28, 2013

Browning To Take on Ott: BiPartisanship Not a Dirty Word

That didn't take long. Conservative and tea party darling Scott Ott announced his bid for Lehigh County Executive on Thursday. But another Republican, Dean Browning, has just announced that he's running, too.

Citing over three decades as a private sector, business executive in Lehigh County and his legislative experience as former Chairman of the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners, Browning states he is the candidate best prepared to manage and reform Lehigh County’s $360 million budget and 2,000 plus employees.

"I don’t believe compromise and bipartisanship are dirty words,” said Browning, a resident of South Whitehall Township for 26 years, a Lehigh County taxpayer and homeowner for over 30 years, and former Chairman of the Lehigh County Republican Committee.

Browning states that although the role of County Executive requires a candidate who is principled, he shouldn’t view every decision through the narrow lens of their own partisan political ideology.

“Lehigh County is home to 350,000 diverse citizens, who hold different political affiliations and beliefs. The one thing that unites us is that we’re all striving for a more prosperous life for our families and ourselves,” says Browning. “I’m running for Lehigh County Executive with a plan to reform county government so we can balance our budget, foster local job creation and reduce the tax burden, while still providing valuable services for our seniors and support for families that have children with special needs, keeping our neighborhoods and schools safe, and maintaining the local parks, ball fields, open space and bridges that enhance our quality of life and make Lehigh County a great place to live and work.”

In a statement, he outlines four goals.

1. Balance the Budget

Dean will enact spending reforms that balance the county budget, while pursuing responsible tax cuts that don’t add to the deficit, like was done this year.

Browning will link county spending and wages directly to the rate of economic growth in the county, and end the practice of letting spending exceed revenue.

2. Rein in Spending the Right Way

In contrast to taking a battle axe and hacking away $5 million set aside for personnel, Dean will instead implement the findings of a 2011 comprehensive review of county government 2011 that he co-directed, which identifies specific programs and services mandated by the state and those that can be improved, reduced, eliminated or privatized.

Browning will empower Lehigh County taxpayers and voters to approve or reject new county borrowing for large capital projects.

3. Make Lehigh County an Economic Leader

Dean will establish a roundtable of county business leaders and educators to develop and implement a sorely needed strategic vision and plan that develops a skilled workforce and makes Lehigh County a destination for job creators.

Browning will make science and technology and work force development an educational priority so county students are prepared to compete for the jobs of the 21st century, while actively engaging companies and entrepreneurs around the country looking for a place to settle and create jobs and sell them on the benefits of Lehigh County.

4. Enact Term Limits for all County Politicians

Dean is greatly disappointed that the current Board of Commissioners refuses to give county residents the right to enact term limits for all county politicians, despite widespread support for such measures nationally.

Browning will resurrect a plan to put a referendum on the ballot giving voters the ability to limit county politicians to just two, 4-year terms.

Browning also directly confronted the controversial budget showdown that led to his primary defeat two years ago, and said while he hopes for a debate about Lehigh County’s future in the campaign ahead, he expects his primary opponent to dredge up the same misleading attacks again.

“The facts are clear: I never voted for a budget that increased property taxes – and that statement is beyond dispute,” said Browning. “What I did do was vote to reject a Washington, DC-style budget gimmick that even its supporters admitted was all about partisan politics. Unlike them, I just don’t believe it’s ‘conservative’ to call for spending cuts without having the courage to identify what you would actually cut; and I don’t believe it’s ‘conservative’ to pay for tax cuts by driving up the deficit.”


Juan Luis Pedro Felipo de Huevos Epstein said...


Are there any Democrats that are even considering a run at this position?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Good question. I've heard some names but the people I thought were running are not.

Anonymous said...

Boy this just got interesting!

Put Browning, Dougherty and Osborne together and you have a great slate of candidates - one that can easily counter the Legion of Doom on the other side.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

He voted to unnecessarily raise taxes and expects R votes? I always though him sharper before he screwed the pooch and was sent packing after the negative mailer.

Primaries are great, though. And this one should offer a robust debate. Welcome all (except that nUt in W. Easton). Voters win.

Anonymous said...

Brains vs. idiocy

I'll take Brains/Browning

Mark Baker said...

A man of immense integrity. He's got my vote

Anonymous said...

Browning should win the primary. The problem is the teabaggers have taken control of the Party. I have no doubt Woodman will teabagg him in the Primary to help Ott.

Anonymous said...

drugged fleabaggers vote D more often than they bathe. it's why no matter what happens here, they don't have a shot. their stench alone is more appalling than the constant begging. they need to stick with what they know and continue to make allentown a paradise.

Anonymous said...

What is a "drugged fleabagger"?

Anonymous said...

Is this term "drugged fleabagger" considered to be 'civil debate'?

Anonymous said...

Or is this term "drugged fleabagger" actually meant to be insulting?

NLVlogic said...

Did he actually say . . . open space?

After the radio adds that he ran opposing farm preservation! Man, what a hypocrite!

Bernie O'Hare said...

For those of you who do not know, I need to point out that NLV Logic is Dave Najarian, who ran on the so-called "reform" team of conservatives in the last Commissioners' race. So he was running against Dean Browning. During that race, Dave had a dispute with the County over the value of his farm, which I believe was ultimately preserved. Suffice it to say that there's no love lost between Dean and Dave.

NLVlogic said...

No, you're wrong about that. There was no dispute. Two different appraisals were averaged, just like most applicants, and the amount I ultimately received was less than market, which is common. I had zero problem with the process. There was no dispute at all. None.

My issue is with Browning, who was then head of the farm preservation board, and approved every farm preservation application before him, except for mine, which he abstained, so that he could bash me for preserving my farm. Thats doublespeak. That's Dean. I'm the only one in the history of the program that Dean did not support. All in the name of politics.

The head of the farm preservation board should not bash applicants for entering the program.

Yes, my farm is preserved. And I am proud of it. It will always remain in farming, open space and will never beg for schools and services. Corn fields and cattle do not need municipal services.

Chris Casey said...

Uh, dave, if there was no dispute, why are you resorting to name calling (hypocrite? Really?) I think you would jave been pleased that Dean showed Integrity and abstained from involving himself in a case with a political opponent.
And if he had voted FOR you, Would you have defended him from accusations that he was trying to "butter you up?'
I'm just a guy who works at a very big warehouse 40+ hours a week, and maybe I do know less than everybody else. But having spent many hours as a youngster working on the farm, I know the smell of what is being spread here.
I'm sorry, but I think you protest a bit much.

NLVlogic said...

Yo Chris . . . I had no dispute with the preservation board, or even with his abstention. But I DO I have a dispute with people who talk out of both side of their mouth.

Lets see, Dean calls Farm Preservation a tax bailout . . . but says he supports the program.

Which is it?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"My issue is with Browning, who was then head of the farm preservation board, and approved every farm preservation application before him, except for mine, which he abstained, so that he could bash me for preserving my farm. Thats doublespeak. That's Dean. I'm the only one in the history of the program that Dean did not support. All in the name of politics. "

Yes, there is bad blood between you too. So I take it that you support the farmland preservation program that the "reform", i.e. tea party team wants to slash? I don't know the actual circumstances of your situation. I will say that those dollars should go to active, working farms on good land. And the money should first go to real farmers, not gentleman farmers whose livelihood comes from other sources.

Anonymous said...

If Dean has another $100,000 to throw away, that is his choice. But he will lose.........big.

NLVlogic said...

Yes, I support farmland preservation and its one of the few spending proposals that was passed by referendum. I tell critics of the program, had it not passed by referendum, there be no program. The idea is to restrict the land not means test the farmer, but yes, mine is an active farm. I have two farms actually.

Anonymous said...

Woodman will help insure Lehigh County will get the best elected officials money can buy.

Anonymous said...

ah, I love the Tea Party Rs....Govt spending and subsidies are BAD.

Unless it's to buy the development rights on my farm...

NLVlogic said...

ah, I love the Tea Party Rs....Govt spending and subsidies are BAD

Mebe we should put them all to public referendum, then maybe you'd have a point, . . . or not.

Anonymous said...

In a straight qualification comparison, Dean wins by a big margin.

But, the county GOP is now controlled by an idealogical faction. I suspect the Lehigh GOP is in for a slow extinction if it continues to fight over trivial issues. The meat is in the union cost. Outsourse as much as possible and don't waste capital on small philosophical issues.

Without pulling in the large independent vote they are going to have a tough time overcoming the Demo majority registration.These voters don't have the interest in idealogical battles.

A moderate D without the Obama spending fetish and union pandering would easily win. The GOP is self destructing.

Anonymous said...

Dean will be teabagged just like Percy. woodman and company have no platform so they just go for the blow to the face.

Anonymous said...

Any Ds running?

Anonymous said...

It's amusing to see politicians preach about bipartisanship, and decry the need to blur the party lines. If they only had the balls to practice what they preach, they would all change affiliation to INDEPENDENT! But, we all know that you don't get all of that corrupt PAC money when you don't choose sides.

Chris Casey said...

I have been to Dave's farm, he allowed my wife to take pictures of his livestock and the scenery, for which she was appreciative. It is a working farm with actual crops and livestock. I will gladly vouch for that. It's beautiful out there, I wish I owned it.