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Monday, October 14, 2013

Ott is Actually the Fiscally Irresponsible Candidate in LC

In a microcosm of what is going on nationally, Lehigh County's so-called reform Commissioners have appeared very much like the U.S. House, playing a game of brinksmanship. Leading the charge for them has been Scott Ott. Some of you think he's an intelligent, self-deprecating and thoughtful man. Others, including me, think he's a mean-spirited phony. It is thanks in large part to people like Ott, as well as our tea party driven Congressmen, that Republicans are leaving their party. Locally, I know a former Township Commissioner who recently changed sides. So has Tom Muller, Lehigh County's Director of Administration, and Democratic candidate for Lehigh County Exec. The Express Times has just endorsed Muller.

"We think Muller promises a more balanced, predictable path for the county," say the editors.

D'you think?

I first got to know Scott Ott when he ran for Executive against Don Cunningham, and nearly beat him. At that time, Americans were angry at Democrats for pushing once-in-a-generation legislation, Obamacare, with absolutely no attempt to build a consensus. Cunningham held on, but Democrats were swept out of office in Northampton County Council races.

Now, four years later, the situation is reversed. Americans are still angry, but this time it's at a small core group of tea party Republicans who would rather paralyze government and ruin what's left of our credit rating, than see Obamacare implemented.

In Lehigh County's case, Scott Ott and fellow Commissioners Michael Schware, Tom Creighton, Lida Scheller and Vic Mazziotti are no small rump group. They're the majority.

In 2012, Ott refused to vote for CDBG funding that, in part, would feed needy seniors through the Meals on Wheels program. Ott asked, "Have they no family? Have they no church connections, no neighbors that love them?" He was dismayed that the "Chinese communist government is fronting us money to feed 85 year old women in Lehigh County." He also objected that the "federal government is sending us money to do things that are of no national import."

In his world view, that 85 year old woman would starve before red-blooded Americans took one cent from the Commies.

Last week, he demeaned the president judge of Lehigh County, who explained that, in her opinion as a judge, tipstaffs are needed for reasons of judicial efficiency as well as safety. After sarcastically pretending to be very concerned and troubled by what she said, he voted against her, making a penny wise and pound foolish decision. .

That night, Commissioner Vic Mazziotti explained the dilemma facing Lehigh County next year. It spent $12 million more than it received. So it has had to dip into its rainy day fund to the tune of $10 million. "We are spending money out of our savings account, 40% of it," he noted. "We can't take $10 million out of the budget in 2014 and again in 2015.

He's right. It is, as he called it, an "unsustainable budget." But how did things get that way?

I think the answer is the Lehigh County Commissioners. Last year, they tried to enact a $5 million tax cut, and eventually settled for a $3 million cut. They did this without simultaneously enacting a permanent decrease in spending.

Let's look at Ott and his so-called reform team. When they ran Dean Browning out of office two years ago, they said they were the future of the local Republican party. After seeing the results since they have been in office I think they are resurrecting the past - specifically when Bush was president and Republicans controlled Congress. That's when the GOP lost its way fiscally by cutting taxes while simultaneously increasing spending and blowing up the deficit. Their actions were fiscally irresponsible, and are probably one of the big reasons why we went into recession.

That is exactly what Ott and his team have done in Lehigh County. They cut taxes, but by 2.9% instead of the 16% they promised). They also increased spending. It went from $109.3 million in the year before they took office to $110.9 million with the budget they just amended. In the process, they almost doubled the deficit. It went from $4.3 million the year before they took office to $7.7 million with the amended budget.

So I agree when Vic Mazziotti calls the current proposed budget "unsustainable", but he and team Ott seem to me to be a big part of that mess.

They have they failed to do what what they said they would do, i.e eliminate the 16% increase, cut spending and balance the budget. What they have done instead is make the "future of the party" look an awful lot like its fiscally irresponsible past.

At the same time, their disdain for government grants and other funding will discourage development in Lehigh County. A Scott Ott victory in Lehigh County will be terrible for Lehigh, but great for Northampton County economic development.

Ott is a bad candidate. He was bad when he ran against Cunningham, bad when he ran against Browning and is bad in his race against Muller.

A fically responsible Republican should not vote for Ott. A Democrat should not vote for Ott. And no 85 year old woman should vote for Ott.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Muller is an arrogant ass. He changed Party status like Spector did because he wanted to keep his job. He enacted a 16% tax increase, is not a Democrat but a country club Republican who is trying to help old Cunningham hacks keep their jobs and he keep his. Ott is honest and real, unlike Muller!

He should and will lose in November.

Anonymous said...

So Ott reduces taxes from the Muller budget, cuts spending from the Muller budget, but Muller is the fiscally responsible one?

And here all those seniors being forced out of their homes were upset about nothing. Muller was just being fiscally responsible!

Anonymous said...

Time for real change in Lehigh County. Time for transparency and efficiency in government.
It is time for Scott Ott!

All your attacks won't stop the march of truth and conservative sanity in givernemnt!!

Anonymous said...

Every desperate attempt at a poorly constructed hit piece from this blog reassures that Ott is the right guy.

Stick to vendetta's against old girlfriends, Bernie. Those are much more enjoyable and bring out your best work.

Anonymous said...

What a ridiculous assertion. In today's Orwellian world, money wasters like Muller are called fiscally responsible and Obamacare is called the "Affordable" Care Act.

In other news, up is now down. Black is now white. And Pawlowski runs an open administration and can spell correctly. It's a whole new day.

Tea Party Footsoldier said...

If your 85 and haven't saved enough to stay fed, maybe you should apply to be a WalMart greeter or human guinea pig.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
Are you certain he said this? It's so awful. How can he smile at anyone if this is true.

"In 2012, Ott refused to voted for CDBG funding that, in part, would feed needy seniors through the Meals on Wheels program. Ott asked, "Have they no family? Have they no church connections, no neighbors that love them?" He was dismayed that the "Chinese communist government is fronting us money to feed 85 year old women in Lehigh County." He also objected that the "federal government is sending us money to do things that are of no national import."

Anonymous said...

Republican voter here. I agree with your points about Ott, I might vote for Muller as I occasionally vote for Democrats in local elections. I disagree with you that the TEA Party is driving the national Republican agenda and causing party members to leave. Many regular Republicans like me (never attended a TEA Party rally) are glad to see the party finally stepping up to the plate and fighting for something.

Anonymous said...

7:51

Ott never questioned whether the program was worthy or not. In fact, I think he actually used to deliver for MOW.

What Ott questioned was whether it made sense to borrow money to give a grant to an organization that has enough in cash and investments (about $1.5 million) to feed area seniors for the next 30 years.

Borrowing the money really doesn't make much sense, particularly when there are many other ways to boost their funding without putting our kids and grand kids on the hook for paying it back (with interest).

Unfortunately, there are those that want to twist that common sense stance for their own political benefit.

Occupy Democrat Values said...

"If your 85 and haven't saved enough to stay fed,..."

You're a fairly typical, irresponsible Democrat and you've been groomed to expect others to take care of you. Your vote is reliable and it's important to continue your culture of need and entitlement in order to get Democrats elected. If you complain, we'll death panel your lazy ass. Institutional poverty is the key to Democrat Party success. And you can't keep your freakin' doctor. He's probably one of the 40% of physicians who's quitting anyway. Next time you're sick, call a community activist with a shitty golf game.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Ott is quoted quite accurately here. He said what he said and is stuck with it. He did a stint with MOW, and pointed that out to one and all during the Comm'r meeting in which he derided the need for it.

He is simply not the nice person he pretends to be. He was actually disingenuous with Lehigh County's PJ, which is incredibly stupid if nothing else.

And he's lied to you. You are spending more now than you did when he and his so called reformers took officer. You are deficit spending and it's a deficit they helped create. And it's pretty clear now that he lied when he said he could roll back the 16% tax hike.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You're a fairly typical, irresponsible Democrat and you've been groomed to expect others to take care of you."

So now, to be clear, you do favor letting 85 year-old grannies starve to death, and Ott has your vote.

Thanks for making that clear to independents and normal republicans.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Are you certain he said this? It's so awful. How can he smile at anyone if this is true. "

He not only said it, but smiled as he said it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Time for transparency and efficiency in government."

Yep,. time to return grants so NC can get them. Time to let the seniors die rather than take money for MOW. Time to thumb noses at judges. Time to spend more now than at anytime, but still try to blame it on Browning or Cunningham. Time to lie about rolling back a 16% tax hike, which has not happened and is not going to happen because Ott and his gang misled the voters and continue to mislead them.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Unfortunately, there are those that want to twist that common sense stance for their own political benefit."

He said what he said and is being quoted exactly. He stands for selfishness, isolation and fiscal irresponsibility.

But Bobby Gunther Walsh loves him.

And he plays the guitar and pretends Jesus is on his side.

Anonymous said...

One of the most entertaining things about LVR is that when Bernie hates, it's 200 proof hate

Bernie O'Hare said...

Refute what i say. Ott is being quoted word for word with his remarks about meals on wheels. Spending under the "reform team" is higher now than at any time in LC's history. Explain that, please. The deficit spending is bigger now than at any time. Explain that please. Where is Scott Ott's plan to cut 16%??? He said he had one 2 years ago. Where the hell is it? He's a phony.

What us this if not fiscally irresponsible? In the meantime, Muller has cobbled budget after budget that has largely been responsible and fair.

The fiscally responsible choice is actually Muller.

Anonymous said...

I'm not happy with a Republican(or a Democrat) switching parties just before an election. But, in this case something was needed to stop Ott from just getting elected by default.

Ott does not have the interests of LC citizens in his goals.

Some idea that a county can impact state/federal spending in a significant way will benefit LC is nutz.

Anonymous said...

You undercurrent rage that is directed at productive members of society is alarming and sad.

Your hateful rants and daily criticism of political candidates seem to exhibit the "I know whats best " attitude, but instead of trying to right your perceived "wrongs " about a whole host of problems, you sit behind a computer all day, and just continue to spew venom.

Your hateful, personal and malicious attacks on others serve no purpose at all, but simply draw more attention to your refusal to live any type of productive life whatsoever. And you wonder why people want nothing to do with you, run in the opposite direction, avoiding you at all costs.

Anonymous said...

Bernie and fellow tax paying citizens of LC,

Mark my words.....this guy is a trainwreck and in four years, he will have ruined the county.....Trust me, this guy has no fiscal experience besides running a small camp which doesn't come close to a multi million dollar budget. He also owns no property in LC, as he is a renter and will leave when he destroys LC government. Ask him about his past....how he ran from his town when the going got rough! Ask him how his experience as a bus driver or a small camp director qualifies him to run a multi million dollar operation.
This guy came to my house, unaware my cousin works for LC, spouting his rhetoric. I live and pay taxes in LC. I own a small home and guess what, the last tax increase cost me $40. That's $40 over twelve months....a small price to pay for services rendered!
See its not the tax payer like me who complains about a $40 increase....its the billionaires like Scheller and her friends who complain! Well that's their fault for buying such big houses....of course your taxes will be expensive when they go up.....that's just too bad....shouldn't have been so greedy and bought such a big house....
Morever, what kind of fool returns money that is for your county? You know this isn't DC...money appropriated to LC should stay here, not be turned away because you protest federal spending....and you should be required to OWN a home and pay taxes before you can lead LC or have any input into running it.

I'm sorry Mr. Ott, my grandpa used Cedarbrook, he came from a poor family, he worked hard his whole life and when he got old, he couldnt afford a fancy expensive private nursing home for the wealthy, so he used cedarbrook! I use the park system here, and I appreciate the courts, and DA who keeps our streets safe.....I surely appreciate bridges that work and aren't closed because the damn republican commissioners voted no on funding.....I also use LC services and I pay taxes thank you, so if you want to save federal monies, run for congress, not local government!

And lets face it, Scheller's husband finances all of these candidates. ..I know his agenda and he plans to use LC as an experiment so he can run for higher office! Mr. Ott is just a small pawn in a billionaires quest to get more power and more political prowess....

Trust me Bernie and fellow tax payers, DO NOT vote for ott, although a good speaker, he has a hidden agenda, so does Schellers husband, and they will run LC into the ground and walk away when it falls apart....I'd gladly spend an additional $100 in taxes to ensure I have access to good local government and services!

And for you nay sayers......I pay taxes and own property, so I have every right to demand my executive own property, have a leg in the game, not have a hidden agenda, have some damn business experience, and be qualified for public office......I also don't like Muller, but the man is way way more qualified to run a multi million dollar operation and he isn't financed by a billionaire who has a hidden agenda. Alsthough he and Cunningham raised taxes, it only cost me $40/year....that I will gladly accept instead of what will happen once Ott and friemds ruin the county!

Anonymous said...

These are the same commissioners that pushed an untimely reassessment that provided reductions for McMansions and shifted the burden from big business onto residents.

Anonymous said...

Independent who will vote for Ott and continue to take care of those around me who need help. I tithe from my gross pay and volunteer at two food banks. I've met Scott and knows how he cares for others, too. Those who think the only solutions are government generated are usually those who do nothing for others, expecting their tax dollars are taking care of their duty to serve others. Nobody is starving. The most vulnerable are those who've been made dependent by politicians who cater to the latter group of liberal, faux Christians.

Anonymous said...

We have repeatedly told you about Vic Mazziotti when he was in Northampton county but you don't listen. He was bad for Northampton county and he is no better in an elected position with Lehigh County. We aren't picking on the guy. You fall in love with someone and because he appears to be as honest as the day is long you support him and praise him. Look at his record and his history in Northampton county. He left here because he knew the shit was going to hit the fan. Sorry Bernie. This guy is a train wreck waiting to happen. Yes he is honest. Yes he can be a very nice guy. No he is not a good Commissioner. He is a disaster as an elected official.

michael molovinsky said...

@10:41, you want people to "mark your words" and "trust you". you want to write people's name like scheller and her husband, count their money, but you remain anonymous. the state changing the status of 3 ton bridges to closed is a political ploy by corbett to push his transportation bill.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Molovinsky,

I wish to remain anonymous because I know if I put my name here, my cousin will be fired....see its ppl like you that don't understand how spiteful these ppl are...

Think what you want.....Scheller and her husband have a hidden agenda, so does Scott.....I live here.....I pay taxes....I am middle class and I sure as heck don't want my taxes to go up when Scott, Scheller, and the slate ruin LC.....and don't trust me and don't take my word for it.....you'll see that in a few years, when Ott ruins it.....your taxes WILL go up at least 100%.....

You may be right on the ploy from Corbet, but again I live here and I have family who work in the LV and I follow the commissioner votes....they voted to not fund bridges and now they can't afford to be fixed....hence need to be closed....

You sir can say what you want and defend these ppl, but I am middle class and I am reliant on some county services, my grandpa was, and so are a lot of middle class hard working LC taxpayers......if you want to beat your chest and stop federal spending....run for congress.....leaders here should be obtaining as much $ for their constituents...

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have no problem with this anonymous comment. Publicly elected officials should expect to be questioned about their agenda or their wealth (Scheller) or lack of wealth (Ott), as it plays a role in how they think.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"We have repeatedly told you about Vic Mazziotti"

And you have been wrong repeatedly. Vic was an excellent Fiscal Affairs officer and the County is still savings millions per year, thanks to his initiatives. Your main problem with Vic is he is not a Democrat. Shame on you.

Vic is also correct to note that LC is on an unsustainable path and is deficit spending. But I think every one of his votes on Wednesday night is wrong, although he did what he thought was right.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Your hateful, personal and malicious attacks on others "

There is nothing hateful, personal or malicious about by contention that Ott is the fiscally irresponsible candidate. In fact, I back up every word. There is obvious a lot that is malicious in your feelings for me.

Anonymous said...

As a Democrat I will not vote for Ott, he is not a qualified candidate. However, I cannot believe the county Democratic party was bought by the country club Republicans and have put up a Republican as their candidate. The County Party scared off and bullied real Democrats and pushed Muller. Many Dem's will stay home. He is a fraud, a fake and a phony.

Courthouse insiders will tell you he was a stuck up prick under Cunningham. He had the CEO attitude of his "shit didn't stink".

So he is a fraud and a heavy taxer and Ott is a fool.

I will stay home!

tea party foot soldier said...

Scooter Ott is a bona fide bagger who ain't afraid to rattle a few RINOs (or winos) in order to balance the books. If only we could convince Molovinsky to run for LC, then our conservative vision might manifest itself, primarily in the elimination of the lower class .

michael molovinsky said...

@12:26, i doubt that there is anybody that knows more about that bridge than I do. the bridge was built in 1824 and completely restored in 1980. muller does not believe it's historic because it does not have official historic designation. in reality it's the most historical bridge in lehigh county. there are two other bridges one half block away in either direction. the commissioners wisely chose not to allow it to be demolished last winter, and are now authorizing it to be repaired. it is NOT closed, and is a icon of the union terrace park area. scheller and her husband have no political ambitions or secret agenda. you're totally misinformed, on everything.

Anonymous said...

Michael, that is the problem with Muller. He knows more than anyone about everything. He is a genius, just ask him.

The problem Bernie has is hate. Ott is naïve abut county government but will learn once elected to Executive. Muller pulled the strings behind Cunningham for years. He is a mean guy. He has hurt people just to prove he is right. He is what he is and can learn nothing as he knows everything.

Anonymous said...

Mazziotti is brilliant. Norco is a fiscal disaster from his brilliance.

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM, I will agree with your point on the bridge, which I would argue should be saved, with us paying for it. You can add that cost to the deficit. I would also agree that the Cumberland Gardens $220k+ per unit expense is ridiculous and was properly rejected. That saves nothing bc it is pass thru money.

I disagree completely with your assessment of the way Ott handled the Meals on Wheels request, or the generally patronizing attitude I even saw him display to LC's president Judge. I'm no gay rights purist, but it is also just mean-spirited to reject that benefit when it does not cost anything.

But my big point is that Ott is fiscally irresponsible. He promises to rollback the 16% tax hike. he has not done that bc he can't do that. It was needed and Browning was right all along.

As for Scheller, she clearly is a staunch R who worked hard for Romney in the presidential race, even to the point of attending rallies in NC. Her husband, Wayne Woodman, has been mentioned as a state party chair or even a national party member. There is nothing wrong with either of them doing that and fighting for their beliefs, and they both have things to offer besides their money. They certainly have agendas, but I think anyone who cares has one, including you.

I believe Lisa should really re-evaluate exactly what they have been doing and the direction in which the party that she and her husband care about so much, is headed. In my view, it's swirling around the bottom of the toilet bowl. They need to drop the Joe Hilliard approach.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Mazziotti is brilliant. Norco is a fiscal disaster from his brilliance."

NorCo went 8 years w/o a tax hike, thanks in large part to the millions Mazziotti saved every year. That is just fact. i have detailed it several times. Like I said, it's sad to see you hat someone just bc he is a R, and then to lie about his record makes you even worse. No wonder you remain anonymous.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The problem Bernie has is hate. Ott is naïve abut county government bu"

Excuse me? You think this is a hateful post? This is entirely accurate and contains no personal attacks. I don't like the guy and tend not to be leery of religious zealots, but there are those who do.

If I wanted to attack Ott personally, I could have done so. I see nothing to gain from that, and it would be unfair to Ott and my readers.

I am holding him accountable for his official actions and statements. He didn't make those statements about 85 yo women in some diner.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, The FLECKSTER was doing photo ops in circle at 9;03 am today with tall ,well dressed man with white hair and lady dark hair,best I can see from bus without my glasses on. Is a permit needed for this?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't think a permit is needed. Free speech and all that.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I am a life time Republican and I would vote for Mickey Mouse before I would vote for Ott him and his crew have destroyed the Republican party in LC.

Anonymous said...

Otts S.A.F.E campaign seems attractive until you look at his poor decisions. His votes and positions on issues are contrary to this acronym and may very well undermine the stability of the County. Maybe his moniker is out of order and should actually be F.A.l S. E.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Several totally OT rants have been deleted.

Anonymous said...

Boy this is gonna be a good one. First off agree with you on the fact that these new commissioners wrote a verbal check their political ass cant cash. So they think the former office holders were reckless and didn't have to raise taxes. Ha Ha Ha. So where is their promise to slash spending and avoid the current shortfall.Well I got news for them, The T party is not a very forgiving bunch,quite viscious in some circles, ask Charlie Dent.If they wind up having to raise taxes as much as one percent the T party will go ballistio and throw their asses to the wind..After all its all about principals. Then on the national front with two more years of republican party infighting that just paves the way for the total collapse of the republican party as we now know it. The next two weeks will tell us if the T party has any chance of taking over mainstream control of the national GOP. Kinda like a big set up for another blowout win for the dems in 2016. Madame President indeed

Anonymous said...

The reason Muller is the candidate is because the county exec job pays nothing, and no one else wanted to run.

Anonymous said...

The reason Muller is a candidate is because he wants to keep his job. The Democrats pushed people out of the way to get him as their candidate.

Good Luck, you will need it. Ott will romp!!

Anonymous said...

Don't care 12:24 let Ott win , as I said at 9:07 you T party ass wipes will lose the big picture. As I remember federal funding to county gov was quite good under Bill Clinton. Just maybe under a new Clinton administration Ott will be able to balance the county budjet, but now. Ha, Ha, Ha.

Anonymous said...

No, one was pushed out of the way for Muller. If you bothered to read the articles right before Muller declared himself.

The party couldn't even find a candidate to run. There was a risk that Ott was going to run unopposed.

Anonymous said...

Muller is worse than Ott running unopposed!