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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ron Beitler Calls Own Party Boss For Cheap Shot

This morning, Lehigh County GOP Chairman Wayne Woodman sent a lengthy missive to the party faithful, which was designed to rebuild confidence after Scott Ott's loss in the Executive race. He also thanked some of the volunteers who helped in their recent races. But along the way, he managed to piss off a newly elected Lower Commissioner.

Here's what Woodman wrote about that race.
In Lower Macungie Township, two gentlemen who had previously been registered as Democrats, changed their registration to Republican because they knew they could not win running as Democrats in the township. They both secured victories on Election Night. We are certainly looking to draw individuals to the Republican Party, but we want them to come because they agree with our rationale and principles, not because they view it as a way to win a municipal election.
in effect, Woodman is calling these dudes RINOs, or Republicans of convenience.

One of these Republicans, Ron Beitler, is unhappy at the slur. He sent his own lengthy missive to Woodman, with copies to numerous others.

Chairman Woodman,

This morning seeing your email in writing I felt your words came off a little more harsh than I expected regarding Brian Higgins and myself based on our conversation last night. Problem is, as I see it my character was called out publicly. Because of that I feel a response is warranted. An entire paragraph of your email was devoted to insinuating Brian Higgins and I mis-represented ourselves to "win an election".

I can assure you and other esteemed members of the committee that "Strategy" played no part in decision making about my political identity. My party affiliation over the last 15 years has been a personal decision. I came to it organically over time. On the national level I believe President Obama’s ACA circumvents the 10th amendment and related federalism principles. Philosophically I am a staunch supporter of states rights and bottom up Government. I have written about and spoke to these concerns in public for years. While it was my take on ACA that solidified my conversion to the Republican party around 2008 the change was the culmination of a much lengthier realization that began around 2005 after graduating from College.

While in College the the early 2000's yes, I was a Democrat but even than I associated with the Blue Dog coalition identifying as a fiscally Conservative Democrat. In summary, I can assure you I wasn't thinking about the Lower Macungie Township Commissioner race in 2008-09 and certainly not when coming to grips with my personal political identity more than a decade ago.

Also I wanted to bring to the attention of the Committee what I see as a flaw in your reasoning. Specifically that I changed registration "because I viewed it as a way to win a municipal election." Here is a fact. In 2011 a fairly weak candidate who put in very little work Bob Sharpe (D) lost to Doug Brown (R) by a very slim margin here in LMT.

This is germane to this conversation because when I said (as I have consistently for over a year) that I could have won as a Democrat in Lower Macungie I believe it. I know my township inside and out right down to the individual neighborhoods and voting precincts. No one knows this township better than me and no one was going to out-work me in this campaign. I would have been competitive either party.

This is important because were I in the business of misrepresenting myself to voters I would have [run] as a Democrat.

Why? Because one school of though is it would have been the path of least resistance. Obviously I predicted "party switcher" would be used against me. And of course it was ad nauseam. Both by all 3 of our opponents and the LC Republican party in a well funded campaign based on that premise. Because I chose not to mis-represent myself and run as a Republican since those are the values that line up with my own I set myself up for criticism. I did this knowingly.

Lastly, no single candidate in the entire Lehigh Valley wrote publicly more about the issues surrounding their particular race than I have. As I said to you last night, I challenge anyone to find an issue where I am ideologically apart from the Republican party. www.ronbeitler.com

This is my single response. In short, I’m uninterested in engaging in a debate about this. I've copied those in the party whose contact information I have. I felt compelled to respond since in my eyes the email came off as an attack on my character. I would be remiss if I didn't defend myself.

I believe that when campaigns are over, it's then time to govern effectively. And that's what I plan to do. I look forward to joining what will now be on average one of the youngest Republican controlled municipal boards in the Lehigh Valley. I think that is reason to be excited about Lower Macungie.

I felt the paragraph about Brian and I was unnecessary, counter productive and distracting. Moving on I look forward to doing what is right for the residents of Lower Macungie Township who elected me in both the primary and general.

I am never shy about talking about any issue. I welcome any emails with any concerns about anything I've written about on my blog over the last two years.

Ron Beitler


Anonymous said...

Bitchslap on Woodman!!

You go girl!!!

Anonymous said...

Beitler is as Democratic as they come. Look at his stance on land use. He is as socialistic as they come. He is good at telling people what they are to do instead of what they should do.

Anonymous said...

that was a long and well deserved "fuck you" to woodman and he richly deserves it

Anonymous said...

The filthy rich have feelings too.

Anonymous said...

Funny, woodman did not seem to have any issues with the republican crony capitalism in LMT with the commissioners having blatant conflict of interest regarding the jandal zoning.

Republican party should be embracing young, pragmatic guys like Ron than pushing zealots like ott if they want to be a viable party in the future.

Anonymous said...

Woodman is a bully

Ron Beitler said...

It will always be my support of certain land use philosophies, farmland preservation issues and that big clunky nebulous term "smart growth" that will get me the RINO label.

And that is fair. The party swap for political reasons is NOT fair. The party switch was an organic thing that happened over time. It was not the result of any "strategy". I'm not THAT good that I began thinking about a township race I didn't know I was running in 5 years ago.

As for the the land use stuff I come at it from a fiscal standpoint. In the vein of people I admire such as Chuck Marohn and Jim Bacon.



I don't want to tell people where to live. I don't want to be told where to live. I live in the suburbs. I live on a large lot next to a river. Yes I ‘pull’ for Allentown cause a strong city core is strong for the region. I hope the NIZ succeeds even though I had (and have) serious reservations about it.

I think since the 50’s sprawl has been subsidized by big government. I think we should end the subsidies and level the playing field. If it’s more expensive to run utilities, roads and other infrastructure to my house in a low density area on the “fringe” then I should be expected to pay the true cost. I know I am fine with that. I’ll pay to live where I want to live.

Is there a more conservative stance?

If we ignore the true costs of building where we build we set ourselves up for catastrophe. Take LMT. Living high on the growth wave last 20 years. EIT surge, real estate transfer and buiding permit windfall. Built a gigantic surplus. Lived off it for years. We were so “rich” no one saw marge embezzle millions. Now that surplus is down to about 20%. Stormwater facilities, new roads and other 2nd lifecycle infrastructure liabilities are being realized or dedicated to the township from developers. We’ve tapped out windfall. There are few cornfields left to pave.

Now what do we do? THAT is why I’m concerned about land use. I’ll pay the true cost of where I choose to live, but I don’t want to pay unnecessary high taxes based on poor past decision making. That’s why smart growth matters.


Anonymous said...

Woodman has over stayed his welcome as party chair. His lap dog Scott Ott lost and now he is trying to pass the blame to someone else. Bye bye Wayne please let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. You suck.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the RINO label isn't "fair", it's wrong. But I get how people come to that incorrect assumption.

If someone understands the smart growth philosophy I subscribe to and still takes absurd shots then so be it. But don't take the shot til you've taken the time to understand the stance.


I'm never gonna be a Party darling in this climate cause I am probably too "moderate". I don't like labels, but people frame issues with labels.

That's a label I'll get I'm sure. Doesn't bother me. Don't care if I'm not a party darling. Not seekijng that. Didn't hurt people I admire like Percy Dougherty whose been primaried from the far right time after time. Aquila was definitely the party's choice. Our local republican party absolutely interjects itself in primaries. They did in mine.

One more interesting note. I actually worked for a campaign that primaried Percy. I door knocked for Mark Prinzinger I just happened to know and like Mark and yes, in 2008-09 I considered myself a conservative eventhough I still didn't get around to change my registration. I followed Mark on the school board back in mid 2000's and thought he was a rationale conservative voice as opposed to a young J Stolz.

I've been "involved" for a long time. That's what ticks me off so much about Woodmans swipes.

Lastly, Anon 6:29 is probably a agenda 21 conspiracy theorist sitting in his/her basement with a tin foil hat. I have no tolerance at all for folks like that and I won't pander to them.

Rob Hamill said...

Ron's smart-growth philosophies on smart growth are rooted in free market principles, which is more thaan I could say for the Woodman endorsed opponents who raped the Township to line their own pockets.

Anonymous said...

Northampton County just elected one very open opponent to Agenda 21 and probably really at least three.

Wait till they start to vote on these issues.

Anonymous said...

think you mean 'proponent' of agenda 21 11:06.

Hayden Philips actually subsribes to that wack-a-doodle conspiracy theory and he got elected.....


Bernie O'Hare said...

Rob, it would seem to me that, in this context, Woodman espouses the "business as usual" approach. That's the opposite of what he contends.

Anonymous said...

I support woodman and the corporate oligarchy.

Anonymous said...

Woodman supports whoever he thinks he can control. Look no further then Ryan Macenzie, Sott Ott & his wife.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should call it Agenda Wayne

Anonymous said...

Beitler: "No one knows this township better than me and no one was going to out-work me in this campaign. I would have been competitive either party."

What an cocky and arrogant SOB. That's what he's become known as by many in the area.

Anonymous said...

Here's some info that was circulating among Repubicans a few months ago when he was running. They tell you all you need to know about who he really is.

Beitler endorses Slattery:

Beitler as the head of his college democrats:

Ron Beitler said...

Anon 8:04/7:51


If your gonna post that once again at least don't short change me. As a student in 2003 I was also the state-wide development director of College Dems. . . A decade ago. . .

Pat is a friend. I'll always support someone I know personally who actually lived in the community he was trying to represent over someone I didn't know (at the time) who only recently (at the time) moved back to the area solely to (presumably) run for a position. If I remember he didn't actually live here for 6 years prior to moving back to run. I outline that clearly in the link you posted.

Since the election Mackenzie has compiled a nice record. Particularly with unemployment compensation reform. Something I've written about and feel strongly about.


I count myself as a supporter of his now. I think he's done a fine job.

And lastly, confidence. Yes. Cause R or D I would have outworked anyone. That's the only thing you can control personally when you run for office. What you put into it.

And I do know the township inside and out. How? I grew up here. Only person who served on the board since probably the 90's who can say that.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have no interest in what Beitler did in college. If people looked at my own college years, I would be hanging some where. But I did read his patch column, which is only a year or so old. I read it then, too.

Beitler supported Slattery over MacKenzie. In other words, a Republican supported a Democrat. to some, that is a mortal sin. To me, it's bipartisanship.

Ironically, the argument Beitler uses to support Slattery is precisely the same one that Woodman found so useful when Ott used it against Muller in his so-called positive campaign.

The argument was that MacKenzie was an establishment candidate, and that is actually true. He is part of the country club set that Ott and Woodman derided in the Exec race, forgetting that is where most of their party leaders and money bags belong.

This Patch op-ed establishes that Wayne's thinking is internally inconsistent. I actually like his message about governance and about reform candidates. Much of what he says is very good. Contrary to what MM seems to think, there is much I like about Woodman, including some of his arguments that Republicans need to reach out to more people. But when Wayne has a real reform candidate like Beitler is in front of him, he needlessly disparages him. I just don't get it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"What an cocky and arrogant SOB"

I'll take a cocky an arrogant SOB who backs it up. I'll even take a party boss who stands behind his candidates. But cowards like you, who can't sign your name, are pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Ron Beitler is crying crocodile tears, Bernie. He's so "Republican" that he supported Patrick Slattery over Ryan MacKenzie in last year's special election.

Please do not take my word for it. Beitler wrote a long endorsement article for the Lower Macungie Patch on April 2, 2013 about why he was voting against the Republican Candidate.

If you couple that with Higgins telling the Morning Call that is moot in local elections -- then yes, I think it was fine for Wayne Woodman to call both of them out and say "hey, we'll be watching how you actually govern."

I notice Beitler didn't mention his support for Slattery in his e-mail.

I guess he figured it wouldn't help his case to tell Republicans that he supported the SEIU backed candidate over Rep. MacKenzie.

Now that they are both Republicans, I'm sure they'll support President Reagan's belief that you can trust -- but you also have to verify.

Anonymous said...

"Beitler supported Slattery over MacKenzie. In other words, a Republican supported a Democrat. to some, that is a mortal sin. To me, it's bipartisanship."

Bernie, respectfully, a party chairman of either party isn't supposed to be promoting "bipartisanship."

Any of them that do are probably not great chairs.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you how Republican Ron Beitler is --

He's so Republican that he's immediately going to issue a statement condemning a property tax in Lower Macungie Township and he's going to get his other Republican friend Mr. Higgins to sign it.

He's also going to say that if the current bunch of Commissioners passes a property tax for the township -- he and Higgins will ultimately make sure it is over turned!

That's how Republican Mr. Beitler is . . . right?

Anonymous said...

Republucan/Democratic political views past and present are completely irrelevant in this case... what is important?? Those elected have the best interest of LMT... the voters got it right!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I agree that a party boss' job is to make sure that members of his own party are elected. He does not help that process when he calls out two members of his own party, right after they are elected, and challenges their sincerity. He actually is speaking out publicly against a member of his own party who was just elected to public office.

Anonymous said...

Woodman put out good money to control the LC GOP and he doesn't need any independent minded upstarts to spoil his "party"!

Rob Hamill said...

Concerning the Slattery endorsement by Beitler, Mackenzie publically supported the outgoing realtor who profited personally by rezoning vast tracts of land in LMT. Slattery at least fought the rezoning of the 700 prime agricultural acres. Mackenzie also didn't show up for any debates. Beitler had an ugly choice, but went for the local issue candidate over the more statewide issue guy. I forgive him for that.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Don't know why, Rob, but your comments are going into my spam folder. I just pulled it out. That sometimes happens.

Anonymous said...

JMO -- but what is Ron Beitler complaining about? The party chair is doing his job -- and I think he did it diplomatically.

If I were Beitler and Higgins I would see where the Committee Chair is coming from and just bury the hatchet.

Buy a table at the County Lincoln Day Breakfast and be done with it.

Anonymous said...

Burying that hatchet would mean Woodman pays for the table.

Bernie O'Hare said...

He'd have to buy a few. I can think of a large number of county Rs he has alienated.

Ron Beitler said...

@9:37 - I've spoken often about the property tax proposal, taxes in general and tax/revenue/liability philosophy. Definitely on record with those thoughts.

"I am interested in exploring alternatives to property tax. It would be wonderful if we can actually decrease or eliminate it next year in favor of an alternative. I agree with Ryan Conrad that property tax is regressive. What does that mean? A property tax is based on the value of your property. It is the same regardless of your income. If your income goes down, the tax becomes a bigger percentage of your income.

My problem with Roger Reis is he voted 'no' without suggesting an alternative or proposing cuts. That's pandering. I'm with Conrad in exploring alternatives. Perhaps a home rule charter which would enable us to increase EIT as an alternative to a regressive tax. It will be the first conversation I have with him after Nov. 6th. I can't respect Reis's 'no' vote last Tuesday when he did not propose any further cuts or any long term solutions or alternatives.

To not address the issue is simply digging a hole deeper and ignoring our unique situation longer because it happens to be campaign season. That is politics as usual.

I do not support breaking the fund balance policy. The days of living off the rainy day fund are over. "

I wrote that week a before election. The conversation I eluded with Ryan happened. Not day after but day of election. I'm excited to be a part of a young forward thinking board.

Also throughout the course of the budget meetings Brian Higgins was the only person to suggest any substantial cuts be made. And he eluded to specific items in public comment. There are Commissioners who sit on the Dias and oppose things but offer no alternatives. At least Eichenberg who publicly supported the property tax stood behind his position with substance.

Lastly, I've written as far back as 1 year ago about the need to take a hard look at the way we grow moving forward. We have to ensure development pays it own way and does not rely on the taxpayer to hold the bag for infrastructure and future liabilities. I proposed ROI analysis of AP zoning changes 1 year ago. It's all inter-related with financial health. New development should result in a revenue increase over multiple lifecycles. Much of what we've built over last 20 years is now starting to cost us more then we gained. This is what smart growth is all about. Not stopping people from building, growing ect. But rather passing on to developers the true costs of their projects over multiple lifecycles when their projects generate liabilities. The alternative is the taxpayer doing so. It's about the in-direct subsidizing of development. That was a main theme of my campaign.

I think we've started the right conversations. Looking forward to continuing them.

Ron Beitler said...

And there is no hatchet with WW. Just didn't like him questioning my sincerity in a letter to the entire base.

So I responded.

The end. Water under bridge.

Let's talk about issues.

Anonymous said...

Time for Lower Mooch Township to pay for police protection.