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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Gangs of Bethlehem

The Callahan Clan
Bethlehem Mayor-Elect Bob Donchez will announce some of his major cabinet appointments at 11 am today. I'd be there except for two things. First, it's hard for me to get away in the middle of a work day. Second, I already know the members of his dream team. I found out Friday by hiding in a closet in John Morganelli's house as he, Donchez, and the Gang of Eight made the decision. Donchez and Morganelli, two gang members, play poker at Morganelli's house every other Friday night.

I'll tell you about the Dream Team below, but this little story is about the Gang of Eight.

Not one of them takes a shit without getting clearance from every other member.

Who is this Gang of Eight, you might ask? They are the leaders of the James Delgrosso faction of the Democratic party in Bethlehem. In 2003, they were at the losing end of a gang war for control of Bethlehem.

The ultimate victor, the Callahan Clan, is led by Mayor John Callahan.

It was a wild war disguised as a Mayoral race involving several other smaller gangs. The Flying Dutchmen, led by Ron Heckman, flew away when Ron discovered his candidacy violated the Hatch Act. The Hatchet Gang, led by Tony Ryback, gained some notoriety when he actually brought a hatchet to a debate. And who could forget the Goofball Gang, led by current state prison inmate Jim Gregory? In addition to scaling fences and chasing Rendell campaign buses, Gregory was eventually locked out of his own campaign offices after one union realized he is insane.

Every member of the Gang of Eight wears a St. Michael's medal.

Jim Delgrosso: "St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle. Be our protector. Against the snares. And the wickedness of the devil. John Callahan, too. Now son, who's that?

Donchez: "St. Michael."

Delgrosso: "Who is it?"

Donchez: "St. Michael."

Delgrosso: "And what did he do?"

Donchez: "He cast Satan out of Paradise. Callahan, too."

Delgrosso: "Good boy."

OK, OK, but who are they? I've already mentioned Donchez and Morganelli, who started their apprenticeship many years ago in the world of South Bethlehem politics. In those days, there really were bagmen, including Committeemen who would sell their support to the highest bidder. Bob emerged from that world as a boy scout, while Morganelli is District Attorney. State Senator Lisa Boscola, who emerged from that world as well, is the third member.

Then there's Leeson brothers Bill and Jay, two of the finest lawyers in the Lehigh Valley. Another excellent attorney, municipal attorney Jim Broughal, is part of this mix. As a Vietnam War vet, Broughal likes to keep a low profile.

Francis "Butch" Macri is another member of this inner circle. I don't know much about him except that his head is as big as a Sputnik, and has its own solar system.

Finally, there's the Pope. But he's ex officio.

These are the guys who decided on Donchez' dream team.


Anonymous said...

Must be tough some of your new friends like Joe Kelly are getting their walking papers. Oh well! When you lay with pigs... Oh and I'm not talking about Earl!

Bernie O'Hare said...

When you take a political position that expires with the term of the office holder, this is an unfortunate fact of life.

Anonymous said...

There are two people who hand picked the Donchez "team". Boscola and Morganelli are running the show. That's will become obvious when the choices are announced.

The connections will be obvious.

Anonymous said...

Bethlehem will be led by solid professionals for the next 8 years.
Politics aside (yea right), the city needs some stability moving forward, personnel and financially and I'm confident that Bob's team is up to the challenge.

Anonymous said...

Fleck document dumpster alert. Dirty. Dirty. Dirty.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have hesitated writing about that bc I think the Berks County Elections Board has no business enforcing Philadelphia ordinances and it smells very much to me like a politically inspired witch hunt. I think Fleck's problem is that he consults with businesses that seek contracts from politicians he helps elect. I believe that should be illegal or regulated, but it is not.

Anonymous said...

You do know that Mr. Delgrosso Died a few years back, Don't you?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Ken, I am aware that Jim Delgrosso unfortunately was struck down before his time. Bob, John. The Leesons and others like Dave DiG and Mike Schweder carry on his legacy.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, Deb Hunter is running for District one in 2015. Mr. Kraft may got he way of Barron.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's a long way away. I thought Jim Gregory was running.

Anonymous said...

"Free Greggy" T-shirts are available through the UNITY PAC.