Wednesday, November 06, 2013
What the Hell Happened in NorCo?
1) Turnout. - You would not pick Bangor to beat Liberty, Easton or Freedom High School in a football game. But Bangor would win every time if Bethlehem and Easton players stayed home. And that's what happened in Northampton County. Only 5,000 people voted for Bob Donchez in an uncontested Mayoral race. In Easton, there was no Mayoral race at all. Callahan and Council Democrats needed those votes, but they never came.
3) The Stoffa Touch. - Though Callahan and Brown largely agree on the issues, they have widely different personalities. Callahan is extroverted and likes to joke around. But he sometimes passionately fights for losing issues like a single trash hauler. Brown, in contrast, is introverted, reflective and appears to dislike confrontation. Kinda' like our current executive, John Stoffa. As much as some people like to beat up Stoffa anonymously on this blog, people like and respect him. Northampton County voters seem to like the laid back approach.
3) The Charlie Dent Curse. - Charles Dertinger, Sam Bennet, John Callahan and Rick Daugherty have all challenged Dent in Congressional races. Although Dent never seemed to take Daugherty seriously. But he took the other three very seriously and pretty much destroyed them at the ballot box. I thought Callahan might have shaken that curse when he prevailed in the Primary. But in the General election, Brown was still using the talking points that Dent had successfully used three years ago.
4) Obamacare - Callahan is aligned with the national Democratic party and may have suffered from the recent problems with Obamacare, which include a flawed web page and the realization that people may not be able to keep their own health plans, which is contrary to what Obama had repeatedly promised.
5) The County Party Failure. - Though the County Republicans have been engaged in very public infighting, it appears that the County Democratic party doesn't do much of anything at all. It is little more than a clique, ruled over by Walt Garvin. Its failure to make any noticeable effort to get out the vote should make this little sewing circle realize it is seriously flawed,and has been for years.
6) The O'Hare Kiss of Death. - Finally, there's me. I have a habit of picking losers in Northampton County. One elected official i know sent me this. "Bernie you are the kiss of death." When i tried to explain that the problem was turnout and not me, i got this. "Don't ever kiss me."
Congratulations to County Executive-elect John Brown and the five Republicans who prevailed against all odds. I think John Callahan should hold his head high, too. He ran a good race. Jerry Seyfried, Ron Heckman and Deb Hunter should have won, in my opinion.
But the people have spoken.