Back in 2011, Lehigh County GOP Chair Wayne Woodman told me he is all about "free market politics", under which local party machinery shies away from endorsements and in favor of making races more exciting by attracting numerous candidates. That sounded exciting, to be honest.but in practice, Woodman has been more like exactly what he condemned - a closed club in which the "game is rigged" in favor of party boss favorites. Nowhere has this been more clear than with his treatment of Wanda Mercado-Arroyo, one of two Hispanic state committeewomen. He's running his wife against her, not in some egalitarian expression of democracy, but for revenge.
Mercado-Arroyo committed an unpardonable sin. She disobeyed Woodman. In 2011, she dared to run for State Rep Doug Reichley's seat after he was anointed a judge and was carried away by angels. In addition to telling Wanda she had no name recognition, the California transplant also told her the area just isn't ready for a Latina. Woodman would rather see Harvard man Ryan Mackenzie run than a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico.
Mackenzie went on to win. Maybe Woodman was right. But it was "free market politics", which we Democrats refer to as democracy.
For defying Woodman, he is running his wife, Lisa Scheller, against Wanda.
So much for reaching out to Hispanics.
I don't mean to suggest Woodman is a bigot, just that he plays favorites.
Through his wife, Woodman has funneled money to the following candidates:
Scott Aquila raised $8,510 in the primary against Percy Dougherty. $5,000, or 59% of that, came form Lisa.
Mike Schware raised $10,600 in the primary against Norma Cusick, Nate Brown and Kevin Ryan. $5,000, or 47% of that, came form Lisa.
Scott Ott raised $86,760 in the primary against Dean Browning. $30,000, or 35% of that, came from Lisa.
So in the free market primary of 2013, Wayne and Lisa contributed $40,000 to their preferred candidates while their Republican opponents received zero. This sounds an awful lot like a party boss rigging the game in favor of his candidates.