Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Kraft & McClure: Dumb and Dumber

Ken Kraft and Lamont McClure, the members of Northampton County Council who want to increase Council oversight over all Executive contracts in excess of $10,000, could use a taxpayer-funded PR consultant. Their recent Express Times LTE looks like it was written with a crayon. These two Democrts are so busy playing politics that they've forgotten all about governing.

To be sure, Executive John Brown has made it very easy for them. His first year in office has been a complete disaster. It started with no-bid contracts for business consultants and public relations, ideas are so goofy they even drew the ire of Republican heavyweight Elmer Gates. But Brown's poor judgment was really at its pinnacle when he selected an insurance office secretary, someone who only has a high school diploma and no real government experience, as his Director of Administration. Fortunately, that appointment failed.

Lately, he's beginning to alienate the one group he really needs on his side - the County workforce. They pick up on the inherent unfairness of giving his DCED staff raises and more manpower, while cutting back in critical offices like the Civil Division. If Brown loses the workforce, he's toast. It doesn't matter how many brown bag lunches he has with them if he favors one department over another.

Though things look bad, it's really too early to condemn Brown. It takes about two years for executives and council members to get a grip on their new jobs.

Instead of helping Brown govern. McClure and Kraft are doing their best to drive nails in his coffin. They have no respect for his office and have been so insulting at meetings (though not as bad as Ron Angle used to be with Glenn Reibman), that he's stopped giving Executive reports. Every time Brown gets up, it's like running a gauntlet with those two clubbing him. They also call Political Controller Steve Barron up to the podium, to tell them what they want to hear.

While bringing government to its knees is bad for Brown, it's worse for the people they all are supposed to represent. They have created a climate in which nothing gets done, much like we have in Washington. That's no example to follow.

McClure attends no committee meetings and would never himself go through the arduous task of reviewing these contracts. So basically, they want gridlock.

As bad as Brown has been in his first year, this crew is much worse. I have yet to hear either one of them actually speak up for the County worker, even though Kraft chairs the Personnel Committee. I did see Kraft last year eliminate a county worker without due process because he didn't like the way she was chosen.

And these are the Democrats. You'll find these men of the people at the exclusive Blue after meetings, sipping cocktails.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it's condemnation to question what browns doing , whats the alternative sit back and do nothing so they look good ? it seems to me it's far better to ask questions about his ideas, up till now he hasn't given anybody any confidence in his ability to run the county effectively , as a taxpayer it concerns me . I do hope someone on council steps up for the workforce , it is apparent brown doesn't have any respect for county council are the members from his party afraid of him so far they have only been yes men and woman. I am willing to give brown more time to adjust ,thus far i'm unimpressed.

Anonymous said...

McClueless and Kraft are troublemakers with Teletubby Barron as their willing accomplice. They don't want to effectively govern. They want to agitate for their own self-aggrandizing needs. And Werner is an ally. They are dumb, dumber, and dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Brown has made it difficult on himself by ignoring the policys and attempting to do things without following proper proceedures. As a taxpayer I would love to see savings in the county but at what cost? Sounds to me that Mr. Brown has good intentions but not for the taxpayers of Northampton County. I have friend who works for the county and she is afraid that he intends to balance the budget on the backs of hard working empoyees who he calls "the backbone of the county". I find it hard to believe him if he does do this. However, I won't be totally surprised.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If he does, that will be the nail in his coffin, not anything McClure or Kraft do.

Anonymous said...

If he proposes a huge tax increase he loses his party backing and doesn't survive a Republican primary. Either way tough decisions need to be made soon. Will McClure and Kraft vote to raise taxes for the "hard working employees"? Doubtful.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Don't know about Kraft, but McClure will not vote for hike and has said so.

Anonymous said...

Elmer Gates is a RIMO: Republican In Money Only. He'll pay for whomever advances his interests.

Anonymous said...

Read the letter. It was probably written by Kraft. He speaks in a similar fashion. It does read like a grade school project.

You must remember these are guys who with Werner have a master plan for themselves. One of them wants to be the next county executive. Hopefully the Democrats can do better then McCluless, Krafty and Winer.

Kraft will probably walk into office next year. However, Brown and the Republicans have a great shot at taking three of the District seats. They have to get the right candidates and give them money to run a decent campaign but it can be done.

In the meantime please do not insult a great film like "Dumb and Dumber" by comparing it to these clowns.

Anonymous said...

"though not as bad as Ron Angle used to be with Glenn Reibman"


thank you for that. saved me the effort of pointing it out.

Lighthouse said...

Legislative oversight through the budget process, yes. Oversight on contracts over $100,000, yes. As the Express asked, "how low is too low"...

The K-M-B gang raised, I thought, legitimate questions about the Sahl contract. Did well, also, to get from Brown that it would not be renewed next year (so not piece-mealing a contract into smaller-below-the-threshold amounts).

However, I don't know if I see it as an attempt to micromanage, as that implies the desire to control because you think you can do it better. No, this is perceived as simply petty politics to be a thorn in Brown's side for the sake of it. The problem is once you start messing with systemic changes like this, eventually and inevitably the tables will turn. Now YOU hold the prized office, and the minority is being a thorn every step of the way. That is willfully creating long-term gridlock for the sake of gridlock, rather than principled leadership.

Anonymous said...

Don't be surprised if Cusick runs in McClure's district, which now includes Willians Twp. If so, he would CRUSH the asbestos attorney.

Anonymous said...

You made me smile Bernie. Thanks

Anonymous said...

it certainly isn't clear what john brown is up to . what exactly is his plan for county? he says nothing at council meeting and the employees are left wondering whats going on ? I don't know a single place that operates this way ...why is everything a mystery ? secondly , I am a hard working taxpayer ,I don't want to see a tax increase but I also don't want to see the employees hurt with his actions , it is starting to look that way , sooner or later taxes will go up he isn't kidding anybody , wouldn't he be more effective finding ways to get things accomplished in the county ? he has very narrow view at least point , third jihn brown is doing this to himself how can we have confidence in him ? with some of the people he surrounds himself with that's questionable. help Bernie you have a way of finding things out !

Anonymous said...

If Cusick runs McClure could make the race all about Gracedale again. Cusick could not win a school board race against Bill Wallace. Cusick running would be a gift to McClure. Please encourage him to run. God Bless Lamont McClure!

Anonymous said...

Johnny Casino.

Bernie O'Hare said...

6:32, although I see your argument, Rs September Council and Exec last year.

Anonymous said...

Bernie... 8:32 here again... The R's swept, but Brown will motivate D's to come out to vote. Oh a and Cusick lost a school board race during that great R year in Williams Twsp which is an R haven.

Anonymous said...

Good news - Brown saves $30 million

Bad news - county stops working because it's so understaffed

Bernie O'Hare said...

It was a close race, and one in which Cusick was on the D ballot. I think it's impossible to conclude that Gracedale played a role. McClure, who portrayed himself as the champion of Gracedale, finished a distant third among Ds in the Exec race, too. He is an unlikable guy. Finally, the District is far more conservative now than it was when McClure first ran, and nearly lost.

If he Makes the mistake of running, he loses. I'd love to see Stoffa challenge him on the D side.

If Cusick runs, he probably wins.

Anonymous said...

There is no way a democrat can win the district 3 Council Seat. The only Democrat that will be on Council in Two tears will be the Council person representing the City of Bethlehem. You can take that to the Bank.

Anonymous said...

Brown has never met with human service staff. He has never communicated with admin staff to let them know what his plans are. Brown has showed them no respect or professional courtesy at all. He already has lost not only the unionized workforce but also the non unionized workforce.
In the words of Jim Gregory, he is TOAST!

Anonymous said...

BO What Are your Thoughts On Reverend Davis, bombarding the school district yesterday and city council today. Lehighvalleylive.com reported

Bernie O'Hare said...

Like I said before, this is just retaliation because the school board refused to give him a Charter School that would have encouraged the segregation he claims to oppose. He's a phony.

Anonymous said...

kraft is and always will be nothing more than a union cry baby and a political hack and douche bag...he should stick to hanging out at spiro's where he can bullshit the common folk.....

Anonymous said...

JB's secrecy comes from Bangor. He acted the same way there but he had a good excuse as boss of the police. Legally he could hide under that umbrella and not offer anything but crumbs to the public or town council. Nothing has changed at county in that respect. He has turned that trait into an art form. Austerity budget on the way..employee's beware.

Anonymous said...

Council needs to grow a set and intervene before the County Workforce says F it. If you screw your front line workers then you have screwed yourself.

Anonymous said...

JB is a killer at heart. Not a lot of compassion for much of anything or anybody. A coldhearted politician now and on his way up the food chain. This is just a stepping stone to bigger and better things for him as he has found his support group among the wealthy and powerful. A nightmare for us..

Anonymous said...

What is worse, the arrogance of Brown or the hypocrisy of ohare? On one hand, there is the captain of industry, the fearless leader,who is afraid to address council because he may be criticized? Or on the other hand, the biased, arbitrary, and mean spirited one who is the apologist for Crass and Crasser, his mentor Angle. Why not run a poll?

As for Kraft and McClure, their basic point is true notwithstanding any criticism they deserve as well.

Anonymous said...

At least Stoffa cared and tried in his own way to make some progress for the little people. Mixed reviews but he tried..

Anonymous said...

Something has to give soon..the budget will spark a fire storm of outrage from the public and council and the employees. Will JB then continue to sit in silence? We'll see..

Bernie O'Hare said...

Brown is trying to govern. He gets low marks from me for his first year, but he is trying. McClure, Kraft and Varron are playing political games instead if governing. McClure is done politically. Kraft is not as safe as he seems to think he is, and Barron will be blown away by the bulldog.

Anonymous said...

"At least Stoffa cared and tried in his own way to make some progress for the little people. Mixed reviews but he tried.."

Now that funny! Best line of the day.

Anonymous said...

Angle will not beat Barron countywide period. His record of saving taxpayers money is impressive. Angle can't win countywide. He was the face of selling Gracedale and the voters won't forget his business and council antics. If they do I'm sure Barron will remind them. The Bulldog has not bite left.

Anonymous said...

"Now that funny"? If you are going to take a backhand pot shot at Stoffa at least use proper English.

Anonymous said...

Suck it up cupcakes. You county employees are too much. I do not want a tax increase and I hope Mr. Brown and the Republicans respect my support and vote. You employees are the people who bullied county council into voting for that expensive new building built just for you in Bethlehem Twp. It costs over a million a year on the lease and goes up thousands of dollars every year for its thirty year run. Plus the county is responsible for every expense, not the owner. A businessman I know told me it is a "triple-net" lease and no right minded businessman would ever sign one.

So Mr. Brown is stuck with this crazy nightmare and you don't want to bear any of the burden of your own selflessness. Since it is such a great news space to do your jobs more efficiently maybe you can do it with less people. Who the Hell did you expect to pickup the tab for this thing? You need to live in the real world.

Bernie O'Hare said...

An ugly comment by an ugly person who is, of course, anonymous.

Anonymous said...

I dont know where you get your info from but WE DID NOT WANT THE BUILDING! We had no say. Why would we want a building that cost the departments more! that money should be used for CONSUMER SERVICES! SO GET IT RIGHT! WE HAD NO SAY IN THE MATTER AS IS ALWAYS THE CASE

Anonymous said...

Anyone know if Gregory is out of jail?

Bernie O'Hare said...

From his latest missive to Mezzacrazy, it appears he may stay beyond his minimum, which is November.

Anonymous said...

I read Lamont McClure's letter to the editor in the Morning Call. His points are excellent. Had Northampton County had the same ordinance as Lehigh County, Executives would not be able to sneak work to their friends.
Lamont knows how Stoffa gave multiple contracts just under $25K to Ken Mohr for eight years. However, it was completely legal under the existing system. It was shady for Stoffa or any executive to operate that way. County Council should pass this law.

Anonymous said...

Yeah but Lamont doesn't go to the finance committee meetings where time is spent reviewing contracts. So he's proposing much longer meetings that he will not be attending anyway.

Anonymous said...

Most county employees are also the taxpayers of Northampton County. So if this insurance plan goes as stated not only will workers take a hit with higher insurance, they will also see no pay raise, and as a taxpayer see a possible tax hike. For those who want county employees to "suck it up", come do their jobs at the pay rate they receive. And next time you receive any help from a county program, remember the people providing that service to you are the same ones you told to suck it up.