Monday, July 20, 2015
Fed Ed's McCord Connection
Before McCord and Edwin Pawlowski ever embraced, they were running against each other for Governor. Pawlowski dumped $104,000 of his local campaign treasury into a new PAC he established just for the Governor's race. He did manage to raise almost $350,000, including money from most of the usual NIZ pals. Political consultant Miked Fleck was paid $33,500 and spinmeister Joe McDermott (a former Morning Call reporter and long-time Pawlowski apologist) earned $4,000. But Fed Ed got little support outside of his urban growth regime. He needed more gas in the tank for a Governor's race than he was going to get.
That will happen when you deride communities outside of Allentown, like Nazareth, as the "boonies," while simultaneously trying to steal their earned income tax.
On February 3, 2014, Pawlowski bowed out of the Governor's race, claiming that his "time and focus needs to be concentrated on the continued revitalization of Allentown." He immediately endorsed Rob McCord, who was standing by his side along with several Pawlowski puppets like State Reps. Mike Schlossberg, Pete Schweyer and Julio "I wanna be Mayor next" Guridy. Denying there had been any deal. McCord did admit that Pawlowski would play a "vital role" in the McCord administration. That very day, Pawlowski gave McCord $10,000 of other people's money from his Governor PAC, and sweetened the pot with another $5,000 on May 8, 2014.
Fleck's business client, Abe Atiyeh, provided McCord with $1,000 worth of billboard advertising. His political client, Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer, provided McCord with a $7,000 campaign mailer and GOTV efforts.
Miked Fleck, who had already earned $33,500 from Pawlowski, now started billing McCord. He was paid $42,301.19 for his services between February 6, 2014 and May 18, 2014.
Representing two gubernatorial candidates, Fleck had raked in $75,801.19.
McCord did manage to pick up some Lehigh Valley support in a March visit. Easton Mayor Sal Panto, a Pawlowski and Fleck ally, gleefully bashed now Governor Wolf, claiming that “Democrats want someone who wants to work and earn a paycheck.” Later that day, Fed Ed took McCord on a tour of his realm at the Allentown's Farmers Market, using Schlossberg as a flunkie to carry the food bestowed upon the duo. According to reporter John Micek, who was shadowing them that day, both Pawlowski and Schlossberg "will ramble on about [McCord's] wonderfulness if they’re asked."
But things weren't so wonderful for McCord. For the first time, he was behind in the polls. Despite sinking $2 million of his own money into the race, he was unable to match Wolf.
So he broke the law.
According to an agreed statement of facts submitted at the time of his guilty plea, McCord was criminally dunning both a law firm and a property management company, both of which were doing business with the state.
The shakedown at the law firm was in the form of obviously recorded telephone calls placed by McCord, between April 18 and May 6, 2014. "[E]ven if I don't win, I'm still the State treasurer for 2 1/2 years," he warned in one of them. "You are going to have the State treasurer looking to screw you," he threatened in another. .
With the property management company, he was peeved that he had not received a promised contribution. He wanted $100,000 and warned this company that he "could take an upside and turn it into a downside here, you know?"
He also had a bundler (campaign worker who solicits and collects campaign contributions from others) warn this firm that the were turning a friend into an enemy and to say things "I don't wanna' say."
McCord's blatant extortion Pointed agents in the direction of McCord's pals, according to the Inky. It appears this led them in the direction of Fleck, Pawlowski and Vaughn.