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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, August 14, 2015

Eichenwald Joins Mazziotti's Pay-to-Play Push Back

Jeanette Eichenwald and Vic Mazziotti
Earlier this week, I told you that Commissioner Vic Mazziotti is introducing a pay-to-play ban in Lehigh County. He introduced his legislation on Wednesday night, and is "confident" that it will pass. With some luck, it might even spread. Jeanette Eichenwald, an Allentown City Council member whom I like to call the Iron Lady because of her firm resolve, read over Mazziotti's outline, liked what she saw and intends to introduce it in Allentown. She was in Lehigh County's audience on Wednesday when Mazziotti made his pitch. And Vic will be sitting with the unwashed masses when Eichenwald presents this ban to Pawlowski's Puppets next week.

Democrat Eichenwald and Republican Mazziotti stood together yesterday outside the Lehigh County government center, to discuss their proposal. From a few floors above, I was sure Executive Tom Muller might drop a few water balloons, especially since I was there. But he spared us. For all I know, he might even agree with this proposal.

Mazziotti stated that, in reaction to what appears to be an intensive federal pay-to-play practices, he has been approached by many members of the public who are "sick," "amazed" and "distraught." He explained that they "look for elected officials to respond. They're tired of hearing crickets." Hence his legislation.

For her part, Eichenwald stated she is "honored" to be part of a solution "that transcends party affiliation." Se called it a Win, Win, Win. Vendors would win because they no longer will fell obligated to make contributions as a cost of doing business. Citizens will win because they will see better goods and services. Elected officials will win because they can concentrate on good government.

Of course, this law can be avoided by funneling money to a few PACs and letting them make the contributions. Mazziotti agreed, but added, "There's a way around just about every law out there."

Both Eichenwald and Mazziotti would like to see a statewide solution, but Mazziotti stated that people want action now. Eichenwald stressed that the ban being proposed survived a court challenge in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court  They both argued that doing nothing is no longer an option.

Mazziotti, a sometimes fire-breathing conservative, quoted from John F. Kennedy. "The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality." Kennedy was referring to Dante's Inferno, in which Dante passes by a group of dead souls meandering outside the gates of Hell. They are barred from entering either heaven or Hell because they never chose sides, making them distasteful to both God and Satan.

Mike Schware, a Lehigh County Commissioner like Mazziotti, appears to have taken a side.

Ron Beitler, a Lower Macungie Commissioner who I finally had the privilege to meet, was also at the news conference. He is considering similar legislation in his Township.

This legislation has also made its east of Route 33 and is being considered by several members of NorCo Council. There are even some members of the business community who are considering a pledge to curtail the amounts of money currently being poured into political coffers.

But some refuse to take sides. Despite an invitation from Eichenwald, no other member of Allentown City Council attended the news conference. Are they the lost souls mentioned by Virgil?
And he to me: "This miserable way
is taken by the sorry souls of those
who lived without disgrace and without praise.
They now commingle with the coward angels,
the company of those who were not rebels
nor faithful to their God, but stood apart.
The heavens, that their beauty not be lessened,
have cast them out, nor will deep Hell receive them -
even the wicked cannot glory in them."
Updated 10 am: Hozza also takes aim at pay to play, as reported in The Whitehall-Coplay Press. The Morning Call reports what could only be called tepid support from Pawlowski's Puppets. One member, Daryl Hendricks, ridiculously suggests it could interfere with the federal investigation.


Anonymous said...

It was quoted "Of course, this law can be avoided by funneling money to a few PACs and letting them make the contributions. Mazziotti agreed, but added, "There's a way around just about every law out there."" This quote deeply disturbs me.

Could we like somehow bake enhancements into this law before it becomes law? To prevent endruns, problems, and hacks down the road? What would it take?

Anonymous said...

Mazz used PAC's with his tea gang. So basically this is just more BS.

As to Northampton County we all know they disregard the laws they have on the books now regarding vendors and favors, what makes anyone think they will honor another law.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Eichenwald should either run for mayor or county supervisor. She is a first rate candidate.

Anonymous said...

Not sure the government center's windows open. Maybe this is why.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Could we like somehow bake enhancements into this law before it becomes law? To prevent endruns, problems, and hacks down the road? What would it take?"

There is no way you can make any law tight eniugh that no one will break it.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe Daryl Hendricks response.

Even if this had nothing to do with the FBI investigation, is he saying that it's ok for politicians to shake down city vendors? This legislation is needed no matter what the FBI comes out with. Perhaps Hendricks is signaling that he now wants the FBI to tell him how to vote on this, instead of Pawlowski.

It will be telling to see the response this gets on council. Hendricks' "wait for the FBI" approach is BS and should be called out by other council members.

The concept should get vigorous and vocal support from council members when Jeannette brings it up. If it doesn't get a second to move it forward, that's the same as voting against it.

And anything less than open, quick, and public debate on passing the bill is unacceptable. People won't fall for the tactic of sending it to committee to die a long, quiet death.

Anonymous said...

And Mullers... "political fodder" "Much adu about nothing"..

The biggest political gift of the year for non machine endorsed city council and school board candidates and also the Republican slate of County Council candidates is what's happening in Allentown today. Where although no one has been convicted yet there is an overwhelming amount of smoke. Thats the fodder.

That and articles like this one:

Mazziotti and Eichenwalds BIPARTISAN responses are obvious common sense reactions. Mazziotti doesn't need the fodder Muller and Pawlowski have done a good job self creating enough to go around and taint everyone associated with them.

Anonymous said...

I guess the rubber stampers don't want to admit there's a problem. Siding with this legislation could upset the money flow

Anonymous said...

11:39 -


I love the title of the MC link: "Muller's Mystery Fund", but at the end of the article Muller seems to be saying that he can't do anything wrong because the Republican commissioners are there to keep him honest.

That's troubling and doesn't reflect well on the slate of commissioner candidates he recruited and is funding.

He needs to come clean about who the donors were. You don't walk into an event where donors are kicking in anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000 and not know who's paying for it. He claims the entity only raised $35,000, so it really can't be all that many donors.

Anonymous said...

Oh the irony... in 2015 Mazziotti has already accepted $4,399.69 on June 18th and $11,067.66 for the PAC RestorePA... In 2011 accepted $53,461.55 from the PAC, My Lehigh County PAC and 4,780 from the LVAR PAC!!!!!! $58,241.55 in one year alone for a run at county commissioner!!! In the last 4 years he has accepted $73,708.90!!!!! Talk about funneling money through a PAC!!!!

Anonymous said...

Vic is hurting for votes and Eichenwald is not even on the ballot for reelection in November. In the May primary out of the 9 candidates on the ballot... Vic came in 8th of 9! He is doing this just to pander for votes... he is desperate.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Under this line of thought, only those who eschew PACs have the moral authority to propose legislation aimed at campaign finance reform. That argument essentially makes campaign finance reform impossible. Your argument also assumes that no-bid contracts have been awarded to donors to those PACs. Those assumptions are false. Instead of slamming Mazx on this, join him.

Anonymous said...

Don't confuse us with the facts.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, it doesn't go far enough.

A related problem is that you have nonprofits who spend taxpayer money who hire or buy from their own board members. That's as big a problem as what's happening in City Hall.

You really want to see some complaining, go pass a law that prohibits non-profit board members from bidding on their own projects when public money is used.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Please give me a few examples of what you're talking about. I agree that much more reform is needed, but this can't happen anonymously. Also, the state really needs to get involved.

Anonymous said...

12:45 -

All of the RestorePA campaign reports are filed with the county voter registration office, according to the filing schedule for county candidates. This is unlike some other state-wide PACs, that don't file locally and use the filing schedule for state PACs. All donors are listed for all to see, and I think the reports are even on-line.

Mazziotti's legislation is to keep county VENDORS from contributing to county candidates, their campaign committees or the PACs affiliated with them.

I believe the issue with PACs that the Morning Call and Bernie have raised is that of a vendor running contributions through multiple PACs to disguise the source of a campaign contribution. That's obviously difficult to trace, but doesn't mean it's impossible to do so.

Of course you know all this, and are trying to smear Mazziotti and this legislation, that is needed in Lehigh County and much-needed in Allentown.

Anonymous said...


I just posted on the sackless site that is part of the local edited out news put to print¿!($ The beautiful ms eichanwald is refered to as her sack is intact and allways has been ¿!($ That being said the rest of counsil current and past are sackless and the iron lady has enough huge castiron nuts for the Browne Hole bunch of the hamilton hanna handjob herpie hookup hotspot¿!($

Come to think of it isn't there a hamilton homes LLC on the indictment and exACTly what part of the collusionary dillusionary downtown circus is its Hole makeup on that particular clown face¿!($

patent pending

Anonymous said...

I think those who are commenting here and attacking the sponsors of this legislation need to step back and think.

This is something that needs to be done. It's not about party. It's not about blaming anybody. It's about doing what's right.

Once it's introduced and discussed, it will likely pass the county board 9-0. Even Mr. Muller is smart enough to see the writing on that wall and will play along (although not without taking a few cheap shots).

But in Allentown, I'm still not sure it will even get a second on council.

Now is the time for Allentown residents to act. Call council, e-mail council, or better yet show up at the next council meeting. And the ones after that. Give Jeanette all the support you can. She's putting herself out there, alone.

Let the rest of council know you won't be going away until it's passed, and that you will remember how they vote. And let them know that if they aren't willing to second Jeanette's bill, that is the same as voting against it and they will be held accountable.

Talking and posting on blogs is good but it's also easy. It's time to stand up.

Anonymous said...

your all full of shit, the supreme court said corporations are people and can donate millions to anybody they want, and your worried about little local offices. The country is being sold out and this is what you choose to bitch about

your all pathetic

Anonymous said...

@11:52 "You are" all pathetic

Anonymous said...