registered lobbyist for Comcast and French insurance company AXA, is the Pennsylvania Republican Party's new Fearless Leader, replacing outgoing chair Rob Gleason. He defeated respected Philadelphia attorney Lawrence Tabas in a close, 173-171 vote, on Saturday at Hershey. .
The money boys and power brokers liked DiGiorgio. Others preferred Tabas, who volunteered most of his time to the GOP. Tabas always visited NorCo at different GOP functions, and represented the county party at no charge when AG Kane's Klowns executed what turned out to be a baseless search warrant on GOP finances
In late January, Northampton County's GOP met and voted to support Tabas. They had reasons to do so. Mary Barket, a member of the state committee, was recently widowed and needs a job. Tabas said he'd hire her. In addition, he wanted to install county GOP Chair Lee Snover in a leadership position within the state party ranks Considering that Snover mobilized the party base and managed to turn NorCo red, Snover is due for some recognition.
NorCo's representatives on the GOP state committee are Snover, Barket, Ron Angle, Peg Ferraro, Bob Kilbanks and Glenn Geissinger. All but Peg were expected to vote for Tabas,and all but Peg agreed to do so.
Peg Ferraro was asked to support DiGiorgio by Bob Asher, a long-time friend who always contributes to her campaigns. Everyone understood she would go her own way, but Snover expected to deliver the rest of the vote to Tabas. .
According to Snover, Geissinger promised he would vote for Tabas. Had he done so, the vote would be a 172-172 tie, and Gleason would have broken that tie with a vote for Tabas.
This was going to be a close vote, so Senator Pat Toomey dialed up the pressure for DiGiorgio. He promised two federal judgeships in undecided counties. Then, on Saturday, several State Senators came in and sat with committee members for the vote. Some committee people claim they were threatened with loss of employment unless they voted for DiGiorgio. .
In order to prevent this kind of retaliation, there was a push for a secret ballot, but that was shoved aside.
Before the vote, Geissinger played the room, visiting committee members from Luzerne and Lackawanna County. He appeared to be laying the groundwork for another congressional run. He ignored his own county.
With the exception of Blake Marles and Bob Daday, the Lehigh County delegation voted for the money man. This includes Glenn Eckhart, who went against the tea party he claims to support. .
When it was time for NorCo to vote, Snover and NorCo Republicans were betrayed by Geissinger.
"You heard the will of the people, you need to do what the people want," Snover reminded Geissinger.
"I know what I'm doing," snapped Geissinger. "I'm a legislator."
Geissinger's vote put DiGiorgio over the top. After leading the county to believe he would follow their wishes, he betrayed them. He voted a widow out of a job. He voted NorCo out of a position in real party leadership.
"What's the big deal?" he asked when it was all over.
As a NorCo Council member with a 54% attendance record last hear, he should find out soon.