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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, May 15, 2017

Allentown's Election Is About Integrity, Not Politics

In the dawn of this nation's history, when British regulars and Hessian mercenaries had George Washington on his heels, Zions's Church in Northamptontown became the hiding place of the Liberty Bell, one of our most important symbols. Residents in that small community could be trusted. They were patriots who would resist tyranny and had already driven William Allen's loyalist family out of town. These true freedom fighters were the original inhabitants of what eventually became known as Allentown. They took a stand. Will that continue on Tuesday?

Will the voters speak out against the tyranny of a vindictive Mayor who has embroiled the entire city in a cauldron of political corruption? Will the voters finally say No to a false prophet who beats his chest about kindness while bullying truly Godly men like Eugene McDuffie, to say nothing of others? Will the dark clouds that have resulted in seven guilty pleas finally be lifted, or will Allentown continue with a paranoid man who sweeps his office for electronic bugs and uses burner phones? Will Allentown finally install someone who cares about public safety or a man who laughs at a fire department whose operating budget he has slashed by 65% since 2008?

We'll know Tuesday night.

A cornucopia of mayoral candidates, both Democrat and Republican, are in this race. I prefer Ray O'Connell, a man who understands the symbiotic relationship between the struggling city and its distressed school district. But there's much positive to be said for most of the candidates running. Thiel has business acumen. Garcia and Jones offer real ethnic diversity. Bennett has connections to small businesses and nonprofits, and knows people  in Harrisburg and Washington. Siegel brings intelligence and youthful exuberance.

They have their differences, but all but Nat Hyman and Edwin "Fed Ed" Pawlowski have something in common. They bring integrity. As the sign outside Rick Orloski's office says, Vote Integrity. It is time for the citizens of Allentown to rise up again and say No to tyranny and political corruption.

Hyman's False Advertising

Hyman lacks the integrity needed to be a decent Mayor. Former Department of Community and Economic Development Director Betsy Morris Levin, on her Facebook page, states he was operating a building with multiple people living and working inside, but Fed Ed gave him a pass and protected him back in 2007.

What Levin has to say is troubling, but I'd want to hear from him before condemning him. But now there is additional evidence of his dishonesty, coming directly from Hyman himself.  

It's an ad with a pic of Hyman talking to firefighters, apparently directing their efforts in battling some blaze. Wherever that is, it isn't in Allentown. .

Local 302 Allentown International Association of Firefighters has made no endorsement in the Mayoral race. Imagine their surprise when they saw this Hyman ad of him talking to Cetronia Volunteer Fire Company firefighters, who apparently have no problem jeopardizing their nonprofit status in South Whitehall Township by allowing themselves to be used for partisan political purposes

Brilliant, guys!

So far as I know,and I spoke to several Allentown firefighters, Hyman has never reached out to or discussed any issues with them. He is just using their public safety crisis to propel himself into the Republican candidate's spot on May 16th.

This is dishonest behavior, and should disqualify Hyman from serious consideration by anyone interested in integrity in government.

The real Fed Ed

The other candidate who lacks integrity is Public Official No.3, incumbent Edwin "Fed Ed" Pawlowski. The real Fed Ed is far removed from the amiable if long-winded man delivering those lengthy power points. He is in fact malicious and vindictive, as those who know him can attest. Ask Candida Affa, a person who refuses to be intimidated by anyone, why she no longer supports Fed Ed. Ask Cynthia Mota whether he went after her one evening after she refused to vote the way he wanted. Ask the small businesses he shut down on pretexts. Ask the elderly lady who wanted to have a yard sale now and then for pin money. Ask Jeremy Warmkessel, a decorated firefighter who Fed Ed attempted to silence with bully tactics in a recent exchange.

This is all Fed Ed.

None of this has anything to do with Miked Fleck, the supposed mastermind of political corruption in Allentown, or any of the six others who have pleaded guilty to offenses that include bribery and bid-rigging.

I was particularly stuck and saddened at how Fed Ed bullied Eugene McDuffie earlier this month, as I told you on Friday. McDuffie is a saintly and gentle man, a person who I think has been touched by the hand of God. Jews and Muslims would call him righteous. Buddhists would say he's achieved enlightenment. We Catholics would say it's the Holy Spirit. He has spent his adult life caring for troubled teens and the homeless. Eugene is an announced City Council candidate, but only to bring attention to his bigger mission. He has spent no money. He has no money to spend. He has no intention of winning any political race. But he's been making the rounds in his one and only suit, wearing only the one pair of red shoes he can afford. He has continued his push to help troubled teens and the homeless.

Sir Sly would say,

"It feels good to be running from the Devil,
Another breath and I'm up another level.
It feels good to be up above the clouds.
It feels good for the first time in a long time, now."

Fed Ed bashed Eugene for doing God's work. I told you Eugene's story because it shows Fed Ed without his make up. He's a bully with no integrity. Amazingly, while under investigation for political corruption, he also used his city offices to play politics, which is a theft of public services. This is the height of arrogance. His mean streak has been corroborated by so many others that I would be writing until Tuesday if I listed every incident over the past 12 years.

Eugene McDuffie Story Criticism

Allentown blogger Michael Molovinsky, whose blog is called Molovinsky on Allentown, spent the crucial week before that City's most important election in its history, talking abut anything but Allentown. He disparaged some poor fellow who was turned away from a tea party event featuring Pam Geller. He complained about being called dour and the lack of media coverage given to him when he ran for Mayor in 2005. He complained about comedians who dare to criticize Donald Trump. He condemned the removal of Confederate monuments in New Orleans  

It's his blog and he can write what he wants. But he has no right to dictate my topics. He has taken me to task for telling Eugene McDuffie's story. He notes that newspapers wrote no story, which implies that there is no story to write. Based on that logic, he should probably stop writing. I base my publishing decisions on what I think readers ought to know. They ought to know that Fed Ed continues to be a bully.

Molovinsky implied that McDuffie engaged in a political stunt and outright accuses me of playing politics, along with several candidates who commented on my blog or appeared at McDuffie's news conference.

As I explained, this is about integrity, not politics Eugene McDuffie, who was scarred by abusive parents and spent years on the streets of New York City, felt bound to speak out. So did I.

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your hatred for Pawlowski will not change one vote. He will easily win the primary. You are an outsider. We who live in Allentown like what Ed has done to revitalize our city. The downtown was a rotting mess before Ed, Pat Browne and others fought for the NIZ. Now there is unprecedented growth and jobs. You are no voice for Allentownians. Your obsessive crusade against Pawlowski will be rewarded by his victory Tuesday, and in November.

Bernie O'Hare said...

First, I hate no one. Second, any success of the NIZ is no justification for the bribery and bid rigging in which he engaged, or for his bullying. Third, I make no claim to be a voice for Allentown. But I sure as hell am a Lehigh Valley voice and certainly have as much right to express myself as any anonymous coward.

Anonymous said...

Great answer Bernie! I just hope FBI arrests Fed Ed soon! What's the delay?

Bernie O'Hare said...

From what I understand, the US Atty office is in disarray for some reason.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Sir Sly link.

Anonymous said...

It is rich that you attack political candidates about integrity. You scream about integrity and honesty and you strongly support your patron Ron Angle. That is the biggest joke in all of this. He is well known for what he is. His life is the exact opposite of what you profess to love.

How does it feel to be giving morality lessons when you support him?

Anonymous said...

If integrity is the guiding principle for voting, I'm voting Republican

Anonymous said...

O'Connell is an opportunist. He was Ed's rubber stamp on city council

Bennett is ...... Bennett.. If you want Rendell's girl in Allentown, then she's your choice

Voting for Ed is voting for the devil you know, rather than the devil you don't know. Anyone else is voting for a tax hike.

Anonymous said...

" Second, any success of the NIZ is no justification for the bribery and bid rigging in which he engaged, or for his bullying"

Correct. The Ed had nothing to do with the NIZ except be mayor when it was all built. However I suspect if Ed didn't want it to be built, it would be the same old Allentown it was before.

Bribery and bid rigging? Where are the charges? Where is the list of statutes he violated? Kinda like Hillary Clinton isn't it Bernie? You know he's guilty but no charges against him? Kinda like the way Democrats feel about President Trump as well, yes ?

His bullying? Of course, we need a Beta Male in City Hall that treats everyone nice and never gets anything done. Ed's from Chicago. Ed knows how to run a city. He had his graduate coursework taught to him by the Dayley Family....

Personally, I don't give a damn if he plays well with others downtown or not. As long as he gets the job done and the people of Allentown benefit from his actions, that's what we elect a mayor for.. and anyone in a position of authority can't always be Mister Rogers or a Male Pixanne.

Anonymous said...

I'm voting Ray.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Sam.

Anonymous said...

Thiel's business acumen is being tangled up with FedEd and raking in money based upon that relationship. We've heard no criticism from Thiel regarding Ed's ways because Ed has paved the way for Thiel. Thiel will not bite the hand that has been feeding him, he has enjoyed a seat at FedEd's table for years. Thiel is an extension of FedEd and will continue the pay to play antics.

Anonymous said...

Voting Ray

Anonymous said...

How can anyone support a lying, deceiving and immoral mayor as Ed Pawlowski. I had the un-pleasure of working for him in the 2005 election campaign and by election day I saw the real conman up front and close. This guy does not care about public safety, as signaled by his refusal to bring the police department up to full-strength for 12-years and 63% cuts to the fire departments budget, all at the expense and safety of the citizens. He takes credit for a national downturn in violent crime and basks in his fire department's minimum manpower debacle. Not to even mention the state of equipment they have to work with! While Hamilton Street reaps the benefits of the NIZ, the rest of the town is a typical urban cesspool; modeled after his hometown, Chicago. A vote for Pawlowski is a vote for corruption, non-transparency and vindictiveness.

Anonymous said...

Like the man that could sell one a jackass and the Brooklyn bridge, and you would think your riding a stallion accross the moot to your castle. This is how the water war experiance was with fed ed, twards the end of all the power point presntationz i had almost thought this was the best thing for the city. Come to find out it was nothing but capitol start up fundz and not the pension CURE it claimed to be about.
Luis Garzia straight party and not a party participant favorite.

Anonymous said...

7:04 "refusal to bring the police department up to full-strength for 12-years and 63% cuts to the fire departments budget"

Sounds like you are in the firefighters union as most Allentown citizens can't quote percentages of reduction. Have an axe to grind against Ed? Fine. Identify yourself and don't pretend to be a member of the outraged public when you're actually a special interest upset you didn't get as much money budgeted as you wanted

Bernie O'Hare said...

3:96, this post has nothing to do with Ron Angle. I will not tolerate additional off topic ranrs

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:47, next time you demand someone to identify himself, you need to do so yourself.

Anonymous said...

I have no symphony for those who abused the pension system ro put together huge pensions now whine how it's funded.

People have to work hard at jobs in the private sector in order for you to sit on your ass retired.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It's sympathy, not symphony.

Anonymous said...

When people say they have budget cuts, does this mean they get less money than they did before or does it mean they get less of an increase than they expected ?

Anonymous said...

Bennett for mayor she has the best true experience to move Allentown forward, enough with the good ole boys.

Bernie O'Hare said...

8:30, it is an absolute reduction in spending. A decrease.

Charlie Sch said...

1. To respond to Bernie's comment above, maybe the US Attorney's Office for the region is in disarray because Trump fired all 93 of the US Attorneys without any warning, effective immediately, and has not even nominated any replacements.

2. I am voting for Charlie Thiel. Allentown is a $100 million a year enterprise with over 500 employees. Allentown needs someone with a mix of public, business and managerial experience. Good intent is not enough by itself.

Charlie Sch said...

To clarify, the firefighters said that the "operational budget" for the fire department was substantially cut in recent years, not the total budget.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Charlie, The termination of US attorneys is something that goes on nationwide. There is still a corps of career prosecutors. But something bad is going on in that office. Could be Trump related, or something else.

Anonymous said...

My fear of Thiel is that he is so closely tied to Pawlowski and Mann.

Anonymous said...

I'm unclear. What is the difference between "Operational Budget" and total budget? Is this budget for the entire city or for a single department ?

Government speak is not always plain and clear speaking and part of the smoke and mirrors of government spending.

Cuts in the federal government mean less of an increase. A Budget Reduction means they got $100 in year one, and $50 in year two

So is this a "cut" or a true "Budget reduction" Government speak is not clear to the voters.

Anonymous said...

Your hate blog seems to spend an awful lot of time attacking Molovinsky in recent months. Why do you obviously fear Molovinsky so much? And how much can a guy who lost his license to practice law really know about integrity anyway?

george schaller said...

Why not just vote Abe Atyia in as the mayor? hahaha

Anonymous said...

Bernie:
I normally agree with what you have to say but I think you are being REALLY unfair to Nat Hyman. I received a call supporting Hyman from a guy who was a 25 year veteran of the ALLENTOWN fire department! So clearly he has spoken with Allentown fire fighters. In addition, under that picture you show of him speaking with the fire fighters, I think it just said that he supports the fire fighters and police. They never claimed those were Allentown fire fighters. For you to question a man's integrity over one photo is just not right!

Charlie Sch said...

I assume that "operational budget" means the money available to run and repair engines, run and repair fire stations, buy equipment, etc. I assume it does not include salary and benefits, which have increased with inflation. However, I have not researched the topic.

Anonymous said...

He has not talked to the Local 302 Allentown Firefighters and does not have their endorsement. No mayoral candidate received their endorsement. Whoever you spoke to does not represent Local 302.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:40 am said "Voting for Ed is voting for the devil you know, rather than the devil you don't know. Anyone else is voting for a tax hike."


Can we dispense with the lie that Pawlowski didn't raise taxes?

During Pawlowski's term, the earned income tax for Allentown residents has increased by almost 100%, from 1% when he took office to 1.98%. Wonder why the city has a problem attracting high-income earners? Look no further than Pawlowski. If you're earning a decent wage, why live in the city when you can be 5 minutes away in the suburbs paying half the earned income tax? And pushing income earners out of the city KILLS the school district, which also gets a share (half of a percent) of the EIT.

In addition, Pawlowski has increased fees for almost every interaction you'd have with City Hall, and has even added a redundant fee that you have to pay when you sell your home.

Think you've escaped Pawlowski's tax hikes if you're a retiree and plan on staying in the city? Think again. Because of Pawlowski's water lease scheme, you'll be paying hundreds of millions of dollars in interest through your water bill. Not surprisingly, the rate caps on much of that transaction don't come off until the years after this election.

Ironically, Pawlowski also got rid of the $10 per capita tax and replaced it with a $52 EMS tax. You remember the reason for that one - to adequately fund our police, FIRE and ambulance services. I guess Ed forgot the purpose of that one.

All that's just the tip of the iceberg, and doesn't even include the inflated cost that taxpayers are paying for city contracts with Pawlowski campaign contributors.

Anonymous said...

9:59 am - I agree that the original post's comments about Hyman seem unfair.

He makes no claims about being endorsed by they firefighters union.

He certainly doesn't appear to be "...directing their (the firefighters) efforts in battling some blaze". In fact, he appears to be TALKING to some firefighters while their truck is parked at the station.

Not sure what's on the opposite side of this mailer, but I've received others where he mentions the problems the fire department is facing. That's helping to let the voters that there is a problem.

So I'm not sure how TALKING to firefighters, EDUCATING the voters about problems in the department, and pledging to SUPPORT the police and fire departments with adequate equipment funding can be twisted into something negative.

Actually, it's what I'd like to see EVERY candidate doing.

Anonymous said...

Charlie Thiel: Just what Allentown needs right now, a former Pawlowski ally (distanced himself only after the FBI investigation), who runs $1,000 fundraisers and will be beholden to the big money interests in Allentown. After Afflerbach and Fed ED, doesn't Allentown deserve a decent, honest, non-politician as Mayor?

Anonymous said...

I'm curious as to who will get more votes, Heffenfarter for council or Woodring for mayor.

Anonymous said...

Maybe nat is the stick stand in for fed edz subset hound from hell that carry out said deedz against naysayerz and there families that stretch beoned fed edz beginingz as Humpty Dumty?

Anonymous said...

The attacks on Thiel make me think he is the front runner and either O'Connell or Bennett is trying to get past him.

Anonymous said...

3:35 my guess would be Bennett is behind attacks on Thiel. O'Connell is too nice a guy and Bennett's usual course of action is to slime her opponents, while smiling and playing the victim.

Anonymous said...

I can pretty much assure you Thiel is the front runner at this point. The most well funded of all the non-Fed Ed candidates. His campaign is working hard on the rank and file Democrats Citywide, where the others have small localized support bases. Of course Fed Ed's voter appeal is the hardest variable to predict, he may win or finish near bottom.

Anonymous said...

Being a nephew of a former Chief of Police in Allentown who lived in Allentown for most of my life, I cannot fathom why anybody would vote for Edwin Pawlowski. Being from a public safety family and who still has connections with the APD, AFD and EMS, I am appalled by his demeanor towards the workers in public safety and the citizens of Allentown. Every day you can see the ravages of his disdain for public safety. Shootings, gangs and thugs running the streets unimpeded. He constantly played with the APD manpower complement,(even though they were budgeted to fill the vacancies) and he takes credit, (which is now on the upturn), for a national down trend in crime. He made drastic cuts to the fire department budget which has crippled their response ability. He refused to fill critical EMS positions, necessitating mutual aide. The said thing is, no other mayoral candidates took him to task over this. This guy is a detriment to public safety and should be sent packing. Carson S. Gable III.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mr. Gable, Thank you so much for your comment and for your family of incredible first responders. I really appreciate your insight. No matter who you support, I think the City needs to rid itself of Fed Ed.

Anonymous said...

Annon 3:38, no doubt. She is as much a poetical animal as Ed. She has a track record of doing "whatever" it takers to get a head. Fortunately people are wise to her. Those of us who have been around for a while know her MO and want none of it in office.

Anonymous said...

Bernie it's funny how fed ed Jessica Ortiz driving around town in a convertible car beeping horns with about 6cars behind hanging out of there car roofs and get away with but when we puerto Ricans drive around in our parade we get fined by Allentown police

Anonymous said...

My concern with Nat Hyman is the prospect of conflict of interest. He bought up a lot of distressed real estate in the City with plans to redevelop, which means dealing with Planning Commission, Zoning and Code enforcement. A Mayor gets to appoint people to these boards and jobs so there is the inevitable problem of conflict of interest. How would these ethics and integrity issued be addressed? I have not heard or read anyone raise this issue during the campaign. Things may have evolved, but the concern raised by Betsy Levin should give us all a pause.

Charlie said...

Allentown firefighters report that the city's main rescue fire truck broke down again, and its backup truck also broke down again at the same time. That means they are back to responding to complex calls with a pickup truck.

Anonymous said...

VOTE -- Anybody but Pawlowski or Bennett.

homburg said...

He is the only Mayor since the 1960s who not only re-vitalized the downtown, but actually changed the face of our city. And he did it without raising taxes for the last decade. What more can you ask for in a Mayor?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Honesty. And he did raise taxes. Twice.