Wednesday, August 26, 2020

McClure: Veto of NonDiscrimination Referendum "Likely"

NorCo Exec Lamont McClure apparently distrusts the voters, too. He indicated on social media last night that he will "likely" veto Council's decision to ask voters to amend the Home Rule Charter to prohibit discrimination in county employment on the basis of sexual orientation or lifestyle. My previous story on this issue is located here.

If he distrusts that the voters will do the right thing, why should voters trust him? His action is a basic betrayal of democracy itself. He and even his Voting Registrar want to prevent the people from participating in the democratic process.

As John Lewis said, "The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society." But McClure will "likely" deny that right.

McClure is Executive, not King. Seven members of Council have already expressed confidence that voters will do the right thing. Hopefully, six of them will refuse to be bullied by him and let the people speak.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not surprised. Sure there is more to the story. Your boy is a real operator. Zirinski is once again on the attack on Facebook.

Anonymous said...

Kuddos Bernie for this article against your buddy. You did the right thing.

Helene said...

Anyone who knows me knows that I strongly support anti-discrimination laws including those that address sex, gender and orientation, and identity. I have fought for these my whole life and it is the law of the land. I agree with County Executive McClure. Having this on ballot is nonsense because the outcome, either way, doesn't affect anything. It's a complete waste of time especially given other important issues the County needs to work on. If the people approve it, it does nothing since the County already follows the law. If it's defeated, it also changes nothing except that it brings out anger, hatred, and homophobia. And we all know there's plenty of that already. I worked on the charter commission way back when and we never intended to put every policy or issue on the ballot or in the Charter. That's what the Administrative Code and the Career Service regulations are for. And this issue is already in the policies. What is the point? What's to be gained? Someone said, "it's about time voters get to weigh in." Not be snarky, but why? What's the point? Forget all the talk about Zrinski and the registrar (which has nothing to do with anything) and use some common sense. I support the County Executive who seems to be using common sense and I hope he follows through and vetoes this referendum.

Anonymous said...

What would happen if voters don't approve the change?

Anonymous said...

In the comments on yesterday's post about Zrinski, someone asked (referring to Cozze):

"Imagine an election official who publicly states her distrust of the electorate. How is this person still employed?"

To which I replied:

"The only way she is still employed is if the person employing her has the same distrust of the electorate. It's that simple."


This is exactly what I was talking about, and it took less than 24 hours to be confirmed.

Call me Kreskin.

Anonymous said...

All of this undermines faith in NorCo's ability to administer a clean election in November. Until now, the minority party had good reason to believe elections were being faithfully administered. Now, we've heard from an executive and a strident political operative masquerading as an impartial elections official that they don't trust voters and the system. That mistrust is a projection and it creates exponentially more mistrust in them. The county needs impartial election observers to monitor the election officials who've publicly stated they don't trust the electorate. The idiot in elections has destroyed what took centuries to build in this county. She is a terrible stain and should resign after issuing a heartfelt apology to the voters she's insulted. What a miserable shit.

Anonymous said...

I have one word for you

BREXIT

Anonymous said...

Bernie O'Hare said: "Hopefully, six of them will refuse to be bullied by him and let the people speak."


Oh please, we all know how this will play out.

The advocates will pressure the politicians on council to pull it (because the advocates don't believe in the people/democracy either) and the politicians on council will cave.

This is a tired theatrical performance that we've all seen before.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully McClure will do the right thing and veto this idiotic referendum. The Supreme Court has mandated what the outcome "MUST BE" and no referendum can change that mandate. Why go looking for trouble?

Anonymous said...

I
I’m confused here. If, in1954, Northampton County Council wanted a referendum on the ruling of Brown vs Board of Education, with the potential outcome of weakening the local acceptance of Brown if the referendum did not pass, would ‘faith in local voters’ still be something you would get behind? What if, in 1954, the NC referendum on Supporting Brown did not pass. What would you say then? That the local voters know best? Can every SCOTUS ruling be refracted down to a local mandate? Which ones to choose? Why, in modern times, did a member of NCC choose THIS one to put to local referendum?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Anyone who knows me knows that I strongly support anti-discrimination laws including those that address sex, gender and orientation, and identity."

So do I, but I have a little more faith on the voter than you.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"What would happen if voters don't approve the change?"

Nothing. The court's opinion still holds. So this is no lose referendum. If voters say yes, people who are gay know the majority is with them and we've advanced. If voters say No, people who are gay are still protected.

I have faith in the voter.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" I worked on the charter commission way back when and we never intended to put every policy or issue on the ballot or in the Charter. "

Helene,

1) The Charter does have an antidiscrimination provision (Sec 807) so the drafters clearly did intend to make it part of our constitution.

2) You must have used a different name. There were 11 people involved in the home rule study and you were not one of them.

Be honest. You fear the voter.

Anonymous said...

Cusick got exactly what he wanted, he got a foolish first year green member to co write this nonsense as he sits back with that smirk on his face and gets the exact outcome on this blog and publicly that he wanted, Divide the D party by devising a stupid diabolical plan, sit back and watch them pick each other apart

The Republicans have been doing this quite successfully for the last 25 years, Wake up.

Bernie O'Hare said...

8:04, It is not enough for you to signal your distrust of the voter. You also impugn Cusick's integrity like Zrinski did as well as the intelligence of all Democrats on Council. This elitism on your part is precisely why we have Trump. Get your head out of your ass and start trusting the voter.

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:43, Nondiscrimination is already enshrined in Sec 807. This merely updates the language., And I can tell you what Cusick's motive is. He is a math teacher. He likes to see i's dotted and t's crossed. This is really a housekeeping measure.

Anonymous said...


litmus test of Northampton County Voters

Anonymous said...

As you have stated many times, the Charter needs updating. As you have also just stated, if the referendum is defeated, nothing would change and LGTBQ rights would still be maintained. Trusting the voters has nothing to do with this. I'm surprised that Cusick put this forward. Does he intend to put many other Charter issues up for referendum too? If not, then why this one?

Anonymous said...

The people of Northampton County don't get to decide if the LBGTQ+ community should be protected from discrimination. The matter is already settled. They are already protected. Northampton county voters Should not be given an opportunity to take that away from them. Putting this on the ballot will only give hateful people an opportunity to vote for hate. This is not needed, no one asked for it and it Won't change anything.

Anonymous said...

Lamont doesn't trust the voters because he knows they'd send him packing today, if provided the opportunity. I'd be afraid of voters if I had Lamont's disgraceful record. He's proven incompetent and very unlikable. And he sat quietly while Gracedale was converted to a death camp by his guy in Harrisburg. Gutless.

Anonymous said...

There is plenty of manufactured outrage here - I guess I get your "distrust the voters" thing - but it does overall seem to be a dumb and pointless referendum to have, that will have absolutely zero impact on the county no matter the result.

Majority will says "Yes" protections should exist - An empty feel good "Hooray" that is literally forgotten about by Wednesday afternoon.

Majority says "No" - We show the state, country and world that we still have a ways to go with social acceptance in Northampton County.

My question I guess is what value does this referendum bring to county voters?

Anonymous said...

BO @8:09 AM - C'mon now, we all know that both parties are willing to put meaningless "Wedge Issues" on the ballot to crank up turnout.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Distrust of the voter has EVERYTHING to do with the opposition to this referendum. Zrinski, and, apparently, McClure, believe Northampton County voters are ugly bigots. Even though this is really just a symbolic vote, as Lott noted, they think a question like this is too important to expose to the voters. And here I thought we were a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Zrinski may be Democrat, but is certainly not a democrat. She is an elitist. McClure's "likely" veto puts him in that boat, too.

Anonymous said...

You've just stated that the vote is symbolic. Then why do it?? Is someone trying to score political This is a solution looking for a problem...not even that.

Bernie O'Hare said...

One more point. Zrisnki stated that voters could say No and that they do not get a "second pass" at this. It is quite clear she and those of you opposed to this really do have no faith in the democratic process.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"he got a foolish first year green member"

This is a reference to Kerry Myers. 'd be careful about calling Council's only black member "foolish" for sponsoring a measure opposed to discrimination. Also, you are more than a bit condescending.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If NorCo's HRC failed to address discrimination, I'd agree a referendum would be "dumb and pointless." But it does in Section 827. But the purpose of the referendum is (1) to make the Charter's provision re discrimination accord with existing law and (2) indicate that the people of the county of "mercy and justice" completely agree with it.

If the referendum were to fail, the law would still be the law and would indicate that leaders have work to do in helping us become more tolerant,. If it succeeds, which I think it will, it will indicate NorCo is tolerant.

I have faith.

It's a pity that some of you distrust the voters.

Anonymous said...

Again, my argument has nothing to do with trusting voters. It's what is the point of having it on the ballot in the first place? Just to feel good about ourselves for approving it and allowing others to privately vent their frustrations and gripes with a society no longer conforming to their world view?

Anonymous said...

"This is a reference to Kerry Myers. 'd be careful about calling Council's only black member "foolish" for sponsoring a measure opposed to discrimination. Also, you are more than a bit condescending."

From where I'm sitting, it appears that more than one voter thinks this is "foolish". Creating a no fly zone around Myers, while discussing discrimination, is anti-democratic. Open debate is the foundation of our democracy.
Maybe the folks against this are afraid of what they might find out about their neighbors?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Again, my argument has nothing to do with trusting voters."

It absolutely does. You don't trust the voters to do the right thing. This is absolutely necessary bc the HRC inadequately addresses discrimination in Section 807.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" it appears that more than one voter thinks this is "foolish"

It appears that seven council members think it is the right thing to do. You fear government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Helene said...

Bernie, I apologize for my unclear words. Obviously, I was not on the Charter Commission but I was a volunteer who worked on the Home Rule commission at the request of the late Bob Kopecek and the late Judge Bill Moran. I didn't mean to imply that I was ON the commission.
Regardless, I still think it's a waste of time and money. Unlike the question of whether the Council members wish to change their titles to Commissioners which would actually change something, this one does nothing and will just cause confusion. And yes, it will bring out all the homophobes (who will post here so good for this blog) just to dot the i's and cross the t's. Voters will no doubt think they are voting for (or against) something when they are not. My view is that referenda should be used sparingly. Perhaps you should be honest too and not conflate the issue itself and those on Council who you like or dislike. As an aside, accusing Mr. Lamont of acting like a king and a bully seems unfair to me.

Anonymous said...

"This is absolutely necessary bc the HRC inadequately addresses discrimination in Section 807." Then just amend the HRC. I think Council has a committee that they can call to work on various "fixes" to the HRC. Do they all have to be by referendum?

12:42 "Again, my argument has nothing to do with trusting voters. It's what is the point of having it on the ballot in the first place? Just to feel good about ourselves for approving it and allowing others to privately vent their frustrations and gripes with a society no longer conforming to their world view?"

Absolutely agree, this is a bogus issue Bernie and Council is churning up something that has been rendered moot by the Supreme Court of the land.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Um amending the HRC Requires the approval of the voters. You obviously do not know what you are talking about. But you have made my point

Anonymous said...

BO @ 1:14 You are missing my point. Seems you have become fixated on the premise that if you are against this referendum you are against democracy. Whole lot of room to nibble around the edges on this issue. But hey, let's not pick over a dead corpse.

Again, I think the progressive crowd has a touch of "We know best" and furthermore, may not want to know that a whole bunch of people are homophobes. Doesn't fit the narrative.

Sooner or later you will realize that you are more conservative than you think. Of course we welcome a proper bastards such as yourself.

Anonymous said...

Hence the question mark about having to approval by referendum. You insult people simply because they don't agree with your overarching argument. You've answered the question about the HRC. Maybe you should have laid that out earlier so that others understand.

Still say this referendum is moot though and you know it as a former lawyer.

Anonymous said...

The real shame is the extremer members if the left and right control both political parties. Rather than discuss differences. It boils down to who screams the loudest and is best at calling the other names. It appears the idea was to change the language of the County Charter. Nothing malicious intended. The fact that a sponsor of the bill is an older African American gentleman who actually experienced real discrimination seems lost on the holier than thou community. Keep screaming.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"My view is that referenda should be used sparingly. Perhaps you should be honest too and not conflate the issue itself and those on Council who you like or dislike"

Helene,

First, I am routinely accused of having my nose up McClure's ass. I have also been complimentary to Cozze. Yet I am highly critical of both here. And this is precisely bc of the issue. Like and dislike has nothing to do with it.

Second, I agree that referenda should be used sparingly. But Council and the Exec have been reluctant to do an overhaul of the HRC, which really would require a HRC study Comm'n. They are terrified of losing power.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Again, I think the progressive crowd has a touch of "We know best" and furthermore, may not want to know that a whole bunch of people are homophobes. Doesn't fit the narrative."

If you mean they are condescending elitist, you are correct. It is that attitude which resulted in Donald Trump.

"Sooner or later you will realize that you are more conservative than you think. Of course we welcome a proper bastards such as yourself."

No you don't. I do not fit into any of the holes set forth for conservatives or liberals. I am about 55% liberal, 45% conservative and 5% libertarian.

And this issue transcends ideology. I disfavor allowing the public to weigh in on complicated matters like the budget. But something like this is simple. You either are tolerant or not. I think most of us are. I know many liberals who are intolerant and many conservatives who are.

When are elected representatives are afraid of us, we are in trouble.

Anonymous said...

Do you feel you have contributed to the poisonous political atmosphere by your continuous attacks on county officials, particularly council? Most of these "progressives" are very mean and nasty people. They assume the worst of people. They are very much like the intolerant Trump people just on the other end of the political Agenda. Makes me long for more moderate people willing to work together as opposed to a very
all about me" attitude that seems to be the attitude today.

Maybe the council members feel they are doing the right thing. Did any of thee angry people reach out to them individually? Easy to attack others from the safety of the mob. From what I have been told Ms. Zirinski alienates more people than she convinces of anything. Time for people to be constructive parts of the solution not just contribute to the chaos. How we long for conscientious leaders who can see all sides of an issue without condescension and hate.

Anonymous said...

After time, everyone’s personal virtual signaling means nothing to average American voters. What counts on Election Day will be the household budget, safety and security.

Anonymous said...

No you don't. I do not fit into any of the holes set forth for conservatives or liberals. I am about 55% liberal, 45% conservative and 5% libertarian.

I knew that comment would ruffle your feathers. Glad to see you are paying attention.

I'm a pro choice, 2nd Amendment, fiscal conservative, climate change believer. . . who considers myself to be conservative/independent. I'm not welcome in many circles as our politics have become an all or noting zero sum game.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Pretty much. You have to march in step or risk being shunned.