On the subject of hardball and negative campaigning

Latest in a series of posts on candidates for election

Candidate Grubb’s hardball mailer created quite a buzz, a buzz about negative campaigning. Now we have the Reynolds hardballer as well. Apoplexy abounds.

Here below we have Councilwoman Negron giving candidate Reynolds some space on the topic of his involvement with the ethics ordinance and Barbara Diamond defending candidate Grubb against the charge of negative campaigning.

Further comments on either side welcome and invited.

ref: Hardball (Grubb)
ref: Candidate Grubb critics don’t respond to the facts
ref: Hardball (Reynolds)


Dr. Van Wirt and I continued the conversation to bring back our Ethic ordinance and Dr. Van Wirt did her due diligence and approached councilman Reynolds who said he would support the Ethics Ordinance. I think it took him a while, but he now understands our points and the problems of not having a single, comprehensive ordinance. There is a lot of work that we do behind the scenes that takes a lot of time, and we don’t bring the work to the public eye until it is totally ready. Councilman Colon and I met with a group of citizens for an entire year to create our Ethics Ordinance. I made a big mistake (because I didn’t know any better), and I didn’t present the ordinance to our council solicitor. He would have revised and better prepared it to follow the format typically used when presenting an ordinance. Once presented, he did change it, but that’s when I realized I should have done that first, and he could have helped me make additional  changes before presenting it to full council. That’s what Dr. Van Wirt was and is working on since 2019. The Pandemic forced her to stop that process. It has being a tough year for everyone, but for a frontline doctor, one can only imagine. Council will bring the Ethics ordinance back, councilman Reynolds is in full support that we do so, and will support the ordinance as well! People don’t know what they don’t know; however, I really wish my and Dr. Van Wirt’s opinions would be taken more seriously and with more respect. We are the ones fighting the good fight right in the trenches!

Olga Negron April 26


Dear Gadfly,

In your Hardball post of April 25th, Mayoral Candidate Willie Reynolds and Councilwoman Crampsie-Smith accuse Mayoral Candidate Dana Grubb of negative campaigning in response to a campaign mailer that lists actions Mr. Reynolds has taken. It is legitimate to challenge your opponent on his record. Mr. Reynolds could have used the opportunity to refute what was listed on the mailer or provide some context or defense. It is revealing that he does neither of those things. He doesn’t address the facts on the mailer at all. Instead he denigrates Mr. Grubb by characterizing him as someone who is not proud of where Bethlehem is going and Ms. Crampsie-Smith characterizes him as acting with malevolence. To my mind, these personal attacks actually are negative campaigning.

Now behold the Reynolds campaign mailer that arrived in the mail today. This was most likely in production when Reynolds and Crampsie-Smith were complaining about Dana’s negative campaigning. This piece is exceedingly misleading insinuating that Dana is like Trump and by leaving out important information, which Dana explains in Gadfly’s March 11 post. Dana was assaulted by a coworker resulting in a broken nose; he did not retaliate. The coworker was someone Dana had reported to the Director of a Human Resources and the City Solicitor for unethical and potentially illegal behavior. Although both participants had to leave city government, Dana was approached by and assisted the FBI for 2 years with information about possible corruption in Bethlehem’s city government and development community.

It seems obvious that candidate Reynolds would rather attack his opponent with distortions than defend his own record. Voters want and deserve to know specifically what candidates who have held public office or served in city hall have actually done and how those actions have moved the city forward or point toward future decision-making.

Barbara Diamond April 30

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