“Dr Rock should read the entire financial report” (59)

(59th in a series of posts on candidates for election)

Gadfly:

Dr Rock (see post #55) should read the entire financial report. $4000 from the Friends of any sitting council person to support a candidate for that body should raise a question about the independence of said candidate.

Augustus Wolle

(Augustus Wolle is a pseudonym, but the identity of the author is known to Gadfly.)

Stubborn facts: “Friends of Bryan Callahan contributed $4500 and various developers contributed $4300” to candidate Ritter’s campaign (58)

(58th in a series of posts on candidates for election)

Barbara Diamond enjoys retirement as Lehigh University Director of Foundation Relations by engaging in various activities and organizations hopefully for the betterment of the community. Her particular interests at the moment are preventing gun violence, local government ethics reform, and Bethlehem Democratic Committee work.

Gadfly:

Here are some stubborn facts: Friends of Bryan Callahan contributed $4500 and various developers contributed $4300. Over half of Ms. Ritter’s total campaign funds ($14,100) are from developers and a developer-friendly councilman, judging by his voting history, who supported her as an elected official using his campaign funds not his personal money. This magnitude of political contribution in a city council election should concern everyone about the corrosive effect of political influence by special interests.

Barbara

“I supported Carol Ritter by writing a check of my own from me, not from a campaign fund” (57)

(57th in a series of posts on candidates for election)

Election Day is Tuesday May 21

That’s tomorrow!

Dana Grubb is a lifelong resident of the City of Bethlehem who worked 27 years for the City of Bethlehem in the department of community and economic development, as sealer of weights and measures, housing rehabilitation finance specialist, grants administrator, acting director of community and economic development, and deputy director of community development.

First, I reply using my name. I don’t need to hide behind an alias. Second, I supported Carol Ritter by writing a check of my own from me, not from a campaign fund. Third, the fact remains that a seated Councilman wrote checks totaling $4,500 to a candidate from his own campaign fund, not from his own pocket. These facts are irrefutable. I also noticed other inter-candidate transfers of campaign monies, and I think that is wrong as well, but none approached this level.

Dana

“Signing with a pseudonym is not the act of a brave person” (56)

(56th in a series of posts on candidates for election)

Election Day is Tuesday May 21

That’s tomorrow!

John Marquette is a retired librarian/archivist, author, historian, and a resident of Bethlehem. His current project is focused on the restoration of the interior of the Archibald Johnston Mansion in Housenick Park. 

Gadfly:

A little less than five percent of Michael Colon’s contributions ($200 of $4360 as of the report listed ending 5/6/19) were from the Friends of J. William Reynolds. McNeil of Pa. donated an additional $100. I note a contribution of $1000 (23%) from Friends of Bob Donchez PAC on 2/16/19. Each candidate had a few major contributors, with the exception of one who appeared to be entirely self-funded.

Reputations are precious. Referring to contributors as “minions” while signing with a pseudonym is not the act of a brave person.

John

 

“Facts are difficult things when you smear candidates you don’t like”(55)

(55th in a series of posts on candidates for election)

Election Day is Tuesday May 21

That’s tomorrow!

Gadfly:

“candidate Ritter’s campaign is financed almost entirely by Councilman Callahan.”

False. False. False.

Your minions chose only to look at the 24-hour Report and FAILED to mention the Second Friday Report. The Second Friday Report lists $7,050 in cash contributions – none of them from “Friends of Bryan Callahan.”

Look at Michael Colon’s Second Friday Report. It lists a contribution from “Friends of J. William Reynolds.” Do you disqualify Mr. Colon because of this?

Facts are difficult things when you smear candidates you don’t like.

i.am.doctor.rock

Questions for candidate Ritter and Councilman Callahan (54)

(54th in a series of posts on candidates for election)

Election Day is Tuesday May 21

That’s tomorrow!

Gadfly posted on campaign finance reports in post#50 in this series.

He said there were several interesting things to see and invited you to look.

Did you?

Followers Grubb and Toulouse did and posted about what to Gadfly was the most interesting thing by far:  candidate Ritter’s campaign is financed almost entirely by Councilman Callahan.

To call that “interesting” is, in fact, a gross understatement. To Gadfly it was actually rather shocking.

Gadfly urges you to look at candidate Ritter’s campaign finance report (see the link in post #50) and to read posts #52 and 53 in this candidate series by followers Grubb and Toulouse.

The eve of the election is a delicate time personally and politically for the candidate and the Councilman, but Gadfly can certainly see how this fact might affect one’s vote.

There are at least three questions/issues raised by candidate Ritter’s campaign finance report:

1) the scale of the contribution

2) the independence of the candidate as the result of that scale

3) the general ethics of such a transaction, especially from Councilman Callahan’s position

Gadfly, as you know, likes to hear all sides.

Since he thinks this situation potentially disqualifies candidate Ritter from his consideration — and he feels he may not be alone in feeling so — he urges both the candidate and the Councilman to address those three questions/issues before sundown today, so that voters might have time to appraise the information before voting.

And Gadfly offers this space for their responses.

He invites followers to check back this evening (Gadfly is still on the road) for further info.

Campaign contributions: worrisome (53)

 (53rd in the series on candidates for election)

Mary Toulouse heads The Mount Airy Neighborhood Association, also known as MANA.

Gadfly:

WORRISOME—this is how I would describe the campaign contributions disclosures for Bethlehem City Council. (See Gadfly post #50.) For the most part, the results were what one would expect with the exception of this late 24 hour reported addition. Please see for yourself:
https://www.bethlehem-pa.gov/citycouncil/candidates/2019/Carol%20Ritter%2024%20Hr%20Report%201.pdf
What does it mean when a sitting council member “Friend” committee contributes $4000 to a prospective member’s campaign? I have sat in on a number of Council meetings and have appreciated the debate among council members—their discussion points, arguments, data analyses, and sometimes barbs. But, the exchange of money, and this amount of money? Does this mean that there is some kind of indebtedness on the part of the recipient of the money to the donor? Is this a form of stacking the decks on the part of the donor? Is this a statement about the independence of the candidate seeking election?
So, what are the solutions? This is a new situation. In all the discussions that I have followed on the importance of ethics in government, this is the first time I have heard of this type of problem in Bethlehem. Perhaps the donor and recipient have not thoroughly thought through their actions.
Solution 1. If that is the case, the candidate should return the money; she has two days to do so. And/or the donor could ask for the contribution back. Civics 101–lessons learned; that is why we have public discussions like those in this blog.

Solution 2. I have not been active in local politics, but I assume there is a platform and an ethics policy for all candidates from their respective political party. I would hope the above conduct would come under review by the party so it could not happen again.

Mary