Monday, May 30, 2011

Let Us Remember

                       " Happy Memorial Day "
Let us remember on this day all that have given their lives
so we may live free in this great land of ours America.
Have a great day and stay safe.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

To Be Moved

The previouse post is being moved to a new blog - in progress, will advise and provide direction when ready.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

More Waste?

Hopefully not.
The issue of recidivism haunts the nation, however, there are areas of the nation that have curtailed the problem by addressing the issues that cause the problem to begin with.

Recent history shows building more prisons does not solve the central problem with the current system. Ninety-seven percent of offenders are eventually released back into the community. Without addressing the problems that brought them to prison, the likelihood of committing a new crime is high.

We The People must hold both offenders and our prison system accountable to utilize the period of incarceration to address the problems that brought the offenders to prison in the first place – drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness, emotional problems, low education levels and lack of job skills.

In addition to what Chicago is doing, we should also be looking at Nebraska who boast one of the lowest recidivism rates in the country.

Hopefully they are looking at this issue seriously, and keep us well informed.

What do you think?

ET Article - Please Read:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Are We Done?

Absolutely not.

We had some connection problems that kept us away, however, the issues have been resolved and we're here to stay.

We The People have become an intricate part of our government, never to be disconnected again. We foresee a working relationship with our elected officials that will have the rest of the counties in the state taking notice.

As we understand it, there are some already did they do it? Sadly, many politico's do not desire the connection because they feel that they were elected by The People to make the decisions for The People, and we say they are correct. We The People do not desire to make all decisions that affect our county, that would be foolish and certainly not the intent of our forefathers. We just humbly reserve the right in accordance to our governing laws and our HRC/Constitution to intercede when our politicians go astray on issues of extreme importance to us.

Ironically, in the matter of Gracedale, had we been respectfully heard when we initially addressed the issue we would never have known how well our democratic system works. Having said that, the work was often difficult, but always rewarding because we were doing it for the right reasons. We also had the greatest ally in Jesus Christ whom without we surely would have failed. If we had to do it all over again...we wouldn't change a thing.

Rev. Mario Martinez

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Coucil Meeting Tonight

There is a council meeting this evening at 6:30 in the Easton Courthouse. Please come and get connected to the new era in NorCo.

Let us fall in rank behind the Bi-partisan 5 - let's continue to make a difference.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

McClure On Top Of Angle

The unbelievable lie - taxes have to go up:

The Numbers Are In

Officially the Gracedale referendum question received 19,690 YES Votes and 7,406 NO Votes. We believe that if the scare tactics used were non existent, the question would have probably received 90% of the vote.

How big was this victory for Gracedale? Well consider that at 19,690 we were above the required number for the petition drive of 19,621, and actually very close to the 23,391 petition names collected.

Further consider that if you add 19,690 with 7,406 you come up with 27,027...and that Norco is a pretty good number for a primary.

Lastly, consider that not one candidate running came close to the Gracedale numbers.

The Morning Call Is In Denial

Can anyone explain why the morning call would post such a question the day after an election that has already convincingly expressed the wishes of The People?

"TODAY'S QUESTION: Do you agree with the voters' decision on the Gracedale nursing home referendum?"

Like at this point in time any numbers from this poll matter!

Are they really neutral, or are they really Angle/Stoffa supporters. Hmmm.

The Morning After

First, I must take a moment to praise my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for without His guidance the results on this matter would have in all probability been different.

Secondly, congratulations are in order to "We The People", and a great big thank you to all of the poll workers who sacrificed time to make certain that The People understood how to cast their vote. We also extend a monumental grateful heart to all the electors who braved the weather to vote on this extremely important question. This of course includes the NO voters. We believe that many who voted no did so because they bought into the deception that taxes will go up because of Gracedale…taxes in fact may go up at some point, but they will discover that it won’t necessarily be because of Gracedale.

While we don't want to accuse anyone of any intentional wrong doing, we found it however, a bit peculiar that the referendum question was positioned so low on the poll, almost out of sight. Without the poll workers the voters may have missed the question.

While the Gracedale sale proponents were said to be pinching each other to see if they were dreaming in “LA LA LAND”,  they instead discovered they are “IN THE REAL WORLD” where The People want Gracedale in county hands.

Lastly, I applaud Mr. Cusick for his remark in the Express Times this morning:  
“The county has to run Gracedale more effectively and more efficiently,” Cusick said. “I think this should be a message to (County Executive) John Stoffa that he needs to do a better job of running the place.”
in addition, I respectfully remind Mr. Cusick that it is his responsibility along with the rest of CC to insure that Stoffa does what the mandate calls him to do to prosper Gracedale, with the understanding that if he is incapapble or unwilling, then he (Stoffa) should resign and allow someone who can take over the helm. Refusing to resign Stoffa should be impeached by the County government body authorized to do so.

God Bless our HRC, our Constitution, our Judges, and America.

Rev. Mario Martinez

Read full ET report:


Monday, May 16, 2011

24 Hours To Go

Well Folks...The Coalition of Alzheimer's Families completed our goal. The goal was to secure the electors of Northampton County their right to vote on the Gracedale issue, and we did. Now it's up to you to exercise your right.

Our effort was never about winning or losing, it was about bringing awareness to the plight of the indigent and destitute.

COAF was once told that we did not have a choice, and we found that ignorant mentality unacceptable. We can humbly tell you today that tomorrow you have a choice. Vote YES or vote NO, but whatever you do get out and vote.

Certainly we encourage you to vote YES because we are of the opinion that it is not necessary to sell Gracedale, however, it's The Peoples decision...because you do have a choice.

The Hardest Thing To Do

Ask yourself, what is the hardest thing you have ever done? Not sure...then ask any members of COAF, they will attest that placing a loved one in a nursing home is among that hardest, if not the hardest thing they have ever had to do.

We must discern that when one truly loves a person such as your Mother, not being able to care for her in her last days on earth 24/7 is definitely hellacious to accept. We are not discussing someone who cannot get around due to physical challenges, although that too may be exacting...we're talking about Alzheimer's or some other form of dementia.

In my experience, at first mom is independent; you look in on her at least once a day. Then you start to wonder what’s wrong with her? Why is she repeating herself? All of a sudden she is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

One day you visit her and discover the stove on with nothing cooking. Why’s the stove on mom? Why are you asking me she says, I didn’t turn it on! You report this to the doctor who then informs you she is no longer self-reliant, the disease is progressing he says. Either you take her in or she has to be placed in a nursing home.

My sister and I didn’t see placement as an option so of course we take her in between the two of us. One day while with me I said - hey Mom let’s get ready to go to the supermarket. Mom says I don’t want to go, I’ll stay here. Well okay, we’ll only be about a half hour. Upon returning, Mom begins to yell why did you leave me alone all day? Mom I said, it was only 35 minutes! To her it was all day. The doctors say place her or risk criminal charges should something happen to her because she is left alone. I work, my sister works, what can or should we do?

As prudent and responsible family we research the decease and considered just how many Alzheimer’s afflicted residents of the world  have been found DEAD in a ditch somewhere, or in a creek, reported missing just days before, or found lifeless in a fire because their failing memory processes did not allow them to recall they had something cooking on the stove.

Those of you who have walk in our shoes understand perfectly well what we are discussing. Those who have not or those who care for no one but themselves, well, needless to say they will never in their lifetime comprehend.

NO, Gracedale does not have to be sold; and it should not be sold. It’s just easier for some lazy politicians to sell rather than roll up their sleeves and dirty their hands.  Our public servants have decided not to fulfill their campaign promises to us, they simply refuse to work. They don’t even want to fix Gracedale, let her DIE they say so they set Gracedale up to fail, in that way they can justify the sale.

We have been sold a lie, deceived by some of our public servants who in their madness have twisted the truth. We are supposed to be able to TRUST our elected officials, but how can we trust our local government when their story changes time and time again? They have said 20% tax increase, no 15%, no 18%, no back to 20%, no 15-20%. Their latest lie - 30%.

They need to explain 30%, because it equates to 25 Million dollars per year. Why exactly do we need that much money? And with such an increase we could build a new Gracedale.

Forget the lies on May 17- we all need do the morally right thing, Vote YES – Keep Gracedale in County Hands.

Rev. Mario Martinez

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Coalition Fought Uphill Battle To Save Gracedale

Taken from ET - Letters to the editor 05/15/11

Over the last several years I have been honored and privileged to serve as spokesperson for The Coalition for Alzheimer’s Families, a small group of ordinary people who have accomplished the extraordinary.

In the Gracedale debate, they have stood up like David to the giant Goliath, and just as David, they prevailed, but unlike David, they had to do it over and over again.

The members of the coalition did not wake up one morning with the intent of creating chaos or havoc. They simply decided to do what in their hearts was morally right regardless of the persecution they understood would come.

They have been called thugs and goons among many other despicable names, but they always held their head high because they recognized the needs of others beyond their own. I called them courageous, dedicated, determined, sincere and caring friends of the people in need, especially those who cannot speak for themselves.

The coalition has demonstrated morals and values, guts and gallantry beyond that of the average. Why? Because they understand the value of life, and they truly, truly care.

From the beginning, the coalition simply sought a reasonable resolution to the Gracedale issue, following the law every step of the way. Because they did, on Tuesday all electors of Northampton County will have the opportunity to do what is right — vote “yes” to save Gracedale and keep it in the hands in which it belongs.

Forks Township

A Day To Pray

Heavenly Father, we thank You and praise You for giving us another day on this earth to fulfill Your charge. We ask You to bless the activities of the Coalition for their hearts want only to serve Your mission. We ask also that You pour out Your blessings on the Union and their employees so that they may prevail in the assignment directed by You. We ask that You also shower Your blessings on all of the people of Northampton County, and the world.

In solidarity we want nothing more than to further Your Kingdom, so we also ask that You provide us the knowledge and wisdom necessary to do things right, and to do the right things. We ask for patience to handle the misguided appropriately without casting judgment upon them, for that judgment is reserved by You, and for You. We ask that on Tuesday You supply the electors of Northampton the understanding that a YES vote to save Gracedale is a vote that furthers Your Kingdom. We ask that you forgive all who vote NO for they are led by inappropriate motives and prompted by wrong ideals.

Thank You Heavenly Father for being so merciful and gracious. In the glorious name of Jesus we pray.


Rev. Mario Martinez

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Catch Up To Us On Facebook

We Need Gracedale

As you all know, next Tuesday, May 17th is Primary Election Day. For those of you that live in Northampton County, you will be voting on a referendum close to my heart.......Gracedale. As some of you may know, my mother suffered a debilitating stroke in November of 2008. She was left paralyzed and with no speech. After almost 2 months in the hospital and then an acute care facility, I was faced with finding a nursing home for my mother. After my relentless searching and the work of a caseworker, no private facility in the Lehigh Valley was willing to accept my mother. All had their own excuse as to why they would not. Some stated they had no beds available and some said they did not have a respiratory therapist on duty 24/7 to deal with my mothers tracheotomy. In the end, Gracedale, the County Nursing Home for Northampton County was the ONLY nursing home to accept my mother, to my amazement with NO respiratory therapist on staff at all. My father has been a lifelong resident of Northampton County (82 years) and my mother since they married 62 years ago! They still lived in the same home that they built almost 60 years ago and paid their taxes to Northampton County like most hard working residents do. Neither had high salary jobs but worked their whole life to provide for their daughters and do their due dilegence of paying taxes. I have for the past 8 months asked Northampton County Council and Northampton County Executive, John Stoffa what I would have done if Gracedale was not a County Home that was in the end, willing to accept my mother. I am still waiting for an answer!!! PLEASE PLEASE on May 17th, remember this story when you vote because many of you can be left in this same type of situation. Nursing homes are not just for our senior citizens.....unfortunately I have seen many young people that have either had tragic accidents, debilitating medical conditions or have used poor judgement by using drugs. This situation affects young and old! I am asking that you vote YES on Tuesday, May 17th to keep Gracedale County owned and away from big business privatization that worries only about the bottom line profit! FYI......Independent voters can vote for the referendum Tuesday, so get out and vote! Thanks for reading


Numbers On Gracedale Overblown

If I were to debate Northampton County Councilman Bruce Gilbert over his numbers on Gracedale (Op-Ed column, May 12), I’d ask him to show me proof that a private company would get $4 million more than the county does in reimbursements. There is no documentation of this. It is pure speculation from a buyer that wants desperately to purchase the home because they are literally getting it and some very valuable land for pennies on the dollar.
Gilbert asserts that cuts in Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget will cost us $725,000 in 2011 if we keep the home. Ironically, the Department of Health and Human Services (from where Gracedale’s state money is allocated) has been one of the few places that have avoided the governor’s draconian cuts.
Gilbert says we’d need a 9 percent to 28 percent tax increase to keep Gracedale. Taking his worst-case scenario, a $15 million bond and five years of $6 million losses, the total projected losses would be $45 million. A 28 percent tax increase over five years yields $100 million. Why does the county need an additional $55 million?
I encourage everyone to vote “yes” on the referendum. These scare tactics and misrepresentations will not come to pass. Simply remember that between 2005 and 2010 Gracedale made more than $2 million. The administration said the home would lose $45 million over that same time period. Why should we believe that they or Gilbert are correct after several years of getting it wrong?
Northampton County controller
May 13, 2011 ET Opinion

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Guess Who Said It

"By means of shrewd LIES, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell -- and hell is heaven. The greater the LIE, the more readily it will be believed."

A        H
  D        I
    O        T
      L         L
        F         E

Don't believe the LIES.

Must READ:,0,477287.story

Also READ:

May 17...Vote YES

Seven Days And Counting

In Seven days the VOTE is on.

We need all the volunteers we can muster. Gracedale headquarters office is in Nazereth - 239 Broad St, Nazareth, PA (next to POTTS)
PLEASE come out to help us get the true facts and message out on the following dates:

Phone and Walks
  3pm to 8pm
Phone and Walks
  3pm to 8pm
Phone and Walks
  9am to 8pm
Phone and Walks
  9am to 3pm
Phone and Walks
 9am - All Day
Election Day
7am to ?

Are you part of the solution or part of the problem.
Don't just standby and watch history being made...
...Get involved and help make it.

Please help us keep Gracedale in County Hands
Questions Call 800-478-4944

Monday, May 9, 2011

How Many Lies Do You Tell Before You're Considered A Liar?

We The People have been sold a lie, deceived by some of our public servants who in their madness have twisted the truth. We all know who they are.

Sadly, we are supposed to be able to TRUST our elected officials. But how can we trust our local government when their story changes time and time again. Relating to their unnecessary tax increase which initially was said to be 20%, then 15%, no 18%, no back to 20%, no 15-20%. Their latest lie is 30%.

Consider that 30% will generate in the area of 25 million dollars. How ridiculous - does that make any sense? We can build a new Gracedale for that amount. In plain English, how stupid do they believe We The People are?

COAF wants everyone to know that the first one to fight such taxation rape of the taxpayers would be Angle. That's right, but for his own benefit. Owning 60-90 properties in NorCo he would fight like a rabid dog to prevent such a crazy tax increase, he is not willing to pay what it would cost him individually, especially when the county has 62 million in the general fund account.

They are just trying to scare the taxpayers into voting against the referendum question. Don't fall prey to this nonsense.

The leader is Angle...he must go in November.

May 17, vote YES. Keep Gracedale in County hands, and then witness no tax increase and know the truth.

Vote YES To Keep Gracedale In County Hands

Please share the word with the county that a YES vote is what is required to keep Gracedale in county hands.

The opposition is trying to confuse the electors.

A YES vote on May 17, will keep Gracedale in County Hands.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Is Stoffa Incompetent?

We found some interesting numbers that kind of indicate that perhaps Stoffa is the problem when it comes to losses.

As Human Services Directed he posted the following losses:
1991 - 160,712 / loss
1992 - 1,748,329 / loss
1993 - 2,410,551 / loss
1994 - 1,634,323 / loss
Total losses = 5,953,915

As County Executive, the following numbers:
2007 - 5,427,871 / took over with wheels turning forward - profit
2008 - 953,502 / notice how the wheels have slowed down - profit
2009 - 4,614,628 / the wheels are now in reverse - loss
2010 - 2,900,000 / still in reverse - loss
Total losses = 1,133,255

In 2006 he also signed away 52% of the N.C. Gaming Revenue.

So...Stoffa has has eight budgets on his watch for a total loss of $7,087,170

Whats really interesting is that from 1999 to 2006 under Executive Reibman the County enjoyed a $4,684,894 profit.

Going back a little further, from 1995 to 1998 under Executive Brackbill the County enjoyed a whopping $11,266,418.

Take note that much of the profit came from Gracedale.

Vote YES to keep Gracedale in County hands.
Spread the word - indepenents can vote too.

Meaningless Is At It Again

The ex-president's desperado is at it again. Now he wants to waste more tax payer funds on baseless allegations...why not just let the election take it's course? With two weeks left they they have become even more desperate than ever.

Get out and VOTE YES to keep Gracedale in County hands.

See this mornings MCall artical:,0,7605724.story

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Who Can VOTE?

Democrats - Republicans - INDEPENDENTS TOO!

Gracedale is a bi-partisan issues that affects everyone.

On May 17th...get out and VOTE - YES to keep Gracedale in County Hands where it belongs.


This is a bit long - BUT A MUST READ

Respondent Defendant Gracedale Initiative Petition Committee, by and through
its attorney, Lawrence M. Otter, Esquire respectfully requests a rehearing on its prior
motion for costs and attorney fees and says:
1. Respondent incorporates it prior motion for costs and attorney fees as if set forth
herein at length
2. On March 15, The Morning Call published an article which revealed for the first
time the illicit use of tax money authorized by the County Executive John Stoffa
and his minions to assist Objectors and “private citizens” O’Hare and Angle in
furtherance of the filing of their Petition to Set Aside the Initiative. See Exhibit A
attached here to - Did taxpayers fund Gracedale petition fight?
3. The article recounts various January 2011 billings by the law firm of Eckert
Seamans specifically for the review of petition signatures submitted to the Board
of Elections by GIPC. The labor intensive review of petition signatures for defects
is fundamental for any petition challenge. The firm billed for 80 hours of
signature reviews at a cost of $10,800.00.
4. This bill was approved by John Stoffa and paid by the County of Northampton.
5. Upon information and belief, at the March 3, 2011 hearing on the original motion
Mr. O’Hare testified under oath that there was no involvement by Eckert Seamans
in the preparation of the petition to set aside.
6. In response to the Morning Call article and counsel for GIPC’s comments to
WFMZ-TV, on March 17, Mr. O’Hare, published on his blog, Lehigh Valley
Ramblings the following:
Yesterday, the Otter engaged in a bit of litigation by news conference, telling
Channel 69, that he's calling on the DA, Attorney General and even the
frickin' Spanish Inquisition to break out the thumbscrews.
That's bad news for Stoffa, who already is missing a finger or two.
"This is the same case. People went to jail. I think the same thing might
happen here."
There 'ya have it.
Reporter Bo Koldcrow dutifully laps it all up, too, claiming that Bonusgate
"set a legal precedence [sic] that taxpayer dollars couldn't be spent on petition
challenges." Of course, that's nonsense. The County most certainly has every
right to spend taxpayer dollars to defend the Home Rule Charter, even from an
initiative petition. It also has every right to spend its resources in a nonpartisan
matter like the Gracedale initiative that directly affects the County, especially
when there's pervasive election fraud.
There's another little hole in Otter's theory. Not one cent of taxpayer
money ever funded my petition challenge. That litigation actually saved
taxpayers many thousands of dollars because it spared the County the
need to file its own signature challenge. (Emphasis added.).
7. Upon information and belief, Mr. O’Hare is not licensed to practice law in the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
8. Upon information and belief, at all relevant times, John Stoffa had full knowledge
that Bernard O’Hare was not admitted to practice in Pennsylvania.
9. On April 20, 2011, the Morning Call published another story about the Gracedale
matter but this time it was based upon email correspondence between O’Hare,
Stoffa, Ron Angle, John Conklin and Mark Stewart Esquire. See Exhibit B
attached hereto.
10. The article states, inter alia:
Executive John Stoffa's administration and his lawyers worked with blogger Bernie
O'Hare on his and Councilman Ron Angle's failed attempt to keep Northampton
County voters from having a say on the sale of Gracedale nursing home.
An attorney from Eckert Seamans, the firm the county hired to help privatize
Gracedale, charged the county about $15,000 to revise Angle and O'Hare's court
challenge and to produce evidence submitted as Exhibit A in the challenge.
Angle and O'Hare have repeatedly said they did not collaborate with Eckert Seamans.
(See Exhibits C, D, E & F-various emails to and from Bernard O’Hare)
11. The article also quotes John Stoffa directly as follows:
"There was a hand-off like in football," Stoffa said. "The case was handed off to
Bernie. Bernie in my opinion saved the county taxpayers a lot of money by
pursuing that lawsuit on his own. It would have cost the county a lot more with
[Eckert Seamans'] time."
12. John Stoffa aided and abetted the unauthorized practice of law by having Bernard
O’Hare surreptiously represent the interests of the County in the Gracedale
Petition challenge. See: 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 2524 & 2525.
13. On January 20, 2011 at 11:46 PM , Eckert Seamans provided Bernard O’Hare
with a spread sheet that then became “EXHIBIT A” and was attached to his and
Angle’s petition to set aside the Initiative. See Exhibit D-email from B O’Hare
acknowledging receipt of spreadsheet.
14. On January 24, 2011 at 6:54PM significant revisions of the O’Hare Angle
Challenge petition were emailed from Mark Stewart to Bernie O’Hare. See
Exhibit E-email from Stewart to O’Hare. On information and belief, those
revisions and the “Exhibit A” spreadsheet were incorporated into the document
filed with this Court on January 25, 2011.
15. None of this information was known or available to respondents at the time of the
hearing on the original motion.
16. Upon information and belief, John Stoffa, Ron Angle, Bernard O’Hare, John
Conklin and others un named co conspirators agreed and conspired to use county
tax money to assist in the “private” challenge to the GIPC Initiative filed in this
Court on January 25, 2011 by O’Hare and Angle.
17. Upon information and belief, John Stoffa, Ron Angle, Bernard O’Hare, John
Conklin and others un named co conspirators knew or should have known that the
use of county tax money to assist in the O’Hare Angle Challenge is a
misappropriation of tax money. See: Exhibit G- Bonusgate Indictment pp 55-
18. Upon information and belief, John Stoffa, Ron Angle and Bernard O’Hare were
less than candid with this Court in all the proceedings involving respondent GIPC.
WHEREFORE, in the interests of Justice, Gracedale Initiative Petition Committee
respectfully requests that this Honorable Court allow a rehearing on respondent’s request
for cost and attorney fees in light of the illegal use of tax money involved in this
challenge and hidden from both the respondents and the Court pursuant to 25 P.S. § 2937
and 42 PA.C.S.A. §2503.
Further Respondents seek an injunction to prevent Bernard O’Hare and Ron
Angle from any further unauthorized practice of law and the costs of this action pursuant
to 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 2524 (c).
Also, Respondents seek an injunction to prevent John Stoffa and any employee of
the County of Northampton, Pennsylvania to further aid and abet O’Hare and Angle
or any other non lawyer in the unauthorized practice of law and the costs of this
action pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 2524 (c).
Respectfully submitted,
PO BOX 2131
Doylestown, PA 18901
215-230-7197 (FAX)
e mail:
Did taxpayers fund Gracedale petition fight?
Law firm working for Northampton County reviewed signatures later challenged
privately by Ron Angle and Bernie O'Hare.
March 14, 2011|By Jenna Portnoy, OF THE MORNING CALL
A law firm Northampton County hired to help sell Gracedale nursing home spent 80
hours reviewing signatures filed by people hoping to block the sale. The names are on a
petition seeking to put the question before voters.
The January bill for work Eckert Seamans performed on behalf of county Executive John
Stoffa's administration describes time attorneys and others spent reviewing petitions for
discrepancies and defects.
Hourly rates vary depending on who completed the work, but 80 billable hours works out
to at least $10,800 in charges to taxpayers. The total bill is $71,826.
Most of the work in January had to do with the selection of a partnership of companies
with which Stoffa's staff is negotiating the terms of a sale. The firm reviewed the
petitions on Stoffa's behalf, he said, because he was considering filing a legal challenge
to the petition over the names.
Instead he challenged the referendum on other grounds — that putting the question of
selling Gracedale to voters would violate the county's home rule charter's ban on
questions regarding the budget and the capital plan. A judge tossed that suit, and Stoffa is
appealing to Commonwealth Court.
Ron Angle, as a citizen, not a county councilman, and blogger Bernie O'Hare challenged
the petition over its names. And the Eckert Seamans bill shows contact between the firm's
attorneys and both men.
County Controller Steve Barron objected to that contact. "It's clear the [Stoffa]
administration was working with the people who brought the private petition challenge,"
said Barron, an outspoken advocate for keeping Gracedale under county control.
The bill lists a phone call with O'Hare and three instances of contact with Angle, who
have said in public meetings they were not coached by Eckert Seamans attorneys.
"They call me and periodically give me updates on the sale of Gracedale," Angle said
In one case, a description on the bill mirrors an aspect of Angle and O'Hare's case, which
was heard by county Judge Stephen Baratta.
Eckert Seamans completed "research [regarding] petition defects related to circulators'
errors," the bill shows, and O'Hare presented evidence in court showing people who
signed petitions as circulators delegated the responsibility to others.
"That was my lawsuit," O'Hare said, "and it was based on research that I did and that Ron
Angle participated in. There's absolutely no substance to the allegation that we were
spear carriers for Eckert Seamans."
Did taxpayers help fund a private Gracedale lawsuit?
Eckert Seamans charged the county $15,000 for petition
challenge work.
• By Jenna Portnoy, OF THE MORNING CALL
10:50 p.m. EDT, April 19, 2011
Executive John Stoffa's administration and his lawyers worked with blogger Bernie O'Hare on his
and Councilman Ron Angle's failed attempt to keep Northampton County voters from having a
say on the sale of Gracedale nursing home.
An attorney from Eckert Seamans, the firm the county hired to help privatize Gracedale, charged
the county about $15,000 to revise Angle and O'Hare's court challenge and to produce evidence
submitted as Exhibit A in the challenge.
Angle and O'Hare have repeatedly said they did not collaborate with Eckert Seamans.
"Collaborating is too strong a word," O'Hare said on his blog on March 15. "They were conducting
their own investigation, and I spoke to them because we were both interested in the same thing.
But my work is my work and their work is theirs."
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The Coalition of Alzheimer's Families, including relatives of Gracedale residents and unions
representing Gracedale workers, collected more than 23,000 signatures on 507 petitions in hopes
of putting a question on the spring ballot that, if successful, would block a sale for five years. The
petition drive spurred legal action from sale proponents.
Councilman Lamont McClure and coalition attorney Larry Otter said contact between O'Hare and
Eckert Seamans shows taxpayers helped pay for the petition challenge. The contact is confirmed
in emails provided by McClure, who requested them from the county.
"Taxpayer money did go to support a private lawsuit and while every bad decision is not a
crime," McClure said, "this tax money was misspent and should be reimbursed."
Stoffa said he sees nothing wrong with the contact, given the county's goal to sell the nursing
"There was a hand-off like in football," Stoffa said. "The case was handed off to Bernie. Bernie in
my opinion saved the county taxpayers a lot of money by pursuing that lawsuit on his own. It
would have cost the county a lot more with [Eckert Seamans'] time."
In an interview, Angle said he doesn't use email and knows nothing about the emails O'Hare
exchanged with the county and its lawyers.
"If Bernie and Stoffa were on the same page with what they were doing, it would not be unusual
for them to share information," Angle said. "It would be proper protocol for [O'Hare] to share
with them and them to share with [O'Hare]."
O'Hare said he and Eckert Seamans attorney Mark Stewart were working toward a common goal.
O'Hare compared the contact to elected Controller Steve Barron talking to the coalition during the
court hearing.
"Taxpayer money did not fund this private litigation at all," O'Hare said. "An attorney who
represented the county shared information with me and I made my own decisions about what
information I would use and what information I would not use."
The night before O'Hare and Angle submitted their challenge, Stewart sent O'Hare an email,
copying Stoffa and Director of Administration John Conklin.
"Bernie/Again, great work," Stewart said in the Jan. 24 message, and promised he would send
O'Hare an email from his personal account with a "revised petition." He listed 10 specific
revisions to the document.
Stewart suggested adding a paragraph to strengthen O'Hare's argument that a petition
circulator's behavior "constitutes a pattern and practice of abuse and fraud" that should
invalidate all of the petitions she circulated. He also changed the title of the document, revised
language in several instances, corrected a typo, promised to send a case citation and adjusted
In the same message, Stewart told O'Hare he would send him an updated version of Exhibit A, a
spreadsheet the firm produced after a painstaking review of hundreds of thousands of signatures
on petitions. The firm's January bill shows staff spent 83 hours reviewing signatures and
researching circulator errors for a cost of $14,786.
A few hours later O'Hare responded in part: "Mark, I really appreciate these suggestions, which
will make this a superior pleading." The message follows a Jan. 20 email O'Hare sent thanking
Stewart for the spreadsheet, which O'Hare called "some amazing research, more than I had
hoped to see."
As soon as it became clear to the administration that ACS, the county's information technology
contractor, could review petitions at no extra cost to taxpayers, Conklin said he told Eckert
Seamans to abandon its review. The work the firm had completed up to that point was compiled
in a spreadsheet that Stoffa said O'Hare was welcome to use.
"It was public information," Stoffa said. "We would have given it to anybody who asked for it."
County Judge Stephen Baratta did not grant enough of Angle and O'Hare's objections — which
focused mostly on circulator errors — to toss the referendum, and Commonwealth Court upheld
the ruling. The spreadsheet of 1,238 seemingly defective signatures did not play a significant role
in the case.
Stoffa said O'Hare's pursuit of the petition challenge allowed him to direct Eckert Seamans to
concentrate on researching whether the ballot referendum violated the home rule charter's ban
on budget matters.
"I thought the home rule charter question was much more important because it doesn't affect
just Northampton County," Stoffa said, "it affects every charter and every county in the country."
Baratta denied the charter challenge in mid-February, and Commonwealth Court upheld his
ruling. Stoffa said he will not pursue further appeals. The referendum will appear on the May 17
Coalition attorney Otter said he believes Stoffa should not have used Eckert Seamans' labor to
review petitions, let alone support the private challenge. "He had no right to spend taxpayer
money for a purely partisan purpose," Otter said. "When you file a petition challenge, that's a
partisan purpose."
Stoffa said the payments were justified by a broadly worded council resolution authorizing him to
hire the firm "to facilitate and expedite all issues that will result in the alternate ownership of
The contract is capped at $300,000 and so far the firm has billed the county about $164,000.
Council President John Cusick acknowledged council may bear some responsibility, but said he
did not envision the legal issues when he voted to hire the firm in October.
"The way that the administration went about this whole petition issue was confused, bungled,
and they didn't have a strategy to deal with it," he said. "We ought to just let the voters have a
say and move on."
This is to certify that a copy of the attached Motion has been served on petitioners of
record as indicated below on April 28, 2011
By email only:
Bernie O’Hare
68 South Main St
Nazareth, PA 18064
By email only: &
Ron Angle
PO Box A
Portland, PA 18351
By email:
Karl F. Longenbach, Esquire
Northampton County Solicitor
Northampton County Courthouse
Easton, PA
By email only:
Christopher Spadoni, Esquire
Election Commission Solicitor
Northampton County Courthouse
Easton, PA
/s/ Lawrence M. Otter, Esquire

Monday, May 2, 2011

Angles Townhall Meeting

Tuesday night at 7 pm. Mr. Angle will be holding a Townhall  Meeting at the Lehigh Township Fire Co.
Rt. 248 Cherryville,PA.
If you can,  come join us so we can get the truth out to the people who attend.

Business Matters - 2

Aired 5/2/11

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Please Help!

We need all the volunteers we can muster. Gracedale headquarters office has is in Nazereth - 239 Broad St, Nazareth, PA (next to POTTS)
PLEASE come out to help us get the true facts and message out on the following dates:

Phone and Walks
4pm to 8pm
Phone and Walks
  3pm to 8pm
Phone and Walks
  9am to 8pm
Phone and Walks
  9am to 3pm
Phone and Walks
  3pm to 8pm
Phone and Walks
  3pm to 8pm
Phone and Walks
  9am to 8pm
Phone and Walks
  9am to 3pm
Phone and Walks
 9am - All Day
Election Day
7am to ?
Please help us keep Gracedale in County Hands
Questions Call 800-478-4944

The Liberal Case For Selling Gracedale

Please read this article: The Liberal Case For Selling Gracedale

Sunday, May 1, 2011

DOWD - Where Do You Really Stand On Gracedale?

We have been involved in your politics for quite sometime now. Why shoulld we believe that you have changed your position on Gracedale? And why should We The People support you?

Please rerpond to this post.