Mar 13, 2017

Crucifying Grass Roots In Allentown

This past weekend blogger Bernie O'Hare and I disagreed over city council candidate Ken Heffentrager.  Ken is a founding member of a tenants association, which takes landlords to task over blighted conditions.  He has become a regular at city council, also taking the city to task for not being aggressive enough with landlords.  I have a soft spot for such grass roots activism,  having defended the traditional park system and other structures over the years.  As a former candidate myself, I appreciate the tenacity involved in running.  Heffentrager is not some main stream guy being encouraged by the local Democratic party.  On the contrary, he is an outsider,  stepping forward under his own volition.

O'Hare's comprehensive post last week on Lehigh County candidates apparently had some misnomer concerning Allentown council candidates.   When Heffentrager commented on the mistake,  O'Hare lowered the boom on him.  O'Hare  used his  research skills to discover some past legal problems and associated unpaid fines by Heffentrager.  He also challenged Heffentrager about an alleged omission on his candidate application.  He implied that Heffentrager was both a criminal and a liar.  When I added my perspective to the comment dialogue,  O'Hare doubled down with a reply that was almost a repeat, word for word, of his prior attack on Ken.

Bernie stated in a subsequent comment that he would report why Heffentrager is unfit to serve in a separate post, to warn the voters.  Heffentrager is only a second tier candidate at best, but he is a first tier attendee at city council.  Please understand that the number of people who regularly attend council meetings couldn't fill a large table at the Hamilton Family Diner.  Bernie has never suffered from a lack of self-righteousness.  Although, he will attempt to justify his attack on Heffentrager, in reality he is inadvertently helping to crucify grass root candidates in Allentown.  There is nothing in Heffentrager's background that made him ineligible to run.  There is nothing in his background that would make him ineligible to serve, if elected. There is something in Bernie's post which will discourage people in the future from stepping forward. Allentown needs all the city council candidates it can get.

ADDENDUM: O'Hare has published his promised hit piece on Heffentragger, in which he repeats over and over that Heffentragger is a criminal.  He cites two cases, which  from the small fines involved,  appear to be cases of a controlled substance.  He then goes on to question Heffentrager's income, implying that he is a drug dealer.  Although Heffentragger may have been treated compassionately by the legal system,  he was retried harshly by self-appointed Judge & Jury Bernie O'Hare.


O'Hare deleted  my comment shown above from his new hit piece on Heffentrager this morning. What a sad Punch and Judy show he runs, when doubling down on his self-righteousness


Scott Armstrong said...


It is already a huge problem on the Republican side in Allentown. Anyone who wonders why we don't put up more candidates has never tried to recruit them. Those who have the experience and qualifications aren't willing to subject themselves and their families to the onslaught of personal attacks, name calling, and general impugning that surely follows.

Scott Armstrong said...

By the way,Ken is like many of us eccentric and yes flawed, that said, he would be excellent addition to our city council. There is nothing self serving about him and in my mind that is needed now more than ever.

Jeffrey Anthony said...

Bernie's comments were unfortunate and unnecessary.

Ken is indeed a good man whom I have had the privilege of getting to know over the last year. He has already made a real difference in Allentown with no benefit to himself other than, hopefully, a well-earned sense of accomplishment and the pride of a job well done.

As Scott says, "Ken is like many of us eccentric and yes flawed, that said, he would be excellent addition to our city council." That Ken makes no attempt to hide his human foibles will make him *an even better* addition to city council given that he is truly, in word and deed, a man of the people in the truest and best sense of that phrase.

Finally, Ken has been viciously attacked by one of the most despicable individuals in Allentown (who has promised to continue the abuse), and we cannot allow that to derail Ken's campaign.

michael molovinsky said...

In the last paragraph of comment 10:11AM, anthony is not referring to bernie o'hare, but rather a known hate blogger.

ironpigpen said...

Bernie O'Hare sure does seem bent on overtaking Blog Mentor as the Lehigh Valley's undisputed heavyweight champion of unadulterated hate mongering. An arduous task that many, including myself, would probably have thought to be impossible not so long ago. But Bernie's dedication and desire to attain a most obvious goal have been nothing but proudly marching on full parade for some time now and I highly doubt I am the only one who has noticed his clearly indefatigable efforts.