Friday, November 5, 2010

Time to Catch My Breath

There's a lot of change going on here at home. Some of it good, some of it bad, but there's definitely a change.

We have something new here that hasn't been tried before, at least in this household. My oldest child with my wife, Karen (I have an older son from the "practice" marriage), has started high school.
Now I know you may say "we all have (or have had, or will have) kids in high school, Bill, what makes this so different?". Well, good friends, it's different because it's happening to me.

Yup, it scares me to say, I've unleashed a teenager on Plymouth Writemarsh High School.

Skipping back a bit, at the end of 8th grade, Jesse decided that he wanted to join Drum Line, so he could play bass in the "pit". Going to the meetings and the mini-camp at the end of the school year, he was recruited to play in the pit for the marching band, also. What he didn't realize then, was that when he joined, so did his whole family.

The commitment to the band is not for the casual user or the faint of heart. Jesse, who does not yet drive, has either practice, a game or a competition or any combination of the three, on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. He has scouts on Monday, so 5 nights a week, Jesse is out of the house from at least 5 until 9-9:30 at night. Guess who drives him?

I'm not writing this to complain. You see, I've
become rather fond of the Plymouth Whitemarsh Marching Colonials. So much, in fact, that I'm starting to feel a bit melancholy that the season is just about at it's end.

Some of the senior kids will be moving on to college or tech school, and new faces will replace them next year. These seniors never looked at my son (or any of the freshmen) with the normal disdain that the "regular" kids may, but took these newbie band members under their collective wings, mentored them, and became role models, someone to aspire to be like.
These kids are something special, and it will be bittersweet to see them go...happy for them because they now get to start a new chapter in their lives, sad because this very well could be the last time we cross paths with these special young people.

I've also seen a huge change in Jesse. He's become his own per
son, not just "our son" but really developed into an incredible personality. He plays the bass like a seasoned pro, and is better at it than I ever was, at 14 years old. He has nowhere to go but forward.

I've realized, too, that Jesse is not at all like me. He looks a bit like me, enjoys the same music and movies that I do, but things pretty much end there. Scraps is laid back where I'm kind of intense. He's got a very dry sense of humor, I'm more bold and in your face about it. He likes muscle cars, I'm into bikes.

He has one very important trait that I've never had...the talent and drive to succeed. He knows what he wants out of life, at 14,
and I'm still searching.

While I'm waxing nostalgic about the season that just passed, he's looking forward to Jazz Band, and Drum Line. Sign up meetings are in a week or so. From what I gather, he'll only be out of the house 4 or 5 nights a week.

I'm glad I have a few weeks to catch my breath...hopefully, he'll ask me to drive him.

(Plymouth Whitemarsh placed first overall in their division at their first competition at Lower Bucks Central High, placed second at the State Championships at Hershey, PA, placed third at a regional competiton at Abington High School, and placed 6th at the Nationals today in Annapolis, MD. PW's scores were increasingly better with each competition, scoring their highest point total of the year, 91.465, at the Nationals)

Read Full Text/Comments

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

'Nuff Said!


Read Full Text/Comments

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Last Post For a While

Things haven't been too good lately for you humble blogger.

I've been spotty in posting here on my beloved blog for the past 2 years, but there's underlying issues that have been keeping me from doing so, none of which are important enough to share.

Understand that I am loathe to do so, but I must concentrate my energies and talents elsewhere for the time being.

Therefore, your humble blogger is taking a hiatus...a sabbatical so to speak, to pursue more important things without the distractions of trying to keep up with my blog.

I'm sure I'll see you later. Maybe on the 'cooler, maybe back here, but not for a while.

Anyway, I'll be around.

Peace, out.


Read Full Text/Comments

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

An Open Letter To Michael Nutter

Dear Your Honor, Mr. Mayor Michael Nutter,

I write a blog.

I live in Montgomery County.

People in Philadelphia read my blog.

Am I subject to the "blogger tax" also? If so, would you be so kind as to come collect it yourself? I could use the laugh while I explain the first amendment to you. I could also explain to you that you can't tax thoughts, just because someone writes them down. Otherwise, you could tax my 10 year old daughter's diary, couldn't you? Or, tax Stu Bykofsky's column, because that's not news, that's an opinion column, just like blogs.

See, Mr. Mayor Nutter, the possibilities are endless. If you really need the money, maybe you should change the Philadelphia 911 service to a 1-900 number. There's money in that and it would cut down on false alarms and nuisance calls to your emergency services. Or, change the number for the city hall switchboard to a toll call. Then all the kooks who call on a regular basis will be charged for bothering your receptionists while they are chatting and texting and filing their nails. Can you imagine the $$$ you would generate while your staff kept some poor slob on hold for 40 minutes?

Oh, and another thing you can do...copywrite the word "Philly Cheesesteak". Then, you could collect a fee from every crappy stand across the country who thinks they can make our hometown sandwich actually taste like the real deal.

Or, you could just leave everybody alone and realize that you can't tax free speech. It's guaranteed in our constitution, so important, our founders thought, that they made it the First Amendment. If you want to charge a blogger (who may not have the means to pay) to speak his mind, then you violate his constitutional right to free speech.

By the way, drop the $300.00 business fee to bloggers who earn a measly pittance for running ads on their're going to lose that one, too and you've already embarrassed yourself enough by the mere mention of it.

That is all.


Bill Shaw

Read Full Text/Comments

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ethics (?) Czar J-Huff Seeks State Supreme Court Ruling

More taxpayer money is to be wasted, folks, if Joe Hoeffel gets his way.

It seems that the Commonwealth Court is no place for J-Huff, he expects his and Jimbo's flawed ethics policy to be ruled on by the State Supreme Court.

Republican Commissioner Bruce L. Castor, Jr., thinks it probably should go to the Supreme court, just to have it done and over with. Commissioner Castor's response? From this mornings Inquirer (on

Castor said Wednesday he believed the Supreme Court would uphold his belief that the ethics rules Hoeffel and Commissioners Chairman James R. Matthews passed were inherently flawed. He objects to their creating rules for employees of other elected officials.

"They've become the laughingstock of Pennsylvania for thinking that they can do this," Castor said. "So that the county taxpayers don't suffer, I'll argue the case myself."

Jimbo could not be reached for comment...he's probably in his Taurus, headed down the shore to spend some campaign to relax for the weekend.

I'm sure this isn't the last we'll hear of this the article here.
Read Full Text/Comments

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jimbo/J-Huff Lose in Commonwealth Court

Like we didn't know this would happen.

Our clueless leaders, Jim Matthews and Joe Hoeffel, took their "Ethics Clause" case to the Commonwealth court to once again, try to block any and everybody employed by Montgomery County from "being political"

The so-called "Ethics Clause" was struck down in Montgomery County Municipal Court as being unenforceable, as the Commissioners can't tell the individually elected row officers who can or can't work for them...or what they can or can't do during their free time. According to Judge Nicholas, the commissioners “do not have statutory authority to regulate the hiring, firing or supervision of employees of row officers.”

Well...just to waste taxpayer money a bit more, Jimbo and J-Huff decided to argue the case a bit further, and got their asses handed to them. According to the Times Herald:

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania dealt a fatal blow to Montgomery County’s ethics ordinance by affirming a prior decision that invalidated a law barring row officers and their employees from participating in political activities.

The opinion Tuesday by a seven-judge panel was unanimous. And although the opinion by President Judge Bonnie Brigance Leadbetter affirmed Section 1 of the ordinance applying specifically to lawsuits brought by two row officers, Montgomery County DA Risa Vetri Ferman and the late Sheriff John P. Durante, and remanded the rest of the law for further consideration, a concurring opinion by Mary Hannah Judge Leavitt characterized any further legal challenge as “an exercise in futility.”
With this ruling coming from the Commonwealth court, it is now binding statewide. By tipping at windmills, both Jimbo (Don Quixote) and J-Huff (his faithful servant, Sancho), both incomprehensible egomaniacs, have actually created policy statewide that they never intended.

According to Republican Commissioner, Bruce L. Castor, Jr., “...what Matthews and Hoeffel had done was meant to hurt me and my friends (in DA’s Office), but they effectively made a law binding the entire state (opposite of what was intended).”

Matthews has redefined "The Peter Principle" in a whole new way. It should be renamed "The Jimbo Principle".

You can read the Times Herald report here.
Read Full Text/Comments

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Too much monkey (C)-Biz-ness

Hahaha...Looks like the dynamic duo are up to their old tricks once again.

Now, they have an insider making "recommendations" for them!

Apparently, a new player in the RFP process has emerged...and the guy was hired without Republican Commissioner Bruce L. Castor, Jr. having any idea he was being hired, let alone having input on his hiring.

Enter G. Fred DiBona III, of DiBona Associates, hired by Jimbo to "assist staffers and HR in evaluating bids and RFP's.

No doubt, this "insider baseball" is the reason CBIZ has been awarded the contract to negotiate Montgomery County's health benefits contract once again. Of course, Jimbo and J-Huff, both recipients of campaign contributions from CBIZ executives, voted to have G. Fred handle the bid process, the guy admits freely that he knows the "players". From today's Times Herald:

DiBona also conceded the process that picked CBIZ was a “subjective determination,” and that evaluating consultant companies was not something he ordinarily does.

“It’s not a regular part of my business,” he said.

The selection process was tipped in favor of CBIZ given that “The guy who is paying (DiBona) is CBIZ’s guy,” Castor said, referring to Matthews.
Also, Mr. DiBona "admitted when questioned by Castor that he knew the firms by name that he helped county officials rank"...this smells suspiciously of the weasels hiring the fox to guard the's so transparent, it's laughable, Jimbo!

Here's the entire Times Herald story:

Montco Renews CBIZ Contract

Read Full Text/Comments

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Vee Need To Zee Your Paperzzz...

Bob Ford: The tangled story of the Iroquois lacrosse team

As usual, it is about the papers again.

The men, mostly those white men - also again, also as usual - have official papers upon which they have written their rules and their laws and their treaties. They are very sorry, but it is all there on the papers.

The American Indian lacrosse team has been caught up in a passport  snafu and can´t get to England for the world championships.
FRANK FRANKLIN III / Associated Press

The American Indian lacrosse team has been caught up in a passport snafu and can't get to England for the world championships.
#container_FanSnap_widget {width:300px;overflow:auto;} .FanSnap_container{font-family:verdana;overflow:auto;height:92px;cursor:pointer;} .FanSnap_container_left,.FanSnap_container_right{height:70px;float:left;overflow:hidden;margin-top:10px;} .FanSnap_container_left{width:140px;margin-left:30px;display: inline;} .FanSnap_container_right{width:87px;font-size:9pt;text-align:center;padding:1px;} .FanSnap_tixtitle {color:#333333;font-size:8pt;font-weight:bold;text-align:left;} .FanSnap_name {height:38px;width:138px;text-align:center;overflow:hidden;margin-top:2px;font-size:8pt;} .FanSnap_date {color:#333333;height:35px;width:138px;text-align:center;margin-top:3px;font-size:7pt;} .FanSnap_venue {color:#333333;font-size:8pt;width:140px;text-align:center;} .FanSnap_minPrice {height:40px;color:#336666;font-size:19pt;font-weight:bold;} .FanSnap_buy {color:#333333;font-size:7pt;text-align:right;}

The Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy have papers, too, but those are no good. It is a shame and everyone is very sorry, but those papers are meaningless. Please stop showing us your quaint, useless papers.

The Iroquois, who were among the inventors of the game of lacrosse, perhaps as far back as 1,000 years ago, were invited to compete for the fourth straight time in the quadrennial world championships, currently being held in Manchester, England.

The inclusion of the Iroquois Nationals is not merely a ceremonial nod to the past. The Nationals finished fourth in the three previous competitions and are, in fact, ranked fourth in the world.

Unfortunately, the passports from their sovereign nation, issued by Haudenosaunee, the native word for the Iroquois Confederacy, do not contain the proper radio-frequency identification chips. The passports, in fact, are just made of paper, if you can imagine that.

The Iroquois have apparently not kept up with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative which went into effect last year. Travelers who wish to leave and reenter the United States and Canada must have the right kind of passports and security devices. As mentioned before, the Iroquois just have pieces of paper and those are no good.

The U.S. Department of State punted this flaming political problem into the lap of the Department of Homeland Security, where it stayed for a few days, no doubt after having its shoes removed before being properly screened, wanded, and patted down.

There is a great need for Homeland Security, of course, but that is not a concept that needs to be explained to American Indians. The Iroquois homeland once stretched across most of New York State and into Canada. The Oneida, Seneca, Mohawk, Cayuga, and Onondaga tribes, along with others who formed the Iroquois nation, built their houses where they chose and they hunted, farmed, and fished where they pleased.

Sometime in the 17th century, a French missionary watched the Iroquois play a game of their own invention in which, 100 players to a side, on a field that could be miles long, the Indians passed a round object back and forth using forked sticks with weaving between the forks. The missionary wrote about what he saw and called the game "la crosse." As was the habit of Europeans, he didn't really care that much what the Iroquois called it.

Having waited long enough for the Homeland Security people to come back from lunch, the State Department and, more specifically, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, went into action. The Iroquois had a choice. They could take U.S. or Canadian passports, which would solve everything, or they could merely take a one-time waiver and promise to straighten out their worthless pieces of paper before the next world championships. The Iroquois were not particularly interested in becoming citizens of a country that systematically destroyed their way of life, so they went for what was behind Door No. 2 and took the waiver.

Well, that settled that, and the Iroquois were all set to travel, until the English cleared their throats and said, "Not bloody likely," or something of the sort.

The United Kingdom was not sufficiently assured that the United States would allow the Iroquois players, coaches and family members - a traveling party of 43 - to reenter the United States after the tournament ended. The English have pieces of paper, too, and they like to abide by them. There may well be thousands of immigrants, many from their far-flung former colonies, now living in British cities plotting destruction and unrest on a daily basis, but the English are not going to accept the possibility of having an American Indian lacrosse team on their hands as well.

That is how things stood on Thursday as play began in the world championships and the Iroquois Nationals forfeited their opening game in round-robin play. After a break in the schedule, the Iroquois are scheduled to play four more games beginning Saturday. The elimination games follow, leading to the championship game July 24.

There is hope that the Iroquois will still get to the tournament in time to play the rest of their games. If the United States promises, cross-its-heart, to let the team come back, and if England can remove its bureaucratic head from its stuffy posterior, there is a chance the Nationals will be able to once again proudly represent their people.

Many pieces of paper are in the way, however, and will have to be moved. Those pieces of paper are good ones. They have meaning and are worth something. The Iroquois are sad about all this, but they aren't surprised to learn that their own papers don't count for very much. They have heard that a time or two before.

Read Full Text/Comments

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bob Kerns Re-Elected to 4 Year Term as MCRC Chair, Unanimously!

Last evening Bob Kerns was re-elected to a four year term as chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Committee. He was re-elected unanimously, the first Chairman to be elected unanimously consecutively in 12 years.

This is important for a couple of reasons: First, Kerns inherited a party that was in the midst of half a decade of turmoil and bedlam and few people thought he'd be successful in bringing the party together or winning elections. He did both. Second, it exposes yet another Jim Matthews lie.

After he was censured unanimously by the party's executive committee in November 2008, Jimbo told the press and took to the airwaves on Michael Smerconish's show telling them that Kerns only got the censure through because members of leadership were afraid to vote against it for fear their votes would cost support for their favored Judge candidates. Of course, after Judges were endorsed and elected the censure is still as popular and in force as ever before...but hey, I give the guy credit for creative spin.

But the second part of his explanation was that Jimbo and his supporters "let Bob Kerns become chairman. We gave him the job because no one wanted it. He's a two year chairman". Not only was KJIII being disingenuous, because he actually DID run someone aganist Kerns...Jim Vlahos from Lower Pottsgrove, who had to withdrawal from the race because he had no support in 2008. Now Kerns has just been reelected unanimously to a four year term.

My guess would be that Jimbo called each and every committeeperson in Montgomery County and pledged support for Bob Kerns, "allowing" him to be chairman once again...I also have some swamp land in the Jersey pine barrens that I'd like to sell you...

How can you tell something is untrue? Usually because Jim Matthews is the source.

Eighteen more months 'til he's gone for good. Enjoy, Jimbo, enjoy!

Read Full Text/Comments

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

When an Ordinance Becomes an "Umbrella"

I've been thinking alot lately about Ordinance 10-3...the one that pretty much says that the Commissioners may pick from an "approved" list of vendors, in lieu of using the recently scrapped RFP ordinance of 1998.

The new ordinance states that all vendors for the County...ALL vendors, must first be approved by the commissioners, and by commissioners, I mean J-Huff and Jimbo. That means that the coroner must first have the commissioners approve an outside vendor for forensic work, the Sheriff's department must use approved vendors for their safety equipment, and the DA must use approved vendors for lab work, fingerprint analysis, and for expert witnesses who may very well put a bad apple in prison...every last one must be approved.

Let's revisit the last one, the DA's office.

If the DA is working on a case, and they have to go before the county commissioners to hire the services of an expert who will be providing valuable information and technology to both arrest and convict a known criminal, wouldn't that tip the hand in the favor of the accused, as they pretty much will know what's coming at trial. The DA cannot be hamstrung like that, and should be allowed to contract for their own services, outside the county's approved vendor list.

This brings to mind one example that makes me wonder if the ordinance was written exclusively to obstruct such investigations. Say, for example, that a forensic accountant is required by the District Attorney's office to (hypothetically, of course) investigate some kind of financial fraud? If one of those being investigated happens to be an official who is friendly with one of the two controlling commissioners, couldn't said commissioners approve a forensic accountant who contributes to their campaign account may not be so inclined to count every penny?

It makes one wonder, doesn't it.

DA Risa Vetri Ferman is taking steps today to make sure this doesn't happen by asking the commissioners to repeal and rethink Ordinance 10-3, or be subjected to yet another the commissioners (the two in power) can't afford for the county to fight and, again, lose.

The commissioners should very well be visiting this issue as this is published, download a very interesting letter sent to them yesterday here.


Read Full Text/Comments

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sightings: XXVII

Last evening there were three events going on at almost the same time...a fundraiser for Tom Bogar in Abington, A fundraiser for Springfield GOP in Flourtown, and a Fundraiser for Upper Gwynedd Ambucs in at the LuLu Temple.

Chairman Bob Kerns attended two of them-Springfield, then the Ambucs event.

As reported by a friend who attended both events as well, Chairman Kerns left the Springfield event, and our buddy, King James III waltzed in not a minute later.

Coincidence? Yeah, right.

Apparently, Jimbo was literally sitting in the parking lot waiting for Kerns to leave. My source says JimTurd walked in just way too soon after Kerns exited. Unfortunately, Jimbo isn't as slick as he believes himself to be and your humble blogger has this tidbit to report to you today.

It's great to have friends!

Read Full Text/Comments

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Castor Right Again, Jimbo Has Egg on His Face

Jimbo and J-Huff once again voted against Republican Commissioner, Bruce L. Castor, Jr., on a lousy ordinance penned by King James III's royal solicitor, BABs...and once again, Castor's "nay" vote was more than justified.

You see, this ordinance was nothing more than a quick, "cover our ass" ordinance made up in a back room (or back alley) to squash any action that may have been taken against the commissioners for violating statute 98-02, which required 5 requests for proposal be sent out to procure services for the county.

Barry, being the astute attorney that he has proven time and again to be, didn't foresee the ramifications of his new ordinance, 10-03, beings that the commissioners would have to "approve" vendors for all county offices, including the duly elected (or acting) row officers.

The Sheriff's Department has formally filed suit against the county, challenging the legality of the new ordinance as it pertains to professional services and the row offices. The Public Defender's office and the office of the President Judge have also chimed in.

According to Margaret Gibbons in today's Intelligencer:

County President Judge Richard J. Hodgson said the policy does not fit the courts needs, whether it is hiring private defense attorneys to represent murder defendants or experts to help the court in its own decisions, according to Matthews.

The public defender's office, which hires expert witnesses to help in that office's defense of its clients and contracts with private attorneys to represent the office's clients in preliminary legal proceedings, also informed Matthews of its concerns.

Keith Phucas, of the Times Herald, quotes Commissioner Castor:

“(The new lawsuit) is just like the ethics ordinance (litigation),” Castor said. “Every time we try to take control of the row officers, it’s like a power grab.”

Well, Jimbo, next time you'd like to waste the taxpayer's money defending a lawsuit against another of your cockamamie "get out of jail free" ordinances, do yourself a favor...consult with a REAL lawyer, not that nincompoop you hired because he handles your campaign finances and likes to go to PJ's with you for drinks, paid for by checks he approves and your human resources manager signs from your campaign fund.

A real lawyer like Republican Commissioner Bruce L. Castor, Jr, for one...

Read Full Text/Comments

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jimbo's Having Car Trouble...

Jimbo may not be as "in the clear" as he thinks, concerning his campaign finances.

According to
Department of State spokesman Charlie Young, "an elected official is obligated to prove the assertion that he’s effectively campaigning night and day." (Times Herald, 04/18/10)

“The burden of proof would be on the official to show that he’s campaigning ‘24/7,’” Young said.

“If they’re using campaign funds for anything other than to influence the outcome of an election, then they’re violating campaign finance and reporting law,” Young said.

I'm sure that living the "Starbucks culture" is "effectively campaigning night and day", isn't it, Jimbo? As is beers with Barry at PJ's, huh?

Matthews response?

When the law requires a daily diary, you won’t have me to kick around anymore"
Um, Jimbo? The law does require's called a "campaign finance report".

Read Full Text/Comments

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Missing John

I went to the Conshohocken Bakery yesterday. Tuesday is rye bread day, and I needed an Italian bread for dinner, so I got one of each. The Conshy Bakery makes the best bread for my money.

They've installed a portrait of Sheriff John P. Durante over the pasta case to the right of the counter. It's John's "official" portrait, of him in uniform. On the frame is a small brass plate with "1949-2010" engraved on it. It's both grand and understated at the same time, a fitting memorial to my dear friend.

So, I'm the only customer, Scraps is with me, and the woman behind the counter asks "is there anything else I can do for you?" (mind you, I'm looking up at the portrait). I replied, "Can you bring him back (pointing up and to my right)?".

We both smiled, I paid for my bread and went home, missing John.

Just thought I'd share.


Read Full Text/Comments

Friday, April 2, 2010

King James III-Episode XXIX

Now, Jimbo scolds citizens for having an opinion. AN OPINION? I guess because it's not his opinion...who's the demagogue now, Jimbo?

Read Full Text/Comments

King James Explains It Away...

King James III snarkily explains that driving a Ford Taurus (that his campaign pays for) is not an "enhanced lifestyle"...I don't want to be a "noodge", but if somebody else decided to pay my car payments, this would, in fact, enhance MY lifestyle. A great deal, mind you.

Check out the video:

Read Full Text/Comments

Thursday, April 1, 2010

All good things, et al...


I'm not going anywhere!

Yesterday, I was served with a cease and desist order from a certain person to stop posting about him/her on the blog. The paperwork said I could be sued for financial damages if I "failed to comply" within 48 hours and remove all previous posts about him/her.

Although I am loathe to remove this body of work from the internet, I am also loathe to pay monetary damages to an a**hole for exercising my first amendment right to free speech.

As of midnight tonight, I will no longer be posting on "Writemarsh" and will be taking the blog down, piece by piece over the next several days.

I appreciate each and every one of my followers and hope to someday resurrect this page. But for now, I'll take it easy and concentrate on other pursuits.

Thanks for joining me here over the past 2+'s been a helluva ride.


Read Full Text/Comments

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Jimbo Admits Breaking The Law. you ever even hear yourself speak. Jimbo? And, what's with the sweater? Reliving those "glory days", back when you used to be popular?


(courtesy of
Read Full Text/Comments

Thursday, March 18, 2010

As The Screw Turns...Pt 1

Well, good readers, it's officially become a soap opera with some of the most pitiful "scripting" ever witnessed by your humble blogger...

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

King James the Third, (so dubbed because he actually came in third place in the last commissioner's election) enters into a power sharing agreement with 2nd place finisher, democrat and perpetual candidate, Joe Hoeffel (hence referred to as "J-Huff").

King James III and J-Huff have pretty much shut Republican Commissioner Bruce L. Castor, Jr., Esq. out of all governmental decisions to date, sometimes even awarding contracts to vendors without Castor's knowledge. Because the commissioners are solely responsible for awarding contracts to vendors, not keeping one of the three commissioners "in the know" may violate the commonwealth's "Sunshine Law".

So, how has this been working so far? For starters, a bond issue that was passed by KJIII and J-Huff has cost Montco taxpayers a million dollars so far, after warnings by Castor that this would happen. That's a million that would have been saved, had the other two commissioners actually heeded Castor's advice.

Next, it has been found out that most every contract dole out by King James III and J-Huff has been done so without the required (by county ordinance 98-02) RFP (request for proposal). The county solicitor, Barry Miller (henceforth referred to "B.A.B."-"Back Alley Barry") has decided that since 98-02 hasn't been followed since the three took office in January '08, that breaking the law was the "de facto" way to do business in the county.

"De Facto". Breaking the law. Let that sink in for a bit. Let me do a comparison...since the drug dealer on the corner has been selling valium illegally for so long, his way is now the "de facto" way of getting valium to people, so, you no longer have use of your neighborhood pharmacist, right?

Yeah, it sounds just as stupid.

So, enter County Controller Diane Morgan. Ms. Morgan has touted herself as the "Watchdog of the People" when it comes to your tax dollars.

When getting wind of the illegal contracts, Morgan said she wanted the paperwork on each and every contract for the past 2+ years, and that she would stop payment on those deemed "suspect".

As of this week, Morgan is singing a different tune, (maybe one that J-Huff wrote for her?) and now claims that she doesn't think they actually "broke" the law, just bent it a bit.

While this is all going on, J-Huff is conveniently out campaigning for governor. (Cliffhanger!)

This is just the tip of the iceberg...stay tuned for the next installment of "As the Screw Turns".


Read Full Text/Comments

Saturday, March 13, 2010

If Montco Weren't Already In Financial Trouble...

...along comes a lawsuit that could prove costly.

The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), a group of non-union contractors, have filed suit in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

The lawsuit alleges discrimination on the part of the county commissioners, claiming that the "Responsible Contractors Clause" that Jimbo and J-Huf put into the prison expansion project specifications blocks many of their members from bidding on the contracts.

Claims Jimbo, "It's only this one project", citing that the Building Trades Council, who represents union labor in these parts, has sought the addition of the clause in bid language for years.

Let me get this straight...
Jimbo, who "conveniently" forgot to get the required 5 RFP's for county contracts with professional services providers (legal, insurance, financial, etc.) now requires them for the prison expansion project, AND adds the clause that only those contractors who have "apprenticeship programs" (read "union shops") need apply.

But Jimbo, didn't your lapdog solicitor, Barry the Great just say that you guys didn't use RFP's because you just plain forgot, and besides, since it hasn't been done for years, the "call them and just spread the wealth" method, or the "de facto" way, was now the way Jimbo and J-Huf chose to do business? Yet, for the Unions, who also contribute to (most likely) your campaign funds, get RFP'd with special instructions that "Non-Union Need Not Apply". Jimbo's excuse? "I thought this was a good opportunity to come through on a campaign promise."

Well, there's a first...Jimbo wants to keep a campaign promise?

How about we start with the one where you said you would work with Republican Commissioner Bruce L. Castor, Jr., Esq., if elected?

And, what promise was that, anyway, Jimbo?

But I digress...
The real story here is that Jimbo only chooses to follow county ordinances when it suits him to do so...RFP to require "union only" labor isn't the "de facto" way, now is it Solicitor Barry?


The pair of them are an anchor around the necks of Montgomery County taxpayers.

Read the Inquirer story

Read Full Text/Comments

Get Caught Breaking the Law?

Make it go away!

Or so, Montco Solicitor Barry Miller would have it.

Barry thinks, since we aren't abiding by the law now, why not change it to suit our needs?

That's why they pay you the big bucks, Barry (love that alliteration?)

Forgive my ignorance, but isn't the county solicitor supposed to advise the commissioners on following the letter of the law, not propose that they change one he simply forgot to tell them they had to follow?

Let me give you some free legal advice, Barry...the crime doesn't go away just because you want it to. You and your BFF Jimbo broke the law/violated an ordinance. Making the ordinance go away doesn't clean your's or Jimbo's slate.

Read the Times Herald article here.

Read Full Text/Comments

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ignorance Of The Law Is No Excuse

Diane Morgan wrote a letter to the editor of the Intelligencer which was published yesterday.

In it, she claims that she didn't know about the ordinance until Republican Commissioner, Bruce L. Castor, Jr. pointed it out to her.

OK, I'll give her that.

But, what she goes on to say is that she's basically not responsible for any of the bullsh*t going on , because she was ignorant of the law...and, she has the nerve to cite the fact that Commissioner Castor was also ignorant of the law until February of this year.

The difference, Ms. Morgan, is cut and dry.

Mr. Castor is continuing to look into the matter, in an effort to make sure it doesn't happen again.

You, on the other hand, seem quite satisfied that our county solicitor, who also happens to be the treasurer of the offending commissioner's campaign committee (the campaign fund that gets contributions from the recipients of these "no bid" contracts), can explain it away as simple as "we've violated the ordinance for so long, breaking the law has become the "de-facto" way of running the county government".

For the record, when you stated in your letter, and I quote, "Bruce Castor Jr., a long-standing county employee, remarked that the ordinance was just brought to his attention, after two years as a commissioner. He questioned whether the commissioners were adhering to the law. If he was aware of the ordinance, why didn't he sound the alarm bells sooner?", did you really proof read your letter, Ms. Morgan? That statement is nonsensical. Read the bold parts again...if Mr. Castor remarked that the ordinance was, in fact, "Just brought to his attention", then how could he possibly "sound the alarm bells sooner"?

But I digress...

You've since ended your investigation into the violations of 98-02. On who's opinion, Ms. Morgan? Barry Miller's?

At least Mr. Castor, who was, in fact, ignorant of the law until February, is continuing to look into the matter as the "de facto" fiscal watchdog of Montgomery County. I guess you can resign now, since you've been "de-facto-ed" and your position is now as obsolete as County Ordinance 98-02 is in your eyes.

It's really disgusting that you bitch and moan that you didn't know, yet now that you do, you do nothing.

Read Ms. Morgan's letter to the editor by clicking this link: Diane Morgan Letter to Editor

Hat tip to Tom W.!!!

Read Full Text/Comments

Monday, March 8, 2010

Jimbo, Jimbo, Jimbo...

Jim Matthews takes campaign contributions from companies and then gives them no-bid contracts, bypassing County Ordinance 98-2 that says they must bid contracts out to at least 5 companies/entities before settling on a vendor.

Jim Matthews then has his solicitor explain it away by saying "well, we've always violated the ordinance enough that it's become the "de facto" way of doing things.

Jim Matthews makes monthly payments to "Ford Credit" (for over 2 years now) from his campaign fund. He also made two payments last year to USAA insurance and a $36 dollar car registration payment from his campaign fund.

Looks to me like you get to do business in Montgomery County if you contribute to his campaign fund enough to buy Jimbo a car. Oh, yeah, and pay down his $20,000 credit card bill.

Of course, this is the "de facto" way of running a campaign, isn't it? Not really the law, but you've been doing it this way for so long now... and isn't it kinda funny that the county solicitor is also Jimbo's campaign treasurer?

The Times Herald spells it all out here.

Read Full Text/Comments

Friday, March 5, 2010

Diane Morgan Looks the Other Way on Pay To Play

Another situation where Nero fiddles while Rome burns.

Controller Diane Morgan, in almost predictable fashion, decided not to pursue any further investigation into the Jimbo/Barry pay to play" shenanigans.

Her reasoning?

Well, it's quite simple...since Barry Miller decided that Ordinance 98-2 was in fact, not really what it should be, they created this "de facto" rule that 98-2 doesn't apply to Jimbo, or Jo-Huff for that matter...

Solicitor Barry Miller said for the past decade, county commissioners had been selective about sending out request for proposals, or RFPs, for professional services work as required by Ordinance 98-2. Ignoring the measure’s requirements constituted a “de facto modification” of the law, he said. (Times Herald, 03/05/10)

Right. Don't like the law, don't follow the law, we'll change it later when someone a great deal smarter than us catches on. Right.

As a taxpayer living in Montgomery County, I'm appalled that the fiscal watchdog, Diane Morgan, has decided that "pay to play" is no big deal. Morgan essentially "decided against taking any legal action given that Miller did offer details on the bond contracts."

Taking no action? OK, if I violate a county ordinance, then admit that I did-but explain that I was, in fact, following my own meshugeneh cattywonkas train of thought, then I get a pass?

Ms. Morgan, you are a disgrace. You sit and fiddle while Montgomery burns.

Read the Times Herald article here.

Read Full Text/Comments

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Save the Date: Kate Harper's Annual Blood Drive

Rep. Kate Harper (R-61) is joining with Whitpain Township and the American Red Cross to host a blood drive!

Join Representative Kate Harper as she sponsors a blood drive at the Whitpain Township Building. I've attended for the past 4 or 5 years and gave about a gallon of blood each time...and plan to do the same this year.

Give the gift of life...give blood!

(Kate doing her part)

-Friday, March 19th, 2008

-noon to 6 p.m.

-Whitpain Township Building
960 Wentz Road, Blue Bell

To schedule an appointment, log on to click this link: and click on the link on the lower right hand side of Kate's website. When scheduling your time slot online, be sure to enter the sponsor code 02212018.


Read Full Text/Comments

Philly Mayor Imposes "Soda Tax"

Citing "Obesity" and the serious revenue gap the City of Philadelphia is facing, Mayor Nutter has decided to impose a $0.02 per ounce tax on sweetened beverages.

This revenue will "raise $77 million a year and address the city’s high obesity rate, especially among children, aides said."

Address the high obesity rate? Sure it will. While your at it, why not impose a dollar a bag tax on Doritos, potato chips and Tasty-Kakes, while you're at it?

While this new tax may be put out there with good intentions, let's face facts...not a single penny of this money, slated to close an existing budget gap, will ever be used to fight obesity. As a matter of fact, the only thing that will get thinner is the wallet of Coke and Pepsi drinkers, and the only thing that will get fatter in regards to soda drinking is the Philly tax coffers.

It's time to honor that age old tradition in the Philly area, and, not unlike the "protest" purchases we make at Jersey and Delaware liquor stores, cross state lines to buy yourselves some "tax free" soda.

That is until Philly makes it illegal to bring a Mountain Dew across state lines, without paying duty on it.

To all my friends in Philly-I'm thinking of selling soda from a cooler at the Philly/Montco city line, near Pep Boys on Ridge Pike. Instead of $0.40 cents a bottle tax, I'll only charge you $0.20-

I'm glad I live in the 'burbs...sheesh!

Read the full Courier Times article here.

And here is the rest of it. Read Full Text/Comments

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

One of my most rabid fans (and you know who you are!) sent me this gem today...said it fits me to a tee! Thanks, Mrs. M.!!!

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. (Theodore Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss)
I'll add one of my favorites of his below:
"...a person's a person, no matter how small"

Read Full Text/Comments

Seen On the Wall of a Local Restaurant in Norristown

Matthews/Hoeffel Administration 2008-2010
(caption-by my buddy blackhorse-added for comic relief, but the picture appears on the wall of the Courthouse Diner, Norristown, PA)

Read Full Text/Comments


Every once in a while, a real gem shows up on FaceBook.

I can't claim this as my own, but this was sent to me by a faithful reader of writemarsh!, who preferred to remain anonymous:

As long as I protect my sources, I can continue to bring funny stuff like this to you on a regular basis. (send me your stuff, btw, and if it's subtly ironic, like this one is, I'll put it out there to share with everyone)


Read Full Text/Comments

Just When You Thought You've Heard Everything...

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely...or so said Lord Acton way back in 1887.

The draw of power is the siren's song of many a corrupt politician. One only has to look at our own commonwealth to see that...Ed Rendell, Vince Fumo, and others under indictment now, in the process of making deals or going to trial, to see that we aren't immune here in PA.

It's even happening here in Montgomery County.

The latest buzz is the question of campaign funds and how they are being spent.

Having run for office myself, I know of three things I can spend my campaign money on...first, my campaign. (Duh)

Second, I can use the money to contribute to other campaigns.

Lastly, I can give money to charity.

According to the Times Herald, Betsy McBride (former deputy treasurer of Montgomery County) would really like to know what our commissioners are spending their campaign dollars on, and if what they are is legal.

Republican Commissioner Bruce L. Castor, Jr., has told his campaign treasurer to go ahead and give Ms. McBride the information she needs to pull his reports. Will Jimbo and Jo-Huf be as forthcoming?

Doubt it. It's going to be fun to see how he will try to lie his way out of this one. May just drive him over the edge...*Sigh*, one can only hope.

Click here to read the article then skip on down to the comments...they're very interesting.

Read Full Text/Comments

Monday, March 1, 2010

March Comes In...

(redux of an old post of mine)

Today is the first day of March. For some reason, my admittedly feeble mind has been jarred and I am waxing nostalgic about a SNL routine I once watched with Chevy Chase and John Belushi (yeah, I'm that old).

It's based on the premise that March "comes in like a lion and out like a lamb". The full text is below:

Chevy Chase:
Last week we made the comment that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Now here to reply is our chief meteorologist, John Belushi, with a seasonal report.

John Belushi:
Thank you Chevy. Well, another winter is almost over and March true to form has come in like a lion, and hopefully will go out like a lamb. At least that’s how March works here in the United States.

But did you know that March behaves differently in other countries? In Norway, for example, March comes in like a polar bear and goes out like a walrus. Or, take the case of Honduras where March comes in like a lamb and goes out like a salt marsh harvest mouse.

Let’s compare this to the Maldive Islands where March comes in like a wildebeest and goes out like an ant. A tiny, little ant about this big.

[holds thumb and index fingers a small distance apart]

Unlike the Malay Peninsula where March comes in like a worm-eating fernbird and goes out like a worm-eating fernbird. In fact, their whole year is like a worm-eating fernbird.

Or consider the Republic of South Africa where March comes in like a lion and goes out like a different lion. Like one has a mane, and one doesn’t have a mane. Or in certain parts of South America where March swims in like a sea otter, and then it slithers out like a giant anaconda.

There you can buy land real cheap, you know. And there’s a country where March hops in like a kangaroo, and stays a kangaroo for a while, and then it becomes a slightly smaller kangaroo. Then, then, then for a couple of days it’s sort of a cross between a, a frilled lizard and a common house cat.

[Chevy Chase tries to interrupt him]

Wait wait wait wait. Then it changes back into a smaller kangaroo, and then it goes out like a, like a wild dingo. Now, now, and it’s not Australia! Now, now, you’d think it would be Australia, but it’s not!

[Chevy Chase tries to interrupt him]

Now look, pal! I know a country where March comes in like an emu and goes out like a tapir. And they don’t even know what it means! All right? Now listen, there are nine different countries, where March comes in like a frog, and goes out like a golden retriever. But that- that’s not the weird part! No, no, the weird part is, is the frog. The frog- The weird part is-

[In true Belushi style, he has a seizure and falls off chair]

I hope you enjoyed this masterpiece in comedy. It should go down in history as one of the most hilarious skits ever done on SNL.

Read Full Text/Comments

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Obama and the Health Care Summit...All Roads Lead To "Public" Option

If passed, President Obama's Healthcare package would eventually lead to the public option, sneakily through the back door.

According to the
National Center for Public Policy Research, the proposed plan would almost guarantee insurance companies would "go under" leading to government takeover of the entire industry.

today's press release:

* The President's plan would create a new federal agency charged with monitoring health insurers to make sure that proposed premium increases are not "unreasonable" or "unjustified." This agency could compel private insurers to lower premiums, offer rebates or "take other actions to make premiums affordable."

* The President's plan would also dictate that health insurers cover those with pre-existing conditions and saddle them with billion in new taxes and fees.

* Health insurance is one of the least profitable industries America. In terms of profit margin, in 2009 it ranked a dismal 87th out of 215 industries; their overall profit margin was a mere 3.4 percent.

* The President's proposed combination of new taxes and price controls would cause a wave of health insurer bankruptcies, devastating the industry and reducing health insurance options for consumers.

* Eventually, the shrinking pool of private insurers would force the government to enact a single payer system to provide the insurance that Congress mandates that all Americans have.

Read more by analyst Matt Patterson here.

Read Full Text/Comments

Times Herald adds Writemarsh to it's Community Bloggers Page

A link to this blog was placed on at the request of TH editor, and fellow amateur wine maker, Stan Huskey.

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Stan!


- Posted remotely using Blogpress. Bill Shaw
Read Full Text/Comments

Tom Ellis Corroborates Marino's Claim to Using RFP's

Says Ellis:

“We didn’t like to do it, and we probably cursed Joe Hoeffel for passing the ordinance, but we followed it,” Ellis said. “Many times it was discussed and always followed.”
Awesome! Tom Ellis complied. Mike Marino complied. It's just our corrupt friend, Jimbo, and his personal lackey, Miller, who think this is not an ordinance they have to comply with.
“We were very cognizant of that ordinance,” he (Ellis) said.
Of course, you can read the entire story in today's Times Herald by clicking the link: Ellis: I Used RFP's


Read Full Text/Comments

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Montco County Solicitor Miller "On Shaky Ethical Ground"?

Say is isn't so, Barry, say it isn't so!

Matthews sycophant and current county solicitor, Barry Miller, may be "...treading close to ethical lines he doesn’t want to cross".

Heh...nooooooooooooooo, really?

This is why Matthews sold out the Republican Party. It was critical that he have his friend and treasurer as solicitor. Opens up a whole new world of fundraising opportunities by cutting out the middleman.

Related: County Requests More Time.

I'm thinking Barry perhaps should take a hands off approach to this one...Oh, what a tangled web...

Read Full Text/Comments

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rest In Peace, Sheriff John P. Durante.

Dormi bene, Giovanni, dormi bene...Penso molto a te.

(Sleep well, John, sleep well...until I see you again)

I'll miss you terribly, my great friend.

Read Full Text/Comments

Friday, February 12, 2010

Funeral Arrangements for Sheriff John P. Durante

A viewing will be held Wednesday from 5 to 9 p.m. at Emil J. Ciavarelli Family Funeral Homes Inc., 516 Fayette St., Conshohocken.

A viewing also will be held at the funeral home on Thursday from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., followed by a funeral Mass at 11 a.m. at Saints Cosmas and Damian Church, 209 W. Fifth Ave., Conshohocken.

Interment will be at St. Matthew's Cemetery in Conshohocken.

Read Full Text/Comments

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Montgomery County Loses a Great Friend.

At 3 A.M this morning, I was sitting at my computer, working on a personal project, enjoying the quiet of the night. The kids were in bed, TV off, it was very peaceful.

That is, until I got a text message that Sheriff John P. Durante had died a few hours before, apparently of a massive heart attack. Devastated is an understatement.

John and I became friends about 3 and a half years ago. During his re-election campaign, I helped out with a few of his fundraisers, and we hit it off. We became fast friends.

John was quite a complex man. He was rough and tough on the outside, but a big softie on the inside. He was involved in a lot of philanthropic endeavors outside of his political life, whether it was throwing a fundraiser for a sick little girl, raising money for 3 local boys who's mother was brutally murdered, to being involved with a dog rescue service, John had a heart of gold.

This is the John that I knew and loved.

John was also a very complex man, with a plethora of interests. John taught me how to make my own wine. Just last weekend, myself and 2 friends of John were over the house "racking" this year's wine.

Last year, we helped John and his wife with their dog rescue, fostering a dog for them for several months. We became much closer to John and Maria during those months.

Maria stopped by right after I started this post, to tell us, in person, of John's passing. My heart and prayers are with her, as well as with John's daughters, Christina and Deanna (and their families) as they come to grips with this tragedy.

One last remembrance...we went to a fundraiser together 2 Saturdays ago, the first time John had gone to one in some time. John told myself and my good friend, Jim, that he though of us as his "sons"...I was both humbled and honored that he thought that highly of us.

John was family to myself, Karen and the kids. John was a cop. John was the Sheriff of Montgomery County. He was a husband, a father, and a grandfather. John P. Durante was a philanthropist.

John was my good friend, and will be sorely missed.

I'll end with the press release issued by Former District Attorney and current County Commissioner, Bruce L. Castor, Jr.:

"I am saddened, as is the whole of law enforcement, to learn of the passing of Sheriff John P. Durante. John and I worked together in various capacities for nearly 25 years. He was a professional lawman, and expert in "CSI" when no one in the public even knew the term. John helped put away many of the county's worst criminals and did so without fanfare or desire for recognition. It was an honor to run for office with John in 1999 along side our other DA's Office colleague Mike Marino, and to have served in elective office with him for 10 years. He brought stature to the Sheriff's Department and had the respect of his peers and many friends. Above all, John had a heart of gold. We will miss him."

And here is the rest of it. Read Full Text/Comments

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"The Mathews Effect" Claims It's Latest Victim

Last evening, the 13th Congressional District GOP endorsement was held at Wissahickon High School. There were 6 candidates on the slate, (in no particular order) Dee Adcock, Charles McIntyre, Josh Quinter, Brian Haughton, Lee Falgoust and Damien Dachowski.

In the first round, the voting went as follows: Adcock-81, Dachowski-82, McIntyre-28, Falgoust-37, Quinter-35 and Haughton-32. 42 votes were needed to carry a candidate to the next round, so it was a two candidate horse race, by about 9 pm

Many of you may recall that Marina Kats routed Lee Falgoust two years ago in his attempt to win endorsement for the same office...time to give it up, Lee. People obviously don't want what you're selling.

Before the final round, all of the candidates who were knocked off were given a minute to address the gathered committeepeople. McIntyre asked that his supporters throw their votes over to Adcock, while the other three asked the crowd to "vote their conscience".

In the end, Dee Adcock was endorsed by the committee 173-119 over Damien Dachowski.

"The Matthews Effect" claims another victim, as Dachowski is married to Jimbo's niece (and QVC on air personality) Susan Matthews. As time marches forward, "The Matthews Effect" continues to claim victim after victim, making me wonder why people still associate themselves with the man.


Read Full Text/Comments

Monday, February 8, 2010


For Immediate Release

MCRC Chairman, Bob Kerns:

Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel isn’t following his own set of rules according to Montgomery County Republican Committee chairman Robert J. Kerns. The very rules Hoeffel wrote.

Kerns was referring to Hoeffel’s vote last Thursday to approve a $35 million bond issue without sending a Request for Proposal (RFP) to five qualified applicants to act as bond lawyers for the deal as the law requires.

Ordinance No. 98-2, authored and adopted when Hoeffel was a Commissioner in 1998, calls for providing RFP’s to “not less than five” persons who have submitted statements of their qualifications and interest in each and every professional service contract. The ordinance specifically includes "attorneys, engineers, accountants, etc."

“Joe Hoeffel loves to tout all these things he claims he did to promote ethics and open government, but what good is passing ordinances to avoid pay to play and patronage if you don’t enforce them?” Kerns said. Hoeffel made competitive bidding one of the centerpieces of his campaign for commissioner in 2007, but he repeatedly violates his own rules whenever he likes. The Hoeffel Administration operates at the very height of hypocrisy.

Kerns also asked why Controller Diane Morgan’s office has not raised this issue?

“The Controller is supposed to be the one who is elected to be the watchdog for the taxpayers. Has the county, under this administration, bothered complying with this ordinance at all? If they haven’t then why hasn’t she done something about it?” Kerns asked. "Is it possible to have any duty more important for the Controller than to make sure the commissioners follow their own good government ordinances?”

“These safeguards were put in place to stop pay to play and ensure the taxpayers benefit from healthy competition. It’s time for Hoeffel to stop ignoring his own ordinances and it’s time for Morgan to step up and do her job,” Kerns said.

“Joe Hoeffel is off running for Governor claiming he wants to do for Pennsylvania what he’s done for Montgomery County. Our county is out of money, cutting health benefits, engaging in pay to play politics and disregarding ethics and good government rules while the elected watchdog, a Hoeffel ally, turns a blind eye. Pennsylvania Democrats should think twice before deciding to promote Joe Hoeffel,” Kerns concluded.

Read Full Text/Comments

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Update on the Ballad of CBIZ...

There's a buzz going on around 1 Montgomery...not one of those good, "We're finally getting raises!", or, "Yay, they're not messing with our health care anymore!", type, but a really dark and sinister buzz.

"Indictments?", you may ask? No, the good citizens of Montgomery County couldn't be so lucky.

No, the buzz is that Jimbo became incensed that Republican Commissioner, Bruce L. Castor, Jr., Esq. was being charged for the CBIZ documents. The actual "buzz" went something like this: That King James threw a temper tantrum when he heard...a tantrum! Solicitor Barry Miller's name came up quite a bit during said tantrum.

Best yet? Rumor has it that the papers (all $265.00+ worth) "magically" appeared on Commissioner Castor's desk, with no restrictions of any kind attached to them.

Woo-hoo, Barry, (to quote the late, great Desi Arnez) "chu gots some 'splainin' to do?"

Actually, this is nothing new for solicitor Miller. He's mucked the works and cost the taxpayers tons of money in legal fees for stuff that a first year law student (or, better yet, an accomplished trial attorney like Republican Commissioner, Bruce L. Castor, Jr., Esq.) could and did advise the county on before said money was ever wasted...the fated "Ethics Policy" debacle of last year. Even when Castor insisted, on record at a public meeting, that the ethics policy was , in fact, illegal, Commissioner Joe Houffel reminded Castor "YOU'RE NOT the Solicitor!".

How'd that work out for you Joe? All those papers and sheepskins hanging on Republican Commissioner, Bruce L. Castor, Jr., Esq.'s wall and his countless years as a trial attorney must disqualify him from making a valid legal point that may just save taxpayer money from being wasted on an unwinnable lawsuit (or two)?

The really egregious part? Solicitor Miller, who penned this flawed piece of county pablum called the "Ethics Policy" has been quoted in the Intelligencer as saying that the County will enforce the policy for those employees directly under county control...including the office of solicitor, right, Barry?


Barry Miller, Solicitor of The County of Montgomery, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the richest county in the entire Commonwealth, the man who makes policy like the "Ethics Policy" and tries to enforce it is the treasurer of "Friends of Jim Matthews", the political fundraising committee that supplies Jimbo with the money he uses to run for office like, hmmmm...County Commissioner? Barry is in charge of collecting cash and checks so Jimbo can continue to run for public office that awards contracts to office that (apparently) makes decisions on who gets a cut of the county health care pie, that our county employees now have to pay for. Companies like CBIZ...

The proof is in the pudding, with Miller's signature on Jimbo's finance report (a document that is available, by request, from the Montgomery County office of Voter's Services by anybody who asks) dated 12/31/2009:

Barry Miller violates his own flawed ethics policy and hey, that's alright. Why? Because he wrote the policy, that's why, and probably buried a provision in there excluding himself, of course.

Rumor has it that Eleonor Schneider, HR Manager for the County of Montgomery (who, by the way, is also covered under the commissioners ethics policy) signed some of the "Friends of Jim Matthews" checks as well. If you're keeping score, that's a second violation of the ethics policy from a friend of Jim Matthews.

Reminder: Castor wasn't against Jim Matthews being Chairman of the County Commissioners, Republican Commissioner, Bruce L. Castor, Jr., Esq., was against one Barry Miller becoming Solicitor of The County of Montgomery, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the richest county in the entire Commonwealth...Looks like Jimbo's grudge is going to come back and bite him on the...

You saw it here first,'ll read more about it in tomorrow's Times Herald, I'm sure.


Read Full Text/Comments

Obama Countdown