Former Bangor Mayor John Brown pulled out a surprise win over a well-funded rising Democratic star, former Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan, in this November’s Northampton County Executive race, and now that he’s in office homeboy plainly has no clue WTF he’s doing.
First Brown stopped putting campaign finance reports online, so you have to physically go down to the Northampton County courthouse to see how much money Republican developers in Allentown poured into Brown’s campaign undetected at the last minute, or how bad Eric Nagy fucked up John Callahan’s campaign in the final stretch.
But it’s the cabinet appointments where Brown’s quite literally hosting amateur hour, with supremely unqualified nominations for important leadership positions, one of which had to be retracted.
The retraction of the Public Defender nominee was amazing given that the tea people also swept the Council elections, so Brown is working with a majority of Republican stupids here. It’s not like Democratic partisanship is the hold up, so you know it’s gotta be pretty bad when even the tea people can spot an unqualified hack. Brown’s pick for DCED head, to give another example, is a voice-over artist who hasn’t actually worked in economic development for 13 years.
Part of what you’re seeing is that the Republican shadow bureaucracy in Northampton County is just incredibly thin since the party’s been out of power for decades. Usually you’d just rehire some of the folks who worked in the last administration from your party because they already know what they’re doing, they share your values, and can help you get things up and running quickly.
Brown doesn’t have that luxury, but instead of keeping on Democrats who worked for the last administration of centrist Democratic Executive John Stoffa until he found somewhat qualified Republicans, he’s moving quickly to replace them with Republican patronage appointees. Welcome to Tea County.