The Reality of Democracy in Retreat, In Allentown and Everywhere

politics, writing
Eighth Street Bridge (1933) by John E. Berninger.

Eighth Street Bridge (1933) by John E. Berninger. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the past few days, some interesting things have happened here in Allentown.

Rich Fegley was almost escorted out of City Council chambers for nothing more radical than invoking basic American political philosophy in a cogent, respectable, orderly manner.

Michael Donovan announced his independent run for Mayor.

Kim Velez got reinstated on the ballot for City Council, and Tim Brennan implicated Mike Fleck and Mayor Ed  Pawlowski in the bid to stop her.  Broad and Pennsylvania opines here.  Jon Geeting here.  Emily Opilo with the Morning Call story here.  Every council member up for re-election who voted against putting the controversial plan to lease Allentown’s water on the ballot is vulnerable to the current crop of challengers.  Could that be why Mike Fleck, political consultant to the Mayor and to council members Julio Curidy and Cynthia Mota (both Administration allies and potential recipients of PAC funds from the Mayor), hired Tim Brennan?  As Rich Wilkins puts it:

The bigger news is that Tim Brennan said under oath that he was hired by Mike Fleck, the consultant to Julio Guridy, Cynthia Mota, and Mayor Ed Pawlowski, meaning that the incumbent team in Allentown wanted her off the ballot. So Mayor Pawlowski apparently condoned this sham-job. Awesome.

Earlier today, this item from Yale University Press came through my WordPress reader: The Reality of Democracy in Retreat.  An excerpt:

“There is no strong evidence that authoritarian governments are better at providing development than democracies. I could name about 50 dictators who ran their countries into the ground economically. There is evidence that over time democracy provides better social welfare, such as longer life expectancy, lower infant mortality, more social and political freedoms.”

That’s all we’re saying.  That’s why we’re trying to get a Clean Air Ordinance on the ballot.  That’s why we want public input on the plan to lease Allentown’s water . That’s why we’re fed up with seeing Allentown politics treated like a higher-office mint.   That’s why I’m voting in the primary.  That’s why I’ll support Michael Donovan in the fall.

3 thoughts on “The Reality of Democracy in Retreat, In Allentown and Everywhere

  1. To the anonymous poster: I want to respond to this comment thoughtfully because there’s something fundamental about public discourse (in person AND on the internet) in the mix. As it stands, you haven’t really said anything engage-able. I’m sensitive to all kinds of reasons people may have for posting anonymously, but it’s not fair to insinuate. Another reality: for all I know, you could be a PR contractor working for DTE, LCA, a political client, or a business interest. From a standpoint of fairness, I want to delete the comment and then email you directly to say more, but you don’t seem to have left an email address. So, I’ll delete the comment and invite you to email me through the contact links on this site if you’d like.


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