HT to Tony Phyrillas for this:
Montgomery County Commissioner Jim Matthews, a registered Republican, voted shortly after 2 p.m. today to share power with liberal Democrat Joe Hoeffel when the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners held its annual reorganization meeting.
The odd-man out is Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr., the Republican who led all vote-getters in the Nov. 6, 2007, election for three open seats on the Board of Commissioners.
"The era of one-party domination in Montgomery County is over," Joe Hoeffel announced during the commissioners' swearing-in ceremony Monday morning.
The vote to make Matthews board chairman was 3-0, with Matthews, Castor and Hoeffel voting yes.
The vote to make Hoeffel vice chairman was 2-1, with Matthews and Hoeffel voting yes.
Castor attempted to nominate himself for the vice chairman spot, but neither Matthews or Hoeffel would second the nomination.
It's going to be a long four years for Montgomery County government (and the residents of Montgomery County).
By turning his back on the voters, Matthews sealed his political future. His chances of winning another race are slim and none, and none just moved out of Montgomery County.
The long-term damage done to the Montgomery County Republican Party are incalculable. Short-term, Joe Hoeffel will emerge as the most power politician in Montgomery County in four years and probably take majority control of the board. For that, we have Jim Matthews to thank.
As for Castor, I predict he will have a lot of fun over the next few years exposing the back-room deals and political shenanigans that Matthews and Hoeffel will be involved in. And all the publicity in recent months about how Castor tried to save the Montgomery County GOP will go a long way to helping Castor win statewide office.
Castor has the moral high-ground in this political tiff.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Castor reminded everyone at the swearing-in ceremony what happened the last time Hoffel had power in Montgomery County (when he made a similar power-sharing deal with another "Republican" commissioner in the early 1990s.)
By rejecting the Hoeffel-Damsker ticket in November, Castor noted that Montgomery County voters said they don't want a return to "expanded government," the "hiring of cronies" and the driving up of county debt.
That is the legacy of Hoeffel's first term as a county commissioner.
Matthews, one of the most politically-inept men in politics, may have shot himself in the foot as he worked to stab Montgomery County Republicans in the back.
And the silence from Montgomery County Republican Chairman Ken Davis is deafening. Why no condemnation of Matthews for his treasonous actions? And where is Bob Asher, the Republican National Committeeman who funded Matthews campaign? How can anyone trust Asher when he helped deliver his home county to the Democrats?
It's time to force Davis and Asher to walk the plank.
Reading the full story of the Matthews-Hoeffel alliance in Tuesday's edition of The Mercury.
Labels: Pennsylvania Stuff