Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Turncoat Jim Matthews explains why he jumped into bed with Joe Hoeffel

If anyone is still interested, Montgomery County Commissioner Jim Matthews goes to great lengths to explain why he was "forced" to make a power-sharing deal with Democrat Joe Hoeffel.

Matthews's comments were contained in a two-sided one-page letter he sent out last weekend to GOP committee people wanting an explanation for his agreement to share power with Hoeffel, according to reporter Margaret Gibbons.

Under this agreement, Matthews gave Hoeffel his vote for vice chairman, which is the first time Democrats have held that position, in exchange for Hoeffel's vote for him as chairman, Gibbons says. Also, several of Hoeffel’s key campaign aides were hired in top administrative posts and Hoeffel was given the county’s economic development portfolio.

Matthews blames Castor for forcing him to make a deal with the far-left Hoeffel, who spend most of the campaign in 2007 attacking Matthews for making too many deals as a county commissioner. That's why politics makes strange bedfellows, isn't it?

Castor says Matthews' version of events is not true, according to Gibbons.

"Suffice to say, much of what is contained in his letter is inaccurate or false," Castor said in his own letter obtained by Gibbons. "Rather than refute it point by point, I simply must rely on my record for being honest with you. I have never lied to you, and I never will. That is a promise I will always keep."

Castor maintains that he has always been flexible and willing to work with Matthews and he remains willing to work with him, Gibbons said.

"The only thing I want in return is for Joe Hoeffel and the Democrats to be returned to the minority status to which they were elected," said Castor in his letter. "No deals, no jobs, no vice chairmanship and no partnership for the Democrats."

If Matthews does not end his alliance with Hoeffel, it could result in "certain and total defeat" of the Republicans in the 2011 county elections, according to Castor.

Read the full story in today's edition of The Times Herald of Norristown.

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