Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Congressional Wannabe Sam Bennett Takes a Stand ... and Bends Nonprofit Rules Again

Take a Stand is a national campaign aimed at a "safe and responsible redeployment" of American troops from Iraq. Today, 670 candlelight vigils and town hall meetings are scheduled, timed right before Congress goes back to work. Bethlehem's Van Bittner Hall (Steelworkers Hall), located at 53 E. Lehigh Street, will host the Lehigh Valley's town hall.

Despite the lofty name, this movement is designed to cajole Congress into withdrawing from an unpopular war. Before we ever invaded Iraq, taking a stand against that war meant something. Now it's just the latest flavor of the month. It doesn't take a hell of a lot of moral courage to agree with popular sentiment.

When 300,000 Persians tell 300 Spartans to surrender their arms, and they respond, "Come and get them," that's taking a stand.

Van Bittner Hall, with its strong union presence, is the proud site of many Democratic rallies. But according to Cammie L. Croft, the national director of today's "Take a Stand," the event is completely nonpartisan. She tells me that turning this into a Dent-bashing affair would threaten the nonprofit status of her group, Americans Against Escalation in Iraq.

"It absolutely is not a partisan campaign," Cammie assured me last night.

Well, guess who's winking at those silly nonprofit rules ... again?

You got it on the first try! It's Sam Bennett. After getting caught financing her congressional campaign with a ridiculously excessive salary at nonprofit Properties of Merit, she's using nonpartisan Americans Against Escalation in Iraq to stage a free campaign rally.


She was busy today, sending emails on her campaign letterhead to her pals on the Democratic committee, trying to stack the union hall. She's telling them to bring their friends, too. "I look forward to seeing you there." She closes by referring everyone to her campaign web page, where they can give her lots and lots of money.

Several committeemen tell me she's implied that she's even one of the featured speakers. National organizer Croft denies this, and told me late last night we'll be spared a Sam Bennett late night monologue.

Pity. I was looking forward to a few "RoyBoys."

But regardless whether Bennett speaks, this is yet another instance in which she is using a nonpartisan group to advance her personal goal - her quixotic quest for Congress.

Looks like Sam got a little help from local organizer Aaron Swisher. While pretending this event is nonpartisan, he gave Bennett permission to notify her pals on the Democratic committee. In fact, it looks like he drafted most of her letter, or provided a template. He purposely snubbed Congressman Charlie Dent, even though Dent has already met Swisher and has agreed there are no good options in Iraq.

This town hall is supposedly intended "to pressure targeted members of Congress to vote to bring a safe end to the war." You don't persuade people by thumbing your nose at them. Thanks to Aaron Swisher and Sam Bennett, the original purpose of tonight's town hall has been perverted. It will instead be a thinly-veiled campaign rally at a union hall, packed with Democratic committeemen.

I'll be there as a member of the non mainstream media, along with my digital camera. Should I ask Joe Long for permission? I'm sure he won't mind.


Anonymous said...

Bernie - any luck with finding the concession video for YouTube?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Looked tonight and did not see it.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I rankly don't know what I am more tired of, Sam Bennet or Joe Long.

Anonymous said...

You gotta know that Sam Bennett will try as hard as she can to throw herself in front of any reporter or news camera she can and probably have a couple of her groupies planted as shills in the crowd.

She has no sense of proportion and no regard for personal or political boundaries. She is a shameless, self-promoting manipulator and a scam artist.

Anonymous said...

Dent's people are probably saving the concession video for after the Primary next year. They will start running it after Labor Dya 08' when it is too late to replace Scam with another candidate

Larry Kisslinger said...

"Americans Against Escalation in Iraq! "It absolutely is not a partisan campaign," Cammie assured me last night."
could have fooled me as I took a quick glance, all news there is anti Republican/Bush. I saw nothing against any Democrat who supported the war! moveon.org is member, etc. Who's kidding who here?

Also, Why not use "Sam's" real name while blogging? Sam reminds me of Johnny Cash's "Boy Named Sue" song. larry@kisslinger.com

Anonymous said...

There were calls that came out advertising this event and said the event was to convince congressman Dent to bring a safe end to this war.

Was the non-profit behind them or was it Bennett. It mentions Dent's name and while not saying it implies he supports the war and needs to be swayed.

Jake said...

Why should this surprise anyone? This is Politics as usual for those how have a first class ticket on the Gravy Train. Those expects who stretch the Truth for their own gain and bully those who do the heavy lifting into believing that they know the way to the Promised Land. People are really pissed and how these whores will piggy back any movement to window dress their ambitions as the will of the people, is disturbing. It is amazing what webs these creatures will spin.

What a shell game!

Aphrodite's daughter said...

Sam Bennett has become a real disappointment to me. We received a phone call yesterday that portrayed Mr. dent in a negative light. Why do they always have to go negative? Can't they find anything good to say about themselves? No wonder we keep losing. I know one person who has the concession speech, but has it on VHS, and I don't think he knows how to convert it to digital for u-tube.

A.J. Cordi said...

Does Bennett even know there is a war going on in Iraq?

Bernie - fill us in good, buddy!

Anonymous said...

Another inept move by Bennett to make herself a significant political player.

Looks like she is calling her own shots as a candidate -- a sure prescription for disaster.

Aphrodite's daughter said...

Sam Bennett a disaster? I'm sorry I have to agree.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It will be fun tonight. I just got press credentials from Billy Givens.

Anonymous said...

"Before we ever invaded Iraq, taking a stand against that war meant something. Now it's just the latest flavor of the month."

Bernie, knock it off. Opposition to this ridiculous war is not the flavor of the month. People across America for many years now have been taking a stand in many small and large towns and cities.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Sorry, dude, it's a flavor of the month. A few years ago,m everyone was goose-stepping all over the place and saluting each other. Now the very folks whio supported the envasion are outraged, just outraged, that we're still there. There are a few who have been consistent, and I respect that. But the little rally conducted this evening in Bethlehem weas compolete bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Democrats used to have balls. FDR executed captured Nazis convicted by secret military tribunals. He knew how to prosecute a war relentlessly and brutally. Harry Truman had the guts to drop the bomb on an unrelenting enemy that would've fought for years longer at the cost of, perhaps, millions of lives. FDR sent 4,000 kids to their death in the first half hour of D-Day to engage a guy (Hitler) who had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor. Nobody wants war, but I'd love to know what you poor excuses for Democrats still think is worth fighting for. Anything? Name one thing? Did you lose anybody you loved on 9/11? I did. I don't forget that the enemy IS a religion. A radical religion of right-wing religious zealots who want all of us infidels dead. When did Democrats decide to stand down against this crap? Do you support Afghanistan? Most of you did when it was popular. Just ask Hillary (who says the surge is working). She voted to fund the war and continues to fund it today. This blog will look awfully funny when edited to comply with Sharia Law. You should all stick to your guns the way Democrats used to before screwing the pooch with LBJ in Nam. Republicans used to be the naive, softy isolationists in a dangerous world. What the hell happened. Salam Alaikum, lefties. Check out the movement started by liberal political cartoonist Mark Danziger. Hate Bush, but don't turn a blind eye to religious nuts who want you dead. A Democrat president will likely continue prosecution of these wars. Will we get an FDR or some lefty who agrees with the NY Times stylebook and won't use "Islamic" and "terrorist" or "extremist" in the same sentence? I'm more afraid the next democrat will go back to calling terrorism a police matter. Yikes.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah. And thank God for a patriot like Paul McHale. And now we offer Bennett.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 10:36,

You make some damn good points. The funny thing is that most Dems and Republicans can agree to work together but their leaders won't let them. But here's two realities.

1) It will take anywhere from 15 mos. to 2 years to safely withdraw American forces. There can be no immediate withdrawal.

2) In the spring, we will start losing soldiers in Iraq bc their deployments are up and the military cannot in good conscience involuntarily extend them anymore.

We are on our way out. But we really need to develop a plan to protect our interests and minimize bloodshed.