Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Charlie Dent: There Are Only Two Ways to Run, Hard or Unopposed

When Sam Bennett ran against LV Congressman Charlie Dent last election cycle, she would often tell her listeners "Charlie's a nice guy, but I'm a nice guy, too, and have better hair." I'm guessing that was a mistake. But let's face it. That is Dent's image. Even die-hard lever pullers on the Democratic side of the aisle will readily concede he's a great guy. He remembers everybody he meets, speaks softly and is one of very few people who actually listens to what others say to him. But don't kid yourself. Dent has fought, and won, three Congressional races in a Democratic district. Beneath his velvet glove, there's an iron fist. That was on full display yesterday during a news conference that included Morning Call reporters, Ken Petrini and yours truly.

"There are only two ways to run, hard or unopposed," Dent said in response to a question asking whether he might be jumping the gun in his race against Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan. "He has a public record, which we will be happy to talk about."

Health care reform

Irked by Callahan's participation in a health care rally outside Dent's Bethlehem office, the Congressman pointed out that this demonstration was actually sponsored by MoveOn, "an ultraliberal organization," and SEIU, whose Allentown president was forced to resign five days later for bullying Boy Scout volunteers. "John Callahan may want to do a better job picking his allies next time around."

Dent also slammed Callahan for his refusal to state whether he would have voted for Pelosi care. Dent noted Callahan could fall out of his office at city hall and read the bill in Bethlehem's public library, which Dent personally delivered. Instead, Callahan will "weasel out of taking a position."

"I guess the chicken dance isn't just for Musikfest anymore," he joked.

Pelosi care will be paid for with $500 billion in Medicare cuts over ten years, as well as $730 billion in new taxes. Dent disputes that these Medicare cuts are realistic. "They're not really reforming anything." He also argues that these cuts will be felt by seniors. "I will let senior citizens of this district know what John Callahan intends to do to their programs," calling him a "Nancy Pelosi Democrat."

What would Dent do about health care reform?

Instead of one massive health care reform bill, which Dent argues is just a recipe for partisanship, he suggests a piecemeal approach. "Deal with things we know need to be fixed," He recommends separate bills for pre-existing conditions, medical liability, health insurance reforms, tax equalization, and so on. He believes this permits more bipartisanship and is more easily amended.

Bethlehem taxes

Claiming that Callahan is "no stranger to deficit spending," Dent accuses Callahan of breaking a 2007 promise to cut taxes after the casino was built. Noting a $2.7 million deficit in 2008 and a $10 million line of credit proposed for next year, Dent charges that Callahan has "repeatedly raided" the water budget to avoid raising taxes. "It's like robbing Peter to pay Paul, and then you rob Paul."

In his 2007 State of the City address, Callahan did promise to cut taxes. "[W]e need to give a direct financial return to all of our taxpayers in the form of a tax cut." In February of this year, Callahan downgraded his 2007 promise to a "possible" tax cut. Now that promise has been forgotten completely. "John Callahan can't play it straight with the people of Bethlehem concerning tax cuts." Pointing to Bethlehem's $7 million host fee, Dent adds "You would think the good people of Bethlehem, who are hosting this casino, would get tax cuts."

Callahan is obviously listening to all kinds of well-paid politicos who claim it's far too early to start this Congressional race. Somebody needs to tell that to Dent. He's removed his velvet gloves to expose iron fists, is pounding away, and is happily painting Bethlehem's Mayor as a vacillating politician who has no real interest in the issues. Chickendance Callahan.

Advantage, Dent.

Update: Ken Petrini has a far more detailed account of this news conference, which you can read here.
Update #2: The Morning Call's story, penned by irrepressible Scott Kraus, is located here.

59 comments:

Joe Hilliard said...

Wait a second, Charlie Dent is complaining about Bethlehem's deficit spending? Yeah, it's irresponsible governance...

But Charlie has been part of the free spending, deficit increasing Congress! He continually votes to spend money we do not have.

Yes, Charlie is a "nice guy". This country needs leaders. Charlie is not a leader.

Anonymous said...

Pat Toomey is an extremeist nut. I hope the endorsement doesn't backfire!

Anonymous said...

Callahan will be shown for who he is. Bernie will learn a whole new side of this guy.

Anonymous said...

Bernie Wrote:
"Morning Call reporters, Ken Petrini and yours truly."


Reporters....Are you a Call repotrer?

Looking To Escape said...

Pat Toomey is an extremeist nut. I hope the endorsement doesn't backfire!


We need more extremist nuts like Toomey in Congress.
.
You can see what "normal" is doing for us now.

Anonymous said...

Toomey's endorsement of a pro-abortion, deficit-spending, go-along liberal like Dent is disappointing, but not surprising.

Toomey complained about being on the wrong side of a RINO protection when the party apparatus supported the liberal Specter over him. Now, Toomey has surrendered his principles to do exactly the same thing.

Toomey knows Dent can phone in his November victory in the 15th. He's looking for some coat tails here. The cost of coat tails is the usual principle-surrendering endorsement.

Anonymous said...

Charlie's vote against health care should disqualify him for this and any office. The republicans should be ashamed of themselves..And yes, Toomey is an extremist whack job. Always was and always will be..

Anonymous said...

Have a good Thanksgiving Bernie.

Anonymous said...

Bennett, Callahan and Dent all have "good hair." Maybe that's what it takes to get elected?
Hair Club anyone?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 7:09, That sentence is grammatically correct, I think, but is nevertheless a bit unclear. I think if he comma were missing between "reporters" and "Morning Call," I would be creating the inference that Ken and i are MC reporters. But there is a comma.

What would you suggest?

"That was on full display yesterday during a news conference that included Morning Call reporters, Ken Petrini and yours truly."

Bernie O'Hare said...

Charlie Dent, Despised by far right people like Joe Hilliard and far lefties like MoveOn and DownWithTyranny.

Pennsylvania Democrats and Republicans like centrists. That's why Dent will win.

Anonymous said...

Dent should be ashamed for his lack of action on healthcare.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how wanting not to pay more than everyone else in the world for a service far inferior (healthcare) is ultraliberal. If Moveon protested because Americans couldn't choose car insurance and some weren't allowed to buy it and those that could get it sometimes didnt get their cars covered after accidents for no apparent reason and we all paid 10 times more for car insurance than everyone else in the world that doesn't have these problems, would that be considered ultraliberal or conservative?

Anonymous said...

The bill is about legislatively locking in abortion, as medical advancements render the bad law of the trimester rationale of Roe vs. Wade more irrelevant by the day.

There is no other issue here for either side. The left requires protection for abortion and the right opposes it.

All the talk about access and savings and insurance companies is bullshit. This is an abortion war.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 10:21, Your argument is sophistry. I could argue just as convoncingly that Den does not want Americans to pay more for health care. What makes Moveon a liberal organization, and one that I support on some issues, is its stance on numerous matters, from health care to Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Polls show that most Americans don't consider health care to be one of their most important issues. 17% of those in the real unemployment ranks just want jobs back. They were told if we spent a kajillion dollars and bailed out AIG, we'd avoid reaching 8% unemployment. Now we're at 10.2% (stated) and 17% (real). And we're being told the rates will remain steady throughout '10. Meanwhile, Washington works on another less important priority.

Anonymous said...

Just think, next up after Health Care...

...Cap and Tax

Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Rasmussen
Nov 24, 2009

27% strongly approve Obama

42% strongly disapprove

"...giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -15. This is the lowest Approval Index rating yet measured for President Obama"

Anonymous said...

"Charlie Dent, Despised by far right people like Joe Hilliard and far lefties like MoveOn and DownWithTyranny.

Pennsylvania Democrats and Republicans like centrists. That's why Dent will win."

That's truth. Charlie Dent is a rationalist. Actually, that's a third party that this country could use -- a Rationalist Party.

LVCI said...

Hey, Anonymous 11:46 AM...

Rasmussen
Nov 24, 1936

42% strongly approve Hitler
27% strongly disapprove

So the majority always gets it right?

Anonymous said...

"Toomey knows Dent can phone in his November victory in the 15th. He's looking for some coat tails here. The cost of coat tails is the usual principle-surrendering endorsement."

Once Toomey is elected, he can turn on Charlie and help a conservative take the seat next time. Payback, while not the primary objective, will be the proverbial bitch.

We all hold our nose and vote for RINO "Charlie who supports the right to kill babies", until there is a better choice.

Anonymous said...

This is like the Carter administration. They've taken a tough situation and made it much worse. We were promised hope and we're getting hopelessness. And I don't think our US Olympic Hockey team is going to lead us out of our malaise this time.

Anonymous said...

I know Pat Toomey, and he doesn't strike me as a backstabber, so I think this is an unlikely scenario.

Anonymous said...

Toomey needs Dent. Dent doesn't need Toomey. Dent has never needed another Republican to win his races. Toomey has compromised his principles in order to get some of Dent's coattail votes.

Dent is inoculated from the full wrath of the Democrats' voter registration edge by his pro-abortion stand.

Republicans are not responsible for Charlie Dent's success. Democrats are. Republicans can't get Toomey elected. He'll need Democrats. Charlie can deliver a good number.

Anonymous said...

So Bernie, where's the commentary on Bill White's column on Angle? Are you not going to post anything because you know he's right? Whether you are trying to make this into a vendetta or not the law is the law as you should know. Angle is on the wrong side of this one.

Anonymous said...

Should be an excellent Winter Olympic tournament, but, it is clear that the United States are unlikely to win the gold medal.

The Russians and Canadians are both strong. Sweden, the defending champion, Finland and the Czech Republic are tough, as well.

No dominant defenseman such as Langway, Leetch or Chelios to anchor the US team this time around.

Anonymous said...

"Toomey needs Dent. Dent doesn't need Toomey. Dent has never needed another Republican to win his races. Toomey has compromised his principles in order to get some of Dent's coattail votes."

Actually, I think this represents the fullest best sense of the Big Tent principles of the Republican Party.

Anonymous said...

it would be nice if dent actually play congressman instead of candidate all the time. it's to the point where we hear more about dent the candidate than dent the elected representative.

callahan is as slick a politician as there is but he is right... dent is playing typical washington games with his behavior. And if he isn't careful, he is going to allienate the voters of the region's second largest city, the same city that is rightly viewed as being well managed for years.

it would be nice if charlie actually gave us a health care bill that he supported instead of one that he opposed. but that would involve governing and he has shown time and time again no interest in accepting that responsibility.

Anonymous said...

If "well-managed" means accumulating debt like it was going out of style -- then yes, Bethlehem under Callahan is that kind of "well-managed."

Personally, I like Charlie Dent. I've seen him help neighbors with issues they've had involving government red tape. That kind of help is appreciated.

Anonymous said...

our country is running up record debt. congress can stop this. charlie dent is a member of congress. charlie dent can stop this. he has not. he must go.

bethlehem is the most desirable city in pa. callahan is the mayor of bethlehem. callahan can make america more desireable.
**************

charlie dent cannot afford to let this narrative stand, so he must wage a campaign the week of thanksgiving and during the christmas season. his never ending campaign has got to stop.

Anonymous said...

Ohare is part of the Dent machine. I guess charlie joined Angle and Stoffa in buying a computer for Ohare.

Name the names Ohare!

The Truthmiester

Anonymous said...

Anon. 5:16 that is without a doubt one of the more wacky things ever read on this site.

Which is saying something.

Thank you for enriching my life. I love you.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Ohare is part of the Dent machine. I guess charlie joined Angle and Stoffa in buying a computer for Ohare.

Name the names Ohare!

The Truthmiester"


Mike Fleck & Ed Pawlowski.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"it would be nice if charlie actually gave us a health care bill that he supported instead of one that he opposed. but that would involve governing and he has shown time and time again no interest in accepting that responsibility."

He has. In previous posts concerning health care, I've linked to them.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"So Bernie, where's the commentary on Bill White's column on Angle? Are you not going to post anything because you know he's right? Whether you are trying to make this into a vendetta or not the law is the law as you should know. Angle is on the wrong side of this one."

I've already addressed this issue. I've already stated there is no violation of either the HRC or the School Code. Bill White is apparently unawatrre that the HRC provision in question is unconstitutional. And the School Code predates the HRC form of government. I can think of several examples, just drom this laast election cycle, of school board members who ran for and believed they could hols county office. The law is unsettled and unclear. No court will disturb the will of the people unless the law is clear. Plus, as I stated, Morganelli's motives are pure politics. If he were just interested in following the law, he would have sued to prevent branco from sitting on county council. Instead, he made robo calls for him.

Bill White is fairly reasonable. He usually persuades me. But I disagree w/ him on this one. Franklt, I doubt he's read the cases I've read concerning the HRC, ruling that only the legislature, and not some county document, can determine whethere an elected official is unqualified for office. I doubt he's aware that at the time the School Code was enacted, there was a County School Supervisor, which office no longer exists. The provision of the school code is anachronistic.

Morganelli can try his case in the papers. Ron will try his in court, and win.

Anonymous said...

B. O. ,
one word 'mancrush'.

is there a candidate you view as positive that you do not have a mancrush on?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mike Fleck and Ed Pawlowski.

LVCI said...

I have my frustrations with Dent and his buddies concerning healthcare. Next year Medicare will reduce doctor payments 21% if the legislators don't override this like they did every year since it was put into previously enacted law.

By not overriding the current law doctors will get ripped off for 21% less in Medicare payments for their fees next year. With yet another 21% the year after. Good luck finding a doctor who will take 42% less in two years.

Thank goodness this legislation passed in the house despite Rep. Charles Dent voting NO.

(The pending Health Care Reform bill would make fee adjustments based on real time tables and change this previous piece of bad legislation.)

I could understand he may be opposed to healthcare reform, but he wouldn't even support this!

These guys just keep saying NO to everything that comes down the pike concerning healthcare. There must be something they like!

It been said maybe we could take things in baby steps instead of one big overhaul. By Charlie voting NO this demonstrates when it comes to healthcare they will not budge even a little bit. So I see little hope of ever changing anything concerning Healthcare if the current reform fails in the Senate.

Call it a bad bill or a good bill, but left up to Dent there'd be NO bill at all given his vote on last Thursday.

Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act of 2009-
Vote Passed (243-183, 8 Not Voting)
The House passed this bill to change the formula that determines the Medicare physician fee schedule, with the intention of preventing a 21 percent reduction in Medicare payments to physicians. It now goes to the Senate.

lighthouse said...

I really can't read the small print, but some dark irony that the comic book cover uploaded with this post seems to have the story title "By my hand DIE !"

I hope that's not the answer to the health care debate....

Anonymous said...

All the talk about access and savings and insurance companies is bullshit. This is an abortion war.

Abortion is perfectly legal. What are you talking about? Oh, liberals want abortion to be the first choice paid for by the government right? Santorum, is that you?

Anonymous said...

They were told if we spent a kajillion dollars and bailed out AIG, we'd avoid reaching 8% unemployment. Now we're at 10.2% (stated) and 17% (real). And we're being told the rates will remain steady throughout '10. Meanwhile, Washington works on another less important priority.

Bush and Paulson bailed out AIG. Would you like the President to spend another kajillion to stimulate the economy or do nothing? Sounds like you've painted a nice box for the President!

Anonymous said...

Geithner should be behind bars and he's calling the shots for Barry. New administration. Same old brand of criminals.

Dave said...

This info came via msnbc's Morning Joe show..John Boehner..good friend of Charlie..spent 82K on just his golf outings within the past year! Dent needs to distance himself from this guy asap! People are hungry and out of work and losing their houses and this jerk is out having a fine time on the links to the tune of 82 GRAND!

Anonymous said...

M-E-I-S-T-E-R

meister - the German word for master or champion

Thank you for spelling correctly

DIE DEUTSCHER GRAMMATIK POLIZEI

Anonymous said...

No bill IS better than a bad bill.

Or does LVCI prefer a bad bill?

It is not a good bill, that is for sure.

Perhaps LVCI can explain for us all how the deficit neutral deal works with that fancy budget gimmick.

Taxes start immediately but...

Maybe LVCI can properly spin (woops, I meant explain) Landrieu's Louisiana Purchase, too.

LVCI said...

Anonymous said...10:40AM "No bill IS better than a bad bill.

Perhaps you better address why Charlie didn't vote "for" the Medicare bill I was talking about rather then a prolonged argument on tackling the entire reform bill and going off on other straw arguments.

Your trying to divert my post into the entire Reform Bill. That was not what this bill was. It is an entirely separate bill from that.

Focus. Stay on point..
Why didn't Charlie vote FOR Medicare corrective payment fees to physicians?

By him rejecting this, he knows entirely well that the end result will be that two years down the line Physicians will no longer accept Medicare patients by him doing so?

Anonymous said...

"John Boehner..good friend of Charlie"

Ridiculous. Charlie and 13 other prominent House RINOs are despised by Boehner and the GOP hierarchy. They are almost as distant as Pelosi.

Anonymous said...

A $300 million payoff for support of a bad bill is no "straw argument."

LVCI said...

Anonymous said...11:04AM "A $300 million payoff for support of a bad bill is no "straw argument."

Read my lips... That was the Healthcare Reform Bill currently in the Senate. Charlie works in the house.

This bill has nothing to do with that one

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but the House bill and Senate bill need to be merged into one bill before President Obama can sign it into law?

So how is it that one bill has nothing to do with the other?

Triple and quadruple talk somebody else.

Tell me about the Louisiana Purchase!

If it costs $ 300 million to get Landrieu to vote for a debate, how much will it cost to get Landrieu to actually vote yes?

LVCI said...

Forget it.. your just too smart for me!

Maybe Beck will explain it to your tonight

I'M DONE

Bernie O'Hare said...

LVCI, I have no idea why Dent would vote against that bill and will try to find out. I do not agree with all his actions, but am willing to listen to his explanation. Those are usually fairly reasonable.

ASs for the confusion here, that is pretty much your own doing. Charlie Dent's meeting w/ the press concerned PelosiCare, Bethlehem's budget and Callahan. It did not concern the bill you mention. I think it is understandable that people would think you were referring to Pelosicare. I understand why Dent voted that down.

Once Again, Slowly said...

If I were defending the entire stinking heap, I'd also scream to rhetorically divorce the House bill from the Senate bill and its $300 million payoff to Landreau.

For LVCI and any others in denial or in need of a civics refresher:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEJL2Uuv-oQ

LVCI said...

divorce the House bill from the Senate bill

I was addressing Dent's Thursday vote IN THE HOUSE H.R. 3961

One has nothing to do with the other. I provided the link up above.

Is this so hard to understand? TWO SEPERATE BILLS

Anonymous said...

LCVI, Wasnt the same bill you are talking about already defeated by both republicans and Democrats in the Senate and therefore is dead? Maybe you should try looking past just the name of the legislation and the talking points put out by Pelosi and the AMA. Seems to me that this bill is actually another example of Washington politics as usual.

Anonymous said...

"One has nothing to do with the other."

HA! I dont believe this for a second. Everything Obama and his croonies do in DC relates to some sort of political gain.

http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/19/house-democrats-approve-doc-fix/

Under your logic, the $300 million payoff was probably... just...a...coincidence...

LVCI said...

Anonymous said... "LCVI, Wasnt the same bill you are talking about already defeated by both republicans and Democrats in the Senate and therefore is dead?"

NO

Anonymous said...

Rushing legislation of this importance demonstrates the irresponsibility of the authors. Enough said.


Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

LCVI

Did the bill you are referring to pass the Senate? Is it signed into law?