Tuesday, August 22, 2006

LEPOCO's Publicity Stunt Backfires!

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThis afternoon, Congressman Dent's office provided a formal statement after the LEPOCO Lame were found guilty of trespass as a summary offense. I emailed his office earlier and asked them to put me in the loop. Here's the statement I received from Dent spokesmen Gregg Bortz, former Express Times reporter extraordinaire:

"Today’s verdict by Judge Platt was completely appropriate. Our office appreciates the work of the Bethlehem Police Department and the Lehigh County District Attorney’s office."

"Ten individuals came into this office unannounced on a day when the Congressman was not present and was unable to come into the office. They were in our office more than three hours that day. We listened to their concerns and gave them prompt responses to their questions. But, we apparently didn’t give them the answers the wanted. "

"They were never told to leave during working hours, only told they would have to leave at our posted closing time, 5 p.m. Only when they ignored a final warning from a police officer to leave or be arrested, a half-hour after our posted closing time, were they arrested for defiant trespass."

"These individuals were not arrested for their views, but for their actions.
And these individuals chose to be arrested. They could have left when the police arrived and continued their protest outside. They did not."

"Lepoco had in fact met with the Congressman on two previous occasions and the Congressman’s scheduler was in the process of scheduling a third meeting. The Congressman has always been willing to meet with his constituents, regardless of issue, as long as the meeting is in good faith."

"On January 17, these ten individuals broke with that good faith by staging a publicity stunt at the expense of the taxpayers. The Congressman is elected to represent more than 600,000 people. Ten individuals basically hijacking a constituent services office is not democratic. It is a crime."
Now get this. After being found guilty of trespass, two of them actually showed up again at Dent's office this afternoon! Dent just happened to be there, much to their surprise, and actually met with them.

"You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!"

I disagree with Charlie Dent's position on many issues. And he's got a real dogfight on his hands with Democratic challenger Charles Dertinger, who does his homework and is a tireless worker. But I'm sure even Dertinger would agree that Charlie Dent just demonstrated again why he is widely regarded as a class act.

He was able to do this thanks to the Dent Nine. Way to go! What's your next trick? At your current rate, you'll help re-elect every Republican in the country.

Wednesday Morning Update:

It just keeps getting better and better! According to the Express Times, one of the Geriatric Nine, 73 year old Arthur Landis, had the following remarks, in open court, for Dent staffers: "Sorry you were late for dinner." And Joe DeRaymond piously claimed a right to trespass because their situation was "extraordinary."

Landis is old enough to know that the victims extend beyond Dent's staff. They include the rest of us schleps who were prevented from carrying on business with Dent's office. DeRaymond's "me first" remarks establish he's a proud believer of the Orwellian mantra, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."


Anonymous said...

People see a bogus publicity stunt for what it is. Once they knew Dent was not there, those 10 people did NOT need to terrorize his office staff. THEY don't have a vote in Congress. They are just average people doing their jobs to the best of their abilities.

How would YOU like it if 10 thugs came to your place of work and threatened you all day while you were just trying to do your job?

Pitiful, sick, pathetic and reflects poorly on all of those people who sincerely hold opposite views than Cong. Dent.

And, to set the record straight, Sir Charles Dertinger doesn't bother to do his homework or bother to connect with average voters.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon, I have to agree this reflects very badly on those of us who oppose the war. With friends like these . . .

PA progressive said...

Charlie Dent isn't a bad guy so this doesn't surprise me. That's why this stunt was such a bad idea. Had they gone through the correct process they wouldn't have been arrested. Of course then they would have missed out on the publicity. Groups like this give us a bad name. Liberals don't need publicity like the Dent 9 got.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Agreed. It really upset me because it was so senseless. But they got to read their names in the paper.

Anonymous said...

LEPOCO is an elitist bunch of snobs but they are not nearly as
repulsive as a draft-dodger/ service-avoiding war-craven such as Cheney, Lieberman, Limbaugh and Dent et al.

Anonymous said...

Moshki posted comment about LEPOCO snobs. Sorry.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mr. Moshki, Your assessmentr of LEPOCO is shared by many LEPOCO members. I don't question their sincerity. But I believe their antics at Dent's office only helped him. It couldn't have worked out better had Charlie planned it himself. Thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...

The Dent 9 deserve everyones respect, whether you're liberal or conservative. They were fighting in what they believe in. I would not mind if you came into my office and expressed your opinions. But then again, i'm not a politician, so i don't think i would need to hide anything form you. Also, these people are the vote in Congress, because REPRESENTATIVE Dent's job is to REPRESENT the opinions of the people inside his 'district'

Bernie O'Hare said...

Gee Anon, now let me see. LEPOCO members had already met Dent twice. Dent wasn't there. Dent's staff was willing to set up a third appointment. But they wanted what they wanted and they wanted it now. Wah! They made fools out of themselves, and that's ok. Biut they also made fools out of everyone who opposes the war.

I do like and respect most members I know. In this instance, I thought they were way out of line.

Dent does represent 600,000 people. Many of them support the war. Many of them are pro lifers. Many of them oppose the minimum wage hike. If Dent had met w/ them twice and they walked in his office unannounced one day and insisted on seeing him even though he wasn't there, wouldn't you agree those groups were out of line?

LEPOCO did far more damage than good.

If Iwalked over to LEPOCO right now and insisted that Nancy Tate leave her house and rush back to see me bc I wanted to talk to her about something, you'd say I was nuts. But that's what LEPOCO wanted with Dent.

Thanks for your post.