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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Congressional Rumblings in the 15th District

State senator Lisa Boscola's flamboyant chief of staff, Bernie "Gonzo" Kieklak, wants to get this message out about Sam Bennett. Never heard of her? Party boss Joe Long is "clearing the field" so she can run for congress. She's bashing Congressman Charlie Dent over his vote on the troop surge resolution.

Dent should have voted for this non-binding resolution because it sends a message Bush needs to hear. But I hate to see it politicized by an opportunist hardly known as an anti-war advocate. It trivializes Iraq and cheapens Bennett. Shawn Millan, Dent's campaign mistro, defends Dent's vote, saying he's received several thank-you calls from families of soldiers serving in Iraq.

Here's what Bernie K., Boscola's campaign guru, has to say, in a letter first sent to Richard Wilkins.

Sammy is holding a press conference at HER HOUSE tomorrow to blast Dent for his vote against the non-binding resolution against the troop surge. It's unknown whether she will actually announce, but why else would the press cover an average citizen who is just voicing displeasure with her Congressman's vote? (And the ONLY reason I think she'd hold it at her house instead of at a better backdrop is that she can't convince 4 people to stand behind her and pretend to be a crowd!)

Josh from the Morning Call's D.C. Bureau interviewed Lisa today about Sammy's "announcement" and Lisa's plans for Congress. You don't want to miss this article! Lisa blasted Dent, laughed at Sam Bennett, and ridiculed Joe Long. She also criticized the DCCC for not coming into the Valley right after the '06 election to start recruiting someone against Charlie The Weak.


Chris Casey said...

Just checking the calendar, the Congressional primary is tentatively set for May 13th, 2008. That is of course, unless we move it up to make a bigger stit in the Presidential Primary race.
So the primary is 448 days away for now, and we have our first salvo fired!
Charlie Dent's already got a million bucks in pledges. All we need now is for Ron Angle to run on the Republican side, and the entertainment schedule will be full!

Chris Casey said...

That should say bigger stir, but this is my brain on drugs!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Chris, Don't blame the drugs, bippy. I don't have a problem with someone who wants to get a head start. But this is sheer political opportunism and has alienated me, a liberal Dem who opposed the war before it started. I'm disgusted when either side tries to make political hay out of the death and carnage.

Greendogdem said...

If they move up the Presidential primary it will only be the Presidential primary according to several articles i've read.

Anonymous said...

Where is TJ Rooney, the PA state Dem chairman?
He has time now to really committ to the Lehigh Valley and spread his wings and influence.
Surely he can find someone who actually lives here in the Valley to un-seat the spineless...

Anonymous said...

Wow, did anyone happen to see the press conference? WFMZ had a clip of it on the news. It was like the four stooges.
Bennett should practice her public speaking.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 7:08, I'm sorry but I missed the press conference. But your assessment is certainly no shocker to me.

Anonymous said...


Right now the Tsunami Gods are looking down and saying, "Why can't WE make waves like Bernie O'Hare!?"

Josh from the D.C. bureau of the Morning Call called me early this afternoon. He was semi-indignant that I would reveal details of his interview with Sen. Boscola to a ("mere") blogger. He also was not happy that YOU had the story online before he even saw his story in print.

I told him: 1) Everything I said was factual and 2) I had not seen your post because I work when I'm at work and only have time to visit my favorite Web sites when I get home at night (which was 8:00 tonight) on my own very SLOW computer.

He told me that Joe Long allegedly went on Channel 69 News and said something to the effect that, "Lisa Boscola is running for State Treasurer, not Congress. She told me that herself."

That is a blatant lie.

Joe should know better than to lie like that to justify his "strategy" of "clearing the field" for Sam Bennett, who couldn't beat Charlie Dent if he was dead.

You will always be my hero.
Semper Gonzo!
Bernie Takes No Prisoners

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bernie, Thanks for getting the word out. And thanks for setting the record straight about Joe Long, our illegally elected Dem chair.

LVDem said...

KP broke this story about Bennett about 2 weeks ago and not a lick worth of credit was given. I posted this on my blog back in January. The reporter can go lick a frozen metal pole for all I care. He wants credit and glory, but fails to even mention where the news originated. I know the Morning Call reporters read our "mere" blogs. At least when the Times Tribune in Scranton grabbed a rumor from KP a year ago (about the mayor possibly running for LT Gov), they mentioned that it came from KP. Granted, the article discredited our rumor, but at least our digging was credited.

Sorry, I'm a little ticked. The only one from the Morning Call to ever mention bloggers is Bill White and he clearly spies on me b/c how else would he know that I blog in my underwear?

Dude? Did I just sound like Billy Givens?

Bernie O'Hare said...

LVDem, You definitely got the ball rolling w/ the "odd email" post, and there's a link to that in this post. But I would not be so quick to get pissed.

First, we haven't spoken to this reporter, and I'd want to do that before reaching a conclusion. I'm not casting a aspersion against Bernie, but the way I remember things and the way they happen are not alwways the same. That's why I'd be a lousy reporter.

Second, if a story gets out, it really shouldn't matter who gets credit. If a blogger uses info supplied from another blogger, it should be acknowledged, either by naming the blogger or with a link. But why shoud the mainstream be bound by our code? We sure as hell don't follow theirs. I'm ecstatic when the mainstream picks up on something I write about. That's often the reward.

Third, I've noticed that our local reporters often do say if they got their info from a blog. Reporters at both the ET and MC have done it for stories that first appeared here. Paul Muschick, Sarah Cassi have specifically mentioned this blog at times. Both the MC and ET have run individuals posts from this blog as op-eds.

Fourth, I haven't looked at today's papers yet. I've overslept. Too much bloggin. But from what I saw in yesterday's account, the "clearing the field" business and Joe Long were not even mentioned.

So I think you're a bit offbase here. And I am imposing a fine. You must drink at least one beer today. If you keep this up, I', going to impose an even steeper fine, like requiring you to kiss a pretty young lady. And if you still insist you're right, I'll make you kiss Billy. You can guess what comes after that.

Anonymous said...

My read through of the Morning Call did not mention the press conference. I do not believe the ET had an article either. (Although I base that on checking out pennlive.com, which sometimes does not have every article)

WFMZ did cover it and showed a clip on its news last evening.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:36, Thanks for filling us in. I saw an account yesterday, but not today. The papers probably did not think Bennett's pronouncements particularly newsworthy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

One other point for Bernie K or anyone else.

This post published mid-morning yesterday, well AFTER Josh Drobnyk's piece appeared in the MC. In fact, I even linked to the story when I mentioned what Shawn Millan had said. Because I did not receive the email directly from Bernie K, I wanted to make sure that there was, in fact, a story before posting my blog.

So I don't think anyone was unhappy about seeing a post from me before the article appeared in print. Bernie K, are you trying to play bloggers against the mainstream? Naughty. Naughty.

LVDem said...

Well, I'm going to accept my punishment of beer. Not to worry.

however, I am going to disagree with you on a couple of fronts. You and I both try very hard to cite our sources, going so far as to imbed links and give credit to MCall stories. I put up on January 19th the first confirmation that Sam was considering a run. We both know the MCall reads our stuff as they have cited you on a couple of instances. Likewise, I know they don't use my work as an anon source I'm fine with that. Just Really I am. Just an admitance that this was circulating in the blogosphere for a while would be nice.

I am going to work on my second and harsher fine while I work on my first. This will be the last you hear from me on this matter b/c the 3rd fine is too much.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You may be anonymous, but you have verty high credibility, especially with me. Your links go back to the articles? Mine go to porn sites. It's a living.

Now I hate to do this, but fair is fair. So I'm now imposing the second fine. You must kiss one pretty girl tonight, and my cite me as your reason. I think that would be a defense to an assault prosecution. It wouldn't be a good defense, but who knows? Incidentally, Chris csey doesn't count.

Now excuse me while I get ready for my date with Billy. I'm told his beard tickles.

Greendogdem said...

um this is sort of old news I'm not sure what the Morning call is whining about. I wrote about this topic on Feb 8th.

Anonymous said...


It was Josh Drobnyk himself from the D.C. Bureau of the Morning Call who told me he was surprised to see YOUR story online before his story was even in print.

I don't know whether he monitors your blog and several others in the Valley. Maybe a local reporter saw it and forwarded it to him. I don't know.

I included that in my post because he really WAS semi-indignant that I would share such "secret" (but factual) information with the likes of bloggers. His peeve was that I rushed to send shotgun e-mails to every blogger on the planet as soon as I hung up after talking to Lisa about his interview with her.

That was NOT the case. My e-mail to Rich was in response to several very persistent e-mails he sent to me about conflicting information he'd heard about Bennett's news conference. I told him the truth and I even sent a copy of my e-mail exchange with Rich to Josh in D.C. UNEDITED because I honestly had not seen your post and had no idea what parts of it you used on your blog.

The bottom line: bloggers by their very nature are very, very attuned to the political pulse. They often have better (or more) sources than reporters do. I equate a blogger as being on the same level as a reporter. So I never lie, always assume everything is on the record, and have no expectations that the end product will be favorable.

Bozo, Vido, Gonzo!
Bernie Takes No Prisoners

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bernie K,

You know what I find funny. The MC did publish a story that Bennett was going to be conducting a press conference. But for some strange reason, that story contained a lot of information about Lisa and Charlie Dent. There was very little about Ms. Bennett. And then we have your eamils, which are ALWAYS quite entertaining. That goes through the blogosphere, and it did cause a stir, as always happens when you post. In addition, the Dent camp makes a splash at KP, in the mainstream, and here with its Giuliani endorsement.

So all this stuff gets covered, but Bennett's actual press conference seems to have been ignored. I didn't see a report in the ET or MC. I'm told it was on 69, but could not find it on the WFMZ website.

So it appears that you and Mr. Millan (sp?) both managed to take Bennett out of the equation on a press conference that she, herself, called. I'd score this Boscola - 1, Dent -1, Bennett - 0.

This should explain to Bennett why she'd be far more useful backing you than trying to interfere in a contest that she can never win. If she wants to run, that's fine. But she will walk away with her third loss, and that will effectively finish her.

Guys like you are in a far different league than me. You and Shawn Millan and a few others are master political strategists. I think LVDem may be well on his way. But I'm no strategist. I'm just a good government type in the end.

Having said that, I think we just witnessed how the pros can turn an opponent's press conference to their own advantage. It was masterful.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Perhaps I should not have said I'm "a good government type in the end," although most would agree with that. Let me rephrase that to a good government type when all is said and done. Yeah, that's better.

Anonymous said...


Wow, you give me WAY too much credit!

I respect and admire Shawn because he is really and truly "the Lehigh Valley's Karl Rove." Plus, he had the class to send Lisa flowers on an occasion or two in the past, which shows how effective he is on so many levels.

And LVDem is who I wish I could be someday. So analytical, so precise, and so savvy.

Bennett's news conference was doomed because she wasn't dealing from a position of strength.

Just "announcing" doesn't cut it anymore. Money talks and bullshit walks. And no news editor is going to expend limited resources (by sending a reporter out) just to cover someone who simply wants to draw attention to herself without having the standing and credibility to say something truly newsworthy that really matters to newspaper readers.

In other words, you can't just "fake out the press" with pseudo-semi-pre-announcement announcements.

PLUS, in order to achieve a shred of credibility, Bennett needs to do a hell of a lot more than just stand there and smile because two lobotomized county chairs "cleared the field" for her. This ain't a coronation, honey, so put away your tiara! Show us something... like $1 million in your war chest, a poll showing that you can beat Dent head-to-head, or a HUGE victory in your last election.

500,000 people in CD 15 could wake up tomorrow and say, "I'm going to run against Charlie Dent and I guarantee that I will win." And the local media would collectively yawn and say, "Yeah, so what?" As they should!

I'm still dying to go on air and do some radio with you. Quite frankly, Jolly Joe would attract a much bigger audience if he replaced Ron Angle with you. And that's not just my opinion--a lot of people who hear you when you're on the air have said that to me.

Demo, Manno, Gonzo!
Bernie Takes No Prisoners

LVDem said...

Bernie, both punishments were taken last night. No arrests made. Didn't need to use your defense. Can't find my pants... not sure what that's about.

LVDem said...

Bernie K... you are far too kind and give way too much credit to a former hack that got out of the business. Someday maybe, but we shall see.

Bernie O'Hare said...

LVDem, Billy called. He said they'e at his place.

Anonymous said...

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro..."

That was WAY too much information about LVDem's pants and the fact that Billy won't return them.

Excuse me while I get sick...
Bernie Takes No Prisoners

Anonymous said...

Man oh man, why don't you guys & Lisa all get a room, for cryin' out loud. This mutual masturbating is making me ill.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I deserve that.

Anonymous said...

Bottom Line ... if Sam Bennett was somehow the Dem candidate in the 15th district, I would vote for Dent. And I have NEVER, EVER, voted for an Repblican. And I think there are a lot of people just like me.