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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Opportunistic Sam Bennett: Trying Her Best to Re-elect Congressman Charlie Dent

Thanks to Bernie Kieklak, Allentown's Sam Bennett will be local Dems' sacrificial lamb in next year's race againstCongressman Charlie Dent. With the media eye focused exclusively on her, the first thing she did was botch her her first financial disclosure, claiming she had between $150 and $250 million set aside for retirement. "Take three zeros off all of it, and you've got the right answer," her campaign spokesman chuckled.

Last week, she got serious and claimed politics was Dent's sole motive in leading a group of fellow Republicans to challenge the Prez for mismanaging Iraq. Then she proceeds to do exactly exactly that - politicize the war. After lamenting our "dead and wounded soldiers," she asks for money in a mass email.

To Siobahn Bennett, our "dead and wounded soldiers" are just a campaign cash cow - a “gimmick” to raise money. "Many eyes will be on the June 30th financial filing of our campaign!"

Finally, if there is any doubt in your mind about her opportunistic nature, Josh Drobnyk dispels it with an interesting report about Bennett's comfy salary at a nonprofit. She ignored IRS guidelines and put herself on the committee that awards her a $110,000 salary, even though the annual budget is only $351,000.

If elected to congress, she'll be deciding her salary again, and the budget there is just a bit larger. Lots of extra 0's.


Anonymous said...

If Lisa Boscola isn't getting negative press, Sam Bennet is. These two are the Achilles heels of the Democratic party, and Charlie Dent will handily beat either of them. His staff knows where all the bodies are buried. I opted not to use Boscola's past in my campaign, but she's self-destructing all on her own. I think the real challege will be in taking the 18th. Senate seat in 2010. The Republicans need someone in the wings, ready to go. If a right wing Conservative like me with no name recognition and no money could get 28% of the vote in 2006, Boscola's days are numbered.

michael molovinsky said...

to some extent bennett is a victim of rendell's state wide philly politics. sam got the grant from rendell for services rendered in the past couple of elections. its sort of like donny cummingham pictured with the cardboard check to the fraudulent student loan company. dents probably the only republican the morning call would gift an article like that for...

Anonymous said...

Morning Call should look deeper into this story. Bet she is using those state grant dollars to hire people to run her Congressional campaign or to underwrite part of the costs. Who was just hired by Properties of Merit? Who is her "chuckling" campaign spokesperson and does that person also work for Properties of Merit? Or is her new hire just someone who "keeps her busy schedule" including her campaign appearances? Bet there is a lot more to this story. Dent's people must be chomping at the bit to get after her now that the Morning call is starting to peel back her facade.

Anonymous said...

Is it illegal or just unethical for Bennett to sit on a committee made up of herslf and two of her closest friends to set her salary for an organization funded with state tax dollars? Anybody know --- or care?

Anonymous said...

Bennett's campaign strategy -- Open mouth. Insert time bomb. Light fuse. Wait for loud bang signaling end of political career. Blame others.

Greendogdem said...

Well know you know why I was so upset when they started pushing Bennett for congress. That and I don't like what Long was doing. The Lehigh county democratic party is pretty sad we can't even find viable candidates to run or support the ones that are unless they are running in the city of Allentown

Anonymous said...

Anybody listens to or takes advice from NC D Chair Joe (thinks he is boss Tweed of LV) Long seriously needs their head examined, is my opinion! Did you know, that if you can breathe on glass and the glass would fog up, you could be Party
Chairman for "any" political Party these days? Political Party folks, these days have zero clout to get anything done. All the patronage jobs once enjoyed by Party bosses are not available! That is not a bad thing! Donors give money to candidates, hardly to Party, these days and do not need the Party for any reason whatsoever. I know, I was NC Party Chair '86-'88 trying my best raising pennies while seeking good candidates & voters. I was heavily recruited for the
volunteer position and the glass fogged up for me! I would suggest election reform that "any & all" political contributions can only be given to political Party folks and "only ever ask" Party folks to
"consider" giving any money to candidates of donors choice. NO guarantees of any kind! Hence, many would seek Ward, District and Party Leadership positons so they could have some input in electoral process. Fogging up glass for such postions would be eliminated and folks would then have to have a brain to serve any political Party, and donors would have to cater to Party electeds! Now, why do donors need cooperation from Party folks? If such a system would exist, people like Joe Long would never be a Party official of any kind, is my further opinion. larry@kisslinger.com

Anonymous said...

So who do you think fogged up Bennett's glass? Or was it just a case of: " Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? Why me, Sammy B. Of course!"?

Anonymous said...

anon 5:38 PM said: So who do you think fogged up Bennett's glass? Or was it just a case of: "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? Why me, Sammy B. Of course!"?
...very obvious to me: fog glass man tweed Long, same as for loser Dertinger FOG man! I find it very
hard to believe Sam could fog up her "own" glass! Do you think is/was very hard to figure that one out?


Anonymous said...

Sam needs the money, other people's money that is.
Her $100k gig is now exposed.

Charlie is guaranteed another term and this time it's with a 'D' as President.

--is my opinion

Anonymous said...

Larry, I couldn't agree with you more; the sun is setting on the day of local Party power. I can remember when being a committeeperson meant something, including knowing every registered voter in your neighborhood, and having influence with those of your own party. I don't know the exact statistic but I'll bet there are lots of vacant committee slots in both parties.

My armchair political analysis attributes the demise of the ward boss and the strong county chair to two causes; the emergence of extreme elements on both sides, and the invention of the internet.

People no longer need nor want someone who they probably don't agree with anyway with telling them who to vote for, not when they can sit in their living room researching an issue and a candidate, online.

Anonymous said...

Larry, you are correct on the days of teh Party Boss being over. There is no power ... at least in the positive sense. The power a guy like Joe Long has is to simply piss off enough people to effect elections. He effects elections by pushing canidates who are complete train wrecks, and he effects elections by working against people who are legitimate and should be running for office.

Is Sam Bennett (or Lisa Boscola for that matter) the best we have to challenge Rep. Dent? My guess is no, there are better people who could be a candidate. But Joe Long and his cronies work against the people who should be more involved and running for office.

I am a good example of this phenomena. I am a lifelong Dem., relatively young (but not too young), have been very successful in life, have a core set of values and ideas, but will not run for even the school board. Why? Because of Joe Long and people like Joe Long who use politics as thier personal circle of power.

I do not want to deal w/ the BS. I do not want to have to fight w/ a party "leader" to get help and support (which is what he should be doing). I do not want to deal with his power trips and his open disdain for some candidates. And I think many viable candidates feel the same way.

Sam Bennett is the result. We get a hand picked candidate who isn't qualified, doesn't give the impression of having a core philosophy or unbending values (she comes off just like Charlie Dent, a pure politician who has never worked a real job), and has too many skeletons in the closet.

Until Joe Long is forced out or leaves, this is what you can expect to continue to see. And until that day comes, I will stay on the sidelines and not run for office.

Anonymous said...

Pamela Varkony 8:03 PM said...
Larry, I couldn't agree with you more; the sun is setting on the day of local Party power...
larry@kisslinger.com says: It is a very long story is my opinion! The Sun set very long ago "before" the Internet on political Party power. Used to be, do community service as a volunteer, work for a decent candidate, graduate to become a Party Ward person and get to know & serve all of your neighbors, run for school board then maybe higher office asking your family, friends and other served folks as a "base" to help...then presto, you keep moving on up the political ladder. Now we have Sam, Longy poo and others paying little dues and jumping ahead of the line B/C all the old, common sense rules have been dismantled with money & behind the scenes phoney "power" brokers who would never dare put their own names up for public service elections. Take one guess why? Stupid puts name on ballot and phoney "power" brokers run the show! "Life is like a box of chocolates". Charlie Dent is a public servant who has paid his dues and cannot lose an election anytime soon! Opportunistic is the correct buzzword for Bennett.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:34 PM said...
Larry, you are correct on the days of the Party Boss being over, etc.

Thanks, however, we disagree about Dent, no problem, and we disagree about your ever running for any office until Long and his ilk are gone. That's what they want, for you and others to fear them and their seven, eight or so friends? I say "run" and don't pay any attention to phoney Party folks! You cannot win if you do not run, and you cannot lose if you do B/C people will always respect you for having tried, especially against a weak Party led by nitwits. I sincerely advise you, or anybody else, to run "against" nitwits and "for" any office you ever desire to seek. Take my advice to the bank! I did it and won against
folks much more devious and clever than "some" of the current crew of nitwit Party folks. Learn and work with the good Party folks and ditch the phonies. Trust me, I'll help if you like! DO IT NOW!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:57,

From what I can see in the MC article, it is contrary to IRS guidelines. This could have serious implications for the nonprofit status of Bennett's corp, which could also be ordered to return grant money. I'd certainly want to hear Bennett's justifications, but a salary can't be justified on future expectations.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Pam & Larry, I can't speak to local Rs or the LC Dems. But in NC, it seems that the party chair and a few committeemen like to decide primaries in advance. It's really a bad thing because the party ends up with a candidate who has not been vetted.

Take a look at the state Rs and Swann. He was shoved down your throats and Scranton was forced to bow out. After that happens, he goes on Meet The Prerss and makes an idiot out of himself. And then it's discovered he didn't bother to register for more than a few elections.

When candidates go thru primaries, they can be weeded out by something called "democracy." Party bosses should try it sometime.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, Doesn't that mean she can be investigated by the Feds? Is she nuts or what? The Feds are just looking for Democrats to nail and she is putting herself out for public scrutiny and running for Congress at the same time? Unbelievable! She has got to be either totally nuts to do soemthing like this or so arrogant that she thinks she can get away with it by bluffing and flirting her way out of it. Either way she is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Anonymous said...

R's, D's, and/or any local, state national committee "endorsed" selections mean nothing to me.
Candidates who choose to bow out when not endorsed, I can't answer for them! Scranton should have stayed in the race for Governor a second time. I worked for Scranton
the first time when Casey Sr. last minute negative campaign defeated him! Also, I was not supported by any political party when I ran for City Council in 1973 "or" again for re-election in 1977! In fact, I was discouraged from running in both campaigns and my Party worked very hard against me, yet I won both races and could have easily won another when I chose not to run for a third term. I advised City and NC Chair that I was running and not asking their permission to do so, was my final message to them. Situation was exactly the same for Jerry Seyfried when I worked his first campaign for NC Executive and virtually all NC D committee folks
were supporting Ladd Siftar. I went to Jerry's home with another friend and convinced him to run. He won. For the record, I was not involved in his loss to Brackbill! Jerry then relied on party folks,
and other Madison Avenue phonies, and the rest is history. larry@kisslinger.com

Anonymous said...

it all boils down to this ,,,,if the morning call story is true,bennett and the properties of merit is in big trouble with the IRS etc. they being the end result.if the morning call story is just a smear, smoke and mirrors, the organization and sam will move on. time will tell .

Anonymous said...

agree, if sammy B. survives the IRS, shes the best.

Anonymous said...

Bernardo, theres something being missed here. She may very well be fine with the IRS but who cares look at the situation. First this is why BO you and I disagree on the press. While I agree they are better than no press, in the Lehigh Valley we are poorly served. These papers are beholding to Corp. interests, they go all googoo over 'real world businessmen'and their pol. pawns. The sam story was known by all for a long time. The inside joke was how the Gov. gave her mucho$$$ to give out plaques to people with nice properties. It was a job and a title. The pay deal is rediculous. Check out what some top Govt. people make running huge Dept's for years. Even the Innanneli figure was wild. But the overstaffed, overpaid LVCC is business owners problem. The paper sat on this for over a year and only ran it because she is going against Dent, and he is closer to their hearts. The MC likes Bennet just not as much as Dent. BS! BS! BS!

Anonymous said...

It may just be one opinion but I think this is serious stuff. Bennett is clearly showing that she lacks judgement and a sense of propriety with her manipulation of the committee that set her salary paid with our tax dollars. This escapade warrents further investigation. At the very least it should disqualify her to run for Congress.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 1:33,

The sam story was known by all? For a long time? Dude, I didn't know it. I suspect if I didn't know, there's many others who did not know these details either. What other details are out there that everyone knows (except me)?

I'm getting an education. I'd like to see answers to these questions. Why did Rendell support Bennett in '05 when he would not endorse a mayoral candidate in Philly, his own city? Why did he go against his own policy for Bennett? What did Rendell have to do w/ the grant to Bennett's nonprofit. Why do party bopsses like Joe Long think Bennett will rake in lots of dough? Did Rendell make calls about Bennett to local party bosses?

Anonymous said...

Bernie, IMHO there is a lot more to discover about Bennett. Your education is only just beginning. I suspect that the Morning Call has only begun to scratch the surface of her story. Wonder if they have the smarts and the guts to pursue this story further.

Anonymous said...

Bernie I an annon 1:33. I cann't answer all your questions but refer to your latest blog. I think you will find all will become clear. Sam was set-up to wait in the wings. I have always said we focus on Dem's and Repub's too much. It is about insiders. She worked for the Call. They loved her. Mayfair-fantastic-really, ask some who were there with her. Her State grant the Board of Directors, the salary. Much of this could have been written awhile ago but we had to read about another Twp. Sup. with a 30K a year job. Your new topic will yield some intersting news. What happens when an insider gets in the way of an even more insider, the MC writes a story.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 12:06,

I think I'm beginning to understand what's going on here. For whatever reason, she is a Rendell fave. He actually helped her in her mayoral quest, something he never does for others. And she ingratiates herself with insiders.

They decided to pick her out as our next member of congress, probably because they can control her. To hell with primaries or democracy. Long, Rooney, Daugherty are all brought on board. I now think Boscola was in on it, too. The $100k grant from the guv is there to pay her living expenses while she runs for congress. In effect, taxpayers have already funded her congressional campaign.

Now you claim this was known by all, but I've been in the dark until Sunday. I will make up for lost time.

Now you think she's being trashed to make room for another insider - Dent. There we disagree.

If I were Dent, I'd keep all this to myself until well after the primary, knowing I'd be facing a weak candidate whom I could destroy. Now I'm hearing rumblings that other Dems are ready to dump Bennett.

That's not good news for Dent. He'd rather face her than just about anyone else. So I don't buy your managed news argument. But I do agree that a group of insiders try to make the decisions behind the scenes.

Anonymous said...

BO, I always think of you as an insider and forget you don't get to sit in the Star Chamber with LV Corporate elite and their puppets in the media. As to your points, yes, absolutly, just wait and see and I disagree. I don't think Dent put this out he could wait, I think some who think they are helping him are doing it. Also think about it Bernie, a successful Repub. tactic has been to hit hard hit early. There is no viable Dem on the horizon. Unless of course there is and they leaked this. Either way I stand by my belief the press sat on this for reasons I stated earlier. The Dem machine is pushing Sam and she will be the nominee, despite this or anything else that comes up. You know, you are a good man Bernardo! When we can get you away from the influence' of the new Jim 'Stoffanista" Jones indoctrination camp called North. Co. (Oh and the dung bettle-Owen's).

Bernie O'Hare said...

a successful Repub. tactic has been to hit hard hit early. There is no viable Dem on the horizon.

This is true ... And when you speak of the local business star chamber, I presume you mean the Lehigh Valley Partnership.

J. SPIKE ROGAN said...

Too bad the Dems couldn't get Bob Freeman to run. That guy is so unbeatable I hear even Jesus is behind him in polls of church goers.

Imagine of the Dems put a guy that could beat Dent at his own game.

I doubt he would want to run.

Thats the problem no one who can beat Dent wants to go.

Maybe I should, I could turn it into a GONZO campaign for every freak in the valley.

1. Add death pools to the State slots with a 10% tax on winners to the state.

2. Legalize Marijuana and place a 25% sales tax on it.

3. Remove taxes on porno and beer.

4. Make giving atomic wedgees to NY Yankee fans in public from light posts not only legal but required of any citizens, those who fail to do so must work on a chain gain during a august heatwave while in a wool striped suit.

5. having every fire dept. have a special unit to handle lit farts that go out of controll. (With no tax on beer you should be ready for that!)

Sure as a congressman none of that can be made possible (other than the marijuana, lol) But isn't that what makes our political process so dang special. "Broken Dreams and unkept promises".

Heck I think thats why we brain wash kids about Santa. So they are hardend to broken promises and lost dreams later in life when they vote.

So vote me, the only A-hole who will be honest to you and admit I can't make it happen and you really don't matter after I get elected.

Anonymous said...

Bob Freeman cannot beat Dent. Very few Nor. Co. Dems can win because odf Lehiggh County. Freeman ran for Senate in Nor Co years ago Dem.s poped Champagne bottles then he lost.
I'm A Dem,I like Bob,but would take that bet in a minute.