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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sam Bennett's Clean Campaign? - Push Polls & Name Calling

Not too long ago, I linked to pro-labor Democratic Talk Radio Blog. Stephen Crockett, who does the talk radio show, sometimes addresses LV issues. He even has an archive of audio interviews with people like Sam Bennett (4/10), Michael D'Amore (4/24) and Jennifer Mann (4/17).

I listened to the Sam Bennett interview. Asked about the Iraq war, she started things off by calling Congressman Charlie Dent a "double dipping" "career politician" who is "hand in glove with robber baron Republicanism."

Alrighty, then.

After these slams, Bennett demanded in July that Dent take a "clean campaign pledge," promising to refrain from negative personal attacks and making sure that his staff and anyone associated with his campaign do the same thing.

Excuse me? Is she serious?

Just last Thursday, Stevie Crockett and Sam Bennett were conducting a mock debate on local radio with "Chicken Charlie the Dented." No negative personal attack there.

Now, Sam "Clean Campaign" Bennett is also conducting push polls. I guess that's clean, too. The push poll contained no "paid for by Sam Bennett for Congress" disclaimer. Here's a report from Shawn Millan, Charlie Dent's campaign manager.

The questions:

They asked if we preferred a woman who had lived in Saigon and understood the military and has family in service or the man who votes 100% of the time with Bush.

Demonstrably false. Charlie’s record since entering Congress shows that he has supported the Bush Administration’s stated position on legislation only 60 percent of the time. In the interests of a clean campaign, however, I promise not to refer to Ms. Bennett as “Saigon Sam” or “Miss Saigon.” Seriously, that questioned pegged the Dopey-Meter and that’s saying something for the Bennett campaign.

Do I prefer the woman who will bring the troops home from the unjust war or Dent who does not care about the troops?

Really sick. I mean just beneath any kind of candidate with even a hint of integrity.

Do we prefer the hard-working local woman who has been a single Mom and knows what problems face us or the Man who takes money from Big Oil?

Bennett just wrote an op-ed that said her own family was in the heating oil business. Maybe they didn’t buy their oil from Big Oil. Maybe they got their oil through Mom and Pop Oil.

Do we prefer Sam Bennett who has created programs for the improvement of neighborhoods or Charlie Dent who is on the take from special interests?

Again, this is another false personal attack. Frankly, most of the programs that Bennett’s “created” are for her enrichment or aggrandizement.

Do we prefer Sam who has worked hard to bring jobs to Allentown or Dent who only works for George Bush’s corporate cronies?

Well, she brought at least one six figure job to Allentown – her own do-nothing position with Properties of Merit.

Do we prefer a tough fighter like Sam Bennett or Charlie Dent who opposes environmental issues and alternative fuels?

Just complete malarkey. First off, Charlie has always said that we a balanced approach to energy including drilling. And, the “opposes alternative fuels part” is ridiculous. Hello, there’s a call for Sam Bennett on the Reality Phone, Charlie’s the co-founder of the House’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus.

It’s understandable though, facts have no place in a push poll.

This is a quote from the story that Darryl [Isherwood] wrote on the clean campaign pledge back on July 10th:

"Bennett said the calls were a 'dirty campaign trick straight from Karl Rove's playbook...' and demanded an apology on behalf of all voters who received the call.

As part of the pledge, both candidates would promise not to spend resources on personal attacks and call on staffers and outside groups to avoid 'smear campaigns' as well."

Sometimes life is so good.

I guess we could go all super-cliché like a Bennett press release and accuse Sam of telling Big Lies and being full of Big Hot Air with her phony campaign pledge. We could probably throw something in there about Howard Dean or the Pelosi Washington DC Lie Factory, but I keep on reading Bennett’s press releases and they all sound like what I imagine Pravda must have sounded like before Glasnost. You know what I mean: “President Brezhnez says Big Capitalism to blame for lack of washing machines, refrigerators and apartments with four walls this year.” Or,
“Local party youth group denounces Big Western Rock Music and Big Un-Soviet Blue Jeans.”

I just feel better knowing that you folks are aware of it. So the next time the Bennett Collective sends you a Pravda release on the clean campaign pledge, you’ll have some background.

Check out Pam Varkony's blog for Sam's Musikfest attack.



Bernie O'Hare said...

Pam Varkony's Musikfest post is not up yet. It will be.

Pamela Varkony said...


It's up now.

I appreciate the link and everyone's patience. You know what they say...

Life if what happens while you're making other plans.

Anonymous said...

Revolting. The good part if you're a Dent fan is that this will piss off most people for being so over-the-top and boomerang on her.

Shame on Sam Bennett, I sure hope this is her last race for public office.

The Banker

Blah Society said...

This just adds to the pile of reasons why she isn't fit for congress. If she doesn't even know her opponent, how will she know anything else?

Anonymous said...

Dent has nothing to worry about. Bennett is a legend in her own mind.

Anonymous said...

Pointing out someones record is not dirty campaigning. If someone is a big spender or a huge taxer, then it is not dirt.
Truth be told as much as people complain, it works. Usually hypocrities only complain when someone they like is the victim. When the mud is hurled in the other direction it is called a political blog.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 8:21, I have no problem w/ negative campaigning. Sometimes it's very necessary. It's not the same thing as a personal attack. But Bennett wants Dent to agree to refrain from going negative when that is pretty much her entire campaign. I'm glad you see the hypocrisy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

An OT comment has been deleted.

Anonymous said...

The thing that bothers me about Bennett is that she assumes the public is stupid.

It seems to me that a candidate who actually believes strongly about the need for a clean campaign would run a clean campaign regardless of what her opponent signs or doesn't sign.

She would run a clean campaign solely based on her principles.

So when Lehigh Valley Ramblings points out that even before she issued the clean campaign pledge she was already attacking her opponent it calls into question her integrity.

I think a candidate with a lot to hide is the candidate who makes a big deal out of a clean campaign pledge.

Anonymous said...

In 2005 Mr. Stoffa sent a mailer saying the FBI had more important things to do than investigate Northampton County. When did the FBI investigate Northampton County? I am unaware of any investigation conducted by the FBI. Was that a clean campaign tactic?

I know, I know it is a factual statement I made, that is historically accurrate but it is OT,OT,OT because it shines light on an example of a false claim you do not want exposed.
So delete away, oh God of cyberspace.

Anonymous said...

well, it does appear off target but...the FBI was involved in the 1999-2001 federal investigations in NorCo.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 6:19, I deleted the OT rant at 12:30 AM.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. Does this Millan character expect Bennett to follow the pledge that Dent refused to agree to? Um yeah, that makes sense.

Yet another convenient point by point rebuttal piece for Dent's campaign posted by LVR. Is the door open for Bennett's campaign too? Just wondering.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hayshaker, The point is there is no reason to agree to conduct a clean campaign with a candidate, who by all her actions, demonstrates that is not on her mind at all. She wants to be able to attack Dent. She just wants him to agree not to point out her many, many shortcomings.

Anonymous said...

annon 6:19
The FBI was not involved in Northampton County. That is a post by a Reibman hater and should be deleted by Mr. O 'Hare as OT. If he is consistent.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 9:58, The FBI most definitely was involved in a Northampton County investigation. That's a factually accurate statement. It happened bc outside auditors discovered irregularities. it led to jail sentences for two people.

Anonymous said...

Hayshaker --

Here's another point by point rebuttal for you because you love them:

Bennett says she's going to win.
Actually she's going to lose.

Bennett says she cares about people.
Actually she let a senior citizen get beat up on her doorstep, did nothing to help him and then lied about it.

Bennet says she has a valid energy plan.
Her own party's presidential policy flip-flopped away from Bennett's extremist viewpoint.

Bennett says she wants a clean campaign.
In reality Bennett is running push polls, hurling charges without proof and name-calling.

Was that as good for you Hay as it was for me?

Anonymous said...

Federal Prosecutors were involved not the FBI. An erroneous attack by a Reibman hater was posted and should be deleted.

Anonymous said...

"Federal Prosecutors were involved not the FBI. An erroneous attack by a Reibman hater was posted and should be deleted."

oh quite the contrary, my dim-witted friend. i can most positively assure you that all those guys with "FBI" on their I.D. badges were REALLY with the FBI.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Federal prosecutors don't investigate - they prosecute. I know this bc I was a federal prosecutor myself. The FBI investigated the county.

Anonymous said...

This FBI story is from a dis-barred attorney. This is anti-Reibman smears.

Anonymous said...

Hayshaker, The point is there is no reason to agree to conduct a clean campaign with a candidate, who by all her actions, demonstrates that is not on her mind at all. She wants to be able to attack Dent. She just wants him to agree not to point out her many, many shortcomings.

Not to be naive, but perhaps her tone would have been different had Dent agreed and not given a smug rejection?

Bennett does indeed have many, many shortcomings but the Congressman has a record. Dent only has character to attack. Thus the rejection to her proposal.

Anonymous said...

Here's another point by point rebuttal for you because you love them:

Shawn, why not just post under your name?

It's laughable that you point to an opposition to drilling (which will not lower gas prices) and a subsequent government handout to ExxonMobil as "extremist." when you do your polling, ask the right question: "Do you support offshore drilling even though experts agree it will not lower gasoline prices?"

But if your candidate took such a position, he wouldn't be able to reap the large donations from oil companies.

Bernie O'Hare said...


You have a tendency to make absolutely wild and false allegations with nothing to back them up. Because someone put you in your place, it necessarily follows that person must be the Evil Shawn Millan? That's as ridiculous as your equally baseless suggestion that I was being paid by the Dent camp.

You ask the anon commenter to ID himself but you don't ID yourself?

Aa it happens, Millan does not comment on this blog. he told me long ago that he doesn't feel political consultants should do that.

Lots of people can let the air out of your over-inflated balloon.

Anonymous said...

Put me in my place? Laughable. I suggested it was Millan because his phrasing and terminology match the press releases.

I post under the same bogus name every time. I am indeed anonymous but I am also just an ordinary joe. I'm not a campaign manager posting without bounds on a friendly blog.

Please point to my wild and false accusations. I ASKED you if you were paid and gave you the opportunity to reply. Sorry you don't value your loyal readership. I am a reader no more.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Promises, promises.

I don't value a reader who accuses me of dishonest behavior with no basis in fact. I don't appreciate a reader who assumes, with absolutely no evidence, that the only person capable of knocking him down a peg or two, must me Shawn Millan. I don't appreciate a reader who idiotically suggests that Shawn Millan is writing this blog. I don't appreciate a reader who insists on defending the indefensible.

Anonymous said...

But Bernie you defend Angle.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Angle is a good man who has been villified by people who would like to return to the good ol' boys way of doing things. The pity is that these people are mostly Northampton County Dems.

Anonymous said...

"This FBI story is from a dis-barred attorney. This is anti-Reibman smears."

ok. i'm a reibman supporter. more than you'll ever, ever know. you're a moron.

Anonymous said...

The real issue in this election is that Charlie Dent has not earned another term in Congress. It's become cliche' but he votes way too much for wall street and not nearly enough for main street. His continued support for failed policies shows either a lack of judgment or a lack of charachter. I don't know him well enough to know which, but Charlie Dent has lost my vote.

Anonymous said...

I've been a lifelong democrat and never switched sides except for Doug Reichley and Charlie Dent. Though I never agree with their partisan ra-ra bullshit, these are two solid individuals that rely on their integrity to make decisions. I strongly support Obama on his integrity more than his experience. I can't laud one candidate for this and then say that Dent is a scumbag because he voted with Bush on some republican sticking points. He has our interests in mind. Sam Bennett isn't worthy to be printed on my toilet paper. She is democratic scum and makes the party look as credible as the McCain campaign. Electing her would be like making Helen Keller a sharpshooter. A total disaster.