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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

II. Bennett Condemns Dent's TV "Smear Tactics"

LV congressional challenger Sam Bennett is quite upset with incumbent Charlie Dent's TV ads, which began Monday. She's circulating a short, but but pointed, news release.

ALLENTOWN – Today, Democratic congressional candidate Sam Bennett called out her Republican opponent, Charles Dent, for his smear campaign, which hit the airwaves this week.

“At the beginning of this campaign, I challenged Republican Congressman Charles Dent to a clean campaign pledge and he refused. Now, we know why. Yesterday, my opponent launched multiple negative, dishonest, and personal attack ads against me. Charles Dent has, once again, stooped to the same old George Bush-Karl Rove smear tactics of the past,” says Sam Bennett. “So I am calling on Congressman Dent to accept our clean campaign pledge, debate the issues, and pull down the negative, dishonest, personal attack ads immediately."

As wages fall and companies cut jobs in Lehigh Valley, Dent takes hundreds of thousands of dollars from mega wealthy executives, Big Oil, Big Pharma, and Washington Lobbyists. Now, he's using these contributions to run a smear campaign ad, saying that helping communities is “money wasted.”

Bennett adds, “If you’re listening Congressman, sorry Charlie! You can run on your rhetoric, but you can’t hide from your record.”

“Dent makes three times the income of the average voter, while he opposes fully raising the minimum wage. And he takes taxpayer-funded health care, while he opposes expanding health care for kids, veterans, reservists, and our National Guard,” says Bennett. “To change the way Washington works, we’ll have to change the people that work in Washington.”

Charlie Dent dismisses Bennett's complaint.

“Sam Bennett has no grounds for complaint about our ad detailing her blatant misuse of taxpayer money. Our ad is fact-based, unlike the attacks she has made in this campaign. The voters are going to hold her accountable for ripping them off by paying herself an exorbitant salary arranged for her by her political cronies in Harrisburg. The Morning Call reported on Bennett’s giant grab of our tax dollars and said ‘it raises questions about her decision-making.’ I agree with that assessment and so do the people of the Lehigh Valley.”

Dent's campaign guru, Shawn Millan, adds this thought.

Sam’s press release is wrong. We’re not saying that money spent helping communities is “money wasted.” We’re saying that money meant to be spent helping communities but that ends up in Sam’s pocket is “wasted.”
Update: Pa. Progressive, which claims that "Bennett has Dent running scared," has a video of Sam Bennett's press conference.
Update #2: The Morning Call's Bill White asked Bennett this question. "Why do you feel his campaign is any more negative than yours? I'm trying to distnguish what he's doing that you're not doing." She really had no answer.
Update #3: Bill White's blog about the news conferences mentions that, aside from a Channel 69 cameraman, he was the only reporter in the room. In fact, and I suspected this, the first questions is posed by Dem Bossman Joe Long.


Anonymous said...

From Channel 69:
Congressman Dent called us from Washington to respond to Bennett's news conference. He maintained that his ad is accurate.. and called the program a - quote - "waste of money".
So Dent says improving properties is a "waste of money". I guess we should let all our properties decline into disrepair and that will help everybody. Can you say "Hanover Acres"?
ALLENTOWN (June 6) – U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) today hosted U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, and Steve Nesmith, Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Daniel Farrell, Executive Director, Allentown Housing Authority in presenting $20 million to the Allentown Housing Authority for the redevelopment and revitalization of the Hanover Acres and Riverview Terrace (HART) Public Housing Development.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It is a waste of money to give someone $110,000 in taxpayer money to hand out rakes.

Uncle Grinny said...

anon 12:39, let me get this straight, you think I should pay you, via my taxes, to keep your property in order. This is the ultimate in liberal BS, and yes the program is a WASTE OF MONEY

A.J.C. said...

Bennett has no right to call Charlie Dent's campaign a "smear." He actually told the truth. Bennett continues to lie.

"I challenged Dent to a clean campaign pledge and he refused."

That's perhaps the biggest load of crap I've heard yet. Perhaps Dent would debate the issues if Bennett would actually show up at a debate!

oh, for pete's sake said...

Anon 12:31,

You only quoted the part of the Channel 69 story that suited your agenda. Furthermore, everything you wrote after the words "waste of money" did not come from WFMZ, but from some other, unidentified source. This seems misleading.

The full, unaltered Channel 69 news story can be read here.

What the article does mention, but you conveniently left out of your comment, is that Ms. Bennett held a press conference to say that for 7 years prior to getting paid by POM, she worked for no pay at all. She seems to suggest that she is somehow entitled to an exorbitant salary because she previously volunteered. Is that what volunteering is all about? Paybacks? What happened to selflessly serving her community?

Bernie O'Hare said...


I never quite thought of it that way, but you're right. That payback argument is flawed.


Actually, I don't consider Dent's TV ad as coming close to a smear campaign. He's telling the truth and it's about her prior community service.

A.J.C. said...

It's not "community service" when you're getting paid.

Anonymous said...

"It is a waste of money to give someone $110,000 in taxpayer money to hand out rakes." Bernie yours. I absolutely agree with the statement. But, she could use a rake herself.
If she worked for 7 years for no salary,ie., she did run for mayor, that is not the voters problem. Was she not able to get a good paying job?
And she wants Charlie's job. Where is her experience, 7 years of no job.

oh, for pete's sake said...

"Update #2: The Morning Call's Bill White asked Bennett this question. "Why do you feel his campaign is any more negative than yours? I'm trying to distnguish what he's doing that you're not doing." She really had no answer."

Mr. White, I believe what he is doing most often that she is not doing is offering source materials (in the form of official public records) to his claims.

Among many of her allegations, Ms. Bennett statements that Rep. Dent has accepted $75,000 (or $100,000, in some cases) from Big Oil were never substantiated, only refuted. Notice that in this most recent spat of press sound bites, she has amended this attack to "Dent takes hundreds of thousands of dollars from mega wealthy executives, Big Oil, Big Pharma, and Washington Lobbyists." Perhaps someone finally called her on it?

A.J.C. said...

In reply to Bill White,

Dent isn't doing what Bennett is doing. Dent told the truth based on credible facts.

Bennett created "the truth."

Prove me wrong.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:12,

She actually had at least one well-paying job, as an advertising manager at The Morning Call, getting it through her lib connections there. She was "Selected" over many good reps who had proven themselves worthy of promotion.

She left as soon as Eddie got the POM money.

Anonymous said...

So wait, they put Bennett in charge of bringing ad revenue and she tanked it so bad they had to layoff half the newsroom.

Hey, send her Congress.