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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

BLEEP! Bennett's Fact Free Debate

If you tuned into last night's televised debate between LV Congressman Charlie Dent and challenger Sam Bennett on Business Matters, you saw something that has never happened in local politics before. Amazingly, Channel 69 had to insert a disclaimer before the show ever aired. The station even had to blur her lips and blank her audio.


Here's what happened. In her opening remarks, Bennett actually claimed that Dent had somehow caused the failure of two local banks. That's pretty serious if there is even an ounce of truth to it. There isn't. No local bank has failed, but 250 local business leaders sat with their mouths open as Bennett actually repeated her charge.


At a time when we are all jittery and there is a crisis of confidence in our financial institutions, Bennett's accusation was not just baseless, but totally irresponsible.

She is pouring gasoline on a raging fire in a desperate and pitiful attempt to grab votes.

Sadly, her modus operandi in this campaign is a web of deceit. Rather than presenting a reasonable, liberal alternative to Charlie Dent, Bennett has littered this campaign with fabrication after fabrication. She has claimed, falsely, that Dent has suddenly become rich in Congress while refusing to reveal her own financial affairs. She blamed Dent, falsely, for Mack Truck's sudden decision to relocate in North Carolina. She accused Charlie of refusing to debate her when she herself failed to appear at two separate forums. She maintains that Dent opposed a minimum wage increase even though he actually voted for three bills and is one of thirty Congressmen who insisted that Congress remain in session until that was accomplished. According to her, Charlie opposes veterans' benefits. That should be news to the VFW, which just endorsed him.


As if this barrage of lies is not enough, Bennett compounded things last night by constantly interrupting Dent with "That's not true." Over and over, as Congressman Dent tried to speak, she continued talking. She even had to stop the debate to retrieve a shoe that somehow fell off her foot - a wardrobe malfunction. I suppose that could have been worse.


Whatever credibility Bennett has left as a candidate was destroyed last night. It certainly makes you wonder what value she places in honesty.

Maybe her fingers are crossed.


Blah Society said...

I haven't seen the debate yet, but it sounds pretty horrible from what I've read. You and a bunch of commenters seem to be on the same page with this one, which is scary!

I thought that when she kept shaking her head at the last debate that she was being rude. It sounds like she's by far exceeded that.

Anonymous said...

O'Hare the differenece between Repubs and Dems is evident. Most Democrats are not so partisan as to support Ms.Bennet. Despite brave words about individual candidate values, most of you Republican contributors end up supporting all the Republicans. I'm sorry, a lot of them like Joe Liberman.

As to Bennet, she was a mess. Her hair was frizzy and in her eyes. She dressed like she shopped at the Salvation Army and her slapping at Charlies arm and her 'good natured' ribbing came off as extremely less than professional. Her talking points were all over the place, it was a mess. Fortunately for her mot many people watch the Fatty Arbuckle show.
I think Bennet mistakes this young Dem activist look and behavior for that of the average Democratic voter.
Ms. Bennet, get a haircut befitting a 50 year old woman, Buy some clothing that fits and makes you look like a Congressperson. Class and Style are not expensive and you displayed neither.
Dent has to be careful, I know he was irritated but he came off as a bit abrasive and hysterical.
Before all my Republican friends say that I have seen the light let me state that I am still firmly behind Obama, as the time to put the final nail in the Reganomic disaster of tax cuts nad runaway spending. Which by the way was not the JFK policy so many R's have hijacked.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This is one Dem who will likely split his ticket. I'm leaning Obama. Bennett, however, is a disgrace. I think it's safe to say that when the station sponsoring the debate has to BLEEP out some of her remarks.


Anonymous said...

Sam Bennet is simply a lost soul. Her political career is nothing more than something for her to do. Not sure if she ever held a "real" job. She is a chronic complainer and, frankly, has never done anything to show that she is somehow a superior candidate to Dent. Mark it down, take it to the bank, she will lose this election. The people of the LV know she is a neophyte and Dent is the fellow for the job.

Anonymous said...

"Bennett, however, is a disgrace"

no...she's a grease fire.

michael molovinsky said...

in some fairness to bennett, the aired show was taped early last week, when rumors were rampant that a few local banks were in trouble, and backup and merger plans had not been announced. her spunk deserves some credit, she's putting herself out there to challenge a local icon

Blah Society said...

The poll on WFMZ's Business Matters Web site shows that 57.9% believe Dent won the Debate. Bennett has 31.6%.

(5.3% think it was a tie, and 5.3% aren't sure.)

Anonymous said...

while all you say may be true, her election is still a probability given an obama landslide.

if that idiot al franken can get elected to the senate from minnesota, sam can slip through here.

Chris Miller said...

Bernie and Anonymous 12:36
Before you step over the edge let me suggest that you acquire a copy of the Wall Street Journal's October 13, 2008 edition. On the editorial page is an article entitled "Obama's 95% Illusion". It deals with the Obama Tax Increases and keep in mind that he has been telling us all along that he is going to give us a "tax cut" That is not the case. He is planning on handing out "tax credits" in varying amounts. This actually amounts to a welfare check for families, college tuition, mortgage interest, savings, expansion of the earned-income tax credit, child care and clean cars. This is not only an outright welfare check, it is planned deficit spending. Keep in mind that a true tax cut lowers your taxes and puts more in your pay check. That is not the case here. The Journal estimates that the "total annual expenditures on refundable tax credits would rise over the next 10 years by $647 billion to $1.054 trillion, according to the Tax Policy Center". And keep in mind that his "tax credits" will phase out as your salary goes up. This certainly would have to be considered a disincentive to work. It is estimated that "some families with an income of $40,000 could lose up to 40 cents in vanishing credits for every additional dollar earned from working overtime or taking a new job."
This will all get added to the already existing debt, the $800 billion bail out yet to be completed, and his proposed universal health care for us. Remember he told us at the last debate that health care is a "right". Where do we find that in the Constitution, up there along the right to privacy and abortion.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Michael, The show was not taped early last week. It was taped Friday. Repeating rumors as fact is a lousy debate tactic, and in this case, resulted in Channel 69 having to BLEEP out part of what Bennett had to say. In the midst of a financial crisis, Bennett's false claim that two banks had closed is nothing short of reckless. That's how bank runs start.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"while all you say may be true, her election is still a probability given an obama landslide."

I can say that Dent has taken Bennett as a very serious threat for precisely that reason. She is a poor candidate, but the climate for Rs is bad.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Remember he told us at the last debate that health care is a "right". Where do we find that in the Constitution,"

Some of us like politicians who feel that way. It's the difference between liberal and conservative. I'd even argue it can be justified under the Constitution. But that's an argument for another day, Chris. I appreciate your reference to the 10/13 WSJ and will see if I can pick up an old copy at the courthouse.

The topic here, however, is not Obama and McCain. It's Bennett's debate performance.

Bernie O'Hare said...

AJ, I wonder how many participants are in that survey.

Anonymous said...

I have real reservations about voting for Dent. It's not that I think he's a bad guy, and I like that he's for the most part a pro-choice Republican and I think we should encourage that kind of behavior. Someone who bucks the party on something a bit more substantial than say tort reform or campaign finance laws but the Republican brand is so tarnished and done such damage to this country it would really be a vote based more on brand than substance.
Sam Bennett is clearly unfit for the office. I think this is really what it comes down to. I'm someone who, while I lean far more to the left than to the center, routinely splits his tickets, but the Republican party has damaged itself so much that I actually have a hard time voting for the clearly superior candidate.

The only thing I can think to say in Bennett's defense is she'd probably be a reliable solid party line vote... but with the advantage the Dems are likely to have do we really need another automatic party line voter... or is it better to have someone who might offer some intelligent dissension... but Dent hasn't offered that very often in his own party all that much.

I don't expect Dent to buck the trend on energy policy with PPL and to some degree Air Products in his district.. and he'll probably be a reliable vote when it comes to alternative energy with PPL... but
I REALLY don't agree with his votes when it comes to national security. .. but a lot of Dems happily marched along with him...

So this is the choice I'm left with.

I'm either going to vote for Dent or write someone in. I can't with good conscious vote for Bennett.

Anonymous said...

write in?

How about Frank Harhart?

Anonymous said...

A candidate has to earn my vote.

Charlie Dent clearly has not -- but neither has Sam Bennett.

Therefore, I am either going to skip this spot on the ballot or write in somebody who I think would be a better alternative to Dent -- someone like Bob Freeman or Tom Wallitsch.

I will definitely NOT be voting for Sam Bennett. She is an unqualified, out of control, self-satisfied ego maniac.

I am not going to be a party to encouraging her to keep running for public office.

She needs to get her therapy some other way.

Anonymous said...

Do we want our district to be represented by someone who will vote against Obama's programs? Dent does not represent the change we need. It is time to reverse many years of Republican "un"-government on domestic matters and mismanagement of international matters

Blah Society said...

Anon 3:04,

In what ways does Bennett represent the change YOU (not we) need? It's sound like you've become a part-line voter, which in turn only separates you from the issues. It's either the Dem way, or no way, right?

It's not just the Republicans that got us into this mess. Americans settled on a two-party system.

Anon 2:30,

With how close the candidates are on their positions, if you can choose between them, you should be able to choose between Dent or Bennett. That's assuming you've decided who you're voting for.

If you're going to do a write-in, "Vote For Me!"

Timothy Russo said...

Anon 3:04,

I forgot who has control of Congress? Congress with a lower approval rating than our current President?

Party line politics and diatribes like that are what got the country into its current problems, on both sides.

The last 4-6 years are a perfect example of why the founding fathers feared political parties. Putting ideology before country is egregious and damaging to the country.

Plus, when you look at Allentown and the Lehigh Valley remember that is the Dems that have had control the longest in most of the major political areas. Charlie Dent in an Anomaly in our political atmosphere. Bennett is more of the failed politics for THIS area.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Cordi,

Did you ever get a reply to your open letter to Ms. Bennett requesting sources for her attacks on Rep. Dent, which she offered at the JCC debate to anyone interested? I heard her spouting many of the same inaccurate talking points in the "Business Matters" video of the Chamber debate.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 3:04,

Dems will be in firm control of both house of Congress, so there is no real need to select a person who will just do what she is told to do. I prefer a more independent Congressman. Dent may be more conservative than you like, but has often stood against his party.

Anonymous said...

Go Ahead. Vote for Charlie Dent. Then cry a river as Federal funding of any kind dries up in the Valley. Democrats will give Charlie whatever funding he wants. NOT!
Cut off your nose to spite your face. Go Ahead morons. Thank God I live in Pat Murphy's district. Congress will fund what Pat wants. You won't be able to say the same for Charlie.

Bernie O'Hare said...

As a minority member of Congress, Dent was quite successful in getting lots of federal funding for the LV last year.

In the debate last night, Bennett stated she opposes this.

So who's the moron?

Anonymous said...

Bernie- The moron is anyone who say's "Thank God I live in Pat Murphy's dstrict." Talk about hack! He gives Sam Bennett a run for her money.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I say write in Ron Heckman, he won O'Hare's County Executive poll that O'Hare promptly dropped cause his guy didn't win.

Anyone that tickes off Boonie that much can't be all bad!

Anonymous said...

Bernie 9:06
Not simply a Demo congress
A Republican president and a slim majority in the House with filibuster power in the Senate allowed the Rs and Dent some maneuverability. This seems unlikely to be the situation in January

Blah Society said...

Pete's Sake,

I didn't receive any response, but I do believe that the e-mail had an effect.

I was going to send another e-mail, asking the same questions and a couple more, but after seeing what I have of the debate and having read all the comments, I don't think it's worth it.

Bennett is a lost cause. She hasn't done anything right. She's terrible and her campain is down-right insulting.

Bennett says that she will represent the people, but can't reply to a simple e-mail. Then, the campaign cuts off Bernie for questioning them regarding an horribly outrageous press release.

Bernie gives her more credit than I ever will. For personal and political resons, I will never respect her.

You can e-mail me if you want to discuss it more.