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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bennett Blames Congressional Loss on LV Sexism

I'm upset. Just last month, blogger Howie Klein (DownWithTyranny, FiredogLake, Huffington Post) talked with failed LV Congressional candidate Sam (Siobhan) Bennett. She blamed her loss on regressive reporters and local bloggers like me.

Now, Howie and Sammy are claiming the real reason she lost to incumbent Charlie Dent is because she's a woman. Her defeat is the result of Lehigh Valley Misogyny. Hey, what about us regressive bloggers, damn it! Do you think it's easy to go weeks without shaving or deodorant?

Howie laments, "During the campaign, I couldn't help but notice a shocking amount of sexist invective aimed at her." He fails to note a single example, but I've noticed he never lets silly little things like facts get in his way.

Even more silly is the essay that Sammy writes herself.
Post announcing my bid for U.S. Congress this same newspaper [Morning Call] day after day ran with this verbatim quote from a local blog [hey, that's me!] on its front page: "Sammy Bennett is a phony political w**** who gives good h*** and makes cheap, blatant political opportunists look like Mother Fucking Teresa. Even her c*** is made of plastic." Though over the next year the paper never cited the differences between my opponent and I on issues, they ensured the launch of my bid for U.S. Congress linked me to "c***," "w****" and "h***." Next this paper promptly dove into a multiple week query about my salary as the newly minted statewide director of a non-profit. Professional women still look me in the eye "Sam, if you were a man, no one would have said a word about your salary."
When Boscola hatchetman Bernie Kieklak crashed and burned, his Bennett snark was just one of many misogynistic remarks noted by local papers, which were mostly directed at other women. His Bennett slam was given no special prominence over his many other absurd comments. It certainly appeared in no headline. No story ran day after day.

It must have slipped Bennett's mind that the Lehigh Valley has already sent three women to the General Assembly and another woman to the Pa. Senate. The President Judge and President of county council in Northampton County both happen to be women. Sam must have forgotten that she fired two female campaign managers and replaced them with a man whom I'm told was paid more than his two female predecessors. Finally, her little essay fails to mention that the objections to Bennett's POM salary had nothing to do with her sex.

Instead of blaming a sexist Lehigh Valley, Bennett might try looking in a mirror if she wants to know who is responsible for her loss.

But what do I know? I'm one of them there "regressives."


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I can state for an absolute fact that the DCCC does not feel the same.

Anonymous said...

the dccc absolutely contorted themselves to get anyone other than sam to run.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, this is kind of pathetic. Let it go.

Anonymous said...

Is there anyway to keep Sam on her meds?

Anonymous said...

How many democrats (like me) voted for Dent?? Bennett was a pathetic candidate, and obviously prone to public drunkenness and horrid ethics. (Over $100K to run POM? That's not a male/female issue - it's an ETHICS issue.)

How Bennett managed to be the candidate for the Dems in the 15th is beyond me. I pray she is never supported by the Dems in a run again. Her presence on the ballot was the #1 reason I did not do my usual volunteering at election time on behalf of Democrats.

PS - Not really sure why I'm targeted as being Bernie, since I only post here once in a while. But, I am no Bernie. I'm just a mom in her kitchen between duties. ;)

Anonymous said...

Who are the anonymous people posting "facts" ..... you are anonymous and so is your fact.

Anonymous said...

Man I wish these sexist voters would throw out Jennifer Mann. Here's a women in the "sexist" 132nd District who wins 2/3 of the vote by simply having her name on the ballot. Bennett is losing yet more credibility by the minute. Will she ever be honest with herself and admit that despite her high aspirations, she is a poor candidate and voters do not like her?

Anonymous said...

When the Bennett article was originally published last week, I attempted to post a comment that echoed many of the arguments that Bernie has put forth here. The comment was deleted ten minutes later. A subsequent attempt to repost it did not go past comment moderation, and I was banned from commenting further. The comment is reprinted below. I welcome any of you to tell me how it could be construed as too controversial or offensive for the Huffington Post.

"It is shameful that Siobhan "Sam" Bennett blames sexism for her 18% defeat in a heavily Democratic Congressional district. Plain and simple, Bennett was a lousy candidate who has been burning bridges and making enemies for twenty-five years in the Lehigh Valley. She has a reputation for dishonesty, opportunism and recklessness, a reputation that was reinforced when she was caught setting her own salary for a statewide non-profit group which was to receive $300,000 in taxpayer money. Bennett considered herself deserving of $106,000 of that, more than one-third of the non-profit's total operating budget. She wasn't shunned because she was a woman, she was shunned because she was a crook.

Bennett failed to mention that she lost 59% to 41% in a county that sent three women to the state General Assembly (out of seven seats), including Democrat Jennifer Mann, the only female candidate to even have a general election challenger, who significantly outperformed Bennett throughout the city of Allentown, enjoying a 10% to 15% advantage in most precincts.

Bennett is blatantly dishonest in her claim that a prominent local newspaper "day after day ran ... on its front page" a profanity-laced screed against her (one, ironically enough, that was penned by the Chef of Staff of the popular female State Senator Lisa Boscola, a man who disliked Bennett for personal reasons). Yes, it was news when it surfaced that Boscola's Chief of Staff employed such rhetoric in a public forum, but it is absolutely false to claim that the newspaper attempted to use that rhetoric to defame Bennett.

Finally, if Bennett is such a crusader for women's rights, why did she fire her female campaign manager only to replace her with a male campaign manager preferred by the DCCC? It shouldn't surprise anyone that Bennett then paid the male campaign manager more than she paid the female campaign manager.

Bennett is a liar, a fraud, and a three-time loser on the political stage. She simply has no business being in elected politics."

Blah Society said...

I was curious to know why she censored all the "sexist" remarks, but it's OK to note, "Mother Fucking Teresa," with capital letters.

Pete's Sake posted posted the link to that story on my blog yesterday - Bennett still has no idea why she lost to Dent.

Another fine example of the Goebbels...

But that's OK... she gained more votes than any previous loser!

Anonymous said...

Her Katie" Couric like moment on local TV with her remarks regarding the status of Wachovia wasn't exactly her finest moment. Let's face it I have nothing against gender, color, etc.... but a firm grasp of the facts are an absolute must!

Putting a 'gotcha' moment aside... It still goes back to the most qualified and what issues the voters are most concerned with. Sounds as though she's taking voter rejection personal. Taking it on the chin is something all politicians face. I can only imagine the email going to Whitehouse right now!

I extremely doubt TOPIX can influence an election. If anyone one ever posted, there you surely know you can't even influence another poster more or less the population of the general electorate... who doesn't even know what a "TOPIX" is.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Not really sure why I'm targeted as being Bernie"

KathyD, This has nothing to do w/ you and everything to do w/ me. I am sorry. Villa's wife is actually even more insulting in a comment on her blog w/ the soup can.

You are not a frequent commenter here but I welcome your remarks and so do most readers.

Anonymous said...

Bennett will keep running for office because she craves the attention and because nobody has the guts to tell her to back off.

As long as she keeps making the right noises to the "progressives" and labor in the Valley and as long as nobody from either of those groups calls her bluff, she will continue to put herself out front as a poltical "player".

Get used to it. Until somebody in those two groups grows a pair and gets past her passive agressive defenses she will just keep hanging around being an impediment to other better female candidates.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bernie, this is kind of pathetic. Let it go."

What I find pathetic is that Bennett has had two intervioews over three weeks on nationally read blogs. Both interviews are pure propaganda. The blogger, Howie Klein, is actually an outright liar. And worse yet, I am very disturbed that the Huffington Post is refusing to permit comments inconsistent with an "I love Sam Bennett" sentiment. I would like to explore that.

If this is too boring for you, that's fine. You don't have to read it. But I am going to pursue this.

Blah Society said...


Even her campaign sign was a joke. You could barely read her name on it.

So had so many opportunities during the election and blew every chance she was given, including a chance on this blog to answer questions. After being given the opportunity to change her responses, she still couldn't get the facts straight.

You're right - the voters were clear on the issues and what they wanted. In a Dem-favored election, she remains the best loser.

Anonymous said...

Also an eyebrow-raiser in Ms. Bennett's essay:

"Running for mayor of Allentown, the third largest city in Pennsylvania, I lost by 46 votes against a 20 year political incumbent. At our first political debate the audience of only white-men-older-than-my-father riced me with "so are you a stewardess sweetie?" as I walked up the aisle. After my opponent had his ten unimpeded minutes I started my remarks, and midway was interrupted by the Democratic Club president. "Sam, I have a question for you... I was laying in bed last night thinking about you and all of us here are wondering... just what are your measurements?" I should have said I'd be happy to give him mine if he would first supply his. As it was, I smiled, ignored his question, clearly intended to intimidate. But the real shocker: the newspaper reporter who covered the event failing to make any mention of the comment. In thirty years as a businesswoman I've been invited to participate in wet T-shirt contests, been fondled under conference tables and thought politics and its press would be better behaved. I was wrong."

Can anyone substantiate any of her claims about the events that took place during that Democratic primary debate for mayor? Has anyone asked members of the Democratic Club who were there that night, or her then-opponent (Roy Afflerbach?), if her version of events is accurate?

These are pretty damning accusations she has published on the Internet about her own party. They should not go un-investigated.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Sounds as though she's taking voter rejection personal."

As she did when she lost the maytoral primary. It must be a tough thing to lose, but people respect losing candidates who display class.

After listening to McCain on election night, I found myself wondering why I did not vote for him. John Morganelli, after losing as AG, congatulated Corbett and told everyone he still considers himself very lucky to be able to serve the citizens as DA.

That's class.

Bernie O'Hare said...


When I interviewed her last summer, she also told me a version of that story. If true, then Allentown's Democratic committeemen have a sexist jerk in their ranks. But I would want to hear from someone else who was there. That essay reveals elsewhere that the way Sam remembers things, is not exactly the way they occur.

Anonymous said...

What will be Ms. Bennett's explanation if/when another woman defeats her, either in a primary or in the general election?

Progressive discrimination?

Age discrimination?

Salary-setting discrimination?

Bleep-inducing-false-statements-about-banks-folding-during-televised-debate discrimination?

Accuracy-challenged financial disclosure filing discrimination?

Better hair discrimination?

Perhaps the only way to stop her from siphoning money away from more credible candidates in her own party is to have her run against another woman. There seems to be a pattern with Ms. Bennett, where she falls back on sexism as an excuse for every failure or mistake she makes.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, are there any female Democrats in the LV that you and your readers would like to see challenge Ms. Bennett in a future run?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Pete, a female pol would not be challenging Sam. She would be the person challenging an elected official.

Perhaps Sam should challenge Lisa Boscola. After all, it is Lisa's COS who made those remarks. Instead of trying to blame the LV or Congressman Dent, Bennett ought to blame the politician who tolerates this behavior - Lisa Boscola.

Blah Society said...

Bennett would never beat Boscola.

Anonymous said...

Excellent point.

But my hunch is it will never happen.

Fly on the Wall said...

For crying out loud, give it up! It’s a “dead issue”, a “Mute point”, “old news”, “and meaningless/mindless chatter”!

Blah Society said...


I'm betting on it, lol!

Blah Society said...


If it's a "dead issue," then tell Bennett to quit complaining about her victorious loss!

Bernie O'Hare said...


No one has tied you to a chair and forced you to read or comment here. This is blogworthy for the following reasons: 1) Bennett is still very active, despite her loss; 2) She is using national blogs to spread disinformation about why she lost; 3) She appears to be getting help from Howie Klein, who is also misleading unsuspecting and well-meaning campaign contributors; and 4) Huff Po is deleting comments contrary to the Bennett POV, in contradiction of its own comments policy.

Anonymous said...

Same Bennett, the gift that keeps on giving...

Anonymous said...

Siobhan "Sam" Bennett - BLAGOJEVICH!


Oh my God....

Who on Earth does she think she is kidding?

Anonymous said...

Fly on the Wall,

Why are you using all those quote marks?

Are you trying to use those words ironically or mockingly, or are you trying to indicate that someone else said them with whom you agree?

Beyond the grammatical, can you please tell us why Ms. Bennett's first-hand account of her experiences with sexual harassment here in the LV would be outdated or irrelevant information when she, herself, put the information up on the Web just last week? Are you suggesting that we are beating a dead horse, or that she is?

Again, I find your comment unclear.

Anonymous said...

I think Sam won't have to worry about getting groped under the table or anything like that for too much longer.

Anonymous said...

Bernie...I was there ....there ARE a number of sexist democratic committeemen....i have seen democratic audiences behave badly towards women candidates .....i have heard all the female expletives stated....and that's just towards the heterosexual women.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 3:03, Unfortunately, you are anonymous. I'd love some courageous Allentown Dem committee member to come forward and condemn the misogyny. What you say does corroborates Bennett, but speaks poorly of Allentown Dems. Perhaps their leaders are the real regressives. If this is going on, Bennett should challenge the pol who tolerates this sexist atmosphere - Lisa Boscola.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:03 PM,

You were there. Did what Ms. Bennett claims occurred actually happen the way she recounts it? I am not questioning your assertion that these men "behave badly towards women candidates" or that you heard those expletives stated about women. I am merely asking if this particular female candidate was treated that way in your presence, at that particular function.

Anonymous said...

What crap. Are there dirty old committeemen that get a rise out of saying something dumb to a woman, sure. I have seen old committee women pinch the cheeks of male candidates and say some interesting things too.
You really have to qualify what is improper and just goofy fading hormones. Sam Bennet is no victim. I and others have seen her play the sexuality card if she thinks it will. Now that she is getting on in years she isn't as obvious but she still will do the flirting thing if it will get her some attention.

Fondle under the table, oh please. If it happened it was Sam doing the fondling because she thought it would get her a contribution or a vote.

Her reputation is well known and well earned.

Anonymous said...

God, she is a loon!

Anonymous said...

Why is anyone granting Sam Bennett interviews? Is she soliciting these interviews by dangling a hot story about sexism? Good lord - she has ZERO common sense.

I would be very interested in learning more about Huffington Post's interest in deleting comments from a certain viewpoint.

Bennett's claims of sexual harrasment at the Committee meeting are unbelievable. She needs to offer up some proof before she makes these wild claims. She is throwing the entire local democratic party under the bus by implying that this type of behavior is tolerated. I cannot imagine such an occurance at one of these meetings. Sure, the folks in the LV Democratic Committee ranks are kinda weird, but they're not going to do this kind of thing in front of everyone.

Bernie O'Hare said...

What makes Bennett's claim even more bizarre is that they elected her as one of their officers.

I rec'd a nice email from Huff Po explaining why that comment was deleted, which I will post as a separate blog early next week.