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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Dent Camp: Where's John Callahan on Healthcare Reform

One person you won't see at tonight's Muhlenberg town hall concerning health care reform is Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan. His nifty web page for his upcoming Congressional race against LV Congressman Charlie Dent contains instructions on how to contribute or volunteer for his campaign, but fails to list his position on any issues, to say nothing of health care reform. Kinda' makes you wonder, why is he running?

While Arlen Specter and Charlie Dent have both had the courage to be accountable to voters in real town halls, where has John Callahan been? Musikfest is over. The Charlie Dent campaign issued this release yesterday afternoon, basically asking, "Where's Waldo?"

All over America people of every political stripe have been weighing in with their views on the debate over health care.

Congressman Charlie Dent has held dozens of meetings with individuals and groups to seek their input and guidance. In August alone he held five public, widely attended Town Hall-style meetings in Lehigh, Northampton and Berks counties.

Charlie has made clear his opposition to Nancy Pelosi’s 1,000 plus page plan for a government takeover of health care contained in H.R. 3200. Charlie has also offered his ideas on how to improve access, cut costs and advance wellness for all families across America.

Meanwhile, John Callahan has been A.W.O.L. on the subject. He was asked by the media where he stood on the issue and took the political coward’s way out with a “no comment.”

That’s interesting – one would think that John Callahan would be vocal on the health care debate considering:

1. He’s an announced candidate for Congress and health care is THE issue facing Congress and the American People today. In fact, while Callahan hides, other Congressional candidates in Pennsylvania have held their own town hall meetings on the subject.

2. In the biography that is posted on the City of Bethlehem’s website, Callahan claims that he was recently a “Senior Institutional Healthcare Consultant for Pfizer, Inc., a ‘Fortune 20’ company.” That sounds impressive – it sounds like somebody who should have an opinion on the complete overhaul of America’s health care system.

3. As Mayor of Bethlehem he should have a position on H.R. 3200 since it will likely disrupt or jeopardize the benefits of hundreds of city employees. The bill has a provision specific to self-insured entities like the City of Bethlehem.

“John Callahan says he wants to go to Congress to represent you. If that’s the case, he doesn’t have the right to hide from the difficult, pressing issues we’re facing,” said Shawn Millan, Charlie Dent for Congress Campaign Manager.

“John Callahan is afraid,” said Millan.
“If he says that he supports the bill, he will lose the votes of tens of thousands of voters in the 15th District. However, if he opposes the bill he risks losing the fat wallets of the Far Left in Washington, DC and California that he needs to finance his campaign.”

“Charlie Dent is a leader. He makes the tough calls. John Callahan is just a follower. If he continues to hide behind ‘no comment’ the voters have the right to assume he’ll be nothing more than a rubberstamp for Nancy Pelosi on this issue and others,” Millan added.


Anonymous said...

RUnning for Congress without a stance on healthcare reform is like running for Prez in 1860 without deciding your position on slavery.

Anonymous said...

Good to see you are staying true to form. We get it, you hate Callahan, and will do anything for your buddy Charlie.

Donald said...

It is early but one would think that with all the star power behind this campaign they would be ready from the jump. Who could hate Callahan? If you think Cunningham is cute get a look a John Callahan

Anonymous said...

Suspect Callahan plays it safe to the vest but even if he came out on one side of any issue, he can always change his mind mid-stream like a current national state-affiliated office holder.

Anonymous said...

Bernie -

Callahan will let his position on the health care issue be known as soon as Nancy Pelosi tells him what to say.

Maureen said...

Charlie Dent's press release is great... really nicely put together... nice tie into Callahan's healthcare background.

Ken Petrini said...

But Bernie, as I noted in a very early column, Callahan has taken a position on the county option sales tax--never mind that it doesn't have a thing to do with Congress--the daily paper thought enough to do a story on how Dent and Callahan differed on that!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Folks, I apologize for the way this post was laid out earlier today. I had my scrollbox too crunched.

Bernie O'Hare said...


The one stance Callahan has taken - advocating a sales tax increase option - is more than a little troubling. Sales taxes are inherently regressive and have a disproportionate impact on low and middle income citizens.

Anonymous said...

Callahan is another liberal hack from Central Casting. His side of the heath care debate is a turd and he's in no-win situation. He's not as ridiculous as Sam, but it'll be another easy win for Charlie.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see you are now another booby ginther walsh bobblehead Faux News correspondent. Nice job of hacking for shawn millan. Callahnn should ignore that republican flunky, who cares what he demands.

Charlie has a great plan, tort reform. That is about the only thing republicans can chant. A few other things that everyone agrees on.

They bring nothing to the table in the healthcare debate. a

Callahan will talk about the issues on his timetable not some reoublican flunkys timetable.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This is not Shawn Millan's timetable - it's LV residents who want to know where Callahan stands. If he'd rather not say, they'd rather not vote for him.

Anonymous said...

Sooner or later, the logistics of La-La Land WILL catch up with the progressive liberals - count on it.

BTW - who is going to want to be a doctor 10 or 20 years from now?

Anonymous said...

O'hare: What makes you think you know what LV Residents want to know?

It seems the only ones wanting to know where Callahan stands on health care is you, Dent and Millan.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"O'hare: What makes you think you know what LV Residents want to know?"

Because all poliing indicates that health care is viewed by Americans as the most important issue facing us right now. If Callahan is unable to formulate a position on this important issue, he does not belong in the race and is insulting the voters by remaining.

Anonymous said...

The President will sign a healthcare reform bill before the end of the year. Dent will do as he is told and not support meaningful healthcare reform for millions of working americans.

Shawn and you want to play politics with what Callahan thinks but he isn't the congressman now is he.

This is a straw dog a red herring. Shawn and you don't give a crap about the Callahn idea's, you just want something to hang him with. You are mad because he is to smart to buy the rope for you.

There is only one congressman this year and it is his vote that will count. Let us all see how HE stands up for hard working americans in the 15th.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's my point. Callahan is NOT sdtanding up for hard-working Americans. He's hiding, with his finger in the air, to see which way the wind is blowing.

Anonymous said...

Callahan is a Mayor straight out of central casting. One can see him in a remake of The Last Hurrah. Politics, old school.

Never take a position where half the voting public will approve and the other half will disapprove: that is the rule.

When the election is over, Callahan will still be Mayor (he would not resign to devote full time to campaigning since he knows he isn't going to win) and Dent will still be in Congress.

How else does an ambitious politician gain name recognition?

Anonymous said...

He has caught you at your own game and it is driving you crazy.

Bernie O'Hare said...


Anonymous said...

Isn't Callahan an employee or former employee of Pfizer? It would be crazy for him to be in favor of Obama-care

Anonymous said...

"There is only one congressman this year and it is his vote that will count. Let us all see how HE stands up for hard working americans in the 15th.'

8:43 PM

Sounds like a union worker. I worked in management, was at the job for an average of 11 hours a day, no overtime. Now I am self employed and work 14 hours a day. Never saw a union guy work extra hours without being paid.

Anonymous said...

"Shawn and you don't give a crap about the Callahn idea's, you just want something to hang him with."

You mean hang him with a position on healthcare? Im sorry but if he intends on being a Congressman, he will be forced to take difficult positions which people will scrutinize. If he is scared of Ohare and Millan criticizing whatever position he may take, then he is definitely not fit to represent us in Congress.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Charlie, Callahan won't come out to play your game of gotcha politics.

Anonymous said...

Agreed that by now, JC should have an opinion on healthcare, but....he still has time to sort out exactly what stance he wants to take. I'd admit that he has handed his opponent a nice advantage by seeming unprepared, but in the end, he will have a stance and this is a custom opportunity to show how he differs from Dent on an important subject.

RE "Healthcare"-

Reality, only about 15% of Americans are uninsured. Why? It's very expensive and the costs spiral upward at a rate triple inflation. 20% just in the past 12 months.


Contain costs from two angles. Tort reform must be a priority. Also, get the drug makers under some control. Also, for the working poor, the guy whose employer cannot afford to pay $12000 per employee, per year for full health coverage, the government should provide tax incentives to allow this to happen.

This is not as big a deal as everyone makes it to be, except for the stinking lawyers, weasily politicians and greedy drug makers!


Anonymous said...

What makes anybody think that there is a purpose served for Callahan to voice his opinion at this point other than giving Millan and Dent batting practice.

Nobody listens during the Presidential elections until 3-4 months before the election date.
You can argue a congressional race is even less.

This debate will change many times between now and Fall 2010. There is a primary election in the Spring. Shortly after that Dent and Callahan will begin having at it.

In the mean time Callahan is doing what he needs to mount a winning campaign, raise money, build an organization, etc. Sure Dent would rather tie him up and leave him lying by the road side early but Callahan’s to smart to give him that opportunity.

Can’t wait to see the quarterly campaign fund report, Charlie, you’ve got some work to do!!