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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hillary Kwiatek, Have You No Sense of Decency?

Up until yesterday, unsuccessful Lehigh County Commissioner candidate Hillary Kwiatek had little chance of being appointed to fill the vacancy created by the sudden resignation of Democrat Bill Leiner. Now she has none, thanks to a vicious personal attack against her erstwhile opponent, Glenn Eckhart. She accused his campaign of launching an anti-Semitic whisper campaign directed at her.

Here's how she puts it: "[T]here is a very likely possibility that some of Mr. Eckhart's supporters started a whisper campaign about my Judaism, which I am not sure had any influence on the outcome of the election but was still completely inappropriate."

Do you want to know what's completely inappropriate? Making a serious accusation like she did, with absolutely no evidence to back it up. When she makes such a claim so lightly, she demeans the victims of the very real anti-Semitism that still exists, right here in the Lehigh Valley.

Soon after her scurrilous charge, an impressive gentleman named Wayne Woodman called me. He's in the running to be Lehigh County's next GOP chair. He's also Glenn Eckhart's single largest contributor, and gave him $2,600 for his race against Kwiatek.

Wayne tells me, "I'm incensed that a fellow Jew would use anti-Semitism to obscure her own political deficiencies. Hillary Kwiatek, have you no shame? How far are you willing to drive partisanship?"

Commissioner Glenn Eckhart, a conservative Republican who nominated Lehigh County's first ever African American Commissioner, refuses to dignify Kwiatek's smear with a response. He does tell me his most active campaign worker is Jewish, but prefers to keep his name out of this sordid affair. "Religion is a private matter," he tells me.

Kwiatek later cites the evidence. One anonymous comment. Posted here. Quickly deleted. For all I know, she could have posted that comment herself, in an effort to build up sympathy. Or it could have been the bizarre rant of some nut. It certainly is no evidence of a whisper campaign.

"Let us not assassinate this lad further, Ms. Kwiatek. You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, ma'am, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"


Anonymous said...

It really shows the person she is to play the victim card. When you have nothing to offer claim something, in her case anti-semitism.

What a crock. She probably feels entitled to the position and needs to rationalize her loss. So of course it must be those anti-semetic voters.

Try reality.

Joe Hilliard said...

But lets be "bipartisan" and bring her on board.

Please. Who even knew she was Jewish. As informed as I am with politics I never hear this or knew this "fact" - which is quite irrelevant.

Yes, all Republicans hate all Jews, all minorities, old people, young people, children, women, the poor, immigrants, non-Christians, Christians who aren't 'correct', homosexuals, large businesses, small businesses, education, the environment, clean air, clean water, and anyone and everyone else you can list.

Please. Would the extremist Dems please get a new "playbook"?

Bernie, you call me an "extremist" yet I only oppose policies that expand government power, increase taxes, and increase public debt. I don't "hate" anybody.

Please use your forum to make the distinction and hammer extremist Democrats who make such incredibly ludicrous charges.

Anonymous said...

Well we know the Republicans homosexuals, it is in their platform. I think old people is a stretch though.

Anonymous said...

You seem to equating communism with Judaism. What gives?

michael molovinsky said...

i feel an obligation here, as i was part of the dialogue concerning the original "anti-Semitic" statement at the time. bernie, although you did delete the comment, there was back and forth between us, and back and forth between the person who submitted the questionable comment and myself. i think it's fair for ms. kwiatek to say that her religion was injected into the discussion. however, as senator reid just learned, some topics are better let unsaid

Hillary Kwiatek said...

Good morning everyone!

This is the last time I'll address this topic here. I hope I can cover it all. I'm sure I won't win any new fans, but I can't simply let this go since I think it's pretty appalling.

I will reiterate that I never said that Glenn Eckhart tried to orchestrate a smear campaign regarding my religion. I urge everyone to return to my original comment and note that I said supporters. I mean, it's obvious my supporters wouldn't do it, so someone who would chose to discuss my religion, I think it's fair to assume, was supporting Mr. Eckhart.

Secondly, as Bernie claims a significant readership, I'd suggest that one carefully placed comment is, indeed, the makings of a whisper campaign. I've heard Bernie gets as many as 2,000 readers a day. That's more of a shout than a whisper, really.

Again returning to my original comment, I specifically noted that there was no way to know whether this had any impact. I was in no way pegging my loss on this issue or trying to claim victim status. Democratic turnout was the reason for my loss, as it was for nearly every other Democrat in the Valley, with the exception of those with large voting constituencies in Allentown.

This was only one part of the list of items that occurred during the campaign that, in my mind, were beyond the pale. Would anyone like to discuss Mr. Eckhart's recorded phone call in which he called me a liar or the letter/press release in which he accused me of breaking the law? Both claims were outrageous and false. Talk about character assassination. As someone who has barely had a speeding ticket, trust me it was fairly upsetting to hear these charges.

Bernie, I am not exactly sure why you have chosen to drag me through the mud at this point. You are twisting my statement and putting words in my mouth for reasons I can't understand.

Finally, I find it interesting that everyone assumes I am going to submit my application for this appointment. Ken Petrini wrote a column, he didn't ask me if I'm interested, no one from the media (including Bernie) has contacted me or emailed me to ask if I had any intention of going for it. I have no sense of entitlement with regard to Bill Leiner's seat.


Bernie O'Hare said...

Ms. Kwiatek,

I have twisted nothing. I quoted you directly. I have not dragged you through the mud. You did that to yourself, by making a spurious claim of anti-Semitism against the Eckhart campaign, which necessarily includes Glenn Eckhart himself.

You called it a "very likely possibility," but it turns out your sole evidence consisted of one anonymous comment on this blog, later deleted, that you could have posted yourself. It is extremely unfair for you to call this a "whisper campaign" or attribute it to Eckhart or his camp in any way. And you most certainly are trying to claim victim status.

I think it is safe to say that someobody injected your religion into the discussion on one comment thread, as MM observes, until the comment was deleted. But I have no idea who did this and neither do you. And frankly, if there were no some of whisper campaign, I would be receiving many more comments, which I would have to delete bc I do not moderate comments in advance.

Your accusation is outrageous, not just because you tarnish Glenn Eckhart's good name, but because you toss this very serious charge so lightly. Anti-Semitism is very real, but obviously false accusations tend to diminish the charges of those who truly are victimized. That's what's really shameful about your behavior.

You diminished yourself in my eyes by trying to tarnish the reputation of a good man with absilutely no evidence to support your smear.

Although this is far less important, I have asked for and received the .wav file of the robo call that you claim calls you a liar. Once again, you are as wrong as you could be.

Finally, I have no idea whether you were called a law breaker, but the reality is that you filed a campaign finance report that failed to itemize the contributions you knew you had received, misleading the public. You subsequently corrected that error, but you certainly did thumb your nose at campaign finance laws until you were called on it.

As I asked, have you no decency? You lost, move on. Stop with the bitterness already or you'll find you have no support in future races.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You seem to equating communism with Judaism. What gives?"

I am equating the withchunt for Commies with the withhunt aimed at Eckhart.

Anonymous said...

Whats with this Hillary chick? She sure has a high opinion of herself. She thinks she is so intelligent that voters should have elected her and people in politics should never do a negative campaign.

I think she should re-think her desire to be an elected official. I agree with what Ron Angle once said. If you can't take the heat she should go back to the kitchen and make my dinner!

Anonymous said...

bernie, i am glad you are taking the time separate religion from the already viscious world of politics.

as a Wiccan yourself, i am sure you are sensitive to these matters.

Anonymous said...

There was a "whisper campaign" inside the Democratic party long before any comment was posted on O'Hare's blog. The proof was in the location of the campaign signs. Most of the yard signs where placed by super voters in there own yards (many of them by committee people or union members.)
Virtually all of them had signs for multiple candidates including Don Cunningham. But of all the super voters who had such sign clusters, only half of them put up a sign for Hillary Kwiatek. HK knew very early that she did not have the support of the base. To conceal this fact, she proceeded to convince non-super voters to place a sign for her in their yards strategically on all the Avenues but not the Streets of West Bethlehem in the vicinity of her residence. There is strong evidence that she ever campaigned outside of her neighborhood and some targeted high profile thoroughfares. She may have also teamed up with the "Public Option Now" group who also placed signs in their yards but most of these folks were not super voters either. HK knew early on in her campaign that she had weak support from the base, but felt obligated to put on a show using voters who seldom vote, to intentionally defraud Don Cunningham into funding her campaign. Hillary Kwiatek was a failed candidate from the start and a puppet candidate at best. Her reasons for going after Glenn Eckhart are to conceal her failures which she knew of from the start and to save face with Don Cunningham.

A Neutral Observer