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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Congressman Dent: Where's the Sunshine?

You might not like LV Congressman Charlie Dent's view on health insurance reform, or his support of our troops in Afghanistan. But whether you are from the right or the left end of the political spectrum, you have to support his transparency and accountability.

He supports a bipartisan resolution requiring legislation and conference reports to be posted on the Internet for at least 72 hours before they receive a vote on the House floor. Last year, he conducted 29 town halls. In October, he demanded cameras in the powerful Rules Committee. "[W]e have seen 300-page amendments offered to the Rules Committee in the middle of the night and key policy proposals rejected on a straight party-line vote without thorough consideration. Sunlight will be a powerful disinfectant against these practices.” In December, he followed that up with a resolution demanding cameras in the powerful Ways and Means Committee. In January, he demanded that any health insurance compromise be conducted openly, instead of behind closed doors.

Now, as House Democrats keep trying to foist an unpopular health care bill on an unwilling public with convoluted procedural tricks like the Slaughter Rule, Dent has renewed his call for transparency and accountability in Louise Slaughter's powerful Rules Committee.

“The Rules Committee will be the first committee to review reconciliation policy that will have significant and long-lasting effects on the lives of the American people and our economy,” Congressman Dent said in a news release issued today. “Moreover, the actions of the Rules Committee will be a major factor in determining the outcome of this process. Recent reports have indicated that Chairwoman Slaughter will attempt to craft a procedural rule in the Committee that would, in effect, allow the Senate health care legislation to pass without even a direct up or down vote. The American people deserve to see what their elected representatives are doing behind the closed doors of the Rules Committee.”

“The Speaker has plainly warned the American public 'we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it' – a view of the democratic process I find reprehensible,” Congressman Dent said. “The Speaker and her allies are bending the rules to the point, I believe, they may be broken, all because she lacks the votes to pass this legislation honestly. House leadership has broken faith with the American people, and I hope to begin restoring that faith by shedding sunlight on these shadowy procedures.”

How about a flip cam? I've got two.


Anonymous said...

Wow, Dent is great. Did he push for any of this "transparency openey" stuff when the Republicans ruled the Congress and the White House. Ah, the answer to that one is no.

Sorry Charlie

Anonymous said...

Instead of worrying about transparency, he needs to worry about educating his own party. I think that the biggest problem with the Republican backlash against healthare reform is that they don't understand it, though the rest of the world except us, has had it for almost 70 years in some countries. Today on right wing radio, Mark Levine took a call from a Republican woman who said she couldn't afford health insurance but she didn't want it either and that was her right. When her kidney disease/failure, whatever got to a breaking point, she just went to an emergency room and that was her right. She doesn't need insurance or Obamacare. Levine said he wished more people were like her and that Obama educated Americans that there are non profit hospitals in some cities that people with no insurance can go to and that health insurance reform was socialist. Is this how Dent thinks? What is wrong with people? Texas is twice as many uninured as PA has people. Who is paying for all of those teabaggers who are protesting healthcare every time they go to the hospital? I once heard Dent say on one of his phone meetings that if you couldn't get insurance because of a pre existing condition, just call Blue Cross. Talk about detached from reality.

Bernie O'Hare said...

And what exactlyis Cllahan's position on health insurance reform. Oh, that's right, he has none.

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is that Dent and his ilk actually play to the idea that you don't worry if you are uninsured the hospital will take care of you. It isn't just the poor and illegals showing up uninsured, it is also some of these "teabagging" wackos who put all their money under a bed and say screw you. Like Paul Carpenter who tells people it is their right not to wear a motorcycle helmet. Of course many of the maggots on those bikes have no health insurance so when those bums end up cracking their skulls and needing help just like all these other uninsured people who pays???

We do, the folks who have insurance, we are already paying not only for our own care but we are subsidizing all those folks who show up at the emergency room for a "cough". The hospital and the insurance companies are sure as Hell not taking a hit, they are passing the crap down the aisle. You know the reason why it takes you three hours to see a doctor when you break your arm. There you go!

What bothers me the most is Dent and others like him know this. I can forgive some of the crazy true believers who live in the Glenn Beck parallel universe but Charlie is smart and knows the nature of the bullshit he is endorsing.

It is really sad that we play to our lowest common denominators of fear, really sad.

Anonymous said...

Democrats are in denial on this and headed for a big fall no matter how it plays out. They have demonstrated to the public an unparrelled arrogance. That is a less than admirable trait that the public tends not to appreciate in its elected officail.
As for Republican transparency and accountability, when they are in power the press does its job. Now they are often little more than Liberal collaborators.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

"Instead of worrying about transparency, he needs to worry about educating his own party. I think that the biggest problem with the Republican backlash against healthare reform is that they don't understand it ....."

Let me get this straight. Obama makes over 440 speeches on health care and support for the program crashes with each one. And, Democrats have complete control of all branches of the federal government, but it's Republicans' fault that the majority can't agree on their own legislation.

The arrogance and excuse-making are stunning. Bye bye majority. Letting Democrats be Democrats is all Republicans had to do.

Anonymous said...

I propose that any Congressperson that votes against healthcare reform, be forced to buy private health insurance if it's so great. Currently, Dent receives 75% of his premium paid by taxpayers, he and his family have no waiting period, and he can never be dropped or turned down for a pre-existing condition. I think Dent in the head should be called Marie Antionette from now on. "Let them eat cake."

Anonymous said...

Dent threw out a camera from his campaign kick off meeting. Real advocate for transparency that he is. Oh I'm sure it's mostly because he is a stuffed suit and doesn't want everyone to know the truth. I can't wait to see callahan eat his lunch in the debates, assuming he is not too cowardly and dodges them. We all know Charlie is great with talking points, but get deep on the issues and he is lost. That is all assuming he can get past his primary. Your boy is going to be shown in his true lite soon enough. Then he can "run hard" for a lobying firm.

Anonymous said...

I've never been without insurance but last time I went to an emergency room the nurse asked me who my primary care doctor was and I had to laugh at her. Because of the chaotic economy under Bush and all the layoffs from 2000-2008 I've had about eight jobs and each time the new insurance company made me switch to a new doctor because my old one wasn't in "the plan." I don't even know where my records are anymore. I don't even bother. With national health care, foreigners are able to pick any clinic or doctor they want in the whole country and stick with them no matter what job they have or if they have a job at all. It's ridiculous. Charlie Dent will only have that problem if we booot him out of office.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Dent threw out a camera from his campaign kick off meeting. Real advocate for transparency that he is"

Dent is regularly filmed at town halls by Ryan O'Donnell. he knows that's being done by someone in Callahan's camp, but tolerates it because he does believe in transparency. Justin Schall didn't throw ut camjera, but threw out cameras and reorters at a private campaign party.

I do not know if your story is accurate bc I missed the kick off.

ironpigpen said...
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ironpigpen said...
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Anonymous said...

"I can't wait to see callahan eat his lunch in the debates, assuming he is not too cowardly and dodges them."

Since you have such in depth knowledge, what is Callahan going to debate? He hasnt taken a position on ANYTHING. Is Callahan going to dig into the issues...but just not take a position one way or the other. Unfortunately the job of a Representative requires taking yes or no votes, not just doing fundraisers at the bar.

Bernie O'Hare said...

PigPen, Nothing you post here will have a long shelf life. Nobody who wishes evil on another person is welcome here. You will have to apologize for your statement hoping that I "catch something" and for your prejudiced remarks concerning the Muslim religion.

Anonymous said...

funny how you forget him kicking out the camera, it was in the Mcall article

Bernie O'Hare said...

I missed that. I'm aware that Ryan O'Donnell goes to town halls and films Dent, and Dent never stops him. I've seen Dent filmed during debates, and he has never stopped that. I would think he would want cameras at a campaign anouncement, and if he kicked anyone out, it was probably a Callahan supporter looking for trouble. That would be my guess. I do not know. I was not there.

I believe in transparency. I would err on the side of allowing the camera, and Dent pretty much already does that. I know Dent feels quite strongly that the process should be open. He allows criticism of him on his F/B page that is nasty and repulsive.

If the cameras were sent by the Callahan campaign and this is an event for Dent supporters only, I could understand him asking them to leave. But I'd have to know more.

So I'd have to know more before reaching any conclusions.

Anonymous said...

Dent received $463,000 from the insurance companies. You can see it here. That's the kind of transparency I like!


Anonymous said...

My bad....it was Expres times here is a clip out of the article

Republican Rep. Charlie Dent kicks off his re-election campaign in front of 200 supporters in Allentown
By: Lynn Olanoff
Lehigh Valley Express Times
February 28, 2010

Schall also knocked Dent for kicking out a Democratic operative who was set up to videotape Dent's speech. Trackers, as they are known, are common fare these days, Schall said.

"I think it's odd that Congressman Dent would have an event he wouldn't want videotaped," he said.

Dent Campaign Manager Shawn Millan said he would have allowed the tracker to stay if the event were held in a public space but that Dent's announcement event was a private function.

Anonymous said...

When will we see the "up or down" vote President Obama promised? We won't because an "up or down" vote would lose.

This is not the Slaughter Rule.

This is the Callahan Strategy of running from questions until maybe the dust settles. And it's probably going to work.

Democrats don't want leaders right now. They want cowardly go-alongs like Callahan.

Anonymous said...

Charlie can take solace in that the new plan pays for lots more abortions. Every cloud has a silver lining, huh Charlie?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Well, that pretty much explains it. It was a private function, not one open to the public at large. Callahan's campaign sent somebody who was apparently not invited. Ironically, Schall himself kicked out a bunch of reporters who tried to crash a "victory" party for some mayoral candidate in California. He actually barred the door. And now he complains?

So this was not an example of Dent preventing the public from hearing him. It was an example of Callahan's crusaders attempting to crash a private event.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Dent received $463,000 from the insurance companies. You can see it here. That's the kind of transparency I like"

Do you want me to dance that dance? Callahan is a walking, talking pay-to-play machine. He arranged to get millions for Pektor, who was one of his big donors. I could go on with those comparisons all day. What's even worse are all the little perks he gets, like VIP tables and comped meals, something Dent would have to refuse under federal rules.

Take Dent or Callahan. You could make a case against either. Marginal candidates will piously claim they accept no such money, bbut that's only bc no one will give it to them.

We certainly do need tighter controls on campaign finance, but that applies to everyone. No one is immune from that, except for a few people like Stoffa.

Unfortunately, our Supreme Court has thrown a monkeyy wrench into campaign finance reform.

Anonymous said...

a campaign kickoff not a public event?...really?

So we are for sunchine when it fits our agenda, good to know where your guy really stands then...

So the NY times article on Dent and pay to play is bunk? I don't think so


Rep Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) secured a $750,000 earmark for a company that has given him $14,250 this election cycle. Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) won a $300,000 earmark for a company that has contributed $3,000 to his re-election campaign.

Anonymous said...

Dent's Sunshine is with his earmark and contribution from Airproducts.

Good gov't? Dent only wants gov't that promotes his political career, not one that works for the people.

Anonymous said...

"So this was not an example of Dent preventing the public from hearing him. It was an example of Callahan's crusaders attempting to crash a private event."

The event was covered in the newpaper and on tv. It isnt like there werent any cameras there. If Callahan wants to go to Dent campaign events for supporters, he probably shouldnt be running against him. Otherwise, he should focus on his own campaign. Maybe even trying to formulate an opinion on anything besides the fact that he thinks casinos will cure all the country's problems.

Anonymous said...

LOL....The constant drum beat of not having oppinions is funny.

Try oppening a news paper or looking on callahans web page.

The campaign will make all positioms quite clear to the voters by election day. Hopefully during many debates that I'm sure Charlie will not try and dodge.

Oh if he gets past his primary...

Anonymous said...

"The campaign will make all positioms quite clear to the voters by election day."

Im sure they will: Callahan will support Pelosi 100%.

If his positions are so solid (as you say he will wipe the floor during the debate), why doesnt he take a stand on the #1 national issue facing the country and defend that point of view. Instead, when asked how he would vote he says, he "doesnt accept the premise" of the question. Im sorry, but part of the job is to accept the premise that you might have to cast votes on important and often difficult issues.

Callahan is just hiding from the fact that he would support the health bill 100%. No one is fooled.

Anonymous said...

Let's all agree they both are soaked in special interest money. Now, can we debate the issues? Obviously, Callahan supports whatever is required to get the health care bill into law. Dent opposes the bill. That wasn't so hard, was it?

Anonymous said...

Sean Hannity just said on his show that the New England Journal of Medicine reported today that if this reform passes, 46% of doctors in this country will give up their practices and find new careers that are not medical. I can't find anything to support it online. I'm looking for it.

Anonymous said...

Just in!!! Sean Hannity said 72% of Health Insurance Executives said that if the health care Bill passes, they will quit their jobs and become janitors. Can we let that happen?

PT Barnum

Anonymous said...


Callahan’s position on anything is as clear as what is in the Health Care Bill that the Democrats are planning to pass this weekend. Except to a small group of insiders the plan remains a complete mystery. Even the news media is allowing itself to be kept in the dark. This is nothing short of shameful. The Democrats and Callahan are facing a well deserved day of reckoning.

Scott Armstrong

Jacob said...


I'm agreeing with Scott Armstrong. No one even knows what is in the final bill. The head of the AFL-CIO was just called to the White House for an emergency meeting because the CBO score wasn't good.

Anonymous said...


Did you see Obama on the Fox News interview? He tried to filibuster the interview with his campaign style clich├ęs. There was no substance, only a determination to press onward for passage. One might ponder his priorities.

Scott Armstrong

Jacob said...


The more this guy does things, the more I scratch my damn head. I've pretty much moved to the State's rights position. We have our fair share of idiots in PA, but these federal idiots are something to be seen, and we have more control of them.

Honestly, if the GOP takes the House in 2010, I don't see how he makes it through 2011 without articles of impeachment for Geithner's shenanigans last year and the first 3 months of this year.

I swear, as an accountant, my brain is starting to hurt when I read what the federal reserve and Treasury are doing.

People are over leveraged, you can give banks all the money you want to, people can't afford to carry anymore debt.

Jacob said...

Oh, and show me where in the constitution the Federal government has the power to mandate citizens have to buy a product from anyone.

Car insurance is a condition of a license and is for public roadways.

Health Insurance? You've got to be freaking kidding me, and the democrats think they can use deeming to pass the largest expansion of federal power since 1935?

Brain hurting.

Donald said...

I can't believe you have bought into this hypocrisy and fraud - after all these years in office he is now wanting open government. When he was supported the biggest deficit spending in history what was his support for openness and where was his fiscal responsibility during the Bush years?

Dent is clearly just another Washington insider who will do or say whatever the leadership tells him to do and say. Where has his leadership been on this or any issue of integrity when they were in the majority or Bush was President?

Jacob said...


Bush isn't President anymore, and the current President told us to look forward. If the President wishes to direct his Attorney General to investigate crimes from that era, he is in power to do so.

So in the present, I see an administration who is trying to pass a health care bill that is over 2000 pages long within 72 hours. I am being told that people cannot look at the emails from the FRBNY at the time of the Lehman and AIG bankruptcies even though the Treasury Secretary's involvement in those failures, is more than relevant to the American People. The Chief of Staff's participation on the Board of a bankrupt GSE meeting minutes when it made the decision to get into subprime lending has also been deemed not in the interest of Americans.

This administration, is doing many blatantly non-transparent things, mainly as cover-up operations for administration officials. Other than skin-tone, how is this guy any different than W.

Anonymous said...

Dent is clearly just another Washington insider who will do or say whatever the leadership tells him to do and say.

Same old arguments that failed against Dertinger and Bennett. Blah blah blah, Dent follows W. Bush, blah blah blah. Desperate attempt to draw attention away from the issues and proceedures in Washington. Dent is drawing attention to the problems while Callahan would be supporting Pelosi all the way.

Bernie O'Hare said...


Being in the minority may very well have imressed Charlie Dent with the importance of transparency in government. I did look back to earlier years and can't find anything one way or the other. But I do recall a House floor speech he gave while Rs were still in the majority, caliming that our government is "broken" and that people are unwilling to work together. Unlike many Rs or Ds, Dent has often crossed the aisles. He has always had an interest in good government.

The number of town halls he conducted last year alone is evidence of his willingnes to reach out t the public and explain what is going on. That is transparency.

I do think Dent's feeling have intensified in recent moneths, but they've always been there. I would not use hypocracy or fraud to describe his views now.

Many good leaders will evolve in office. Lincoln is a perfect example. When first elected, he was personally opposed to slavery, but certainly did not think black people should even be willing to testify as witnesses. By the time he was assassinated, he thought they should be allowed to vote.

Thinking people tend to evolve. I do believe Dent understands the ned for transparency more now than he did when he was in the majority, but the wheels have been turning for some time.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Jacob, What I liked most about Obama the candidate was his commitment to transparency. What I like least abouit Obama the President is his failures to keep his word.

Now Donald will point to the secrecy of past R administrations, and it certainly was there. But is that a justification for continued secrecy now?

Why is moral equivalence always used as an argument? It really makes no sense from a logical point of view. if something is wrong, it's wrong. It doesn't matter if the last administration did it.

Jacob said...


The Republicans/Democrats are doing it has been justification for the worst kind of behavior of our political class for 30 years.

I'm really sick of it. Our country financially is in mortal peril at this point in history, and both political parties are too busy acting like a bunch of Rhesus monkeys in heat showing their butts to each other.

The dialogue of the Dent/Callahan campaign has already devolved into a rhesus monkey butt showing contest.

You may disagree, I'm voting and campaigning for Towne, if for nothing else, to send a message to both the political classes to knock it the hell off and get to work on actually fixing what they both broke the past 30 years.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Jacob, You are very well educated on the issues and making the choice you think is best. How can I argue with that?