About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, April 05, 2010

Dent Triple-Teamed by Benol, Towne and the Queen of the Tea Party

If you visit blogs like LV Dependent or Just Read It, you're bound to get the impression that at least some Democrats believe Charlie Dent's days as LV Congressman are numbered. Dent is dismissed as an empty suit who serves whatever special interest is unpopular at the moment, while Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan is regarded as their Savior, even though he's avoided every major issue in this campaign.

Since Dent is such an evil conservative, you'd think they'd all be rallying to his banner. But at Friday night's Lehigh Valley Conservative Voice lovefest for April Fools, he was attacked on three fronts by congressional wannabes Mat Benol and Jake Towne, as well as unelected LV Tea Party Queen Kim Schmidtner. Dent was denied the opportunity to respond to these attacks, and there was no time for questions from the little people.

Mat Benol a little short on specifics.

Mat's actually the most likable person who spoke on Friday night. In a soft-spoken voice, he talked about his two daughters, who are obviously his world. He told a story about how the two of them were flicking a TV remote at each other just the other day, which resulted in a call from the wife and a trip home to take one of them to the hospital. Those of us who are parents have been there, and he connected with the crowd right away. He mentioned what it's like to be called into the office and told he has to accept a 10% pay cut to avoid layoffs. Those of us who work know what that's like, too.

Benol also made an other important point, one that escaped Towne and Schmidtner. He stressed it is possible to like your opponent, and flatly admitted he likes Dent. So why is he running? He claims his goal is to bring the Republican party back to the conservative side.

Benol is a LV Tea Party member, and up until his announcement, he was one of their unelected leaders. On his web page, he indicates that they may not be able to endorse him, but he endorses them.

As likable as he may be, his discussion of issues is rather banal. In talking about our debt crisis, he just says we need to "stop spending." OK, where? His foreign policy plank tells us we need to "stop apologizing for America." That's nice, now how about some specific proposals?

A demonstration of Benol's weakness on the issues is illustrated most clearly by the "limited government resolution" that he and other tea party members unanimously approved in March. I've duplicated it here, and it basically contains these provisions.
1) DECREASE taxes, no tax hikes or new taxes.
2) NO operating deficits, government should spend equal to or less than what it brings in.
3) REDUCE public debt.
4) REDUCE government power and authority, stop increasing it every year.
With less than 50 days until the primary, isn't it time to hear some details about how a Congressman Benol would implement this? In FY 2010, the Federal Government will take in $2.2 trillion in revenue and spend $3.7 trillion, leaving a deficit of $1.5 trillion, just for that year. If Benol were in Congress, he would have to cut spending 42% to comply with that limited government resolution. It's completely unworkable. Even if Benol eliminated every single government program other than defense, social security, Medicare, veteran’s benefits, employee retirement and interest, he would still have failed to balance the budget.

So enough of the “we need to spend less than we take in.” It is time for Benol as a Congressional candidate (and Joe Hilliard as his campaign manager) to start giving some specifics.

Independent / Libertarian Jake Towne Needs to Relax.

I have to wonder what the hell happened to Jake Towne in mainland China, where he spent a few years before rushing back here to run for Congress. That's a post for another day. When he started speaking Friday night, he was very angry and had a wild look in his eyes that made me wonder. In addition to his anger, he has absolutely no sense of humor. His only joke - a comparison of the major parties to arsenic and cyanide - has been repeated since the days of Ralph Nader.

Towne would eliminate the US Department of Education, abolish the income tax, eliminate military bases overseas, cut defense spending, bring troops home from Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany and Italy.

He also hates being searched at airports.

To thunderous applause, he railed against the "mob rule by that gang in Washington." Gee, I thought they were our democratically elected officials.

As he shouted and waved his hands wildly, with his hair going in forty different direction, I was tempted to blurt out a few "Seig Heils." But I was afraid others might join me.

Queen of The LV Tea Party, Kim Schmidtner.

As if the two announced candidates were not enough, the unelected Queen of the LV Tea Party had a few shots of her own. She likened incumbent Republicans like Charlie Dent to cancer.

"While I agree that the 2010 mid-term elections are critical, I vehemently disagree that voters must accept yet another compromise. What this says is that we should accept a small does of poison instead of a large one. In the end it will still kill us, it will just take us a little longer to die.

"Returning to the cancer analogy, that's like a surgeon taking out only 85% of a tumor, but leaving the remaining 15% there to continue to metastasize. How many of you would go to that surgeon?

"The definition off insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It is time to break out of this insanity and undergo the treatments necessary to rid the nation of the disease of progressivism, or it will kill us. And this year, voters have the first opportunity to do that in the upcoming May primary. The primaries are the constitutional, democratic battleground, where the people can rid the party of progressives and those who compromise with them, and put the best candidates forward to the general election in November.

"It is absolutely critical and is indeed your civic duty to be suspect of the party endorsement process and conduct your own research on all candidates that appear on the ballot, by attending events like this one this evening."

I see. Events that exclude Charlie Dent. The Queen of Mean might want to reconsider her cancer analogy. Congressman Dent's father-in-law died of cancer just a year ago, and it killed his brother-in-law just last month.

It amazes me that Schmidtner, who has a pretty spotty voting record, would lecture others on their civic duty.

Schmidtner also spoke of the completely unworkable limited government resolution.

"We will hold all elected officials, no matter the party affiliation, accountable to these principles, and will measure each and every vote they make or have made against these standards."

Holding them accountable? So much for a nonprofit that engages in no political activity.

32 comments:

Rising Sun said...

Bernie, I don't think he's an empty suit, I think his voting record stinks. Big difference. I also don't think a Messiah is coming to save us in any public office, I just think a far superior option is here.

Anonymous said...

Bernie -

Again, this was not a candidate debate. It was an event sponsored by a Conservative PAC featuring conservative speakers.

Dent has addressed members (via telephone) at a previous meeting. Perhaps he will speak at a future meeting (if he wants to and the PAC Board agrees).

I really don't see the problem. Should Callahan have been there as well?

Anonymous said...

Bernie these people are "mean spirited" and after learning a few things about her on your blog, like.
1) Kim had a 80k tax bill as her anti government motive.
2) She has a voting record that is flys is the face of logic to inspire people to vote.
I have to question

Why is she still the leader of this group?
Is this group still a 503 c non profit?

Wayne said...

Answering what anon @ 7:03 said:

I've been to two of the meetings & DC twice and haven't seen this mean-spiritedness... only passion for their cause.

If a bad experience with the IRS was part of a persons motivation, so what? Many of us have had bad experiences with the bureaucratic arms of gov't where you have no recourse to a judge or jury. I would say getting involved in the process is the most healthy response.

And for not having a voting record... for crying out loud, this is what it's all about. Americans waking up and realizing that they have been "asleep at the switch" and that it's time to wake up!

Anonymous said...

Where were all the crazy Tea bagging fiscal conservative people all during the Bush Administration when we were spending ourselves into oblivion? Why do they crawl out of their caves now? Why did it take them over eight years to wake up? we have a surplus when Bush took over.

Anonymous said...

How is not paying your taxes a "bad experience" with the IRS?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Again, this was not a candidate debate"

Actually, it was billed as a candidates' night. You excluded an incumbent Congressman, incumbent state rep. and the AG who has finally done something about state corruption. You invioted their opponents to bray away, and then claimed you were educating people?

Education usually involves exposure to mre than one view.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"And for not having a voting record... for crying out loud, this is what it's all about."

With her voting record, she's in no position to be lecturing others about their civic duty, as she did friday night.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"If a bad experience with the IRS was part of a persons motivation, so what?"

Well the “so what’ is that many on the 9-12 message board have excoriated Treasury Secretary Geitner and others for their failure to pay the correct amount of tax. Yet there wasn’t a peep from the leader of the group to say that she had the same problem. Her failure to do that is hypocrisy at its finest and diminishes her credibility.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I also don't think a Messiah is coming to save us in any public office, I just think a far superior option is here."

Oh my goodness, Rich, are you running?

Rising Sun said...

Bernie,

I almost threw up my breakfast laughing. The only running I'm doing is on a treadmill.

Wayne said...

So what I'm hearing here is that if you weren't voting before or politically aware before you should shut up and be quiet. We certainly don't need any new voters rocking the boat...

I don't know the details of Kim's tax woes (I don't believe she has a criminal record over it!) but it's a bit silly to compare it to Geitner's since he's been appointed to the Treasury and records show he was aware of his tax obligations that were never satisfied.

Is it all about stifling those that don't share you political beliefs?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"So what I'm hearing here is that if you weren't voting before or politically aware before you should shut up and be quiet. We certainly don't need any new voters rocking the boat..."

No, that's not my point. My point is that she is in no position to tell others, especially those who vote in every election cycle, that they need to do their civic duty.

I don't know the details of Kim's tax woes (I don't believe she has a criminal record over it!) but it's a bit silly to compare it to Geitner's since he's been appointed to the Treasury and records show he was aware of his tax obligations that were never satisfied."

Nobody compared her situation to Geithner, but she allowed him to be blasted when she herself hadd problems that were more serious and resulted in the filing of a lien. It's called hypocricy.

"Is it all about stifling those that don't share you political beliefs?"

Why don'tr you ask the unelected leaders of your tea party movement about that. Some members have begun to question the unelected leadership, and were threatened with deletion.

When Joan Campbell posted the deletion policy, I noticed that it is internally inconsistent. I pointed that out in a comment, and was deleted.

The unelected leaders of your movement fail to practice what they never hesitate to preach.

It's sad because there are many good and well-meaning people in that group.

Joan Campbell said...

When Joan Campbell posted the deletion policy, I noticed that it is internally inconsistent. I pointed that out in a comment, and was deleted.


Sorry Bernie, your comment was not deleted by me. Your comment never came thru on the message board. Please leave your accusations at the door. If you believe your comment was deleted- you feel free to contact me, thru the site, and we will talk.

Joan Campbell

Anonymous said...

I find it funny , so many defenders of their leadership refuse to think past their brainwashing...Put 2 and 2 together.
If you have a tax problem and form a group that is anti government there is a reason...

Yes Bernie is correct

"Yet there wasn’t a peep from the leader of the group to say that she had the same problem. Her failure to do that is hypocrisy at its finest and diminishes her credibility"

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Sorry Bernie, your comment was not deleted by me. Your comment never came thru on the message board. Please leave your accusations at the door. If you believe your comment was deleted- you feel free to contact me, thru the site, and we will talk."

Ms. Campbell, I ave posted a total of two comments at your site. The first followed your claim that everyone should tome it down or you will start deleting people.

My observation was that your unelected leadership was being questioned, but nobody was attacking anyone.

You then responded with a verbatim copy of your comments policy. It proscribes name-calling, etc., and goes on to say that you don't want to engage in the same tactics used by the left.

That is internally inconsistent. You call the left a bunch of name-callers while simultaneously claiming that you won't allow name-calling.

I posted a comment pointing this out, and it was deleted.

For hours, my name stood there and the message was blank. It is impossible to post a blank message at your site. I tried. So someone, obviously one of the unelected leasders, deleted my comment.

Wayne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wayne said...

FWIW I did see the empty comment from Bernie.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Wayne posted, and then deleted, a comment saying that he did see my blank comment. Sorry Wayne, but I have to note this bc it cooroborates what I wrote earlier.

It is impossible for me or anyone to post a blank comment. It is clar that someone deleted my remarks.

Wayne said...

Bernie,

There was no need to do that because I deleted the 5:46 comment on account of atrocious grammar (no edit button here)then posted my comment at 5:48 which you apparently missed... Your post came after that (look up and see!)
So give me a little credit there, will ya? ;-)

Wayne said...

PS

Bernie O'Hare said...
It is impossible for me or anyone to post a blank comment.


Actually it's very easy make a post that appears blank.

Just sayin'

Bernie O'Hare said...

Wayne, Try to post a blank comment there. I did and it did not work.

Wayne said...

Will do so right now in that same thread

Wayne said...

done

Bernie O'Hare said...

I tried and failed to post a blank message yesterday, after I was deleted. I rec'd an error message telling me the filed may not be left blank.

Wayne said...

Bernie O'Hare said...
I tried and failed to post a blank message yesterday, after I was deleted. I rec'd an error message telling me the filed may not be left blank.
------------------------
That's correct, my post only appears blank. It really isn't.

Joan Campbell said...

For hours, my name stood there and the message was blank. It is impossible to post a blank message at your site. I tried. So someone, obviously one of the unelected leasders, deleted my comment.

Although I hate to talk about our site, on your site, as this could all be done via email. I would like to point out to you- that your comment was not left blank, but had an " in it. If I had edited the comment or deleted the comment, there would have been a mark from the site (of which we do not hold the controls too) that states, "post edited by Joan Campbell at XX time".

There is no way possible for me to delete your comment without your knowledge or leaving a 'fingerprint'. As meetup, also shoots out an automated email.

We do not delete entire comments by posters unless they are severely out of line with the rules of the forum. If something is deleted a warning email is shot off FIRST in private to the offender. Then if the person continues to violate the rules set forth, then an email is sent to the organizing committee, requesting a review for possible action/removal from the site.

In the case of editing, I will either leave a comment in the thread as to why something was edited out, or I will email the poster directly, and just FYI them.

These 2 actions are more then fair- considering you recive a notice on posting on the message board, when you first join the site- then the rules being right there, with the big title "READ THIS FIRST"



-Joan Campbell (again the comments I post are my own)

Bernie O'Hare said...

Joan,

I'd prefer to discuss it openly. Transparency and all that.

I'm a bit confused by all this, but let me clarify something. I never accused you of deleting my comment, but claimed it was someone.

I'm willing to concede I have that wrong, especially since you've visited this site twice to discuss it. There must have been some foul up that resulted in my entire message mysteriously vanishing. Obviously, if you were just interested in shutting me down, the last place you'd visit is here.

Let me also make something clear to you. I am a centrist-liberal or a centrist-progressive or whatever you call sinners like me. I have nonetheless supported very conservative candidates, even though it gets me in lots of trouble, because I think tranaparency and accountability are the most important qualities in a leader, and in some cases, a conservative may be better at that.

I have nothing against your group and hope to see you around for years to come. It's grassroots democracy, even if I disagree with 90% of what you are saying.

I have two pieces of what really amount to constructive criticism.

First, you need to hold elections. Not doing so is antithical to everything your group stands for.

Second, you need to get educated on proper and imprper political activity. You have crossed the line. Precinct building is a no no. So is the condemnation of candidates who do not play your tune. There are several instances of that on your web page and in your unelected leader's public remarks. Some of it is beyond what is permitted and some of it is borderline. Some of that needs to go. Take a look at your candidates' page and how it starts out. It sure looks like you're looking for people to endorse.

If you decide to go the nonprofit route, then you really have to be more careful than you've been.

I'm not really your enemy. I'm just a miserable bastard.

Wayne said...

Bernie O'Hare said...
I'm just a miserable bastard
------------------------------

It's always good to find common ground we can all agree on :-)

FYI, I deleted my posts over there. And your [quote][/quote] shows up as "" on the "latest activity" page.

Enough of that sillyness now!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Wayne,

I posted a rather lengthy comment there, taking credit for all the dissension and fessing up to being the peron who posted about "unelected leaders."

Once again, my comment came up blank or with a " or whatever it is. This has happened on two different computers now.

My only conclusion is you must have some filtering software that blocks rational thought.

Wayne said...

Rational thought??? Where?

All I can say is that there is an edit option where you can go into that post, delete the quote tags and replace it with this "rational thought" of yours...

And with that I am going to stop talking about that message board. Joan did say she'd druther have that sorted out via e-mail didn't she?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Wayne,

Do you have no sense of humor, dude? I was screwing around. As far as emailing leader Joan is concerned, I've already told her that I'd prefer to keep this out in the open, where everyone can see it. I'm trying to post on your site again and am trying to think dark, conservative thoughts.