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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Allentown Pastor Seeks Dem Nomination in 15th

On Thursday night, US Congressman Charlie Dent (PA-15) stunned the local district by announcing his decision against seeking re-election next year. "[W]e need to give a stronger voice to the center at the moment," he said. "The sensible center is being left behind in too many cases." Two Lehigh Valley Republicans - Justin Simmons and Ryan MacKenzie - have already announced their intention to seek the GOP nomination. Bill Leiner announced as a Democrat so long ago that everyone has forgotten about him. Now you can add another Democrat to the mix in what is promising to be a hotly disputed race.

He's Greg Edwards, a colorful and sometimes controversial preacher at Allentown's Resurrected Life Church. Edwards claimed to respect Dent's statesmanship "in a time when civility in Washington has become increasingly rare.” But his candidacy is bound to take people out of their comfort zone.

According to his campaign announcement, "This moment does not call for moderation or incrementalism, but for revolutionary ideals rooted in true progress: single-payer health care, livable wages, strong public education, affordable college, good jobs, and a commitment to rebuilding the American dream."

He also jabs at Authoritarian Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans over Obamacare. “Since January 20, the drama of the politics of division and unchecked power run amok, has played out daily on our TV screens. This President and the Republicans in Congress are more interested in: taking healthcare away from millions of Americans to give unnecessary tax breaks to the 1% at the expense of our hardworking middle class; giving more to those who have sent our jobs overseas than in saving good jobs here; rewarding those who have so much while hurting families working hard just to get by.”

I first became acquainted with Edwards in 2014, when he was part of a federally funded task force concluding that the cause of wealth disparity is racism. "In fact, denying that racism exists is the new racism," charged the task force report.

Dent was the token centrist participating in that otherwise one-sided forum. He gently reminded that audience that wealth disparity is the necessary result of a free market economy. "We've always had it," he noted. He also cautioned against changing that approach to one in which power is concentrated. Under other systems, "You will see less prosperity and a heckuva' lot more cronyism," he warned, in an obvious reference to totalitarian regimes.

I also heard Edwards deliver the keynote speech at a Bethlehem Elks luncheon in 2016.

"We've got 18,000 children, a graduation rate of about 60%, and only 19% of that 60% go on to college. Almost 90% of our children qualify for free or reduced lunch. Eighty or 90% of our children are determined to be "at risk" in terms of poverty. Ninety per cent of the children are children of color and really, if I wasn't a preacher I'd cuss right here, but really, nobody cares.

"There seems to be a lack of outrage. We have churches everywhere. We have nonprofits everywhere. But there really seems to be a lack of consciousness on how important and how valuable our children's futures are when it comes to education.

"I firmly believe that one of our greatest civil liberties is public education."

But he claimed that we suffer from what he calls "educational apartheid."

"If our children cannot read by third grade, you know what happens academically. From Kindergarten to third grade, children are learning to read. After third grade, they are reading to learn. California already begins to forecast how many prisons they build by the reading scores of third graders.

"In my social context, in Allentown, nearly 70% of our third graders are not at third grade reading levels. So now, Ray Ray and Pookie can't read. Then what happens is our children go into middle school. What happens in middle school, those transition years? They go through puberty. Some of y'all remember that, right? You survived it, they'll survive it, too. But their bodies begin to change. Their voices begin to deepen. But at the end of the day, they're our babies, our children. But they are placed in the hands of people who have some level of cultural dissonance and don't understand that just because a child is different doesn't mean he's deficient.

"Now because our children have struggled - can't read - they begin to see some behavioral issues. They no longer become cute. Now they're in crisis and they begin to be labeled. But the state gives every school district extra funding for special education, which is therefore why our children end up in special education.

"We are funding what I call educational apartheid in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

"It is not required for a child to go to kindergarten. So you can have a 7 year old show up for school, never having been around children his or her age which means they have not been socialized to the learning environment. If we cannot socialize to the learning environment, your behavior begins to be different. But because our teachers in large part don't look like our students, there is empirical categorizing and there is the evolution of a slow, slow, slow, slow, slow, slow change."

"Our children think they are dumb. I have never encountered a child who can not learn. I've encountered a whole lot of folk who can't teach, but I have never encountered a young person who is not creative, who does not have some level of artistry residing in him, who does not want to be listened to or heard. But I have run into some incompetent people who call themselves teachers."

Edwards is a great and inspiring speaker, and precisely the wrong kind of person to represent Pennsylvania's moderate 15th Congressional District. The Democrat who wins this race will be a person who speaks Charlie Dent's language and who appeals to the "sensible center."

That person is John Morganelli. In January, long before Charlie Dent's "sensible center" remarks, Morganelli penned an op-ed that asked, "Where has the sensible middle gone?
"There was a time in American politics when those who were able to straddle the "moderate middle ground" were the most successful. Today just the opposite is true. The most successful are those who, in their respective parties, adhere rigidly and strictly to the party ideology. Until that changes, it will be difficult to govern with any type of consensus and America will be evenly divided as we have seen in recent elections."
Someone like Morganelli can pick up where Charlie left off.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

The middle is gone? Washington has been one party rule for too long. Its extremely embarassing that Rs now control the show, and have dragged their feet on all legislation, since the beginning of 2017. They have made a mockery out of the GOP, and currently hold a 15% approval rating. Charlie is, was and will always be part of the one party deep state that has wrecked this country.

The middle is not gone. Its just that the elected congress on the left cannot stop their "resist" movement. The message they were sent by the voters was to get off their lazy asses and start making America great again.

Anonymous said...

Let us begin the sorry parade of democrat candidates wannabes. Of course one of Bernie's favorites, JM is near the top of his list(for every position).

Anonymous said...

I immediately thought of Morganelli too. He has enough conservative in him to often pi** off this liberal, most notably regarding undocumented aliens, but enough sensibility and ethics to also get my vote.

Anonymous said...

And here comes the radical left. You'd think he'd be concerned about an abortion rate in his community that is eight times that of whites. Abortion and single payer are D litmus tests. He must support the culling of his race in an attempt to keep it at 13% of the population. He has a lot of white limousine liberals who want the black community to abort itself to prosperity. Sick.

Anonymous said...

This guy sounds like a divisive leftist. Given the way the district is currently drawn, he can't win a general election. With his strong stance on illegal immigration, John Morganelli would have some crossover appeal, but do you really see him as a freshman Congressman in Nancy Pelosi's caucus? Isn't he much better suited to the U.S. Attorney's office or a judgeship?

Anonymous said...

proves the democratic party has gone off the deep end. this guy may get traction with them.

Anonymous said...

He sounds like an entitlement king who believes in more entitlements to the minority community. The man would sit well in the utopian Obama's world, not the center. This man is another loudmouth leftist where the populist rule.

Anonymous said...

This guy should be able to wrap up the democratic nomination, he is a true democrat, a revolutionary, who can see the problems and it will be fixed if white folks just cough up more money. It is because of white racism that the minority community has all these problems. How about looking at the family structure or lack thereof, single parent families are destined to be poorer, and handicapped , either white or black, but don't think about morals or personal responsibility, those are all catch phrases for racism. Those F,....g white privileged assholes are the cause of everything wrong in the world. Good Luck with that platform Democrats.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I immediately thought of Morganelli too. He has enough conservative in him to often pi** off this liberal, most notably regarding undocumented aliens, but enough sensibility and ethics to also get my vote."

Yes, I like Morganelli, but this seat has his name written on it. He is a conservative Democrat who even appeals to the tea party. He supports labor and public education. Like Dent, he is a centrist who probably leans right as well. He would be more pro-union than Dent, more supportive of the protections that are imposed by EPA and more supportive of Obamacare.

Greg Edwards could never win anything in the 15th because he is something of an extremist. Morganelli would win. I think the only person who could beat him is Pat Browne,and he does not appear to be interested.

So thanks,Lee Snover and Justiin Simmons. You openedhe door to the Democrats.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" do you really see him as a freshman Congressman in Nancy Pelosi's caucus? Isn't he much better suited to the U.S. Attorney's office or a judgeship?"

One of the big mistakes that Ds make that Rs do not is that they refuse to view prosecutors as legitimate contenders for any other office. Rendell should have shown them how wrong that thinking is. John will not appeal to party bosses but will appeal to Dems and Rs.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You'd think he'd be concerned about an abortion rate in his community that is eight times that of whites"

It's not his community. It's our community.

Robert Trotner said...

Is Rev. Edwards the pastor at Pawlowski's church? Do you know what his opinion of Pawlowski is?

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's not Fed ed's church, and Edwards has a very low opinion of fed Ed.

Anonymous said...

Funny how you compare Morganelli to Rendell. Rendell was not a godsend. He was a smile and a handshake.

Robert Trotner said...

That makes me very happy. Thanks.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Funny how you compare Morganelli to Rendell. Rendell was not a godsend. He was a smile and a handshake."

Rendell was a DA who bucked his party and became Mayor and then Governor. My comparison is that he demonstrates that DAs can be something other than DAs. This is something Dems fail to understand,but that Rs understand very well. I am not in any other way comparing the two. I am not responsible for your illogical mind.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
My point about Rendell is that he managed to get where he was purely by personal appeal and charm. Not sure that JM has that same edge. You didn't need to insult me.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Sure I did. And you insulted Rendell, too, as a gladhander, so you can't even be honest. So let me insult you again. You are a frickin' liar. You completely missed my point. So let me insult you again. You're frickin' stupid.

Anonymous said...

Fed eds church is church on the run and the parishinor make up are on the run from many different institution venues!

Anonymous said...

Guy looks and sounds like a discount Malcolm X.

Anonymous said...

BO, how did the former DNC chairman Ed buck his party? When?

Bernie O'Hare said...

When he ran for Governor. The state party endorsed Casey. Rendell ran against Casey and party bosses and won.