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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, April 13, 2018

Nothstein Accuses LWV of Meddling, Sez No To Debate

Marty Nothstein is one of two candidates, along with Dean Browning, seeking the Republican nod for Congress here in the Lehigh Valley. He has been avoiding primary debates, which tells me he considers himself the front runner. He has released a statement, along with a Pittsburgh contact number, refusing to participate in the League of Women Voters debate next month. The reason he gives for dodging it tells me that he will be running from behind in the general election. . He has accused this good government group of "meddling in Congressional politics."

He's angry that the League of Women Voters has not just fought against gerrymandering dragon for years, but has managed to slay it. Our state court has ended an undemocratic system in which your legislators pick you, instead of the other way around.

Gerrymandering has been a wrecking ball to good government in Pa. It is both an incumbent insurance program and a magnet for ideologues rather than people who are willing to work together. It is also a two-headed monster. Democrats are just as capable of gerrymandering districts as Republicans. They have done so in other states.

The effort to end this disgraceful system has been bipartisan. Numerous Republicans in the state house and state Senate, including Lisa Boscola, Pat Browne and Mario Scavello, have endorsed an end to a system in which the majority party draws the boundary lines for legislative and Congressional districts.

The League of Women Voters and Common Cause spearheaded the effort here in Pennsylvania. The League of Women Voters exists primarily to make sure that your vote matters. It has historically opposed poll taxes, racial gerrymandering and efforts at voter suppression. It has supported attempts to educate voters, which is why this group always tries to host debates.

Nothstein has derided this group as a "partisan, liberal organization allied with the interests of the Democratic party." If his attack were really true, the League would have lost its tax exempt status decades ago. It's false.

Nothstein is skipping a debate designed to educate you about his positions. Instead of being honest and just admitting that he is in the lead and does not want to give any exposure to Dean Browning, he embraces a system that is wrong and that has actually led to the very partisanship he now decries.

The proof of Nothstein's hypocrisy  is his willingness to participate in a League of Women Voter debate in the general election, where he claims to be "open to an invitation." If he really felt that the League was just a tool of the Democrats, he would boycott them completely.

In one news release, Nothstein has demonstrated that he stands for bad government, is intellectually dishonest and just a tad arrogant. He has just assured his own defeat in the general election.

Dean Browning told me, incidentally, that he is "willing to debate anybody, anytime, anywhere."

John Morganelli told me he is willing to debate Nothstein, too, but draws the line at bicycle races.

The League of Women Voters debate, for all candidates, Democrat and Republican, is on May 2, 7 pm, at Northampton Community College's Alumni Hall.

Nothstein news release:

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