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Government OF the People, FOR the People

Are you confused, like me, that America has a political party wholly dedicated to importing and caring for illegal trespassers here in America, going so far as to shove aside our actual citizens?

America’s representative government is supposed to be OF the People, BY the People, FOR the People. The People being those citizens, taxpayers, and voters who were either born here or who moved here legally. The people America is made for, built by.

What kind of unsustainable, giant free lunch smorgasbord mentality does it take to demand that those who have labored to create and maintain this nation must also then absorb and care for millions of illegal trespassers, invaders, really, who demand much but give little? And then allow them to vote themselves more of our Social Security and tax money?

While looking through my history books I am unable to find anything like this in the annals of the world. It is kind of surprising, because written history is full of amazing events, almost unbelievable.

One somewhat possible comparison is the later Roman Empire, where certain regional ethnic tribes were absorbed specifically to function as mercenary warriors on behalf of Rome. That tribe sacked Rome twice, the first time seeking back pay, the second time for good, thereby ending the empire proper, and leaving distant Constantinople as the de facto seat.

Another possible example are the Hittites, who moved into Egypt, also possibly as a mercenary army, and also eventually usurping the Pharoah’s throne.

I think most Americans agree that we do not want our nation or civilization to end at all, much less in our lifetime by illegal invaders, no matter what purportedly good reasons they are here for.

So what on earth is happening that one American political party is so utterly dedicated to changing America through this unbridled invasion, riven with ethnic and cultural differences?

Why is this happening? What does this political party have in mind for America after these new people get voting rights?

Have they considered at all the sustainability aspect? Or does that not matter, and power must be pursued at any cost?

One thing is for sure, the same backwards unsustainable thinking that liberals accuse conservatives of when it comes to natural resource management surely applies here.

There is only so much a culture or tax coffer can sustain before it breaks.

We are reminded of 1960s protest music…

“And when you ask em ‘How much should we give’, they only answer more, more more” — Credence Clearwater Revival, Fortunate Son.

Or we are reminded of more poignant war music “Glory, glory Halleluya, his truth goes marching on…” as row after row of glinting bayonets in formation moved to nearby battlefields, to maintain the Union.

PA 11th Congressional District race: Joe Peters or Andrew Lewis

Pennsylvania’s 11th congressional district stretches from well southeast of the southcentral PA capital city of Harrisburg to the farthest reaches of northeastern PA, near the New York border. It is one of those crazily gerrymandered districts created to protect a certain congressman, a certain party. You have to try really hard to create a political district this convoluted, and it is as twisted as the power-hungry thinking that went into it.

I know, because according to the PA Supreme Court, I was the primary victim of the gerrymandering that created the 2012 Pennsylvania state political district map, released at the same time as the congressional map.

Apparently my then-candidacy (as an independent-minded conservative) for the 15th state senate district was a threat to the political establishment (self-serving careerists surrounded by a constellation of special interest groups feasting upon the taxpayer host body), and so they placed my Harrisburg home in a tiny political pocket. Our home was barely in one congressional district that is mostly based in Adams County to the south (Gettysburg). It was just one small part of Dauphin County mixed in with much larger portions of other counties, and we were also suddenly a couple blocks away from the 15th state senate district.

The gerrymandering was announced just as our 2012 campaign got under way.

The PA state Supreme Court threw out the state district map, calling the area around our home “an iron cross…” designed to exclude someone from participating in the political process. But the court kept the congressional map, which is being challenged now.

So that is where we got these crazy district lines, and it is how we now have a four-way contest to replace outgoing Congressman Lou Barletta.

Candidates who have officially announced are Joe Peters, Andrew Lewis, Steve Bloom, and Dan Meuser. Their home bases stretch from the farthest reaches of southcentral to far northeastern PA.

I know all of these guys, and I would like to share some thoughts with you about their candidacy.

Let’s start with Joe Peters.

Joe has the most impressive resume of any of the candidates here. He has been a successful professional crimefighter, and a wonderful political outsider. Joe is the stuff of legend, a tough cop surrounded by bad guys, but always doing the right thing.

Peters is the Serpico of political candidates.

A former cop and prosecutor who put away really bad men in jail, Joe took real risks, and earned real enemies. He has been tested many times over many decades, and has proven uncorruptible.

So naturally, Joe has earned the enmity and fear of politically powerful shadows now supporting the other candidate from his region, Dan Meuser.

We would be lucky to have Joe Peters in Congress, though I fear he lacks the funds to get his message and impressive personality out to the voters. When he ran for PA Attorney General a few years ago, I gladly, even eagerly voted for him. Really impressive guy. Total underdog.

Then we have Andrew Lewis.

After more or less forcing me out of the last primary race for the 15th state senate district (2016), by undercutting my base of support in Perry County, Andrew nonetheless earned my endorsement in his subsequent man-to-man primary run against John DiSanto, our current state senator, who thankfully went on to defeat incumbent Rob Teplitz (a Marxist who was outstanding at constituent services).

What I liked about Andrew then is probably his biggest weakness now, and that is his youth.

Andrew must be the most energetic candidate to ever run for any office. He is physically tough, tall, good looking, earnest, religious, conservative, and a combat veteran of the US Army operations in Iraq. And boy is he positive. This kid has the best demeanor and personality you are likely to meet in your lifetime. He is from a rural farming background, salt of the earth family, smart as hell, and highly educated. He has an impressive resume by any standard, and especially for someone so young.

People asked me in 2016 why I endorsed the guy who stole my dream of serving in the state senate. My answer was that Andrew was a really impressive young man, the kind of person America needs in politics and in leadership roles. I stand by that now, and if for some reason you can’t vote for Joe Peters, Andrew Lewis is your  man. You cannot go wrong voting for Andrew, who has probably the best geographic reach (political base, or likely voters) of all the candidates.

Then we have Steve Bloom, a sitting state representative from Cumberland County.

There is nothing negative anyone anywhere can say about Steve Bloom. And there is a long, long list of very positive things about him.

And that is the problem here.

Steve, why are you in this congressional race?  You are needed in the PA State House of Representatives, where you already serve with great distinction! You are WAY too good to lose from the state house.

Steve has worked hard and smart in the state house. He has amazingly, surprisingly worked his way up into junior leadership. He is on the cusp of breaking into actual leadership, which is amazing because he is a straight-talking, no BS conservative. Steve is not a weasel, he is a force for good…in the PA State House. The fact that he is moving up is cause for celebration.

Steve is very conservative, religious, and as pure as the driven snow. Steve is exactly what we need in politics, and in fact he already IS in politics. Now that he is in the state house, it would be nice to keep him there. If you vote for Steve Bloom in the upcoming primary, no one can fault you. But the fear is that Steve’s southcentral PA base is too small for him to leverage into winning this congressional seat, and that voting for him will divide up the vote, resulting in the worst possible outcome in this race…

Dan Meuser.

If you have something positive to say about Dan Meuser, would you please contact me directly?

Honestly, if you have something truthfully good to say about him, I will publish it here, unfiltered. No lie.

Dan is from the same northeastern coal country that Joe Peters is from, and he has played the strangest role in politics for a long time.

Dan has the distinction of having blown the hugest wad of cash on a losing primary race of anyone in living history. About ten years ago he ran against Chris Hackett, a religious hillbilly who no one had ever heard of.

And Dan lost.

He didn’t just lose, he lost spectacularly, hugely, phenomenally. Dan spent literally millions of dollars on a primary race, and lost to a guy who spent, what, a hundred thousand dollars? Maybe a bit more? [UPDATE May 1, 2018: Proving that memory can be a fragile thing, campaign finance records that I looked at today show that Hackett spent well over $100,000 on his campaign against Dan Meuser. It is hard to tell exactly how much both candidates spent, but Meuser’s campaign was over a million bucks, and Hackett’s may have been right behind that. What I recalled was Hackett’s excellent grass roots ground game]

What Dan lacked in charisma and character, he made up for with money. He just kept tossing that cash around, trying to buy votes that never materialized. When the dust settled, in a two-person primary race, mind you, Hackett had crushed him with his folksy man-on-the-street candidacy. The empty suits lost to the citizen revolt that became known within a year as the Tea Party.

Dan Meuser eventually served in the Tom Corbett administration as Secretary of Revenue, the Mister Moneybags of PA government.

The Corbett administration was the worst run administration in modern Pennsylvania history.

A tone deaf governor with zero loyalty for those who put him there, and a taste for private flash, Corbett was surrounded by an army of self-directed, self-interested political hacks embodying the very worst of political patronage. God it was a freaking disaster, and it brings me no happiness to write it here.

I worked hard to get Corbett elected, very hard, and I served on the transition team, only to sit back and watch in slack-jawed amazement as the entire enterprise slo-mo crashed and burned after it was in place. Like a bad dream.

How many people went into the governor’s office, pleading for Corbett to take control and right the ship of state…it was like a nightmare, where your hand is on the wheel, and you keep turning it, but your car heads over the cliff.

Anyhow, if you are like me and four years ago you said “thankfully that pain is behind us” about the departing Corbett Administration, well, Dan Meuser is here to revisit that pain upon us, once again, but this time as a congressman.

As Secretary of Revenue in the Corbett administration, Meuser oversaw, masterminded, and approved the largest state government sexual harassment settlement in Pennsylvania history. And it may be the largest state government sexual harassment settlement in the country’s history.

You understand, this is nothing to brag about. This settlement was probably unnecessary and in any event, it was a colossal waste of limited taxpayer money. At a time of tight budgets, this is no way to spend The People’s money. At a time of flush budgets, it is going to be the butt of late night comedy jokes, because it is bad policy but at least humorously so.

And speaking of The People’s money, do you know another fantastically bad public policy idea Meuser implemented from his perch in state government? He put the squeeze on Pennsylvania businesses, like the Mob would do to extract cash from innocent people.

We PA business owners, great and small, all received these ridiculous notices from Meuser’s Dept. of Revenue saying “Prove to us that you don’t owe this tax money below, and while you are mulling that over, pay this bill for what we think, but cannot prove, that you owe to state government.”

Meuser’s assault on PA businesses for fast cash to prop up bloated state government spending was so shocking that whatever bit of good will the Corbett Administration had left, was squeezed out of his remaining voting base. Nearly 100% of these phony tax bills ended up resulting in zero owed, but it was the kind of expensive and anxiety-inducing government red tape we expect from liberals. Not from business people. With people like Meuser in senior positions pulling these kinds of cheap stunts, it was  ever harder to see Corbett as a pro-business Republican.

And this is the GOOD stuff about Dan.

Believe me, there is plenty more bad stuff. Like, recall the politically powerful shadows pulling his puppet strings mentioned above. He is the stultified establishment candidate. Good grief, aren’t we so beyond that now? Most Republican voters now know how failed that is, a party inward looking, without direction, barely distinguishable from the Democrats.

Dan Meuser is the last person Pennsylvanians need in office. He is representative of everything bad about politics. You cannot vote for him. You just cannot. That is a terrible choice. My gosh, you have three other good candidates to vote for here, and if you really want one of the good guys to win, you will vote for Joe Peters or Andrew Lewis.

Voting for Dan Meuser is voting for an empty suit with no principles, with a history of proven failure on one of the seminal issues of our time, sexual harassment.

Voting for Steve Bloom is effectively dividing up the good-guy vote and pretty much ensuring that Dan Meuser wins. We need Steve to stay in the PA House of Reps. Stay there, Steve, stay! Not voting for Steve Bloom is actually helping Steve stay right where we need him.

Voting for Joe Peters or Andrew Lewis is what you want if you want an outstanding congressman. You cannot go wrong with either one.

 

 

State Representative Calls Police Twice Over Inquisitive Citizen Opposing Gun Vote

By Josh First
March 7, 2013

Just over a week ago, newly minted New York State Representative Didi Barrett (NY-106th) twice called police in a thinly veiled attempt to have an inquisitive citizen intimidated by Red Hook police for exercising his Constitutional right to petition the government. Nope, this is not made up, folks; it is real and it is real-time. It illustrates that the gun control debate is not about guns. It is not even about crime. It is about controlling citizens; that is its purpose and the goal of its proponents. When the police show up at your door or pull you over because someone in an official position said something about you, anything could happen.

Beginning in early January and extending into late February, Chris Stehling, a plumber from Red Hook, NY, visited Barrett’s local office several times to explain his opposition to her position on New York’s anti-gun SAFE Act, and then her recent vote in support of that law. This new law is so restrictive that even most on-duty police officers are non-compliant and potential felons. The heavily rushed and highly defective law must now be “fixed,” and it is already going through a new amendment process, facts that in Stehling’s view indicated a flawed legislative process begging a few more changes.

Stehling tells me that he was respectful and professional when he first visited Barrett’s office, requesting a meeting with her. Asked by staff what the subject was that he wished to discuss, Stehling explained his opposition to his state representative’s vote for the flawed law. Barrett was unavailable, he was told, and “Don’t call us, we will call you” was their parting response.

Several days after he left, a town detective, Tom D’Amicantonio, knocked on Stehling’s door, saying that Barrett had called the police because her office “had concerns” about him.

“I asked Tom ‘What concerns?’, says Stehling, who is a steady, jovial, and articulate guy on the phone, and on a friendly first-name basis with the small-town local police.

After a forty-minute “amicable” conversation, and taking a statement from Stehling, who wanted to see his representative face-to-face, the detective departed, and left Stehling with a feeling of now being victimized twice by Representative Barrett: Once by her careless vote for the poorly written law, and now by her attempt to persecute and intimidate him for daring to ask her about it.

Stehling called a friend, and they returned to Barrett’s office the next morning, calmly seeking both to schedule a meeting and requesting an explanation about why the detective had been called. In addition, Stehling had a friend on the phone who could hear the conversation in the office. Apparently while they were talking to a staffer, someone else in the office was on the phone, calling the police again, because when Stehling returned to his car outside and began to drive away, the town’s police sergeant, Patrick Hildenbrand, pulled him over.

“The sergeant came over to my truck, and he asked me what was going on with Representative Barrett, and we explained our experiences visiting her office, including my First Amendment right to talk to my elected officials,” says Stehling.

After talking with Stehling and taking statements from both of his friends, Sergeant Hildenbrand reportedly later called Barrett’s office, explaining that Stehling was well within his Constitutional rights to petition his elected officials, to visit their offices, and request a meeting with his representative. Is that not the role of an elected official in a representative democracy, after all? The US Constitution’s First Amendment gives citizens the right to petition their government, and to speak freely.

Eventually Stehling was granted a meeting with NY Representative Barrett at her distant Albany office, which he conveniently visited after a pro-Constitutional rights rally at the NY state capitol that same day.

“She was dismissive about our concerns, even when we presented the fact that the new law criminalizes most on-duty police officers [because of their higher capacity guns] and it punishes law-abiding citizens but not criminals,” says Stehling.

Three weeks ago I debated Shira Goodman of CeaseFirePA (http://video.witf.org/video/2335658815), a gun prohibitionist group, on a WITF live call-in TV show. Several times during the debate Shira earnestly exclaimed her avid support for Second Amendment rights, which she is working overtime to destroy. It is now a common tactic to proclaim support for something you obviously despise and undermine. And thus America spawns people like Representative Didi Barrett, the Cuomo-endorsed New York State “Assemblyperson” who believes in getting elected to office, but not in being accountable to the citizens whose consent places her there; in fact, she evidently believes in using the police to intimidate or jail her political opponents.

Gun rights advocates have long worried that their opponents were seeking domination and control of the citizenry, and not control of crime. Representative Didi Barrett’s actions just showed us that concern is valid and true. But Didi Barrett tilted her hand too soon, though, because this kind of heavy-handed response from government should be more common only after Americans have been disarmed, and not before. Those citizens on the fence about this issue can now make an even more informed choice about which way to vote. Vote for freedom, folks, not for the un-American abuse of power that motivates people like Didi Barrett.

Listen to Chris Stehling’s other interview, on Sheryl Thomas’s radio program, at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sherylthomas/2013/02/28/ny-gun-owner-harassed-by-assemblywomans-office

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