Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tea party meeting raises issues

Did you read the latest article about Democratic candidate Bryan Lentz criticizing Republican candidate Pat Meehan for attending a meeting with a group of tea party activists known as the Valley Forge Patriots? If not, check it out here:

Below is some more information about this issue.
  1. Meehan attended the event with the tea party group on Friday night in Phoenixville, Chester County. The event was open to the public and members of the news media.
  2. The Lentz campaign put out a news release on Monday morning criticizing Meehan and calling the meeting secretive.
    1. Here’s the first paragraph of the news release written by Lentz spokesman Bob Finkelstein: “Pat Meehan’s latest attempt to keep his views about the tea party's extreme agenda hidden from voters occurred at a tea party rally in Phoenixville on Friday night when an audience member videotaping his speech was forced to turn off his camera only moments after starting to tape.”
  3. During interviews, the Daily Times learned that the person who was told to turn off the video camera was actually a 17-year-old male high school student doing volunteer political tracker work for Lentz.
  4. Next, the Daily Times called some founding members of the Valley Forge Patriots and learned that the person with the video camera never told the group that he was doing work for the Lentz campaign. He simply told the group that he was a student.
  5. The group members said the problem was the student never asked for permission to videotape prior to the beginning of the event. The group members decided it was inappropriate and told the student to turn off the video camera, but they did allow him to stay at the event.
  6. A Daily Times reporter asked the Lentz campaign if she could speak with the student. The student then called the Daily Times on his cell phone but refused to give his name. He did confirm that he did not disclose to the tea party activists that he was doing work for the Lentz campaign.
  7. The Daily Times then asked the Lentz campaign whether they would release the name of the student. A member of the campaign simply replied in a text message: “We have no additional information to add to your story.”
  8. The tea party group labeled the student dishonest.
  9. But Kevin McTigue, Lentz’s campaign manager, argued it was wrong for the tea party activists to insinuate that the teenager was dishonest. He argued that a political tracker for the Meehan campaign were being dishonest because she falsely identified herself as a member of the St. Joseph’s University student newspaper in June. McTigue shared an e-mail correspondence he had with the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, confirming this did occur. 
  10. But Bryan Kendro, campaign manager for Meehan, said he did not recall that incident. Kendro said his campaign tells all their interns to be honest.  
  11. Meanwhile members of the tea party group are outraged over Lentz’s press release regarding this whole issue.
  12. On Tuesday, the Valley Forge Patriots ripped the Lentz campaign in a lengthy statement. Here are some excerpts from the statement:
    1. “We have met with both parties, allow all to speak at our meetings and will continue to hold both Republicans and Democrats accountable for their votes. Our meetings are open to the public but we control the taping of our meetings. They are our meetings, not Mr. Lentz’s. …Mr. Lentz is a typical, ultra liberal, Democrat unable to advance any kind of positive message and so resorts to gutter level politics as we have seen time and time again.”
So who is being secretive here? You decide.


Blogger Desire Grover said...

Based on your write up I get the impression that this was a "public" meeting so actually the student did have the right to videotape the event. The young man should have continued videotaping because they technically had no legal right to stop him regardless of his working for Lentz. It seems that both parties are being "secretive" and are willing to be misleading in order to practice the art of non-disclosure. Meehan should have had a "private" meeting and Lentz should have had a wiser student documenting for his campaign.

September 16, 2010 at 6:24 AM 

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