The internet has quickly become a place where we can get information that is otherwise unavailable through mainstream media outlets. Sometimes that information is solid and other times….well, let’s just say it pays to do a little research. The ease of accessibility to be able to comment on posts results in a lot of voices complaining but when it comes time to put those words into actions, sadly we have trouble delivering.
Recently, in Lebanon County, the actions of the Executive Committee has sparked anger. A message blast and a follow-up article seemed to grow legs and between those two postings, reached out to nearly 800 readers. That;s great. It also saw several emails, posted comments where the article appeared and sharing the article on Facebook. Again, that’s great. Unfortunately it is not enough. It’s great start but again, it’s not enough
It is true that the exec committee, as well as other members of the committee violated their own by-laws. One of the problems is in understanding, that sombody needs to hold them accountable for this actions…the someone is you and me. There is no authority in law to hold them accountability, there is only us.
The Lebanon County Republican Committee (LCRC) is the duly elected representatives of Republican voters in Lebanon County. That means they are supposed to represent you. No matter how they spin this, an attempt to hijack an election while disregarding our votes in a Primary election is a violation of trust between you and the people who are supposed to be representing you. This includes a political consultant/ Harrisburg Lobbyist (Mike Long) who has a long history of attempting to manipulate the election process as well as policy in Harrisburg will representing organizations who fight against conservative principles. It includes a District Attorney (David Arnold) who should understand that the rule of law is important. It includes a former chair of the LCRC (Joe MacDonald) who earned a reputation for telling committee members to sit on their hands when they supported a non-endorsed candidate. It includes an elected representative in the House of our General Assembly (Mauree Gingrich). It includes an individual who holds a row office in the County government who has been charged by the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General for obstructing administration of the law in 203 criminal court cases (Lisa Arnold). It includes an individual who previously held a position in the State House who cashed in on $9,164 for per diems after losing his reelection bid in 2005 (Pete Zug) as a result his role in the pay raise debacle (Former Senate Majority Leader David “Chip” Brightbill, the brother-in-law of Mike Long, cashed in $17,724 in per diems before leaving office; Former Rep. Mark McNaughton claimed $10,4360. At the time Zug had been earning $72,187 a year in salary not including other benifits or pension). It also includes others who hold elected offices in various positions throughout the county both currently and previously. In many cases those who hold these offices had their campaigns run by Long Nyquist who also has clients that include the SEIU and the PSEA. If they are attempting to void your Primary vote, are they representing you? If it happened in the 102nd, what would make us think it wouldn’t happen anywhere else where a candidate who is not hand picked by individuals who are willing to break the rules in any voting district in Lebanon County?
As this story progresses those guilty of violating their own rules have attempted to justify their actions through a series of excuses. Regardless of their reasoning, they broke the rules. They also had plenty of opportunity to make those concerns to the voters a matter of public record before the primary. Instead they started to set in motion, before the primary, a plan to get behind a independent candidate that moved forward as they circulating petitions and then culminated in an action by the executive committee that violated the authority of that committee.
In the meantime the press has been centering this around a long time feud between some members of the committee that include Mike Long of Long Nyquist and Associates and the candidate who won the primary while ignoring that the committee, at this point in time could have gotten behind a write-in candidate in the election if they had problems with the individual in question. In doing so, the press has downplayed the fact that the committee has broken the rules and in breaking those rules attempted to subvert an election process, void the votes of 1900+ people and hijack an entire election. Is this representing the people they were elected to represent?
We can not just quietly by and allow this action to continue. It is an action that rivals the current Presidential Administration under Barack Obama in its abuse of authority they do not posses. Educating others on what is happening behind the scenes is good but we have to do more.
First, we need to be contacting our committee representatives (after all they represent you, not a handful of people on the executive committee and certainly not a Lobbying Firm that represents organizations like the SEIU and the PSEA). We need to tell them we don’t like what’s happening; that they broke the rules and that in the process they are silencing out voices. Your committee representatives can be found on this page: http://www.lebanoncountygop.org/gop2/index.php/gop-directory
Second, the Lebanon 9-12 Project is organizing a protest to be held at Lincoln Republican Club on August 20th when the executive committee meets in their attempts to persuade the committee representatives of the 102nd to join them in violating the by-laws and the hijacking of an election. We want to send them a clear message that our votes matter and a handful of people doesn’t have the authority to subvert that process. Please make your signs center around that message. The local press is generally invited to cover these types of committee meetings. We want them to know that they are missing the point. This is about our vote…not about the candidate in question or some feud that exists between the candidate and certain members on the committee. This is about you. The demonstration will take place 1 hour before the meeting begins. We will assemble at 6:00 p.m. This is bigger than just the 102nd. It does not matter which voting district you are in. If they are willing to do this in the 102nd, they’ll do it in the 101st or the 104th.
It’s time to put words into action on this matter to squash this action of blatant tyrannical voter oppression.
P.S. The actions of this committee could have a negative impact on Governor Corbett’s election as word of the actions of the committee spreads. You would think that might matter to the committee until you remember that while Governor Corbett was Attorney General they launched an investigation into the bonusgate scandal that involved Mike Long. Governor Corbett’s fight to privatize the Liquor Stores also came into a headstrong battle with the Long Nyquist camp who were defending the Liquor store union employees. Likewise Governor’s Corbett’s attempts to reform the pension system is up against the Long Nyquist involvement with the SEIU and PSEA. Is it possible that Mike Long would gain financially in the loss of Tom Corbett in the upcoming election? Certainly.