"Today’s verdict by Judge Platt was completely appropriate. Our office appreciates the work of the Bethlehem Police Department and the Lehigh County District Attorney’s office."
"Ten individuals came into this office unannounced on a day when the Congressman was not present and was unable to come into the office. They were in our office more than three hours that day. We listened to their concerns and gave them prompt responses to their questions. But, we apparently didn’t give them the answers the wanted. "
"They were never told to leave during working hours, only told they would have to leave at our posted closing time, 5 p.m. Only when they ignored a final warning from a police officer to leave or be arrested, a half-hour after our posted closing time, were they arrested for defiant trespass."
"These individuals were not arrested for their views, but for their actions.
And these individuals chose to be arrested. They could have left when the police arrived and continued their protest outside. They did not."
"Lepoco had in fact met with the Congressman on two previous occasions and the Congressman’s scheduler was in the process of scheduling a third meeting. The Congressman has always been willing to meet with his constituents, regardless of issue, as long as the meeting is in good faith."
"On January 17, these ten individuals broke with that good faith by staging a publicity stunt at the expense of the taxpayers. The Congressman is elected to represent more than 600,000 people. Ten individuals basically hijacking a constituent services office is not democratic. It is a crime."
"You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!"
I disagree with Charlie Dent's position on many issues. And he's got a real dogfight on his hands with Democratic challenger Charles Dertinger, who does his homework and is a tireless worker. But I'm sure even Dertinger would agree that Charlie Dent just demonstrated again why he is widely regarded as a class act.
He was able to do this thanks to the Dent Nine. Way to go! What's your next trick? At your current rate, you'll help re-elect every Republican in the country.
Wednesday Morning Update:
It just keeps getting better and better! According to the Express Times, one of the Geriatric Nine, 73 year old Arthur Landis, had the following remarks, in open court, for Dent staffers: "Sorry you were late for dinner." And Joe DeRaymond piously claimed a right to trespass because their situation was "extraordinary."
Landis is old enough to know that the victims extend beyond Dent's staff. They include the rest of us schleps who were prevented from carrying on business with Dent's office. DeRaymond's "me first" remarks establish he's a proud believer of the Orwellian mantra, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."