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Dent wants debates to be 1-on-1, without Towne

Dent wants debates to be 1-on-1, without Towne

Jake Towne says he’s collected enough signatures to gain ballot access in the 15th Congressional District as an independent. But incumbent Republican Charlie Dent’s campaign sees the race as a two-man contest, and doesn’t want Towne muddying the political waters by participating in the coming campaign debates.

Dent campaign manager Shawn Millan told that the campaign would prefer Towne be kept out of the debates, so that voters can focus on the contrast between Dent and Democratic challenger John Callahan.

“We believe that that’s how the electorate would be best served,” Millan said. “Ultimately you want the top two contenders to be given the most time to debate the issues.”

As a libertarian-leaning candidate who calls the federal income tax “immoral” and “Marxist,” Towne could be spoiler for Dent if the Lehigh Valley race ends up being a tight one. Towne has already accepted an invitation to participate in at least one debate. He has until early next month to file the necessary signatures to get on the ballot, and Dent’s campaign will have another week after that to file a ballot challenge.

“I take that as kind of a sign of weakness, being scared of an independent who’s put all this effort into getting on the ballot,” Towne said in response to Millan’s comments. “I take objection to it as anti-democratic.”

UPDATE—In a statement, Callahan campaign manager Justin Schall says: “Mayor Callahan believes in the democratic process and thinks Jake Towne should be invited to the debates because he’s on the ballot. It’s unfortunate that Congressman Dent is trying to use his power to restrict the conversation.”

July 22, 2010 at 1:11 pm

--Donald Hoegg

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comments [39] | post a comment

  1. Honest Abe

    Jul 22nd, 2010

    Sorry, Charlie. Mr. Towne deserves to be there and if you don’t include him you don’t get my vote.

  2. Frank

    Jul 22nd, 2010


  3. TB

    Jul 22nd, 2010

    If you don’t like the two party system move to Europe. Towne is a rogue candidate. He doesn’t belong in a debate let alone on the ballot in November.

  4. pu-leeze!

    Jul 22nd, 2010

    What a self-centered politician! Dent, EVERYONE should be given a chance to see the candidates at a debate. How would you like it if the Morning Call excluded YOU from the debate?? Pu-leeze! Towne deserves to be part of the debate and I’m sure he’ll do a much better job than you.

  5. Jon Geeting

    Jul 22nd, 2010

    Why is Dent so afraid to debate Jake?

  6. Ginny

    Jul 22nd, 2010

    Dent is insulting the intelligence of the 15th District….doesn’t want to “confuse” the poor masses. Give me a break! Glad he feels this way though….he’s showing his true colors and weaknesses! Jake’s knowledge of the Constituion…and how Dent has not kept his oath to uphold it via his voting record, is what Charlie is really worried about.

  7. Rich

    Jul 22nd, 2010

    I am sure the Charlie Dent would like to get away without answering the tough questions. Bottom line is Mr. Towne’s campaign has pulled the most financial support of any independent or third party candidate for congress in the country. He has compiled many thousands of signatures to get on the ballot.
    He would not be able to do this if the voters in the Leigh High Valley were happy with his representation.

    Man up Mr. Dent!

  8. Big Tent

    Jul 22nd, 2010

    Why exclude ideas? That’s just funny business. These politicians are too damn comfortable. Clean house, and don’t replace ’em with the same old neocons either.

  9. Robert

    Jul 22nd, 2010

    Dent knows that Jake Towne is in a class above him. Towne would destroy Dent in a debate. It would be like Mike Tyson fighting Michael Jackson. No contest.

  10. Derek Cleveland

    Jul 22nd, 2010

    Oh dear Charlie – you just lost my vote. I went to Jake Towne’s website and saw exactly why you don’t want anyone to hear from this man. He is conservative, a constitutionalist and he makes sense. Hooray…..finally I can vote for someone I really believe in and not just hold my nose and vote for the Republican. Good luck Mr. Towne !!

  11. Rob P.

    Jul 22nd, 2010

    I am extremely disappointed by the Dent camp’s attempt to derail the process. The framers of the Constitution set out to guarantee generations to come a republican form of government, with our representatives elected in a democratic fashion. Truth be told, Jake Towne is perceived as a threat to the political establishment, and he probably knows Charlie’s voting record and what Charlie voted for better that anyone in the district, including Charlie. In the previous (110th) session of congress, Charlie voted nearly 70% of the time with Nancy Pelosi, and when gauged against the Constitution his fidelity to his oath was present approximately only 30% of the time. Most people in the 15th are of the mindset that a 1% compromise in principle is the same as conceding 100%. Let Mr. Towne debate, and shed a little sunshine on this process. Give the people of the 15th the opportunity to make an educated decision come November. Thank you.

    For Liberty,


    ps – see how he voted here

  12. Saucon Valley Mom

    Jul 22nd, 2010

    Charlie Dent is weak and afraid, that is why he doesn’t want Jake in the debate.

  13. Ralph & Deb

    Jul 22nd, 2010

    Charlie Dent is the same old, same old. He says one thing and does the complete opposite. Isn’t he with Linsey Graham, John McCaine and so many more progressive republicans? They all have to go, if we have any chance at all of taking our government back? I’ve voted republican since I’ve been old enough to vote. No more! I’m voting for Jake. He’s the best man for the job and we should be honored to have a man like him to represent the 15th district. All you have to do is meet Jake, talk to him and you’ll see his sincerity and his love for this country. Thank God for Jake Towne!

  14. Jim

    Jul 22nd, 2010

    I think I would rather see a debate between Callahan and Towne without Dent. We already know that Dent is no longer fit to represent the 15th from his abysmal voting record.

  15. Marc

    Jul 22nd, 2010

    Wow, Towne is a rogue candidate? I didn’t know that. He’s had mainstream coverage in the Morning Call and elsewhere.
    TB must be a Dent operative.

    We only have a two party system because of how biased the election and ballot access laws are.

    I met Dent twice, and he seems to be a nice person. But after hearing him speak, he’s either completely clueless or very corrupt.
    He was bragging about how good Sarbaines-Oxlee was, even though it was a huge killer for small businesses.

    I look forward to watching the debate.

  16. steve

    Jul 22nd, 2010

    Wow. I started being annoyed with the GOP when they froze Ron Paul out of the primary debates. RP is a long-sitting, elected, Republican representative. The only ones being served by dismissing him as an non-issue or ‘also-ran’ are those with everything to lose: the Rep incumbents. Just imagine if Paul had been given a voice by his own party, and got enough traction to get the nomination and run against Obama.

    Congratulations Mr. Towne. You and your ideas are apparently seen as a real threat. We need more pols just like you, and I hope the constituents will realize not only what’s going on here, but WHY, and will do something about it.

  17. Jared Goodyear

    Jul 22nd, 2010

    Open the debates!!

    We need to discuss foreign policy, immigration, monetary policy, healthcare, civil liberties, and principles. Neither of these two parties are dealing with the issues that are at stake.

    So I request that we let Jake Towne into the debates so that people can have open and honest politics.

  18. Rickenbacker

    Jul 22nd, 2010

    Moonriver sweeter than a song hmmm c’mon Dent sing us a rendition, we love your singing.

  19. Ryan

    Jul 22nd, 2010

    Charlie Dent realizes that his days in office are over. There is absolutely no way that he can win with all the support that Jake has. So the race is actually between Callahan and Towne. Maybe we should talk about leaving big-government Dent out of the debate!

  20. LOSER

    Jul 22nd, 2010

    Just awful of Dent. Really awful stuff, toying with democracy like this. Jake Towne is rightfully a candidate in the 15th district and should be given a chance to debate and give his ideas just like John Callahan or Dent. This shows quite clearly that Dent is SCARED of Towne. Sad stuff Congressman Dent.

  21. Wind Gap Voter

    Jul 22nd, 2010

    WOW. I’m shocked. I haven’t agreed with many of the political tricks Dent has played lately, but I though of him as a better man than this. Running from the opposition? Not like a leader.

  22. neemo

    Jul 23rd, 2010

    Charlie Dent grow a set.

  23. DaveB

    Jul 23rd, 2010

    Who says Towne has a right to participate in public debate? It’s very common to include only candidates that have a ghost of a chance, and Towne clearly doesn’t. If Towne was at all serious, he would have entered the Republican (or Dem) primary – otherwise, he’s just a spoiler (which accounts for his coverage in the MC).

  24. Disappointed

    Jul 23rd, 2010

    This is why we are in the mess we are in today. Politicians like Dent who THINK they know what’s best for us. I don’t want you, mr Dent, telling me what would best serve me. I have supported Jake Towne since he started campaigning nearly 2 yrs ago.
    You want a two party system but we the voters are tired of it! There is NO choice between you and the dems, mr Dent. You all are for spending, taxing, and HUGE GOVERNMENT!
    I want a politician who stands in stark contrast to you and Callahan!
    Go get em jake!

    Remember , they did this to Ron paul as well…..they can’t stand a politician who actually believes in our constitution!!!!

  25. Pocket

    Jul 23rd, 2010

    Some political types are predicting Towne to get about 8% of the vote. That’s quite a lot of people who don’t get to see their candidate speak about the issues. That’s the whole idea 3rd parties candidates run, while they might not win, they get to make the public aware of their issues and stances and sometimes help push change just by running. Clearly Dent doesn’t care about how democracy really works.

  26. […] Rep. Dent says it only takes two to tango, not three. Rep. Dent does not want an independent candidate to be in the debates between him and John Callahan. Expect a challenge from the Dent campaign to try and prevent this third party candidate from getting on the ballot. […]

  27. Dave

    Jul 23rd, 2010

    Dent doesnt want to stand next to Jake and have to debate him. Jake’s truth would cut through his lies.

  28. jeff

    Jul 23rd, 2010

    Dent sounds scared! I just looked this Jake Towne up, in his videos he sounds like a real person (not a slimy politician).

  29. Antonio

    Jul 23rd, 2010

    Of course Dent is trying to keep Towne out of the debate. Towne is the only candidate with any integrity or moral compass. Towne is the only one that isn’t dependent on corporate or labor union or lobby money. Towne isn’t a political tool of the establishment. Jake Towne understands and respects the Constitution, the rule of law, and the laws of economics. Jake Towne would become one of the most influential members of Congress on day 1. Why would Dent want to invite someone who could actually move this country forward, as opposed to ensuring the status quo and the slow decay of our Republic?

  30. tom

    Jul 23rd, 2010

    putting aside who can, ought to or will win this election, if you’re on the ballot, you should be in the debate. end of story. the voting public deserves to hear all of its options.

  31. TaxFairly

    Jul 23rd, 2010

    Note to all, especially the media: The internet has finally empowered the individual and the days of party control are soon ending. Be a proponent of freedom now before our country is enslaved by our creditor nations–LET JAKE BE HEARD!

  32. JonnyMuffin

    Jul 23rd, 2010

    “Who says Towne has a right to participate in public debate?”

    Are you effing kidding me? Political Free Speech is one of the most important principles to a free society. Apparently you and Dent don’t care about living in a free society. Are you saying that the Establishment knows what’s best, that they will save you the time of free speech and just give you only the info you need… or rather the info they need to stay in power.

    One of our founders, Noah Webster, said “There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters”. I think he was referring to Charlie. Charlie doesn’t care about the constitution, he doesn’t care about liberties, he may talk about conservative principles, he may even stand up for a few, but at the end of the day his loyalties are in increasing his rule and that leads you to act, not out of principle, but out of self-preservance. His wanting to limit ideas in the debate illustrates this well.

  33. TB

    Jul 23rd, 2010

    People like Jake Towne are foolish, naive ideologues. He’d have been better off compromising his principles in the short term to have success in the long term.

  34. TB

    Jul 23rd, 2010

    You Tea Party fools make me sick. If you fools were given the opportunity to govern this country we’d all go to hell in a hand basket.

  35. Ralph & Deb

    Jul 24th, 2010

    I am a tea party person. It gives me hope again. Only someone living on another planet would not see what’s going on. I don’t live at home with Mommy and Daddy. I have taxes to pay, a mortgage, and so on. Plus I help Mom out.
    I’m happy people are waking up to such nonsence. But the other side is getting so nasty. They know they’re losing this fight. Just hope we don’t hand it over to progressives like Charlie Dent who say, we’ve seen the errors we made and we’re conservative now. GOD bless the USA.
    I have given 25 voter registrations so far. After they fill it out, I put the stamp on it and send it out. You’re going to win Jake. Keep up the good work. Nov. 2 is coming fast.

  36. JonnyMuffin

    Jul 24th, 2010

    “You Tea Party fools make me sick. If you fools were given the opportunity to govern this country we’d all go to hell in a hand basket.”

    Yeah, cuz these ‘establishment’ guys have been doing a bangup job!

    I equate Tea Party haters to children who get mad at their parents for shutting off a credit card (either that or they don’t understand the Tea party and percieve it through their MSM blinders as racist). Our current debt has accumulated to $13T, and it is only getting higher. To call people opposed to the bankruptcy of our country fools seems silly to me. AND yes, it’s not just Obama, the Repubs carry at least 8 years of blame, hence the need for an alternative – Jake Towne.

  37. Pocket

    Jul 24th, 2010

    BREAKING: Dent now wants to ban John Callahan from the debates as well.

  38. John Giles

    Jul 26th, 2010

    Note to neemo: Dent does not need to grow a set. He has his testicles in a Chinese take-out box for safekeeping so that he doesn’t have to use them during the course of the campaign.

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