Pat Tiberi meets with his Pakistani friend General Pervez Musharraf. (hat tip, The Daily Bellwether)
"I, Pat Tiberi, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."
"Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..."- Advertisement -
As the publisher of The Liberty Voice, I had made preparations to record the September 29th public debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters, The Delaware Gazette and the Farm Bureau. This forum was held in a publicly-funded local school for local, state and federal candidates for public office. As I am not able to write every word live, it was necessary that I record the event so that I could accurately transcribe what was said at a later time.
This was an especially important service to perform, as "our Congressman" Pat Tiberi has repeatedly refused to answer our questions concerning his voting record which illustrates his gross and repeated violations of the US Constitution.
Lately, I have recorded similar debates sponsored by two of the above-mentioned organizations without incident, so what changed?
Incumbent Pat Tiberi was there.
In the past four debates--all of which had invited "our Congressman" to come, he never bothered to make an appearance. However, it was anticipated that this debate would be widely-attended, so there was great pressure for Tiberi to make a showing. Judging by what happened later in the evening, as a condition for Tiberi's long-awaited participation in the debate and unbeknownst to me, Tiberi pressured the sponsoring groups to forbid the use of any recording devises--without exception granted even to the press.
As I was setting up my equipment before the debate began, I was asked to put my video recording devise away, as it was a rule that all participants had agreed to in advance. When I challenged this, the organizers--in order to prevent "making a scene" --which most definitely did make a scene, reluctantly agreed that I could record.
And I did. However, throughout the evening I was repeatedly admonished from the podium for not following the "rules" by Larry Cline, the moderator of the event. He specifically said that "this was not a government building," thus the implication was that any protection of the First Amendment was a mere triviality. It was as if wanting to record and accurately report the proceedings was somehow an outrageous affront to decency. I was completely humiliated by this 'unbiased' moderator for standing up for what I felt was my right (and duty) to record what was said.
Further, this is the mission statement of the League of Women Voters:
The League of Women Voters, a non-partisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
As someone who was there to transcribe the words of candidates for public office in order to increase the public's understanding of major public policy issues in order to influence voters through education and encourage informed participation in our election process, I can see why the League of Women Voters (with a male spokesperson again) would feel the need to demonize my objectives.
I also found it ironic that while local candidates for county judge gave their campaign pitches--promising to defend the Constitution, they failed to address the situation at hand. Many of them nervously glanced my way, as if dumbstruck at what to do. All of them proceeded to say and do nothing, as if the elephant in the room--the burning Constitution--would be defended at all costs when they are elected to office, but in the meantime, the Constitution would just have to burn.