Dent, Daugherty Square Off at Tea Party Forum

Candidates for 15th Congressional District seat differ on Obamacare and job creation.


U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent and challenger Rick Daugherty differed most noticeably on Obamacare and how best to increase employment in a forum Friday night for the 15th Congressional District race, hosted by the Lehigh Valley Project 9/12 Tea Party Group.

Republican Dent said he will vote to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act, a line which drew immediate applause from a fairly full room at the Charles Chrin Community Center in Palmer Township.

“The health care law is going to add costs … and it will also kill jobs,” said Dent, saying a Congressional Budget Office estimates that 800,000 jobs will be lost because of Obamacare. “It incentivizes employers to cut payroll.”

Democrat Daugherty said he favors the bill because he doesn’t believe quality healthcare should be tied to your income level. Everyone should have access to the same level of high-quality care, he said.

“As a society, I think that’s a good place to spend our money,” he said.

On job creation, Dent said the proper path is to lower the federal deficit and decrease job-killing regulations on business. Daugherty blamed U.S. trade policy, decrying free trade agreements with countries like China and Mexico that have sent manufacturing jobs across the border and overseas.

“We can’t have free trade agreements with countries that don’t share our culture, with countries that don’t have our labor and environmental regulations,” Daugherty said.

“It might be time to pull out of the World Trade Organization and say goodbye to China,” he added, saying that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has said that we should at least think about suspending trade agreements with China.

Getting rid of rule-breaking trade partners will bring needed manufacturing jobs back to the United States, he argued.

Dent differed, saying open markets are crucial to growing the American economy. “When the U.S. competes, it wins.”

Despite the differences, the two men were cordial. Both noted that they are longtime acquaintances with lots of mutual friends.

Dent, 52, of Allentown, has served in state and federal Legislatures since 1990 and is seeking his fifth term in Congress. Daugherty, 60, of Lowhill Township, is the executive director of the Lehigh County Senior Center in Allentown.

Though he has never held elective office, Daugherty was once an aide to Congressman Paul McHale, when he represented the Lehigh Valley. He is also currently the chairman of the Lehigh Valley Democratic Committee.

The two candidates will meet again in a live televised debate at PBS39 studios in Bethlehem at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Denis Meyers October 06, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Mr. Dent has provided stable leadership and very responsive constituent services. He is a straight-shooter who, in my judgment, makes decisions based on what is best rather than following political winds. Mr. Daugherty is a question mark and in these uncertain times, I don't think we should be rolling the dice. I also dislike losing the power that accrues with tenure in the Congress. Mr. Dent is approaching the time in his career when he can get some serious things accomplished for the good of the Valley. This life-long Democrat is voting for Dent. Not to change the subject but I believe Democrats have lost their way. They are not my Father's Democrat party and that is not good. There is no leadership being shown in the Senate which is controlled by Democrats. The fact that this country has not had a budget in three years is a disgrace - that is the responsibility of Congress and the Senate has shirked their duty.
Rick Orloski October 06, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Charlie is getting fat. Must be the party life in D.C.
Robert Sentner October 06, 2012 at 02:30 PM
sounds like your jealous Rick
Patricia Roblin October 06, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Denis Meyers, I do believe Mr. Dent is doing exactly the opposite of what you say: and is "following political winds." If anything, he is towing the teaparty line these days....I remember when he was a moderate Republican. Rick Orloski, aren't you a public figure? Personal remarks like that are sort of silly. If you have a legitimate critique, I'd like to hear that instead.
Sheila DuPree October 06, 2012 at 03:53 PM
That intellectual comment is the reason you never win! It's called the ORLOSKI FACTOR.... but then again, when you lose, you say you only ran to promote business.... another savvy move by a sheisty attorney. Keep those "intellectual" comments coming!
Mike kadhiwala October 06, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Dent is good for job groth We need right job job job for better economy
Rick Orloski October 06, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Charlie Dent has endorsed the Ryan Plan to kill Medicare for persons under age 55. In a recent brochure, Charlie featured his Mom claiming Charlie is saving Medicare. It is classic double talk. Charlie's secret to success has always been his trim physique and his dashing good looks. Now that he has joined the Tea Party Ideologues -- and he is gaining weight -- it will interesting to see if he can still win an election in the Lehigh Valley. P.S. I'm not jealous. I'm getting fat too!!!!
Brunell October 07, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Rick, to call the principal of cutting back spending, reducing government involvement and promoting open competition as double talk is just not true. The double talk coming from our president. He accuses Romney of lying...when? After the debate and not in person when he had the chance. Our countries only chance to survive and thrive again is with new leadership. Leadership like Mr Dent provides. Not a leader to spread the wealth. Not a leader to "take from the rich" and "give to the poor". It will be with leadership that creates an environment, both a governmental environment and a business environment, that promotes open, free, business. An environment where people are driven to better themselves, not an environment where the government hands out money, advantage, tax breaks, breaks from participating in the health care law, etc. One man can not rule our country, however, I feel like one man is dictating what I can do, what I can eat, what my children believe about religion, etc. I want my country back. You jest about Mr Dents weight. That somehow he is on the "take" and getting fat. How dare you. If you want to talk about someone that has had success because of a physique or dashing good looks, look at your president. That is all we have! No leadership, No plan, No facts, just more of the same. Push his agenda like a dictator. Mr Dent, you have my vote!
Robert Sentner October 07, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Rick please put up a link where Ryan says he is going to "kill Medicare for persons under 55" wow and people wonder why you have never won an elected office.
Reaganite October 07, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Orloski never won because his voice sounds like pre-pubescent munchkin on helium. Oh yeah and his ideas on managing the government never really resounded with...anybody,
Carl W October 07, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Forget the fact that he's a big supporter of sending jobs overseas. Strong advocate of NAFTA (to send jobs to Mexico) then CAFTA (to send jobs to rest of Central America). Charlie NEVER MADE GOOD on the one promise that got him into the State legislature - Giving his legislative increase, just voted in, of $7,000.00 a year to local charities. His office said "It went to over 200 places," however, they couldn't name one. (Good Shepherd clearly said, "He never gave us a cent!"
Carl W October 07, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Daugherty has been stellar in N. County gov't. Well known & loved.
Carl W October 07, 2012 at 02:24 PM
But Rick IS right. A nation trying to lose weight, he's not exactly a inspiration. (Looks like crap, especially to compared to the 25-yr.old photo in his ad). >>> And you should see his wallet from bribes!!
Carl W October 07, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Charlie looked "like a politician." Specifically, looking like J.F.K. is a main reason many voted for him.
Carl W October 07, 2012 at 02:28 PM
"Fact-check" found 15 lies from Rommel, I mean Romney (Sorry).
Carl W October 07, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Charlie invited very succintly to show up in Beth, to talk about (Unnecessary & ILLEGAL) Iraqi invasion. 275 people waiting, neither he nor a rep. for him ever showed, or even replied to the invitation.
Bruce Davis October 07, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Charlie Dent and Republicans have done their best to ruin this country. Dent voted to continue tax cuts for the wealthy and for the wars unfunded during the G. W. Bush Presidency and was instrumental to helping guiding us into one of the worst financial disasters in 2008. People have a short memory and some seem to be as gullible as taking advise from a used car sales man with Dent. I personally urged him to get us out of Iraq due to the costs of nation building and wrote to him about continuing tax breaks on capital gains to the wealthy when we were not paying for our bills long before 2008 financial collapse. He ignored me and others like me then and I don't think he listens now. Time to Charlie to go because he doesn't listen to the people just his own party. Rick Daugherty is a man of the people. He works with the people. I don't believe he is just for his party but a man for all the people. Thanks Rick for all you have done for all the people throughout your life!
Brunell October 07, 2012 at 07:28 PM
You know what Bruce, I am tired of people upset about the supposed tax cuts for the wealthy. The tax system is broken, we can both agree. But perhaps we feel differently regarding handing out money. I want to know why people who are not paying in cash a check. Don't you think your citizenship is worth something? How about we start there. We ALL need to share the debt, not just a few. So perhaps we can meet in the middle. Now there is a novel idea. That seems to be lost these days. That is what lack of leadership will do. The current administration is not willing to bend.
Cate Shea October 07, 2012 at 07:32 PM
To be fair, Charlie Dent voted against the TARP before he voted for it. But then, so did a lot of Congresscritturs. The maniupulations by the banksters were huge. OTOH, I do not agree with Mr. Daughtry that the Obamacare monstrosity written by the insurance companies and shoved down our throats will give quality care to everybody, rich or poor. Instead, it will give huge business boost to the insurance companies, and a lower standard of care to those who do not have the means to go outside its restrictions. We had better medical care in this country when the care was between the physician and the patient, and the medical profession had not yet been bought out by the pharmaceutical industry. It's not health insurance we need, it's health care. Regarding the economy, I think Mr. Daughtry is closer to the truth of the matter. I wish all the candidates and all the voters would look online for an education; go to the web page of Ronald Reagan's Treasury department assistant, Paul Craig Robers, the father of supply side. Then go pay attention to Max Keiser on his Financial War Reports -- he was part of the criminal financial crowd, before he left in disgust, so he knows what he is talking about, as do his guests. Then pick up a copy of Dr. Michael Hudson's newest book, explaining the whole mess. THEN go vote. Sadly, it is hard to find either candidate as being totaly on board with reality.
careless fills October 07, 2012 at 09:25 PM
NAFTA paased was passed by Congress in 1993 and signed into law by Bill Clinton after he used much of his political capital to get it passed. At the time, Paul McHale was the the LV's rookie congressman and I believe he opposed it. Charlie Dent was a graduate student then and probably had little impact on those events!
Jim Siverly October 09, 2012 at 02:57 AM
I attended the Daugherty/Dent debate and recommend those who didn’t watch the PBS rematch on October 16. The most important issue for our country is economic growth which drives job creation. Without economic growth there will be no revenue to support any of the socialist agenda that would be perpetrated by Mr. Daugherty and fellow Democrats. Remember the country is already borrowing 30+ cents of every dollar it spends. Mr. Daugherty had one main theme: undo unfair trade agreements. While unfair trade is arguably the case, restricting free trade may do more harm than good. Congressman Dent has a more balanced approach to economic growth: Lower corporate taxes, expand energy production, open markets, and lower the national debt. He expounded on the latter point to mean keeping federal spending in line with GDP. Mr. Dent also explained how EPA regulations and other federal restrictions, like Obamacare, are stifling businesses. Excessive regulation makes it harder for US companies to compete abroad and discourages them from hiring the workers needed to grow their businesses.
Jim Siverly October 09, 2012 at 04:01 AM
People do have short memories and apparently you too. The financial disaster of 2008 started back in the Carter administration with a program called the Community Reinvestment Act. This boondoggle encouraged, if not forced, banks to award mortgages to people without sufficient resources to make the payments or a large enough down payment to discourage them from defaulting. The Clinton administration doubled down on the program and the Bush administration tried unsuccessfully to stop the insanity of it.
Carl W October 11, 2012 at 01:42 PM
That is essentially what Ryan says. You won't find it verbatim.
H. R. Paul October 17, 2012 at 05:44 AM
After seeing the debate, the question for me is whether it's a prudent decision to swap a tenured well seasoned work horse for a non experienced newbie in these very troubled economic times. The answer is no. Not right now. Check back in four years Rick, perhaps Charlie will vacate his seat and move up the ladder in Washington. That is if the 15 th district will let the superstar go, then you can battle for a spot. You can use the next coming years learning about the job and what it takes to fill the shoes of Charlie Dent, and the political landscape and good will he has built over time.


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