“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…”
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 for local, state and federal candidates was held in a publicly-funded local school. As I am not able to write every word live, it is necessary that I record such events so that I may accurately transcribe what is said.
This was an especially important service to perform this evening, 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 would be a widely-attended debate, so there was great pressure for him to make a showing. Judging by what happened later in the evening, as a condition for Tiberi’s long-awaited participation in the debates 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 an event rule that all involved 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.
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 they would 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. And all of them proceeded to say and do nothing, as if the elephant in the room–the burning Constitution–was to be defended at all costs, but in the meantime, it would just have to burn.
Finally, at the end of the program when the federal congressional candidates were introduced, Democratic challenger David Robinson was the only one to appear. Tiberi on the other hand, remained in the hallway and sent word to the organizers reminding them they promised to prohibit the use of any recording devises. As a result, I was told from the podium that I must either put away my recording equipment or I would be asked to leave the room. I was informed that without my compliance to these evidently perfectly reasonable rules, Pat Tiberi would leave without even addressing his constituents.
I (foolishly?) relented, put my video recorder away, and watched helplessly as Tiberi acted shocked–shocked! that Robinson would insinuate that over the past eight years, Tiberi had any role whatsoever in our current economic crisis.
Tiberi alleged it was those Democrats that were to blame. He blamed “entitlements” for our economic woes.
Financial year 2009:
$740,000,000,000,000.00 ($740 billion)
Social Security and Medicare
$10,700,000,000,000.00 ($10.7 billion)
Yeah. The collapse probably didn’t have anything to do with the war. Appropriations which Tiberi never voted against…except just 90 days after advocating for a 100-year war, Tiberi did manage to abstain from voting on the
It was just those darned elderly and kids who just think they need healthcare. If you took the savings of that expenditure and invested it into defense where it obviously would have been better spent anyway, that savings would keep the US from spending more on Military expenditures than every other nation on earth.
Then again. That’s right. It wouldn’t. Not even close.
So while I had planned to transcribe what was said, I can only report that I was, in effect, forbidden to do that. This is particularly disturbing for me because one of the rules that I’ve given to those who wished to report for The Liberty Voice is the journalist must act as a recorder primarily and thus must never be a part of his/her own story. Unfortunately, the only part of the story that I can relate is what I myself experienced.
If I had been allowed to do my job, I probably would have used his words to illustrate how he says one thing here at home, but votes a completely different way back in Washington DC.
On the other hand, we know that actions speak louder than words. The question is, if Pat Tiberi would act to abridge the freedom of the press here at home, can he really be trusted to defend it when he goes back to Washington DC? Furthermore, if Tiberi won’t honor the role of the free press to protect our republic, can he be trusted to defend any of our Constitutional protections?
After studying his voting record and living through that mockery of democratic exercize, my answer is an unwavering no.
Long live the free and independent press–that is, unless you are so unfortunate to live in “our Congressman” Pat Tiberi’s twelfth Congressional District in the State of Ohio.