A Pennsylvania Democratic House candidate on Tuesday admitted to helping a third Tea Party candidate get on the ballot who he hopes will siphon votes away from his Republican opponent.He should be "rewarded" with a resounding defeat for such duplicity.
Bryan Lentz, the Democratic nominee running for the seat being vacated by Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), said that he knew that volunteers from his campaign helped Tea Party candidate Jim Schneller.
"If somebody's already made the decision to run, I didn't think that 'helping' with the process of signature petitions was improper," Lentz told told the Delaware County Daily Times editorial board in an interview.
Republicans have accused Democrats of helping set up Tea Party candidates as spoilers in several House and Senate races around the country. Democrats face a tough political environment this fall, when they are trying to maintain their congressional majorities against a GOP wave spurred in part by Tea Party groups.
Lentz said he could not remember when he learned of his volunteers' work on behalf of Schneller, but he said "I didn't think it was a bad thing for the process or for my candidacy."
Republican nominee Pat Meehan and Lentz are locked in a tight race, The Hill's 2010 Midterm Poll last week showed last week that Meehan is narrowly leading Lentz 40-39 percent.
Meehan's campaign responded to the Lentz's claim in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
"It's about time Bryan Lentz would admit what the media has been reporting on for months," said Meehan campaign manager Bryan Kendro. "Despite his efforts to fool voters about his role in supporting Schneller's candidacy, he was forced to come clean, and he should apologize for not being forthright."
For months tea partiers have wanted nothing to do with this fraudulent candidate.
For about a day, Jim Schneller of Wayne basked in the glow of having gathered 7,900 signatures to get his name on the ballot as an independent, tea-party-minded candidate for Congress.The shame is Lentz has a military background and seems to be a decent guy.
But almost as soon as he filed the papers in Harrisburg, Republicans called his signature-gathering efforts a sham orchestrated by Democrats, tea-party activists implored him to quit the race, and Democrats largely pretended not to know him.
Schneller, 54, whose conservative views could draw votes from GOP nominee Patrick Meehan, said he did not know whether Democrats had conspired to get him on the ballot. Democratic activists, including at least one campaign worker for party nominee Bryan Lentz, gathered some 4,800 of the signatures on Schneller's petitions, according to a count by Meehan's campaign.
Until now. Is the thirst for power so strong you have to sacrifice your dignity and credibility like this?
Here's Patrick Meehan website.