The last we heard from Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA), he gave a soliloquy on how “minorities” and “defectives” didn’t qualify as “average, good Americans.” Apparently, neither do Kanjorski’s constituents. Challenged by a local radio show to schedule town-hall meetings, Kanjorski told them he didn’t feel like talking with “nuts”:
Last week the 13-term Democrat from Nanticoke was criticized and attacked for his statements about minorities and “defective” people. On Thursday, while appearing as a guest on WILK Radio’s “Webster and Nancy Show,” Kanjorski was asked if he was going to hold any public town hall meetings with his constituents.
“We will do everything we can to meet with people, but I’m not going to set myself up for, you know, nuts to hit me with a camera.”
He said often times “people can’t resist changing what you said or taking things out of context.” He said these “snippets” lead to “distortions.”
“I’m not going to arm my opponent with a baseball bat,” Kanjorski said later in the interview.
Kanjorski’s Republican opponent, Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta, leveled criticism against the congressman.
“Paul Kanjorski has been in Congress for 26 years and his response to our region’s 10 percent unemployment rate is to call his constituents ‘nuts’ and to attack the city of Hazleton,” Barletta said. “Do these so-called ‘nuts’ who attend town meetings fall into Kanjorski’s ‘defective people’ category?”
Besides, Barletta points out, Kanjorski has his own track record with cameras and nuts:
Barletta said Kanjorski won’t hold town hall meetings because he is afraid of “nuts to hit me with a camera and ask stupid questions.”
“Kanjorski is the one who paid a man with a camera $10,000 to follow me and my family around for five months in 2008,” Barletta said. “Kanjorski’s campaign manager (Mitchell) admitted this in a Times Leader story in November 2008.”
The voters have every right to expect Kanjorski to meet with them in their district to hold him accountable for his job performance. Whether that means “nuts” who want to take down his responses or just voters who are sick of the big-spending agenda Kanjorski supports, those constituents deserve Kanjorski’s time. If he feels above accountability, then he should find another line of work, preferably with those who share his unique perspective on “defectives” and “minorities.”
However, don’t expect Kanjorski to be the only Milk Carton Democrat in the August recess. He may just be the most vocal — and the most foolish.