Hazleton’s ‘English Only’ Mayor, Lou Barletta, Running For Congress

Lou Barletta, mayor of Hazleton, has been rallied by many anti-immigrant groups in the region to run for congress and he’s decided to do so. He tried previously in 2002 and was defeated by the incumbent.

Hazleton Mayor Runs for Congress – AP
By MICHAEL RUBINKAM –
Feb 7, 2008

HAZLETON, Pa. (AP) — Mayor Lou Barletta, whose local crackdown on illegal immigration made him a national hero among those seeking tighter borders, said Thursday he will try to parlay that celebrity into a seat in Congress.

Barletta announced he will seek the Republican nomination to challenge 12-term Democratic Rep. Paul Kanjorski. He lost to Kanjorski by more than 13 percentage points in 2002, but the mayor’s illegal-immigration stance has raised his profile significantly since then.

Barletta is a darling among many anti-immigrant and white supremacists groups though he generally tries to keep his distance from both. However, if I were him I’d certainly be concerned as to why I was a champion of such groups. His actions as mayor of Hazleton certainly fall right in line with their goals for America.

Game on for national camps
Wednesday, 27 February 2008
By L.A. TARONE
Staff Writer
The general election is still more than eight months away, but the national campaign committees supporting incumbent Democrat U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski and Republican challenger Lou Barletta are sharpening their swords.
The sides traded jabs this week, though the candidates themselves have been largely silent.
The latest barb came Tuesday from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. It claims Barletta was endorsed by David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and it has called on the National Republican Campaign Committee and Barletta to repudiate him.

If you’ve been paying attention to the immigration debate in this country, and especially those of us in the northeast, Lou Barletta is in your vocabulary. Earlier this month Lou announced he’d be running for congress. I don’t know too many of the other local elections around the country, but considering the defeat of many anti-immigrant candidates recently this seems like ‘one last chance’ for the anti-immigrant groups to grab some sort of victory.

The good people of this country have proven they do not buy in to the anti-immigrant rhetoric many have tried to campaign on. This is exactly the platform I expect to see from Lou Barletta. The use of “illegal” as a noun will most likely be healthy in his campaign. I also imaging, like Rick Santorum (mentioned below) he’ll spend time trying to make us believe that migrants are destroying the U.S. by taking all of our resources. He may even use the ‘we’re being invaded’ tactic reminiscent of H.G. Well’s classis ‘War of the Worlds’.

For those not too familiar with Barletta he attempted to pass harsh legislation in Hazleton against undocumented migrants as well as trying to make English the only language available for public services. These types of actions are a slippery slope back to the days most people try to forget, but days we should all remember for fear of their return.

Of course it didn’t take too long for David Duke to support Barletta’s bid and even though Barletta has denied (but took a while to do it) and interest or desire for Duke’s endorsement there’s a reason Duke wants him to win. Everything Barletta uses to promote himself is exactly what a white supremacist would (one that doesn’t want to ‘appear’ racist). Barletta should be a little concerned as to why he’s so loved by the white supremacist crowd. They were always very present at the rallies thrown in his honor which most often focused on immigrant bashing – or Hispanic bashing.

The image below shows a photo from an anti-immigrant rally (pulled from Barletta’s My Space page created by a supporter). While the participants claim they’re not racist or prejudice these rallies often feature signs in Spanish like the one below reading “what part of illegal don’t you understand?”

At a June 3rd rally in Hazleton against undocumented migrants the crowd singled out a Spanish newspaper report, who is a legal citizen, and told him to go home.

On June 3 at a rally in Hazleton supporting Barletta and his stance against illegal immigration, some folks in the crowd yelled at the Hispanic-American editor of a local Spanish-language newspaper, telling him to “leave the country” and “go home.” (link to quote)

Anti-Immigration Rally 1

Here’s Barletta with Rick Santorum another anti-immigrant candidate who was defeated in the last years elections:
BarlettaandSantorum
Here’s what Rick had to say about migrants:

What Not to Legislate – National Review Online
How not to fix our immigration laws.
May 25, 2006 5:43 AM
By Rick Santorum

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote today on a comprehensive immigration-reform bill. With thousands of illegal immigrants rushing across our borders every day, straining every sector of our society, congressional attention to this issue is appropriate and overdue.

Thanks to the level headed people in Pennsylvania ((link) ):

Santorum was defeated 59% to 41% in the 2006 U.S. Senate election by Democratic candidate Bob Casey, Jr. This was the largest margin of defeat for an incumbent Senator since 1980.

Santorum’s stance on immigration mirrors that of Barletta:

Illegal immigration

Santorum opposed the recent Senate proposal that addressed illegal immigration.[citation needed] Instead, Santorum believes that the US should first act to enforce currently existing laws. He has openly stated his strong opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants. He supports the construction of a barrier along the U.S.-Mexican border, an increase in the number of border patrol agents on the border, and the stationing of National Guard troops along the border. He also believes that illegal immigrants should be deported immediately when they commit crimes, and that illegal immigrants should not receive benefits from the government. Finally, the former senator believes that English should be established as the national language in the United States.

Here’s a link to an article titled “Review: Barletta campaign hasn’t made good on $65K bank loan” which covers some issues Barletta’s having with filing his expenses with the FEC. It looks like he’s getting a taste of what migrants go through trying to become citizens or just trying to get in this country legally. If you take time to read his comments about this he seems to feel victimized by a system he doesn’t understand. Well Lou that’s what these migrants are going through. Maybe you can be a little more compassionate to their plight.

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2 thoughts on “Hazleton’s ‘English Only’ Mayor, Lou Barletta, Running For Congress

  1. Citizens of Pennsylvania this Barletta charlatan is not a trustworthy individual. Think of America first and don’t let hate influence your vote. Handing this distric of Pennsylvania to organize crime will ruin your community. Spend some time, researching this clown’s past and you will see what I mean. Google his track record. Then make your choice.

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