Congressman should reconsider

I can only assume Fred Keller’s Guest Column was written before he knew the full extent of the attack on the Congress by Trump supporters, egged on to their attempt to subvert the democratic process by Trump and Congresspeople like Keller, who promoted the false idea that the election was fraudulent and that somehow Vice President Pence could reject electors who didn’t support Trump. Keller and all those in Congress who did this should feel ashamed and should be held partly responsible for the deaths that resulted from this insurrection.

Keller’s attack on the election process in Pennsylvania ignores the fact that mail-in ballots have been used successfully for years in other states. Keller seems to feel that the special circumstances of this election, carried out when people needed to protect themselves from a pandemic, were not relevant. He seems to think that checking signatures is an easy thing. It is hard even for professional handwriting analysts to do this, and in general this has been discredited anyway.

Keller would subvert the clear will of the people of Pennsylvania, whom he claims to serve. One suspects that, like Trump himself, he fears if everyone entitled to vote did vote, no Republicans would ever be elected again. And this despite the efforts of Republicans in all states to gerrymander voting districts in their own interests. Pennsylvania is one of the most egregiously gerrymandered of the states.

If Representative Keller doesn’t have the decency to step down, he should be voted out of office at the earliest opportunity.

Ellen Blais


Congressman needs to follow oath

By any measurement our November election had the greatest citizen participation in our history. In addition after some 50 failed lawsuits, numerous recounts and investigations, it was found to be the most secure.

Due to COVID, states made the act of voting just a little more accessible, something other states and countries have been doing for years. The turnout speaks of its success. Isn’t that something we as the citizens of a representative democracy should be striving for?

While President Trump claims the election was stolen, the truth is his polarizing and divisive actions resulted in many Republicans campaigning actively against his reelection while supporting their party down ballot.

On Wednesday, Jan. 6, Trump incited his base to break into and ransack a symbol of our democracy, the Capitol, the People’s House. Not only did five people die, but it allowed neo-Nazis, white supremacists and some foreign agents access to congressional offices and their contents. Pictures of a noose and the words “hang Mike Pence” can be seen and heard. All statistics show that domestic, not foreign terrorism, is the greater threat.

Yet on the same day, several Pennsylvania Congressmen, including our own, in an unprecedented action (yes, unprecedented; check your history) voted to overturn the state certified election results of three states, including Pennsylvania. Through their words and votes they claimed that the work of thousands of Pennsylvania election workers, following laws passed by a Republican-run state legislature, were involved in a grand conspiracy to overturn the election. Yet they appear satisfied with the results when it came to their own election.

Taking this action so soon after taking their oath of office, I ask them to look in the mirror. They are giving tacit support to what they know in their hearts are lies and half-truths to maintain the support of a misinformed base. Does that, rather than speaking truth to power, conform with their oath to preserve protect and defend our constitution and our system of government?

Kevin Connelly


Congressman’s actions despicable

The recent comments by Mr. Fred Keller concerning voter rights are technically correct.

However, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that, basically, in light of the overwhelming mail-in voter response due to CV19 and the inability of the postal service to deliver on time, that all mail-in voters must be accommodated.

Mr. Keller’s attempt to disenfranchise thousands of Pennsylvania voters is despicable, truly un-American and a blatant attempt on currying favor from Trump. If Mr. Keller was really interested in the people of Pennsylvania, let him introduce legislation to better define the restrictions of mail-in balloting.

Let’s make it more convenient for the thousands of Pennsylvania voters who otherwise would not participate in the electoral process and more acceptable to those who object. Elections in America must be free, verifiable and acceptable for all people.

Ron Kamzelski


Wants to read about visit to Capitol

I’m curious about Edwin Gillmore’s assertion last week that Donald Trump created millions of jobs. Where? Any in Tioga County? How about election irregularities? Did the Tioga County folks (perhaps some of them your neighbors, Ed) who work at all our polling places participate in election fraud?

I wonder if Fred Keller, also featured on last week’s op/ed page, will be having any revised thoughts on how to best “stand up for election integrity.”

Funny how Ed and Fred have the same spiel.

The events of Jan. 6, the immediate defense of those events, and the dearth of intelligent leadership during the four-plus years leading up to those events, are a frightening showcase of abysmal ignorance — top down, bottom up.

The excuses, justifications, back-pedalling and the “I was just there to protect the Constitution and the rule of law” from all the Eds and Freds (and Teds) started almost before that guy put his boots up on Nancy Pelosi’s desk, leaned back, and smiled for the camera.

I hope the Tioga County residents who went to Washington last week will share their stories in this paper.

Gayle Morrow


Keller tried different ransack

How embarrassing. Last week our own U.S. Representative Fred Keller voted to overturn our Pennsylvania election. Think about it. This is coming from a man we elected to represent us. He essentially said that the votes of every single Tioga County voter should not be counted. Of course, he only meant the presidential part. His 70% of Tioga County’s votes were just fine.

In contrast, both of our U.S. Senators Toomey and Casey voted to accept the electoral votes from Pennsylvania. They refused to perpetuate the lie that somehow Pennsylvania’s election was rigged and Biden is not the legitimate winner. These men understand how our democracy works and Keller is obviously in over his head.

Instead of sticking up for our votes he went along with the crowd, seven other GOP House members who also had no regard for their constituents’ votes. As a result, enough people believed the lie and the Capitol was ransacked. Keller tried to ransack the Capitol through parliamentary procedure. What’s the difference?

This one, misguided action shows that Keller has no business representing the people of Tioga County and he needs to resign immediately. He has insulted all of the hard working, dedicated poll workers who certified our Tioga County results while risking their health to work that day. Trying to throw out votes to overturn an election is serious business. Keller is an embarrassment to us all.

Bob Borzok


Writer was tricked

When I was a little boy about four or five years old I actually saw the Easter Bunny. And he was in our own living room.

In the anticipation leading up to Easter Bunny day, my father would sometimes say from his easy chair in an excited voice as he pointed to different places in the room: “There he goes. There he is. Did you see him?” I did not but I really wanted to.

This went on for several days until one day I did see the bunny if only for a moment before he vanished under a chair.

I saw him and with my own eyes. Then on Sunday I found a basket of jelly beans and chocolate — all for me. The Easter Bunny was real because my Dad said so plus I saw him with my own eyes.

Sure, I was tricked, but it was in a harmless way. This year it was not a harmless trick. People were killed.

Without evidence the idea was spread that our elections are rigged. There is fraud everywhere. This election was stolen. And he said it over and over again as often as he could and always in a very excited and convincing voice.

Soon more and more people started saying this because they wanted to believe it might be true. They, too, said it over and over again in their convincing grown-up voices. Soon after that millions of people were saying the same thing. Election fraud everywhere.

After the election when their favorite candidate lost, of course it could only be because of widespread fraud and cheating. It couldn’t be any other way and now there was evidence. The evidence they used to show it must be true was that so many voters already believed it. Fifty million believers couldn’t be wrong.

Loren Nowak


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