Sunday, December 23, 2007

Chris Hackett responds

Hackett has been taking some flak in this forum and in a letter to the editor published by the Times-Leader on December 2nd about his company's sponsorship of the Wilkes University speaker series that recently hosted Mexican President Vicente Fox.

His response was published by the TL December 16th:

Dear Editor,

A recent letter to the editor (Sunday, December 2nd ) criticized my company for supporting the Wilkes University Outstanding Leaders Forum.

I’m proud of our support for the Wilkes University Forum, which has hosted such fine speakers as General Colin Powell and Mayor Rudy Giuliani in previous two years. While Forum sponsors like my company have no input in the selection of speakers, this year’s lecture was given by former Mexican President Vicente Fox, and because I strongly disagree with his immigration policies, I chose to register my protest.

Regarding U.S. immigration policy, I believe in what I call “high fences and wide gates” as the basis for a sound approach to our current challenge. As a descendant of Irish immigrants who came here legally, I greatly admire immigrants and America’s immigrant traditions. But in order for immigration to work, and for the rule of law to be respected, we must ensure that all immigration is done legally, and we must stop illegal immigration. I want our borders secure and legal immigration kept at levels that supports the continued growth and prosperity of America. I can understand why people from all over the world want to become Americans. If I lived anywhere else in the world I would come here too - legally. I believe that beyond immediately securing our borders, we need to fully enforce the immigration laws we have and never again go down the failed path of amnesty.

What’s ironic about the former Mexican President is that at the same time he did next to nothing to prevent Mexican citizens from illegally crossing our borders, he enforced very strict domestic immigration policies in Mexico. Mexican internal immigration policies include imprisoning or deporting violators, and banning even legal immigrants from many jobs. I would say the hypocrisy of President Fox is in itself worthy of protest.

Chris Hackett

He also sent me a longer explanation:

Dear Editor,

A recent letter to the editor (Sunday, December 2nd) criticized my company for supporting the Wilkes University Outstanding Leaders Forum. OneSource has supported the Wilkes University Forum since they started with General Colin Powell two years ago. The speaker last year was Americas’ Mayor Rudy Giuliani and I was pleased to attended the dinner and lecture.

We do not have any input into what speakers are selected and nor was I aware of who the speaker was prior to making a commitment. Didn't seem to be an issue given the prior selections! And the reason I attended the protest this year rather than the lecture is because of my profound disagreement with former Mexican President Vincente Fox.

I use the metaphor of “high fences and wide gates” to describe my solution to the current illegal immigrant crisis. As a descendant of immigrants who came here legally, I want secure borders and legal immigration at rational levels that allow for assimilation to maintain our unique American culture. I can understand why people from all over the world want to become Americans. And if I lived anywhere else in the world I would come here too - legally.

Mr. Fox calls people like me “xenophobes” for opposing an illegal immigration invasion from the south, but for his country he has a completely different standard. Under Mexican immigration law, which is certainly the toughest on the continent, visitors and immigrants must be able to pay their own way, be of good character and have no criminal record.

Anyone who violates immigration law is imprisoned or deported and those who aid in illegal immigration are sent to prison. These seem like reasonable measures to most of us, but Mr. Fox would like to export his troubles here rather than fix his own economy so that his people aren’t literally dying to come north to the U.S.

The government of Mexico also works hard to maintain a record of each visitor and their visa status. (If we did this here could we have prevented 9/11?) Even legal aliens in Mexico are banned from running for office and barred from many jobs even though foreign-born Mexicans are less than 0.5% of Mexico’s 105 million people. Arnold Schwarzenegger could not run for Governor and may not even be permitted to be a fireman in Mexico.

If the United States, with 13% of our population foreign-born, adopted such statutes, former President Fox would no doubt denounce it as a manifestation of American racism and bigotry. This kind of name-calling is the last defense of the indefensible policy of open borders.
A variation on Mexican immigration policy that was recently suggested by Judge Correale Stevens and would be welcome by most Americans is that federal, local and municipal police cooperate with federal immigration authorities to assist in the arrest of illegal immigrants. Mexico prevents repeat offenders by imprisoning for up to 10 years foreigners who are deported from Mexico and attempt to re-enter the country without authorization.

I believe that beyond securing our border immediately, we simply need to enforce the immigration laws we have and never again go down the failed path of amnesty.


Anonymous said...

"The dog ate my homework".

" honest officer I didn't realize how fast I was going".

" I assumed we would be sponsoring people like Powell or Rudy".

The lame excuse Hall of Fame, Hackett had no idea that "El Presidente" would be coming to Wilkes, just a bit of serendipity I guess.

Imagine how excited the Hackett camp must have ben when they realized that the opportunity to make some political hay had fallen into their laps.

Hypocrisy is nothing new in politics, this however has raised (or lowered) the bar substantially.

Criticize the guest (one you invited & paid to come) for being a hypocrite, while standing with people who have genuine disagreements with the guest.

Now that's world class hypocrisy.

One question for Mr. Hackett, if the idea of running for congress had not come to you, would you have still been in the street protesting, or would you be seated comfortably inside wth the rest of the audience?

Merry & Happy.


Anonymous said...

Hypocracy, like saying you're conservative and giving money to libs?

You should be the last to criticize.

Anonymous said...

The topic here is Hackett's opportunistic hypocrisy.

He may have stumbled onto something here though, sponsor a bunch of kooks, and make himself available for the photo-op while protesting their appearence. BRILLIANT!!!

My question still stands, absent Hackett's interest in the congressional seat, would he have been sharing cocktails with "El Presidente", or outside with the genuine protestors?

Inquiring minds want to know.


Anonymous said...

To answer your question KAR, I would say he would still have been protesting, because Hackett is a consistent conservative, who works to better the community he lives in.

The only hypocrisy here is your own for not being intellectually honest in your evaluation of his explanation. You ignore what he says, and try to make up your own imagined reality, because it fits what you want to try to make him say.

You can have your dream world, cause were not buying it.

Anonymous said...

Better his community?????
Give me one example. Seriously. I don't ever see him in the papers being a heavy hitter for charity. I don't see where he's ever done anything except create part time jobs.
Is being the co-chairman of a soon to be bankrupt Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce helping the community? Is his support of the lead commissioner who is bankrupting the county helping the community???
I'm serious here. Give me an example. Please. I want to believe!!!!
Merry Christmas

Anonymous said...


Welcome back, I've missed your humorless brand of criticism immensely. Hackett's explanation doesn't, to me, ring true.

I find it hard to believe that he had no idea of who Wilkes was bringing in to speak.

But let's say for the sake of this discussion, that he only learned when the public learned. Why not remove his company's support for the visit?

I mean if he was really distressed about "El Presidente's" visit, he could have done a lot of things behind the scenes to register his annoyance, and remove his company's name from the event.

But he chose to put himself on the sidewalk with people who were genuinely concerned about the issue,and not merely trying to glom some publicity.

If anytrhing, those genuine protestors should feel used & abused by Hackett & his campaign.

Has Hackett asked Wilkes to give him some sort of "heads up" if they decide to bring in any other controversial figures?

Scott, with all due respect, I doubt Hackett would have been with the genuine protestors, rather he probably would be clinking glasses with "El Presidente".

Oh, Bob Kelly, good observations about Hackett & his circle of friends, don't hold your breath waiting for any clarification.

tis the season...

Anonymous said...

Hey Kar,

I heard that Charlie Rangel is going to be the next speaker and he will be riding into town on a Jazzy.

Happy Kwanza

Anonymous said...

Good one anon, I actually laughed out loud. I appreciate a good sense of humor, take lessons Scott.

You better tell Hackett to get his name off the program, we all know what a lightning rod Charlie is.

Have a happy.

Anonymous said...


Your problem is you only understand in your face (and sometimes tasteless) humor...

You miss the subtle, clever stuff.

Anon 3:17 was actaully slamming your candidate, Meuser, for his donations to Charlie "use taxpayer money to name things after myself" Rangel, and you totally missed it!

Even Nightline recognizes that conservatives don't give money to Rangle!

Anonymous said...

Scott- where is the outrage for hackett. I know you support him but he gave money ($5,000) to Skrepnak (Luzerne county the most corrupt and incompetent county leadership in the state)for a 1.2 million dollar contract. This was a direct benefit to him and his company. I don't see what Meuser got for his donation? Please enlighten me.

Unknown said...

Gort- hackett is lying. For the record I support anybody but hackett. My company was approached by wilkes 5 months before the event and we were told who was speaking. My boss said no. He supported General Powell but he would not pay to have Fox come to America. Hackett is lying he could have said no and he was told before hand who was speaking. Plain and simple he screwed up. He committed to the speaker months before when he was not thinking like a politician. He should have withdrawn his support and committed to something else. When his crack team (Maderia) realized how bad this was they had to come up with a way to hide it. They protested and figured this would cover up the fact that they sponsored this event. Think about it- the best place to hide is in plain sight. Nobody including myself would beleive a person that is protesting would be sponsoring. If hackett wanted to come clean he should have told the reporter from the times leader that he was protesting and sponsoring. Don't think for a minute that the reporter would have not run that. This is a BS excuse and no way is he going to try and spin this. You screwed up Chris.

Anonymous said...

Bring some credibility to your comment - who do you work for and did your company support Rudy as well as Powell?

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the heads up on the humor, I completely missed it. You should write comedy.

I would put the "rolling eyes" thingy here if I could.

If it's not too late Scott, ask Santa for a sense of humor.

I will re-state my skepticism concerning Hackett's remarks about knowing, or not knowing who would be on the speaking series.

But even giving him the benefit of the doubt, when he learned, apparently at the last minute, he could have demanded that Wilkes refund his conpany's portion of the sponsorship.

Maybe he could have donated the money to groups that are fighting against illegal immigration, given that he is so committed to the cause, that would have made sense, but he didn't do that, he took the photo-op.

It seems strange that an individual
who has so much truble locating any republican candidates, or causes to donate time or money to, has both for Skrep & "El Presidente".

Peace on earth.

Anonymous said...

Okay, just as I thought. I don't know if it's because KAR and Scott are busy arguing with each other but not one person answered my question. Please see above post for further details.
PLEASE, just one example.

Unknown said...

Anon- My boss did not support Rudy- he is a big fan of Powell. i have made my feelings be known- Anybody but Hackett- he is lying about this and you are simply trying to help him spin this. I admire the loyalty but your boy screwed up big time.

Anonymous said...

Hackett thinks he is more clever than the rest of us .. He never supported any political campaigns until he set his sights on the 10th.. His temp workers are paid $8.50 per hour / no benefits .. I have worked with them .. a scarey bunch.. The tatoo & body piercing crowd. Hackett will say what ever you want to hear... The combination of Hackett pandering and Maderia the nasty nut case will create an interesting downward spiral for the R's.. The Hackett campaign is causing scars that cannot be healed after the primary..

Swiderski is another freakin joke .. I heard you can find his name in bankruptcy filings ? Stay tuned ..

These two goofs do nothing but split support.

Too bad , we need a unified front to have any chance of beating Carney ....

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:42,

How about putting your name to those accusations you so glibly throw around.

All three of those guys are real people, and if anyone is being, it's people like you with your nameless, baseless accusations.

Anonymous said...

hackett & meuser are disgraceful to say the least. just think, madeira sold his soul for a bowl of porridge,
and understand he closed up his chiropractic practice and is nowhere to be found. rumor has it hackett now has him out in the boon docks shaking the bushes. if this gets serious for chris on the spring, david will be thrown over the side as the big boys roll in from dc.

West Side Republican said...

OK, people. It's either going to be Hackett or Meuser winning this race. Right now, I'd bet on Meuser. However, he will not be Carney. I can tell you I am writing in someone other than the people running. The candidates on the Republican are lackluster and carpetbaggers. They don't energize the typical voter. Sorry Kar!

Anonymous said...

West Side, who are you writing in?? Enlighten us as to who the better choice is.

West Side Republican said...

My write-in is a protest vote. Maybe I'll vote for Ely if he gets on the ballot. There are plenty of R's in the 10th that are better than our current choices, but are currently deeply involved in other offices or lost the drive.

Anonymous said...

gordie- word is that hackett already fired his guys to go with a special interest group out of Washington.

West side- Carney is a joke. he talks like a republican but votes like a liberal. 3 to 2 edge in Republicans to Dems and a very big Presidential year will bring out the votes. Carney will not be easy, I agree but if republicans come out the numbers just don't add up for Carney. He won last time because he ran as an outsider without a blemished record. He is not connecting with the people in the district.

Anonymous said...

West Side Republican,

No need to apologize, vote your conscience, but I have to say that these "protest" votes leave me scratching my head.

Meuser is pro-life,has signed a no tax increase pledge,supports 2nd amendment rights,believes in a smaller less intrusive government, and yet you find him lacking, I don't get it.

It begs the question; who are you waiting for? Who do you think will come galloping in on a white horse? What is it that you want in a candidate?

Electability, is, in my humble opinion, a very important ingredient in a candidate, Dan Meuser is electable.

Anonymous said...


I am sure that Dan Meuser wants a smaller government. Dan Meuser wants to let the free market decide...What a joke. Regardless of the value that people get from his products, that market would not be possible without government paying the tab.

Hackett isn't much better. He's running because he realized he can't compete with larger staffing firms in the country. The county deal is just a cash cow to keep him afloat.

Swiderski just doesn't have the resources to make a dent. He means well but he should spend more time with his family.

Personally, I'd rather a DINO like Carney in office than a RINO like Meuser.

Anonymous said...

Dan Meuser believes in a less intrusive government, one that creates an environment where business ventures, new & established, can grow and thrive.

Dan is the only candidate in this race, on either side, who has presided over business growth.

Dan has actually created jobs, full time permanent jobs, jobs with benefits.

He understands the obstacles that government can place in the way of business, and how these obstacles can stunt the growth of a successful business.

He will work to create an environment that is conducive to job creation.

RINO/DINO , vote your conscience, but if you are a true republican, a true conservative, I don't see how you could even consider a vote for Carney.

Eddy, the Angry Republican said...


You can hear about Swiderski's bankruptcy filing right from the horse's mouth. Here's what he posted on westsider's blog:

Against the wishes of my campaign committee, I wish to disclose to you my faults. The voters have a right to know the people who want to represent them. I am making it aware to all of you that I, like any other human being, am not perfect. What we normally have in campaigns are people who try to pretend to be perfect in all respects. I, as an average citizen and a Christian, do not believe in pretending to be someone who I am not. Such a feat can only lead to distrust.

Although 2006 started out well for my firm, it turned out to be a financially terrible year for my business when our area experienced flooding that was not expected. Many small businesses were impacted by this flood and had to close. I lost 43% of my business and had to reorganize. Part of the reorganization plan required that my company file for bankruptcy protection and close the company. Any and all existing clients were transferred to a new enterprise owned by me. I am letting the truth be known about this event because media spin may try to make me look like an incompetent accountant when this is not the case. Certainly, I know how to pay my bills on time, but when you lose 43% of your business there is no way to keep your company thriving. After losing such business, there just simply wasn’t enough revenue to meet business obligations.

There are many reasons for filing for bankruptcy other than financial mismanagement. One such reason is to prevent a law suit. Another reason is to allow a small business owner a “fresh start” due to mishandling of money. My situation was due to neither. I made the mistake of opening a small business out of necessity with very little capital (My wife took ill and I was laid off from my job while taking a leave of absence from work. My employer let me go, and I was denied unemployment. With no money coming in, I had to do something to make money, so I took whatever money I had left - $300 - and advertised that I did tax preparation). As the business grew, I kept investing whatever little money was left over to keep growing the business. After the flood of 2006 came, over half of my receivables became uncollectible. At the same time, my home had flood damage (I don’t live in a flood plain, so I was never required to have flood insurance, and my homeowners’ insurance didn’t cover the damage. I had to spend close to $10,000 replacing appliances, repairing my foundation, and taking care of mold remediation.).

Certainly, my company had financial obligations to meet, but when your revenue drops to the point that you can no longer meet those obligations, you have to cut back on costs to make an honest attempt at making those payments. A loss of 43% of revenue makes it difficult to do so. I had no other choice but to close that business. I live very modestly, so there wasn’t much room to cut back costs. My home is nothing to brag about, my wife and I don’t drive luxury cars, and my only school-age child goes to public school.

I am not proud of having to make the decision to close my company, but in order to protect whatever assets I had worked hard to earn I had no other choice. Any small business owner in my position would have made the same choice. A big business, however, can take a big hit and move on. Throughout this short period of time – even though money was tight - I still was able to and continue to make my personal monthly obligations on time.

Despite the fact that I had a horrible year in 2006, my clients still trust me to manage their books. Two of Donald Trump’s businesses filed for bankruptcy within the last ten years, and people continue to do business with him. Milton Hershey failed at business six times before starting his famous chocolate enterprise. Throughout his bad years, he had investors who believed in his ideas. People still shop at Kmart. The failure of a small business due to uncontrollable circumstances should not deter the owner from representing other small business owners in Congress. Rather, my experience is nothing more than a perfect example of the hardship of small business ownership which relates me more to the common entrepreneur in the 10th congressional district. If anyone should represent small business owners in government, it should be someone who can relate to them.

I have been open and honest with my clients about this incident, and I feel that the voters deserve to know the truth as well from the source. Part of my decision to run for is so that I can help prevent the loss of other small businesses.

December 27, 2007 5:08 PM

Anonymous said...

A sad commentary indeed.

I believe I mentioned that I felt he, Swiderski, was in over his head when he first announced.

Clearly he was/is both financially, and from the standpoint of experience.

Free unsolicited advice Paul, do with it what you will.

Get out of this race, get your financial house in order, and devote your full attention to supporting that young & growing family of yours.

As to those who initially whispered in this young, impressionable, obviously naive young man's ear, that he should pursue this in the first place...shame on you.

I cannot prove this, but I'd be willing to bet my house that Dave Maderia, or some of his underlings had a role in this.

A question for Dave. If you wanted this seat so badly,why didn't you grow a set of nuts and run yourself?

Was the sting of being rebuked by local voters that traumatic?


Anonymous said...

Don't always agree with KAR but he is right on this one. Paul S. concentrate on your family. I admire you for going for it but don't risk your families future. You are still a young man and plenty of time to get involved. Barletta is still in debt to the tune of $150,000 and maderia I hear still owes alot of money. Do what your heart tells you but don't ever risk your families future. Mueser and Hackett have the money but they built it up during there 30's and 40's. Neither of them were wealthy to start with, both middle class guys who worked hard and produced something. Best of luck in whatever you decide.

Anonymous said...

I want to throw up. All these bums make me sick. Madeira was the only guy who had recognition and could win this. Look at how how disgraced himself by touting a real deceiver like this puke hackett