Category Archives: US House PA-6

Constituent has issues with ‘both’ Ryan Costellos

Letter from Luke Bauerlein, Phoenixville, in The Pottstown Mercury, 9/16/17

Open Letter to “both” of the Ryan Costellos currently serving District 6 of Pennsylvania:

On a past Tuesday night I had the honor of being selected to join one of Congressman Costello’s telephone town halls. As an independent voter and thinker, I was curious to hear the congressman’s thoughts on DACA and how he would approach a legislative solution from his perspective as a self-described moderate.

Imagine my surprise to find there was more than one Ryan Costello on the call! Unfortunately for the congressman, this next part comes with a spoiler alert: of the two versions of Congressman Costello I encountered on September 5, 2017, there is only one version I found to be electable come 2018.

The first version of the congressman I heard that night, and the one that most often comes through in his public newsletter, spoke accurately about the unconstitutionality of DACA but also with compassion about the urgency needed from Congress to develop a bi-partisan, legislative solution to our immigration crisis. I was impressed.

Unfortunately, there was another version of the congressman that appeared. This version spoke vaguely about the “toxicity” of our current political environment and then called out two of his constituents by name on the call – Nathaniel S. and Claire W. Their offense? Having published letters to the editor in local newspapers that were critical of the congressman. Without providing additional context, he then proceeded to say that his Berks County office would be closed due to a protest action being planned by a group he said could be labeled as “alt-left.”

Needless to say, this is not the type of behavior I expect from my elected representative….

keep reading at The Pottstown Mercury

A response to Rep. Costello’s recent Op/Ed

by Concerned Citizens Action Group PA-06, Times of Chester County, Aug 25th, 2017

The following is an open letter to U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello (R-6):

Dear Representative Ryan Costello,

Thank you for making a public statement about Charlottesville (Op/ed: Hate is a dangerous thing in The Times of Chester County). We need to talk about it. Staying silent and pretending it didn’t happen is not an option. You defined hate as “a personal decision to decide to be intolerant and cruel toward another individual or group of individuals based on another’s skin color, religion, gender, ethnicity, or other similar type characteristic,” and we agree. The counter-protesters were not a “hate-group” based on your definition.

The only thing the counter-protesters opposed were those who hate. The counter-protesters didn’t care about race, religion or gender. They were there to oppose the hateful ones, again, as per your definition. There were a group of people chanting “Jews will not replace us,” which is a Neo-Nazi ideology. There were white supremacists and KKK members who want all people of color to leave the country, or worse. Those are the real hateful people. The people who opposed them were not hateful. They were heroes, they came unarmed to oppose hate. Heather Heyer, who was killed during the protest is a hero. She came unarmed, to support the people who had hate directed against them even if she wasn’t a target of their hate. She gave her life for the cause. Please use her name when you speak.

It’s not a false debate over who is to blame here. There is no organized “alt-left.” That’s a term made-up by the president to make it seem like there are equivalent hate groups on the left who are analogous to the self-described “alt-right.” Are there some people on the left whose tactics of fighting hate are distasteful? Sure, many of us agree that Antifa goes over the line sometimes. But remember, they don’t hate a person based on their physical characteristics or religion. They fight against white supremacists, the KKK and Neo-Nazis because they are hate groups….

keep reading at Concerned Citizens Action Group PA-06

Perplexed by Costello concern

letter, Daily Local News, 8/5/17 (letters are not online at the Daily Local)

I was somewhat perplexed by the article “Costello talks of security concerns” (Daily Local, July 23).

Rep. Costello (R-PA 6) is quoted as saying that those trying to get him to attend a town hall meeting with constituents earlier this year “actually were creating a potential trap for me so people would be able to shoot at me.”

Did he mean 1) that he thinks the organizers were (and perhaps still are) planning to assassinate him? Or 2) that he worries about appearing at a public event that could also be attended by unstable people who have guns?

I have attended some of the rallies outside his office, calling for him to act on issues like supporting Medicare and opposing Trumpcare; and I have to say, hypothesis 1) seems to me absurd. The people who organize and attend those rallies are not deranged and are not violent, quite the contrary.

Hypothesis 2) seems more plausible. When Rep. Costello has appeared among constituents outside his office on Market St.–which is a good thing to do–it has been without advance notice; and the town hall he has held was inside the Courthouse, with security screening. That is not an irrational decision, given the attack in a public venue on former congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) and those around her. Even the most pro-gun members of Congress do not seem eager to allow members of the public to bring guns into the Capitol building.

I have often noticed that the shades on Rep. Costello’s office windows are drawn. His staff have said that is because they fear papers on their desks being seen from outside, but that’s hard to understand, as his windows are one floor above ground level. Perhaps the real fear is being shot at from outside?

If Rep. Costello and his staff are really worried about the dangers posed by unstable people who should not have access to guns, can we expect him to oppose bills now before Congress that would make it easier for people to carry concealed guns, to equip weapons with silencers, and to bring firearms into public schools?

We’ll see, but it’s hard to be optimistic, since Rep. Costello recently voted for HR 1181, to allow gun purchase by almost 200,000 veterans who currently are prevented from buying guns by action of Veterans Administration medical professionals under the National Instant Background Check system.

Still, Rep. Costello likes to represent himself as a moderate representing a “purple” district, and perhaps his security concerns will give him a chance to distance himself from the NRA and to show that he has everyone’s security at heart, not just his own.

Nathaniel Smith
West Chester

EMILY’s List puts Reps. Costello, Meehan, Smucker ‘on notice’ for records on women’s issues

By Michael Rellahan, Daily Local News, 7/30/17

The news that a national organization dedicated to supporting female candidates who support pro-abortion positions has targeted U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello for defeat in the 2018 election came as no surprise to members of his campaign.

But the response offered was to call out the candidate that EMILY’s List has endorsed for the seat, Democrat Chrissy Houlahan for not taking public positions of the issues that the group attacked Costello for.

Last week, EMILY’s List announced that it is putting “on notice” 50 Republican candidates for the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate for having taken what it called “appallingly anti-woman, anti-family records.” The group promised to help defeat the incumbents — who include all three of the House members who represent districts in Chester County, in the 2018 midterm elections.

The effort, explained Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List, “is a targeted opposition program. This group of Republicans has been particularly bad at supporting women and their families, not least with votes to defund Planned Parenthood.”…

keep reading at Daily Local News