For the good of Pa., and the country, Rep. Scott Perry must resign | Monday Morning Coffee

January 25, 2021 7:08 am

Congressman Scott Perry, R-10th District, answers a question at a Hummelstown public meeting with constituents on July 30th, 2019 (Capital-Star photo).

Good Monday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

In a blockbuster report on Saturday, the New York Times revealed that U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-10th District, played a “key role” in former President Donald Trump’s abortive plot to oust his acting attorney general and replace him with one more sympathetic to his fact-free, and debunked, claims that the 2020 election had been stolen from him.

The revelations, on their own, are appalling enough. Perry should resign because of them, or face expulsion proceedings if he does not. But horrifyingly — and utterly unsurprisingly — they’re not Perry’s first foray into the electoral fever swamp.

Rather, they’re just one more domino in a series of deeply undemocratic actions by the York County Republican that led directly to the sacking of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 by a marauding band of pro-Trump loyalists and anti-government extremists bent on perpetrating an unconstitutional and illegal coup d’etat.

And just like every other Republican who’s thrown in with TrumpPerry’s justifications are as cynical as they are destructive. And they only bolster the case for his exit.

Perry, a former state House member, won re-election to a fifth term last fall under the same mail-in ballot ground rules that Trump and his allies have falsely claimed had made the election susceptible to widespread fraud.

To date, neither Perry, nor any other successful GOP candidate, have objected to the results of their own races at the state or federal level and and sought to have the results set aside.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 06: A pro-Trump mob breaks into the U.S. Capitol on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Instead, every day since then, Perry, a veteran who swore an oath to uphold the state and federal constitutions, has cynically collaborated with other pro-Trump Republicans on Capitol Hill to reverse the will of the voters in his home state, and those other battleground states that delivered the White House for President Joe Biden.

Consider the evidence.

Perry and seven other Keystone State Republicans (there are nine in all for Pennsylvania) supported a lawsuit, brought by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-16th Districtarguing that Pennsylvania’s mail-in balloting law was unconstitutional.

Had it been successful, the action before the U.S. Supreme Court would have set aside the 2.5 million ballots that Pennsylvania voters cast in the election — most of them by Democrats who supported Biden, the Associated Press reported.

Perry also was among the Republican members of the state’s Capitol Hill delegation who threw in with a groundless lawsuitbrought by Texas’ attorney general, seeking to invalidate the election results in four battleground states, including Pennsylvania.

Reps. Mike Kelly (left) and Scott Perry (right).

Finally, in those tragic hours after the Capitol attack, Perry stuck to his guns and voted against certifying Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes for Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Perry claimed he was only obeying the will of Republicans in the General Assembly, who’d asked him to do so.

As I’ve written previously, that was nonsenseU.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.opposed the objectionsPerry was free to do the same. Instead, he put Trump ahead of country and state.

Perry’s objections to the certification of electoral college results were enough for his hometown York Dispatch’s editorial board to call for his resignation in a persuasively written editorial published on the morning after American democracy was shaken to its foundations by the violence at the Capitol.

Healthy partisanship is one thing. People of goodwill will disagree on the best policies and courses of action for the government to take as the American Experiment rolls forward.

As an elected member of Congress, Perry is charged with safeguarding and protecting the interests of the roughly 700,000 people who live in the 10th District — not just that portion that agrees with him, and not only those who voted for him, and most certainly not those of Trump’s.

But the facts are clear: Perry does not believe the election was legitimate. And he joined, again and again, in efforts to disenfranchise millions of voters in his home state, and hundreds of thousands in his own district.

The residents of the 10th Congressional District, and the people of Pennsylvania, deserve a member of Congress who will work tirelessly on their behalf of all of them — not the base, not the former renter in the White House. The sooner that Perry gets out of the way to allow that person to take over, the better.

Pennsylvania State Capitol Building. (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller.)

Our Stuff.
Cassie Miller
 leads our coverage this morning with a breakdown of Pennsylvania’s vaccine providers. That’s this week’s edition of The Numbers Racket.

LGBTQ groups in the Philadelphia area are starting to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine, our partners at the Philadelphia Gay News report.

Philadelphia has launched a grant program for gyms and restaurants hit by the pandemic. Our partners at the Philadelphia Tribune talk to grateful business owners.

On our Commentary Page this morning, opinion regular DIck Polman says ‘Goodbye, MAGA, hello MGWA.’ And don’t worry, we’re not headed for a socialist apocalypse with Joe Biden in the White House, Mansfield University political scientist Jonathan Rothermel writes.

En la Estrella-Capital, la revisión de inmigración de Joe Biden abriría una puerta a la ciudadanía para 11M personas, por Ariana Figueroa.

(Image via UPMC/Pittsburgh City Paper)

Thousands of nursing home residents and staff in Pennsylvania and New Jersey still haven’t received COVID-19 vaccinations, the Inquirer reports.
Gun and ammo sales surged in 2020, the Post-Gazette reports.
Pennsylvania’s bear population has dropped sharplyPennLive reports. But officials say it’s still at ‘acceptable’ levels.
Clergy and community leaders gathered Sunday in Allentown for a prayer service remembering COVID-19 victims and to bless a new vaccine site, the Morning Call reports.
Now that he’s in the majorityU.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., is helping to push the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package over the finish line, the Citizens-Voice reports.
The York Daily Record has the latest on efforts to extend Pennsylvania’s eviction ban.

Here’s your #Harrisburg Instagram of the Day:


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A new political action committee in Montgomery County aims to keep kids in school amid the pandemic, WHYY-FM reports.
Thousands of drug and alcohol recovery sites statewide are operating without oversight, Spotlight PA reports (via WITF-FM).
Erie’s mass transit service has been hammered by the pandemic, GoErie reports.
Lawmakers nationwide, including Pennsylvania, are moving to strip governors’ emergency powers, reports.
PoliticsPA runs down last week’s winners and losers 
in state politics.
Former White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders is expected to launch a gubernatorial bid in Arkansas today, Politico reports.

What Goes On.
The House and Senate both come back in at 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively, today for a full week of voting sessions. There’s also a full slate of committee meetings.

9 a.m, G50 Irvis: 
Commerce Committee
11 a.m., 205 Ryan: Liquor Control Committee
Call of the Chair, 140 MC: Appropriations Committee
Call of the Chair, G50 Irvis: Health Committee
Call of the Chair, 205 Ryan: Human Services Committee

11:30 a., Senate Chamber: 
Transportation Committee
Off the Floor: Urban Affairs & Housing Committee
Off the Floor: Judiciary Committee

You Say It’s Your Birthday.
Belated best wishes go out to former Pa. House candidate Brittney Rodas, who celebrated on Sunday.

Heavy Rotation.
Here’s some new music from Canadian indie rockers Kiwi Jr. It’s ‘Cooler Returns,’ from their new LP of the same name.

Monday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl 
scored with one second left in the third period, breaking a tie, and powering the Oilers past the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 on Sunday night.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.