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Dems Circulate ‘Sedition Free Pennsylvania’ Legislation on Eve of January 6 Hearing

If you were at the riot at the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021, two Philadelphia Democrats are coming for you.

State Reps. Malcolm Kenyatta and Christopher Rabb are circulating the “Sedition Free Pennsylvania” bill to amend the state constitution and bar people convicted of sedition from holding office or receiving government contracts. Their proposal would also create a new criminal offense, “seditious conspiracy against the commonwealth” and penalties for it.

Kenyatta, who ran against Lt. Gov. John Fetterman U.S. Senate Democratic primary, acknowledged to Delaware Valley Journal the bill is aimed at keeping people out of government who were involved in the January 6 incident. The most obvious target: state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who is the GOP’s nominee for governor. It would also impact Kathy Barnette, who was a Republican contender for the U.S. Senate and lost the nomination to Dr. Mehmet Oz.

The announcement was also timed just ahead of a prime-time hearing by the U.S. House January 6 Committee on Thursday, Kenyatta said.

“Pennsylvania is second in the country in terms of individuals who went to the insurrection” on January 6, Kenyatta said. “Senate candidate Kathy Barnette went to the rally.” And Mastriano “is testifying before the January 6 committee.”

“It was not your typical Capitol tour,” Kenyatta said. “If you were involved with violent sedition against the country you should not lead the state… and you should not get government contracts.”

Kenyatta expects the Congressional hearing Thursday night to “show how serious, how dangerous” the situation was in the Capitol on January 6.

If enacted, the new constitutional amendment and companion sedition law would mark “a line drawn in the sand.”

Kenyatta denied the legislation was political and said he expects members from both parties to sign on.

Some critics of the Democrat-controlled January 6 investigation say it shows a double standard. While the people who actually entered the Capitol building and damaged property should be punished, what about the people who rioted as part of Black Lives Matter or Antifa protests over the past three years? Riots that caused billions of dollars in damage and left several people dead?

Kenyatta defended the BLM protesters, saying they were trying to prevent “extrajudicial executions in the street.” And the right to peacefully protest is “enshrined in the First Amendment.”

“They were not trying to overthrow the government,” Kenyatta said, noting that BLM and Antifa are not the same. “January 6 was not a protest.”

“All of us take an oath [to uphold the constitution],” and the people who participated in the January 6 riot “cannot live up to it. Sedition is the exact opposite,” Kenyatta said.

“We’re seeing more and more of them running for government,” he said. As for those already in office, “folks would have to leave office,” he said. “Not only can they not hold office, there’s a part of it where they cannot get government contracts.”

Kenyatta said that America’s democracy is young and “fragile.”

“This democracy needs to be protected as a small child,” he said. “We’re still a young child.”

Asked whether the person arrested Wednesday while allegedly on his way to murder Justice Brett Kavanaugh over the leaked Roe v. Wade document should be charged with sedition as well, Kenyatta said, “He has to be held accountable. January 6 inspires people” to use violence to solve political problems, he said. “I’m happy this guy was caught and Justice Kavanaugh is safe.”

As for the Supreme Court rulings that he disagrees with, Kenyatta said, “People should run for office and do what I wanted to do, which was expand the court.”

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UPDATE: As Biden’s Polls Sag, Top PA Dems Dodge His Pittsburgh Visit

He may be the top Democrat in Washington, D.C., but he’s having a tough time drawing a crowd in Pittsburgh. Two of the state’s top Democratic candidates will be no-shows when President Joe Biden appears in western Pennsylvania on Friday.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is running for the U.S. Senate, and Attorney General Josh Shapiro, the presumed Democratic nominee for governor, were invited by the Biden team to appear with the president. Both declined the invitation citing scheduling problems, the AP reports.

But after running into the president when he rushed to the scene of a Pittsburgh bridge that collapsed, Fetterman then appeared with Biden on the stage after all.

However, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, who is also a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), will stand with Biden. Lamb is viewed as a more mainstream Democrat from the Biden wing of the party.

Skipping a presidential appearance, particularly in his native state, is quite a snub, political insiders say. And it is an indication the November midterms are being viewed by Democrats as a referendum on an unpopular incumbent.

Biden’s poll numbers have gone from bad to worse over recent weeks, with his approval plunging to 39 percent. That is more than 10 points lower than President Barack Obama’s in 2010, when Republicans picked up a whopping 63 seats — and a majority — in the House of Representatives.

“It’s no wonder why even the most extreme members of the Democrat Party are staying far, far away from Joe Biden – with approval numbers in the tank, Biden’s political toxicity is inescapable. Democrats can cite ‘scheduling conflicts’ all they want, but voters know the truth: Joe Biden is already destroying his party’s hopes for November,” said RNC spokesperson Allie Carroll.

While some Democrats appear to be dodging Biden, at least one Delaware Valley Senate candidate said he would definitely stand with the president. “Absolutely,” said state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia). “He is my friend,” said Kenyatta. “I would welcome him here any time in the 181st District.”

“Last week I was on a zoom with the President marking his 1 year anniversary in office alongside Governor Rendell, and a small group of early supporters of his campaign,” he said.

Kenyatta noted he was an early Biden supporter and went across the country to rural Iowa and other areas to campaign for him.

“I think the more the president talks about restoring the basic bargain with America the better,” said Kenyatta, saying that is what Biden’s Build Back Better plan is about. It is making sure people have a good education, good jobs, and a retirement where they can “live with dignity,” Kenyatta said.

Montgomery County Commission Chairwoman Val Arkoosh, a Democrat who is also running for the Senate, did not respond to a request for comment.

Former Gov. Ed Rendell had tough words for Democrats who are avoiding Biden.

“They’re stupid because things can turn around in politics pretty dramatically,” Rendell told The Associated Press. “You can’t hide. People end up thinking less of you for not showing up.”

 

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