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Editorials

Jesse White's chutzpah

| Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, 8:55 p.m.

Chutzpah, selective amnesia and the pot calling the kettle black all come to mind when Jesse White presumes to tell others how to debate fracking — without owning up to his own shocking misconduct in that very debate.

Mr. White is the Cecil Township lawyer whose four-term run as a Democrat state representative was ended last November by Republican small-business owner Jason Ortitay of South Fayette. Surely swaying voters was White's 2013 online use of phony names, plus two constituents' names, to bash fracking supporters, which district attorneys in both Dauphin and Washington counties investigated.

Now, in a submitted commentary, White chides both sides in the fracking debate. His own appalling behavior goes unmentioned as he questions whether others “have gone to such distasteful extremes that finding a reasonable middle ground may be nearly impossible to accomplish.” He urges the shale gas industry to “Stop turning neighbor against neighbor” and anti-fracking activists “to realize they are marginalizing themselves by being absolutist in their views.”

White even says “challenging the gas industry” caused him to lose his House seat, ignoring the likelihood that his tactics turned off voters more than his stance did.

It's all quite something, coming as it does from a man who provided a textbook example of how not to credibly take part in the fracking debate — or any debate, for that matter.

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