Conservative PAC FreedomWorks is launching an intensive ad campaign costing between $500,000 and $1 million and aimed to “pressure state lawmakers … to pass a school choice bill” this June.
FreedomWorks says they want to “turn up the heat” on Gov. Corbett as well, even though he is the one who created the bill.
Feeling that Corbett failed to put in the effort needed to ensure the bill passes, the PAC is taking advertising into their own hands.
“We don’t feel like he has really led on this issue. He needs to spend the political capital to get a robust school choice bill done this session. We believe we have the votes if he will just lead and make calls and personal visits to House legislators,” said spokesman Brendan Steinhauser.
The campaign includes spreading literature in six important House districts, posting signs in Harrisburg tomorrow, lobbying and a radio ad.
Starting tomorrow, FreedomWorks’ 1-minute radio ad will air across the state:
Governor Corbett ran for office pledging to reform the failing education system in Pennsylvania. Yet the Governor and his allies in the Pennsylvania House continue to make excuses at the expense of thousands of Pennsylvania’s children. Despite spending over $13,000 per student per year, Pennsylvania’s schools continue to fail.
Children across the state remain trapped in failing schools, stuck there because of inaction of the Governor and other elected officials on both sides of the aisle. Enough is enough. Tell Governor Corbett and his friends in Harrisburg that you’re tired of the excuses and that the time for comprehensive education reform is now. Pennsylvania families can no longer sit by as politicians continued to ignore this growing problem. Tell Governor Corbett that school choice is the right choice and that time is running out.
FreedomWorks says the school choice bill will save children in failing schools and encourage competition among the schools, all while saving valuable taxpayer money. The PAC hopes the bill will be passed by June 30th.
Under the Republican proposed school bill which faced several legislative setbacks last year, low-income parents in areas with poorly performing schools would receive tax-funded vouchers to send their children to a private school. Although students would not be stuck in lower-quality public schools, taxpayer money would go to private hands.
It has virtually no chance of passing before the end of June.
In addition to the ad buy, FreedomWorks has also kept busy, endorsing Tom Smith for Senate Tuesday.
The group called him the “clear choice for voters who support free markets, fiscal responsibility and constitutionally limited government.”
“Senator Casey voted for Obamacare, the Wall Street bailout, the Stimulus, and a tax hike that would have hurt thousands of Pennsylvanians,” said Max Pappas, Executive Director of FreedomWorks PAC.
In a press release, the PAC also said Smith provides a good counter to Casey because he saw the impact of Casey policies firsthand.
“As the owner of a coal mining company, Tom Smith was on the receiving end of Bob Casey’s costly, job-killing regulations. Smith had to wade through a sea of red ink just to run his business, where he saw firsthand the damage that an out-of-control government can cause to an American economy struggling to create jobs.”
As a part of the endorsement, Tom Smith signed the group’s Contract from America. Contract from America is a 10-point list of policy priorities supported by Tea Party activists across the country.
In signing it, Smith pledged to “fight for free markets, constitutionally limited government, and fiscal responsibility.”
Some of the contract’s provisions include justifying all passed bills using the Constitution, demanding a balanced budget, capping federal spending and repealing Obamacare.
Pennsylvania Democrat Spokesman Mark Nicastre responded to the endorsement:
“It’s not a surprise that Tea Party Tom Smith is getting more enthusiastic support from Tea Party organizations. Freedomworks has been called one of the America’s leading Tea Party groups. Tom Smith is one of Pennsylvania’s leading Tea Partiers…far to the right of mainstream Republicans.”
PA GOP spokesperson Valerie Caras countered, saying that Smith’s record as a businessman and job creator contrasts starkly with the “Obama-Casey agenda” that has failed to improve the economy and climate for small businesses.
“Since Democrats can’t defend the Obama-Casey record, they have to resort to attacks,” she said.
“The bottom line is that voters thought that things would improve when they elected President Obama and Senator Casey, but it’s clear that since they’ve been in office, that hasn’t been the case…If all Democrats can do to support Bob Casey is attack Tom Smith’s pro-jobs, pro-business credentials, they’re in for a very long cycle.”