Attacks, Lies and Videotape: Toomey and Allies Continue to Mislead Pennsylvanians Launch Another Round of Negative Attacks

Attacks, Lies and Videotape: Toomey and Allies Continue to Mislead Pennsylvanians Launch Another Round of Negative Attacks

This week, the Toomey Campaign and its out-of-state special interest friends continued their pattern of misleading ordinary Pennsylvanians about Toomey’s extremist agenda. 

“Congressman Toomey fought for years to drive moderates out of his own party and now he and his outside special interest friends want to hide his extremist agenda from the voters,” said Sestak spokesman Jonathon Dworkin. “Pennsylvanians deserve to know the truth and the Toomey record speaks for itself.” 

There have been many distortions – here are the facts.

TEAM TOOMEY VS. THE FACTS:

Social Security

Toomey: “I’ve never said I favor privatizing Social Security.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/26/10]

The Facts: Toomey is on record no less than 36 times [http://www.dscc.org/news?type=press_release&press_release_KEY=1609] calling for Social Security to be privatized, including:

“‘We can play a very big role’ in pushing for the partial privatization of Social Security.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/24/05]
Toomey said “privatization would improve dramatically on Social Security’s low investment return, providing today’s workers the promise of more retirement income in the decades to come.” [Morning Call, 10/25/98]

“Toomey: Privatize Social Security.” [Morning Call, 4/25/03]

Toomey’s 2009 book, The Road to Prosperity outlined his plan under the headline “Personal Accounts Mean Personal Prosperity.” [The Road to Prosperity, pg. 128, 2009]

Eliminating Corporate Taxes

Toomey: Claimed that he never seriously wanted to eliminate corporate taxes, and that when he called for it in the past it was “impractical” and just “an intellectual exercise.” [St. Petersburg Times, 9/1/10]

The Facts: According to St. Petersburg Times’ PolitiFact: “We gave the Toomey camp the opportunity to say the candidate opposes zero corporate taxation, but the campaign did not do so.”

On CNBC, Congressman Toomey said: “Let’s not tax corporations . . . I think the solution is to eliminate taxes altogether.” [CNBC, 7/20/08]
Estate Tax

Team Toomey:  Claimed that Joe “even wants to bring back the death tax,” alleging that it would let “the IRS take half of your savings when you die.”

The Facts: “In fact, only the wealthiest Americans would pay the tax under the proposal that Sestak supports, and the proposal would exclude $3.5 million per person and $7 million per couple.” [PolitiFact, 8/24/10]

Private Health Insurance

Toomey:  Admiral Sestak “voted to permit banning all private health insurance.”

The Facts: Admiral Sestak actually voted against a provision that would ban private health insurance, and then worked to make sure it was removed from the health care reform bill as a whole [WGAL, 9/16/10]

Medicare

Team Toomey: Asserted that Admiral Sestak “voted to gut Medicare.”

The Facts: The claim is “egregious,” as the bill in question did not cut current Medicare spending at all; “in fact, the new law calls for some improvements in benefits like free preventative care and closing the “doughnut hole”. [Annenberg Public Policy Center, 8/30/10]

Israel

Team Toomey: The “Emergency Committee for Israel” questioned Admiral Sestak’s support of America’s most important ally in the region.

The Facts: The Jewish Chronicle said the so-called Emergency Committee was “Swiftboating Sestak on Israel.” [Jewish Chronicle, 8/10]

WHYY Radio said the “ad calling Sestak anti-Israel looks like a Pennsylvania ‘Swiftboat,'” [WHYY, 7/22/10]
While Joe’s voting record on aid to Israel is spotless,  Congressman Toomey voted seven times against aid to Israel, to the tune of $15 billion. [HR 3196,  #572, 11/5/99; HR 4811, #546, 10/25/00; HR 2506, #266, 7/24/01; HR 2506, #505, 12/19/01; HR 2800, #429, 7/24/03; HJRES 2, #32, 2/13/03; HR 4818, #390, 7/15/04]

Small Businessman

Team Toomey:  Positions himself as a “former small-business owner.” [Morning Call, 7/9/10]

The Facts:  According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, in 2000, Toomey admitted that he “delegated the day-to-day running” of the restaurant to his brother, and was a “hands-off” owner who visited “once a month or less over the years he held majority ownership.”

In his own words: “‘For most of the period of ’91 in which Rockin’ Robin’s was opened, I was living and working in Hong Kong’ as a banker, Toomey said.” [Inquirer, 7/9/10]

Earmarks

Team Toomey: Claimed repeatedly that he had only accepted earmarks during his first term in the House of Representatives. [Philadelphia Daily News, 7/28/10; Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 8/31/10]

“‘Pat isn’t trying to hide anything,’ Toomey spokeswoman Nachama Soloveichik said of Toomey’s first-term requests. ‘He has very openly admitted he got a couple of earmarks . . . and quickly realized how out of control and how abusive the process was and said, ‘Enough.”” [Inquirer, 9/8/10]

The Facts: Toomey secured at least $1 million in earmarks in 2001, during his second term in the House – directly contradicting his earlier claim. Many other organizations in his District received appropriations in House bills during his tenure. He has yet to release a full list of earmarks – and his own staff admits that the current list may be incomplete. [Morning Call, 9/11/10]

Deficits

Team Toomey: Assumed the mantle of a fiscal conservative, claiming the side of those who are “worried about the size of the deficit.”

The Facts:

“I don’t think deficits are the biggest problem here.” [MSNBC, Hardball with Chris Matthews, 7/11/2006]

Allowed PAYGO rules to expire after they contributed to 3 budget surpluses by requiring Congress to offset the cost of any new spending programs, then voted against re-establishing them, allowing our deficit to skyrocket [HR 4663, 6/25/04, #317; SConRes 95, 5/5/04, #145]

Voted for President Bush’s budgets that raised government spending more than $50 billion every year

Voted for President Bush’s tax cuts for the richest of the rich – more than 50 percent of which went to the top one percent – and added $1.7 trillion to the deficit [HR 1836, 5/26/01, #149]

Wall Street

Team Toomey: “I worked on Wall Street just out of college and left twenty years ago.” [Post-Gazette, 9/7/10]

The Facts: Toomey has never stopped working for Wall Street. In Congress, he fought for deregulation, to allow Wall Street to engage in risky behavior and gamble with people’s savings. [Inquirer, 8/17/10]

Then, he ran a group founded – and funded – by Wall Street special interests, the Club for Growth:

“Over the past decade, a group of Wall Streeters has quietly funneled money to politicians, think tanks and advocacy groups …their investment has paid off. Meet the bankrollers of the conservative counter-establishment.” [National Journal, 1/28/95]  

“Although the club is headquartered in Washington, its genesis was on Wall Street, where the bulk of its financial support still originates.” [New York Observer, 5/28/01]

The Club’s “roots lie in a small group of Wall Street movers and shakers … that in the mid-1990s enjoyed ties to conservatives such as Newt Gingrich and Steve Forbes.” [Orlando Sentinel, 8/12/02]   

“The Club for Growth was formed in 1999 with significant backing from Wall Street … true to its original founding, it is driven by” Wall Street’s agenda. [Politico, 11/17/09]

“A secretive group of New York financiers …The Club, many of whose leaders have Wall Street pedigrees, has raised more than $2 million while remaining shrouded in mystery, refusing to release its full membership list.” [Arizona Republic, 4/2/00]

Even today, he is among the top ten Wall Street-supported candidates from either party in this election cycle. [The Hill, 9/8/10]

TO BE CONTINUED . . .

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