Congressman Sestak Violated House Rules, Denied it, and Now Tries to Cover his Tracks with Outrageous Attacks – Looks like a Pattern is Developing

Allentown, PA – In what is quickly becoming a pattern in this race, Congressman Joe Sestak is so desperate to cover up his own record of breaking his own ethics pledge, violating congressional rules against for-profit earmarks, and denying it to reporters that he is trying to attack Pat Toomey who has sworn off earmarks and has fought against earmarks for years.
The definition of being a hypocrite is saying one thing and doing another – and that is exactly what Joe Sestak has done for months, if not years.
Listen to what Joe Sestak says:
·        Sestak claims he supports earmark reform, writing on his campaign website, “Joe favors eliminating all earmarks from the appropriations process.”
·        Sestak writes on the ethics page of his campaign website that he will return all contributions from people who requested earmarks from him.
·        Sestak claims he is supportive of new congressional rules banning earmarks for for-profit companies, telling the Washington Examiner: “The House has taken a good first step, and the Senate should follow suit.  What really needs to be done to best allocate taxpayer money, and restore some faith in Congress, is to scrap the earmark system outright and replace it with a competitive grant process.”
Now look at what Congressman Sestak actually does:
·        Sestak has requested $110 million in earmarks in his three and a half years in Congress and has voted more than 100 times to make taxpayers pay for specific, outrageous earmarks including $2 million for the “Charlie Rangel Center for Public Service” in New York City (RC #678, 07/19/07); $325,000 for the Institute for Seafood Studies in Louisiana (RC #382, 06/18/09); and $1 million for potato research in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington to name just a few (RC # 507, 07/09/09).
·        According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Congressman Sestak refused to return over $119,000 in contributions from people who had requested earmarks from his campaign in violation of his OWN ethics pledge.  When confronted with this violation, Congressman Sestak lied to reporters, telling them he “did not know the names of the contributors” at one point (Philadelphia Daily News, 07/20/10) and then telling others that he had returned all of the contributions (WILK FM Radio).  In fact, Congressman Sestak’s tall tales were so outrageous, columnist John Baer wrote: “Sestak’s baby step should not be offered, portrayed or touted as anything more than it is: a vague, disingenuous attempt to polish his own credentials” (Philadelphia Daily News, 07/28/10).
·        According to the Allentown Morning Call, Congressman Sestak requested $350,000 for an atheist non-profit called the Thomas Paine Foundation to build a wind turbine project in order to circumvent House rules banning earmarks for for-profit companies.  The money was really intended for a for-profit company called New Way Energy LLC.  When he was asked to explain this violation of House rules, Congressman Sestak lied to reporters, telling the Philadelphia Daily News, “Nowhere in the paperwork that he submitted did he ever mention that he was associated with a for-profit.  If now he’s saying something else, then he should be held accountable for misrepresenting what he did.”  Two days later, records of the earmark request and Sestak’s own correspondence demonstrated that the business owner had made it clear in the request that the non-profit and for-profit were related and that Joe Sestak knew the truth all along (Philadelphia Daily News, 09/02/10).
“Congressman Joe Sestak’s sham talk about accountability and reform is nothing more than a feeble attempt to hide his hypocritical record of saying one thing and doing another,” Toomey Communications Director Nachama Soloveichik said.  “He talks about earmark and spending reform but has never taken one step in the direction of moving that reform along.  To the contrary, Congressman Sestak has proven himself, time and again, to be the consummate Washington insider who will spend taxpayer dollars on outrageous projects and then pretend that he is a great reformer.  It doesn’t look like Pennsylvanians are buying it.”
In contrast, Pat Toomey has been open and honest about the few earmarks he requested at the beginning of his congressional tenure and long ago swore off earmarks, led the fight to eliminate them, and signed the No Pork pledge as a Senate candidate.   When has Congressman Sestak done even one of those things?  Never.
“If Congressman Sestak wants to recognize the error of his ways and sign the No Pork Pledge swearing off earmarks, we would welcome him with open arms,” Soloveichik continued.  “But so far, all we’ve gotten from Joe is a lot of talk, and no action.”

Allentown, PA – In what is quickly becoming a pattern in this race, Congressman Joe Sestak is so desperate to cover up his own record of breaking his own ethics pledge, violating congressional rules against for-profit earmarks, and denying it to reporters that he is trying to attack Pat Toomey who has sworn off earmarks and has fought against earmarks for years.
The definition of being a hypocrite is saying one thing and doing another – and that is exactly what Joe Sestak has done for months, if not years.
Listen to what Joe Sestak says:
·        Sestak claims he supports earmark reform, writing on his campaign website, “Joe favors eliminating all earmarks from the appropriations process.”
·        Sestak writes on the ethics page of his campaign website that he will return all contributions from people who requested earmarks from him.
·        Sestak claims he is supportive of new congressional rules banning earmarks for for-profit companies, telling the Washington Examiner: “The House has taken a good first step, and the Senate should follow suit.  What really needs to be done to best allocate taxpayer money, and restore some faith in Congress, is to scrap the earmark system outright and replace it with a competitive grant process.”
Now look at what Congressman Sestak actually does:
·        Sestak has requested $110 million in earmarks in his three and a half years in Congress and has voted more than 100 times to make taxpayers pay for specific, outrageous earmarks including $2 million for the “Charlie Rangel Center for Public Service” in New York City (RC #678, 07/19/07); $325,000 for the Institute for Seafood Studies in Louisiana (RC #382, 06/18/09); and $1 million for potato research in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington to name just a few (RC # 507, 07/09/09).
·        According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Congressman Sestak refused to return over $119,000 in contributions from people who had requested earmarks from his campaign in violation of his OWN ethics pledge.  When confronted with this violation, Congressman Sestak lied to reporters, telling them he “did not know the names of the contributors” at one point (Philadelphia Daily News, 07/20/10) and then telling others that he had returned all of the contributions (WILK FM Radio).  In fact, Congressman Sestak’s tall tales were so outrageous, columnist John Baer wrote: “Sestak’s baby step should not be offered, portrayed or touted as anything more than it is: a vague, disingenuous attempt to polish his own credentials” (Philadelphia Daily News, 07/28/10).
·        According to the Allentown Morning Call, Congressman Sestak requested $350,000 for an atheist non-profit called the Thomas Paine Foundation to build a wind turbine project in order to circumvent House rules banning earmarks for for-profit companies.  The money was really intended for a for-profit company called New Way Energy LLC.  When he was asked to explain this violation of House rules, Congressman Sestak lied to reporters, telling the Philadelphia Daily News, “Nowhere in the paperwork that he submitted did he ever mention that he was associated with a for-profit.  If now he’s saying something else, then he should be held accountable for misrepresenting what he did.”  Two days later, records of the earmark request and Sestak’s own correspondence demonstrated that the business owner had made it clear in the request that the non-profit and for-profit were related and that Joe Sestak knew the truth all along (Philadelphia Daily News, 09/02/10).
“Congressman Joe Sestak’s sham talk about accountability and reform is nothing more than a feeble attempt to hide his hypocritical record of saying one thing and doing another,” Toomey Communications Director Nachama Soloveichik said.  “He talks about earmark and spending reform but has never taken one step in the direction of moving that reform along.  To the contrary, Congressman Sestak has proven himself, time and again, to be the consummate Washington insider who will spend taxpayer dollars on outrageous projects and then pretend that he is a great reformer.  It doesn’t look like Pennsylvanians are buying it.”In contrast, Pat Toomey has been open and honest about the few earmarks he requested at the beginning of his congressional tenure and long ago swore off earmarks, led the fight to eliminate them, and signed the No Pork pledge as a Senate candidate.   When has Congressman Sestak done even one of those things?  Never.
“If Congressman Sestak wants to recognize the error of his ways and sign the No Pork Pledge swearing off earmarks, we would welcome him with open arms,” Soloveichik continued.  “But so far, all we’ve gotten from Joe is a lot of talk, and no action.”

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