Campaign Shifts Position on Earmarks Again
MEDIA, Pa. – After weeks of trying to disguise his position on Social Security and shade his position on eliminating all taxes for big corporations at the expense of the middle class, Congressman Toomey contradicts his own position on earmarks.
For months, the Toomey campaign has been saying that Congressman Toomey stopped taking earmarks after his first term in Congress. Yet, a report in the AllentownMorning Call Saturday revealed that Congressman Toomey had secured $12 million in earmarks, including $1 million for the Lehigh and Northampton Transportation Authority in 2001 during his second term in the House. [Morning Call, 9/11/2010]
During his tenure, Congressman Toomey and other House members were able to secure earmarks anonymously, and his campaign still admits that there may be more. According to the Morning Call article, the Toomey campaign “searched available archives and said those were the only six [earmarks] they found, but acknowledged that the list may be incomplete.”
“It is time for Congressman Toomey to tell the truth on earmarks. What is he hiding? When will he release all of his earmark requests?” said Sestak campaign spokesman Jonathon Dworkin. “After weeks of hiding his position on privatizing Social Security and taxing the middle class, he expects us to take his word for it? Pennsylvanians deserve to know the truth.”
Toomey Campaign on Earmarks:
A campaign aide says Toomey did do earmarks during the first year or year-and-a-half of his six-year congressional stint. – Philadelphia Daily News, 7/28/10
Toomey, during his first term in Congress, sponsored earmarks for companies, but there was no rule against it, his spokeswoman, Nachama Soloveichik, said. Since then, he has “sworn off” earmarks and pledged not to seek any if he wins the Senate race, she said. – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 8/31/10
They searched available archives and said those were the only six [earmarks] they found, but acknowledged that the list may be incomplete. – Morning Call, 9/11/10
Since the Toomey’s campaign admits there may be more, let’s take a look at what we know:
- Congressman Toomey’s campaign tells several publications that he secured earmarks only during his first term in office. [Philadelphia Daily News, 7/28/10;Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 8/31/10]
- Congressman Toomey’s campaign reveals three earmarks but could not provide dollar amounts for any of them. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 9/03/10]
- After being pressed to reveal his list, Congressman Toomey’s campaign releases three additional earmarks – including one secured during his second term – but acknowledges that the list may be incomplete. [Morning Call, 9/11/10]
Admiral Sestak’s earmarks have all been published on his congressional website. He led the way on this kind of transparency, which has now become the standard in the House.
Joe Sestak was elected to Congress in 2006 after a distinguished 31-year career in the United States Navy, and he is honored to represent the Southeastern Pennsylvania district where he was born and raised. He is a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat from Pennsylvania. During his Navy career, Joe attained the rank of 3-star Admiral, served in the White House as Director for Defense Policy on President Clinton’s National Security Council, served in the Pentagon as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, and led a series of operational commands at sea, culminating in command of the USS George Washington Aircraft Carrier Battle Group (30 ships, 100 aircraft, and 15,000 sailors/marines/aviators/SEALs) during combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. In our nation’s time of crisis in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the Navy turned to Joe Sestak to serve as the first Director of “Deep Blue,” the Navy anti-terrorism unit formed in response to the attacks. Joe is the highest-ranking former military officer ever elected to either branch of Congress. He graduated second in his class from the U.S. Naval Academy and holds a Master’s in Public Administration and a PhD in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University. Joe lives in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Susan, and daughter, Alex, and proudly represents the 7th District, where his mother and many of his seven siblings still reside.