Congressman Toomey Distorts His Record to Hide His Wall Street Past

Omits Billions in Derivatives Transactions from Campaign Bio

MEDIA, Pa. – Last week, Congressman Toomey made the remarkable claim that he never said he favors “privatizing” Social Security, even though he’s been on the record 36 times advocating to end the benefits program as we know it. As the Patriot Newsreported, “Pat Toomey appeared to be trying a little revisionist history this week when he claimed he never called for privatizing Social Security … The key to understanding this semantic subterfuge is, well, semantics.”

This isn’t the first time Congressman Toomey has tried to create “revisionist history” to fool Pennsylvanians into believing that he’s something other than a Wall Street derivatives pioneer who has defended the fortunes of special interests at the expense of working families.

Congressman Toomey has gone to extraordinary lengths to disguise his Wall Street career that he even edited his campaign bio to omit the fact that he “developed and managed a $21 billion derivatives trading operation for Morgan Grenfell Finance, Inc.” This reference appears often in Congressman Toomey’s other professional biographies. But as a candidate deliberately trying to conceal his Wall Street past, any mention of the reckless market practices found its way to the campaign cutting room floor.

While conveniently leaving out that he managed billions in risky derivatives, Congressman Toomey espoused a familiar falsehood at the Pennsylvania Press Club last Monday. Toomey tried portraying himself as a former small business owner “intimately involved with all the decisions that a small business owner makes,” while concealing his career working on and for Wall Street. At the time that his brothers were opening their first restaurant, Rockin’ Robin’s, Toomey swore in a 2000 deposition that he was “living and working in Hong Kong” for a billionaire. Before the Senate race, Toomey was willing to speak about just how much he was consumed by his overseas activities during that time period:

  • “I lived in Hong Kong, and I worked extensively and repeatedly throughout Southeast Asia, including China.”
  • “I lived in Hong Kong for about a year, and I worked in Hong Kong and I used to go to work every day by a particular route where I saw a long line of people standing on a sidewalk lined up at the door of a building.”

If a real small business owner “were intimately involved” with all the decisions an owner makes, why wouldn’t Congressman Toomey know how “many times [he] was present” at his restaurant? How did he open and manage a restaurant halfway around the world?  And why would a real small business man consistently oppose small businesses when he was elected to Congress?

It’s time that Congressman Toomey comes clean about what he was doing in Hong Kong, while his brothers were launching the small businesses that he claims to have run.

The Facts: Congressman Toomey Misleads on His Resume

Congressman Toomey exaggerates his small business experience to disguise his record as a Wall Street derivatives pioneer

  • Congressman Toomey has gone to great lengths to disguise his Wall Street career, that he even edited his campaign bio to omit the fact that he “developed and managed a $21 billion derivatives trading operation for Morgan Grenfell Finance, Inc.” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 04/13/09]
  • Congressman Toomey tried to claim that he never pioneered the use of derivatives, but in a video from 2003, he lavished praise on them calling derivatives, “perhaps the most important, creative and innovative development in finance in the last 30 years.” [Morning Call, 8/17/10]

Congressman Toomey was an investor in a restaurant chain and “hands off” on the operations

  • Congressman Toomey invested in a business that his brother Steven ran the day-to-day operations while Congressman Toomey “was not aware of details.” He also couldn’t recall “how many times [he] was physically present” at the restaurant during the ownership period from 1991-1998. [Deposition of Patrick J. Toomey, Michael Serbia v. Rockin’ Robin’s Inc.]
  • At the time that the first restaurant, Rockin’ Robin’s, was opened, Congressman Toomey said in a 2000 sworn deposition that he was “living and working in Hong Kong.” [Deposition, p. 88]
  • Congressman Toomey “worked extensively and repeatedly throughout Southeast Asia, including China.” [C-SPAN, 5/23/00]
  • According to the Morning Call, Toomey was “working on a special project for a billionaire,” but he didn’t divulge any further details. [Morning Call, 4/11/04]

Congressman Toomey claims to be a small business man, but opposed small businesses in Washington

  • Voted to increase small business fees on one of the most used loan programs in the country as he eliminated funding for the Small Business Administration’s most popular program;
  • Voted to give only 5 percent of the Bush tax cuts to small businesses, but 53 percent to the ultra-rich while doubling our national debt; and
  • Voted to pass the law he helped write to deregulate Wall Street, leading to the collapse of our financial system and the closing of small business across Pennsylvania.

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.

August 30th, 2010 | Posted in Front Page Stories | No Comments