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Congressman Toomey: Papa Grizzly

Congressman Toomey: Papa Grizzly Can Run from Teammates But Not his Extreme Record

MEDIA, Pa. – Today on national television, Congressman Toomey again dodged questions about his endorsement from former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and his role in paving the way for the most extreme Tea Party candidates, including Delaware’s Christine O’Donnell. On the Today Show, Toomey refused to answer about his ties to them and still will not mention Palin by name. The interview followed last night’s debate when “Toomey dodged most of the question [about Palin’s endorsement and qualifications to be commander-in-chief], not saying whether Palin is presidential material.” [Philadelphia Daily News, 10/20/10]

“Congressman Toomey’s views like questioning global warming, opposing laws that protect victims of hate crimes and privatizing Social Security are right in line with the team of political candidates he promoted, but out-of-touch with Pennsylvania,” said Sestak campaign spokesman Joe Sestak. “He would even have big corporations like Exxon Mobil pay zero taxes. Congressman Toomey can try to distance himself from his teammates but he can’t distance himself from his record.”

Last week, Dick Armey, whose Freedomworks organization has helped grow the Tea Party movement, said that Toomey triggered the “conception” of the Tea Party. [Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/14/2010]

From the Today Show:

Matt Lauer: You have a good deal of backing from the tea party. Dick Armey, who’s one of the organizers of that party has told the story. He says when George W. Bush backed Arlen Specter, a moderate republican over you, back in 2004, you being a fiscal conservative, that the tea party was born. Are you happy with that description?

Congressman Toomey: Well,  I think, you know, Dick Armey is entitled to his opinion about that.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Sarah Palin endorsed Congressman Toomey. [Washington Post, 10/19/10]. It is not surprising since Toomey, as head of the Club for Growth, helped raise her profile among the ultraconservative wing of the Republican party by calling her a “spectacular governor” and floating her name as a potential challenge from the right to the Republican-held Senate seat in Alaska. He later endorsed her as a Vice-Presidential candidate, saying she was “a principled reformer.” [MSNBC, 9/27/07; Club for Growth, 8/29/08]

From the Today Show:

ML: You picked up an endorsement yesterday in your senate race from Sarah Palin, who Mr. Sestak mentioned earlier, do you like that endorsement? Is that going to help you?

CT: I’ve got endorsements from Republican all across the country and more importantly all across Pennsylvania as well as Independents and Democrats. Joe Sestak can’t defend his own record so he wants to run against somebody else. But he’s not going to be able to get away with that.

Congressman Toomey: The Original Tea Party Candidate

Toomey:  The Tea Party before the Tea Party Existed:  Congressman Toomey’s Club for Growth “was the Tea Party movement before the Tea Party movement existed” [National Journal, 1/5/2010]

Toomey In 2004: I Am Issuing A Challenge To Republicans. In a New Yorker article examining how Toomey’s 2004 Senate run could set a new standard for how conservative Republicans need to be,  Toomey said his goal was push Republicans to the right. He said: “Am I issuing a challenge to Republicans? Yeah. I’ve been doing that since I got to Congress.” [The New Yorker, 4/12/2004]

Toomey’s 2004 Candidacy Highlighted The Moderate And Conservative Divide In The GOP. In 2004, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Toomey’s primary challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter “attracted national attention for the way it crystallize[d] the party’s underlying power struggle between its moderate and conservative wings.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/11/2004]

Toomey’s Club For Growth Is The Less Flashy Tea Party. In 2010, the Washington Independent commented that the Club For Growth is the original Tea Party, without all the attention. The Independent said, “If the Tea Party movement is the showy cheerleader in conservative politics that gets all the attention, then the Club for Growth is the sullen looking boy who you ignore at your own peril.” [Washington Independent, 7/28/2010]

Toomey’s Club For Growth Financed Extremist 9/12 Project and FreedomWorks Events. Toomey’s Club for Growth helps fund the radical elements of the Tea Party movement. It was a bronze-level sponsor for the 9/12 March on Washington, teaming up with Glenn Beck and FreedomWorks. [9/12 March on Washington, 9/17/09; Glenn Beck, 8/31/09]

Toomey Kicked Off His Campaign At A Tea Party Rally. Toomey kicked off campaign at tea party event. After announcing his candidacy on April 15th, the day of nationwide Tea Party events, Pat Toomey attended a Tea Party event in Philadelphia on April 18th. [Pat Toomey for Senate, 4/18/09]

Toomey Was Endorsed By The Tea Party Express. Toomey has been endorsed by the Tea Party Express, a group that was thrown out of the National Tea Party Federation after its leader issued a letter with racist undertones in response to criticism from the NAACP. [The Hill, 4/15/2010; CNN, 7/19/2010]

2 Responses

  1. July 24, 2011
    Dear Congressman Toomey

    We have been following the debate about our fiscal crisis for some time, and are disgusted by our elected leaders’ inability to develop a program that avoids default on our obligations while ensuring that we develop a realistic plan to cut our debt over the long haul.
    We make far less than the magical $250,000 per year that is considered the annual income of a wealthy family, yet we are well aware of the many government subsidies we have and continue to enjoy that we would be willing to sacrifice, even at our income level. We would happily pay social security taxes on all of our income, not just a portion of it, to ensure that everyone obtains the benefit to which he is entitled. We would understand if the mortgage interest tax deduction we currently enjoy would be reduced as our income increased. We like the way that we can exclude a portion of our income that is placed in a tax free account to pay our medical expenses, but we can adjust if that perk were to disappear. Friends who are affluent enough to purchase a vacation home can certainly figure out how to pay for it without government subsidies in the way of mortgage interest deductions and tax free home equity accounts on the principal home. Reduction or elimination of subsidies such as these, especially for affluent Americans, would go a long way toward reducing our debt. We are telling you that we recognize that our country is in grave danger, that we have all been spending beyond our means, and that we understand that everyone will need to sacrifice something to get us back on track.
    We are asking that you act bravely and morally to do what has to be done now, ignoring the swirling politics that would encourage us to revisit this same scenario six months from now, and over and over again. Please take this opportunity to work with your constituents to solve the problem of our impending default that threatens our security and standing in the world, while also correcting the endless array of government subsidies for financially comfortable Americans that are now unsustainable. If we recognize the need to sacrifice some of these perks that we have enjoyed, surely those with higher incomes can do the same. Please do your part to fix the problems, not just postpone them.

    Lynn and Morris Hoffman

  2. I would like you to support a reduction in the Federal Bureau of Prisons budget. I would like you to support the increase of good time for federal inmates.

    I work for BOP as a correctional officer. Every year, we are required to take on more inmates. We are currently attempting to staff prisons but a reduction in budget would hinder us from staff what we already have. In PA, there are 3 prisons that have changed mission— with this change they needed more staffing. We are currently looking at taking in more sickly and medically needy inmates which will require more staff for hospital exams. A reduction in staff would hurt our area— Allenwood, Lewisburg, and surrounding areas.

    Please keep this in mind as you are looking over the budget.

    Most of our budget woes could be handled within the Agency by making management more accountable for spending. Please support our staff as we attempt to challenge spending and assist our insitution in making better fiscal choices.

    Thank you in advance for your time and understanding.

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