FreedomWorks Airs School Choice Radio Ad, Endorses Smith for Senate

FreedomWorks PAC is urging Gov. Corbett to pass a school voucher bill by the end of June.

Conservative PAC FreedomWorks is launching an intensive ad campaign costing between $500,000 and $1 million and aimed to “pressure state lawmakers … to pass a school choice bill” this June.

FreedomWorks says they want to “turn up the heat” on Gov. Corbett as well, even though he is the one who created the bill.

Feeling that Corbett failed to put in the effort needed to ensure the bill passes, the PAC is taking advertising into their own hands.
“We don’t feel like he has really led on this issue. He needs to spend the political capital to get a robust school choice bill done this session. We believe we have the votes if he will just lead and make calls and personal visits to House legislators,” said spokesman Brendan Steinhauser.

The campaign includes spreading literature in six important House districts, posting signs in Harrisburg tomorrow, lobbying and a radio ad.

Starting tomorrow, FreedomWorks’ 1-minute radio ad will air across the state:

Governor Corbett ran for office pledging to reform the failing education system in Pennsylvania. Yet the Governor and his allies in the Pennsylvania House continue to make excuses at the expense of thousands of Pennsylvania’s children. Despite spending over $13,000 per student per year, Pennsylvania’s schools continue to fail.

Children across the state remain trapped in failing schools, stuck there because of inaction of the Governor and other elected officials on both sides of the aisle. Enough is enough. Tell Governor Corbett and his friends in Harrisburg that you’re tired of the excuses and that the time for comprehensive education reform is now. Pennsylvania families can no longer sit by as politicians continued to ignore this growing problem. Tell Governor Corbett that school choice is the right choice and that time is running out.

FreedomWorks says the school choice bill will save children in failing schools and encourage competition among the schools, all while saving valuable taxpayer money. The PAC hopes the bill will be passed by June 30th.

Under the Republican proposed school bill which faced several legislative setbacks last year, low-income parents in areas with poorly performing schools would receive tax-funded vouchers to send their children to a private school. Although students would not be stuck in lower-quality public schools, taxpayer money would go to private hands.

It has virtually no chance of passing before the end of June.

In addition to the ad buy, FreedomWorks has also kept busy, endorsing Tom Smith for Senate Tuesday.

The group called him the “clear choice for voters who support free markets, fiscal responsibility and constitutionally limited government.”

“Senator Casey voted for Obamacare, the Wall Street bailout, the Stimulus, and a tax hike that would have hurt thousands of Pennsylvanians,” said Max Pappas, Executive Director of FreedomWorks PAC.

In a press release, the PAC also said Smith provides a good counter to Casey because he saw the impact of Casey policies firsthand.

“As the owner of a coal mining company, Tom Smith was on the receiving end of Bob Casey’s costly, job-killing regulations. Smith had to wade through a sea of red ink just to run his business, where he saw firsthand the damage that an out-of-control government can cause to an American economy struggling to create jobs.”

As a part of the endorsement, Tom Smith signed the group’s Contract from America. Contract from America is a 10-point list of policy priorities supported by Tea Party activists across the country.

In signing it, Smith pledged to “fight for free markets, constitutionally limited government, and fiscal responsibility.”

Some of the contract’s provisions include justifying all passed bills using the Constitution, demanding a balanced budget, capping federal spending and repealing Obamacare.

Pennsylvania Democrat Spokesman Mark Nicastre responded to the endorsement:

“It’s not a surprise that Tea Party Tom Smith is getting more enthusiastic support from Tea Party organizations. Freedomworks has been called one of the America’s leading Tea Party groups. Tom Smith is one of Pennsylvania’s leading Tea Partiers…far to the right of mainstream Republicans.”

PA GOP spokesperson Valerie Caras countered, saying that Smith’s record as a businessman and job creator contrasts starkly with the “Obama-Casey agenda” that has failed to improve the economy and climate for small businesses.

“Since Democrats can’t defend the Obama-Casey record, they have to resort to attacks,” she said.

“The bottom line is that voters thought that things would improve when they elected President Obama and Senator Casey, but it’s clear that since they’ve been in office, that hasn’t been the case…If all Democrats can do to support Bob Casey is attack Tom Smith’s pro-jobs, pro-business credentials, they’re in for a very long cycle.”

20 Responses

  1. What took FreedomWorks so long to endorse
    Tom Smith?

    The Independence Hall Tea Party endorsed him
    during the primary–where was FreedomWorks, then?


  2. If Tom Smith is so pro-job and so pro-business then why did he pay his workers such low wages and a very low paying health insurance plan. So he wants to go to Washington to make sure you have low wages and low paying health insurance for all. He wants to be called Mr Senator. He is going for prestige and not to help the common citizen of PA.

  3. This bill will cost each and every tax payer more money. It will not save a penny. They say it will save you money. WRONG! Busing students to more schools cost a lot more money. Where do these people representing the offices get their information? Driving more miles cost more money. More bus drivers will be need along with more buses.

  4. The Conservative PAC need to pay the increase for your tax bill which will go up greatly due to their using more fuel for buses. Call your representative and oppose the passing of this bill. The people do need to take back the country not a few who have great wealth.

  5. Listen tax payers if the add cost between $500,000 to $1 million dollars. What will it cost you the tax payer once school choice is passed? The tax payers need to say no to school choice. Why should these state law makers get to decide this decision that will cost you plenty? Get out there and voice your opinion. We do not need higher taxes. We need reduced property taxes.

  6. The voters of PA do not need more double talking politicians in the Senate. Tom Smith will support school choice for your children to be bused for hours to other schools. Where is this saving the state money? It is not saving a penny. Also your children will now have children from schools that have major behavioral problems bused to you school because of change being made that is unnecessary. We need to have school cost cut. Why are the necessary programs being cut for your children in order to support school choice? The tax payers need to voice there opinion before you are taxed out of the state. Taxes will go up because of busing issues. The voters need to use their own minds and know that this will cost the tax payer more money. Where are our representatives in opposing this costly increase for the PA tax payers? Tax payers do not want increases to bus other peoples children for hours and hours.

  7. The voters need to know the facts for November 2012. Tom Smith was for the Elderton school to say open when the first meeting was held in the Elderton High School Gym. There is a taped recording with his plea to the school board to keep the Elderton School open. Do not believe one word that Tom Smith says. Get all the facts before you vote!

  8. The truther did tell the truth. Voters of PA need to wake up and learn the truth about Tom Smith. My family lives in the Armstrong County and knows the truth. Your vote does matter in this election.

  9. The voters need to seriously consider who they vote for in November. We need a the right person in office and that is Bob Casey. Bob is for the community unlike Tom Smith who has been against the Elderton and surrounding communities for years. So consider the fact that he wants to make your decisions. Maybe your children too could commute to school for hours just like the community of Elderton and the surrounding area. Tom Smith did not try to close the school until his children and adopted children graduated. More families should home school or leave there children do the cyberschool. This would reduce the school taxes, more family time, and decrease the state deficit. Why should tax money be continue to support schools that do poorly on test scores? Elderton had very high test scores and Tom Smith supports closing schools that are doing well. Tom does not support the community but divides the community. So, where is the choice for Elderton and the community. This is why the people need to be informed on what Tom Smith believe in for his community.

    Once Tom Smith is defeated in November 2012, he can apply to go to college or community college for January 2013.

  10. The voters need to know that Tom Smith is NOT for gay marriage. So why would the voters chose him. Yes, the voters need to be INFORMED about where the canidates stand.

  11. The voters need to remember that Tom Smith stated in the Indiana Gazette that he could not remember who he voted for in the last election. If you can not remember this then why should anyone vote for him. So who did he vote for. He had to been an Obama supporter or he would have admitted who he voted for in the election. The voters need to be smarted and not listen to a double talker or should I say one who does not tell the truth.

  12. The voters need to know the truth about Tom Smith and the Armstrong County Resident on June 7, 2012 at 3:04 pm stated everything exactly correct. Yes, all of the voters need to be aware of these facts. Please spread the word to your neighbors, friends, relatives and anyone who will hear the truth.

  13. @truther- You state, “Tom Smith now wants to be the pro school choice leader for Pa” based on what? I’ve looked through his website and his issues stances and can not find this claim of yours to be validated.

    Of course, quick check of Sen. Casey’s website, gives us much greater insight into his policies and positions…not. It is about as stealth as you get.

    Interesting you mention groups that fall into the “Independent Expenditures On Behalf Of A Candidate Category”. A Cursory Check of the FEC Disclosures shows that and the Sierra Club were supporters of Sen. Casey, along with the League of Conservation Voters.

    How can one be sickened about President Obama’s re-election and yet be a Bob Casey supporter? On March 28, 2008 Casey announced his endorsement of frontrunning candidate Senator Barack Obama in the Democratic Party presidential primary.The Pennsylvania Report said that he “struck gold” by endorsing Obama early in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, a move that gave him “inside access to the halls of the White House.”. Casey campaigned across Pennsylvania in support of Obama’s candidacy in the months leading up to the primary in that state; they bowled together at Holiday Bowl in Altoona, PA.
    Senator Casey has been the obedient freshman senator from Pennsylvania in the Democratic Caucus. His votes are as progressive as you get in most areas. In the last year of his term, now election season is upon us, Senator Casey is trying to show his Independent streak and put some distance in between himself and the White House. .

    While being obedient to his caucus leader Scranton is experiencing one of the worst unemployment rates in the states. One can see where his support for the agenda of MoveOn, The Sierra Club and Conservation Voters of PA certainly conflicts with the needs of the people in Pennsylvania.

    A 22%’er ? If one is sickened by Obama and voting for Casey and are a republican “truther” there are a boatload of logical conflicts.

    Incidentally, what exactly should Mr. Smith have attended college for? Agriculture? Business Management? Those who can do…others pontificate.

  14. I am either voting Republican or writing in Mickey Mouse. It is a disgrace that our DEMOCRAT U.S Senator opposes a woman’s right to choose! I am also appalled that our DEMOCRAT Senator opposes gay marriage. This is unacceptable. Rise up, fellow Democrats, and show Mr. Casey the door.

  15. Wow, Tom Smith now wants to be the pro school choice leader for Pa, a does he understand that school choice is a state issue, not a federal issue?
    But, how could he? He was a democrat for 42 years as well as a democrat elected official up until 6 weeks before he changed parties to Run for the Republican nomination for the US Senate. Does he have any clue as to who or what he is?

    And being endorsed by Freedom works is a big whoop. Here is what Freedom works says they do and it is taken directly from their website: “What We Do
    FreedomWorks recruits, educates, trains and mobilizes millions of volunteer activists to fight for less government, lower taxes, and more freedom.”

    So, since their inception in 1994, we’ve had two terms of Bill Clinton and we’ve seen Barack Obama elected and he will probably get re-elected which makes me want to throw up.

    But Tom Smith really puzzles me. Not only does the guy not have a college education, he did not even graduate from High School. He got a GED and choose somehow to avoid military service at the height of the Vietnam War. This is not who or what I want for my US Senator. According to a Public Policy poll released on June 6th, ” Smith has work to do. He needs to crack into the Senator’s (Casey’s)42 to 24 percent lead among independents and he has a huge problem with the GOP base which indicated that 22 percent of them said they plan to vote for Casey.

    Based on what I just said, that is why I’m part of the 22% GOP base who will vote for Casey. Tom Smith does not have a clue and given that it has been an entire month since the primary and his campaign has done absolutely nothing, my guess is that is how he would act as a US Senator. We really do not need another do nothing Senator in Washington.

  16. @Armstrong Co Resident

    A US Senator’s job description does not involve local school district administration.

    Secondarily, just how did Mr. Smith interfere with a school board election. Did he stop people from voting? Did he rig the machines? Was he poll watching with a billy club to intimidate people?

    “Smith used his influence to make sure the building was full of anti-Elderton school supporters and his wife’s teacher friends that booed at Mrs Stitt” Did Mr. Smith stop residents who had a different opinion from coming to the meeting? Where were all the residents who held a different opinion?

  17. Are you kidding me? Tom Smith is the last person anyone should trust to help give parents school choice! Those of us who know him personally know what he did to his own community! After the community of Elderton fought successfully to reopen their high school, Tom conspired with the likes of State Senator Don White, Representative Jeff Pyle, and the elitists if Armstring County to stop affordable renovations on that school but also interfered in school distruct elections to get his way

    He even set up former school board president in a so- called debate against opponent Stan Berdell, wealthy gas and oil supporter of White and Pyle. Berdell clearly was clueless about school issues but Smith used his influence to make sure the building was full of anti-Elderton school supporters and his wife’s teacher friends that booed at Mrs Stitt. The teachers union in Armstrong is very school consolidation and received an outrageous contract from the board members supporting consolidation. He even allowed someone to ask Mrs Stitt if she even graduated high school while Berdell had completely different questions!

    The people of the Elderton area fought long and hard to get their school reopened. It is the center of their 98 square mike community and the only school in the district that was awarded a national honor in academics. It is the smallest school in the 436 square mile district and that’s the only justification opponents have used to try to close it again.

    So while Smith wants to pretend he’s school choice, in reality as always it’s ” Smith’s choice “. The children and parents of his community had fought through the turmoil of having their school closed in 2009, being subjected to long bus rides complete with shuttles to attend an overcrowded school. They rejoiced in 2010 when their school was reopened and renovation plans were started. But now here in 2012 thanks to Smith and his pals, another school closing vote will be held at the end of the month and the tight-knit community will have their students divided into two different schools. On top of that, after two board meetings, the new school board is building a new unnecessary high school s he filed to be completed in two years. This moving Elderton kids again! Tom wouldn’t even speak up to have the closing on hold until the kids can move to the new school

    Now the Elderton kids will be moved four times in five years. That’s how Tom Smith helps his own community. How do you think he will take care of the state?

  18. Gee, bob, You’re spouting that party-line teacher hate-speech very well. Too bad it’s just not true. It’s scary, though, so you’ll probably get some support. You guys like to bring the scare.

  19. Forcing parents to send their kids to dangerous and dysfunctional schools is a disgrace. We, the people, empower our government to force the poorest and most vulnerable kids to attend the worst performing school districts in the state.

    The School Teachers only strike for more…more money, more benefits, more days off.

    Automatic, forced payroll deduction from teachers’ pay checks needs to end. If someone want to belong to union, pay the price but forcing people to pay for right to work is unconscionable.

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