Sestak Still Not Telling the Whole Story about his Prohibited Earmark
Allentown – After days of denials, cover-ups, and a constantly evolving story, it is clear that Congressman Joe Sestak is still not telling the whole story about his latest earmark scandal.
The Allentown Morning Call recently discovered that Congressman Sestak had earmarked $350,000 for a group named the Thomas Paine Foundation to build a wind turbine demonstration project. But according to the Morning Call, the taxpayer funds were never intended for the non-profit, but rather for a for-profit group called New Way Energy, founded by Drew Devitt. The Thomas Paine Foundation, also run by Devitt, was used to circumvent new congressional rules against earmarks for for-profit companies.
For several days this week, Congressman Sestak told reporters he had did not know that the Thomas Paine Foundation was connected to a for-profit and that Drew Devitt misled him. Sestak told Chris Brennan of 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.”
Yesterday, Congressman Sestak released a letter that showed he knew the non-profit Thomas Paine Foundation and the for-profit New Way Energy company were related, but told the Philadelphia Daily News, “I just didn’t put the two together; it was my error.”
But now, it turns out Sestak didn’t have to connect the dots – he just needed to read the earmark request Devitt submitted to Congressman Sestak. Devitt wrote under Question 2: “Drew Devitt is a constituent of the 7th Congressional District, and many of the employees of New Way Energy (which will manufacture the VAWT demonstration model) are located in the 7th district.”
It is time for Congressman Sestak to tell the whole story and answer the following questions:
1) Why did he spend most of the week trying to cover up the prohibited earmark, telling reporters one thing only to tell them something completely different yesterday?
2) Does Congressman Sestak even read his earmark requests before he spends taxpayer dollars on them?
3) Why did Congressman Sestak try to blame Drew Devitt when he knew all along that taxpayer dollars would be going to the for-profit New Way Energy company?
4) How can Pennsylvanians trust anything Congressman Sestak says when he has shown this week that he will repeatedly play fast and loose with the truth?
“Congressman Sestak talks about accountability and reform, but this week, he has proven himself to be the consummate Washington insider who will say anything to avoid taking responsibility for his own actions,” said Toomey Communications Director Nachama Soloveichik. “It is time for Congressman Sestak to come clean and tell Pennsylvanians why he treats taxpayer dollars so shabbily and why he has tried so hard to cover up the truth.”