Inquirer: “Toomey got millions in earmarks before railing against them”
Refuses to release his own earmarks
“…in his first term representing the Lehigh Valley’s 15th District, Toomey won at least $9 million in earmarks, including $3 million for a private company that became for a time his largest single source of campaign contributions.” — Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 8, 2010
“There could be others, [said Toomey’s spokesperson]. Congress allowed members then to submit earmarks anonymously, so there’s no way to search for them by a member’s name, as there is now.” — Pittsburgh Tribune-Review , Sept. 3, 2010
In yet another example of trying to have it both ways, Congressman Toomey talks about his opposition to earmarks, but when asked by the Philadelphia Inquirer and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, he refuses to release millions of dollars he requested and obtained during his time in Congress.
Since he first entered Congress in 1999, Republican Senate candidate Congressman Toomey has refused to reveal the millions of dollars in earmarks that he requested during his time in Congress. The fact is that he fought for millions in earmarks, bragged about them on his congressional website and received generous political contributions from at least two recipients of the earmarks he championed.
“In the past few weeks, Congressman Toomey tried to disguise his position on privatizing Social Security even though he was on the record 36 times supporting it,”said Sestak advisor April Mellody. ” He chose to distort his proposal to eliminate all taxes on big corporations at the expense of working Pennsylvanians despite writing about it last year in his own book and now he refuses to tell the truth about his earmarks despite receiving millions in earmark requests.
“Apparently Congressman Toomey believes he can run a campaign of deception without any accountability for what he has said and done. We need leaders who are willing to stand by their record, level with Pennsylvanians and get to work on practical solutions to get our economy moving.”
While Joe Sestak has posted all of his appropriations online, even before House Rules made it mandatory, Toomey took advantage of a process that lacked that transparency kind of transparency. As a result, voters in Pennsylvania still have no idea how many earmarks Toomey requested for his political donors or anyone else. Toomey should, at a minimum, take the same steps toward transparency as members of Congress today and release all of his earmark requests while he was in Congress.
Congressman Toomey and Earmarks
While Joe Sestak has posted all of his appropriations online, even before House Rules made it mandatory, Toomey took advantage of a process that lacked the transparency. As a result, voters in Pennsylvania still have no idea how many earmarks Toomey requested for his political donors or anyone else. Toomey should, at a minimum, take the same steps toward transparency as members of Congress today and release all of his earmark requests while he was in Congress.
Joe Sestak has proposed legislation that would begin the shift away from, and then completely eliminate, member-requested earmarks, replacing them with a competitive grant process. Joe also created a unique annual grant and resource directory of federal, state and private grant and resource opportunities for local governments, individuals, and organizations.
The Toomey Earmarks We Know
Air Products: $3 million
- An official press release from Toomey’s congressional staff states: “A $3 million funding request by Rep. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., for defense-related research that is underway at Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (Allentown, Pa.) has won final congressional approval and has been signed into law this week by President Clinton.” [Congressman Toomey, October 1999]
- Toomey made the Air Products announcement at a press conference with John P. Jones, Air Products’ president and chief operating officer who said “we are grateful for all of Congressman Toomey’s efforts in the House of Representatives to secure the federal funding.” Toomey’s funding request was part of the annual Defense Appropriations bill. [Congressman Toomey, October 1999]
- According to campaignmoney.com, the Air Products and Chemicals’ Political Action Committee gave $12,000 to Pat Toomey in the months immediately before and after the successful earmark request.
- The Center for Responsive Politics revealed that Air Products and Chemicals was Toomey’s #1 largest donor during the 1999-2000 cycle, bringing in $25,161 including $15,161 from individuals and $10,000 from PACs.
- Air Products and Chemicals was again Toomey’s #1 largest donor during the 2001-2002 cycle. Center for Responsive Politics found that Air Products and Chemicals brought in $30,450 for Toomey during the 2001-2002 cycle, including $20,450 from individuals and $10,000 from PACs.
Bethlehem Steel: $1 million
- An official press release from Toomey’s congressional staff states: “Federal funding for a redevelopment project at Bethlehem Works, requested by Rep. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., has been signed into law by President Clinton.” [Congressman Toomey, October 1999]
- Toomey made the funding announcement at a press conference with Hank Barnette, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Steve Donches, President of Bethlehem Development Corporation and Don Cunningham, the Mayor of Bethlehem. The $1 million secured by Toomey was part of the annual funding bill for transportation projects nationwide. [Congressman Toomey, October 1999]
- Toomey is quoted: “I’m proud to have secured these funds so that they can contribute to Bethlehem Steel’s overall effort to revitalize the South-side of Bethlehem.” [Congressman Toomey, October 1999]
- He was praised by his political donors and recipients of the federal funds he secured: “Bethlehem Steel is extremely appreciative of Congressman Toomey’s work to secure this important funding for the improvements to BethIntermodal. We applaud Congressman Toomey for his leadership in securing this grant,” said Curtis Barnette, Chairman and CEO of Bethlehem Steel Corporation. [October 16, 1999]
- Center for Responsive Politics revealed that Bethlehem Steel was one of Toomey’s top 10 most generous donors, bringing in $9,850 including $5,350 from individuals and $4,500 from PACs.
Lehigh University: $5 million
- A $5 million funding request by Rep. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., for a defense-related research program underway at Lehigh University won Congressional approval.[Congressman Toomey, October 1999]
- Toomey made the announcement at a Monday morning news conference with Gregory C. Farrington, President of Lehigh University, ATLSS officials and students at the ATLSS Engineering Center located at Lehigh University’s Mountaintop Campus in Bethlehem and was incorporated into the annual Defense Appropriations Bill. [October 16, 1999]
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.