Pat Toomey made a name for himself in 2004 by targeting ultra-liberal Republican Arlen Specter. He rightly noted that Specter had become part of the problem in his support for big government special interests. Toomey went on to lead the Club for Growth and supported conservative primary challengers to other “Republicans in Name Only”. Last Friday, Senator Toomey endorsed union boss Paul Mullen for the 161st House District special election.
Mullen has refused to debate the other candidates, has not indicated whether or not he will step down from his $130,000 union job if elected, and is ambivalent on liquor store privatization and moving state workers into a 401k plan. Mullen campaigned against Toomey in 2010 and for the Democratic nominee, Joe Sestak.
Unlike Mullen, write-in candidate Lisa Esler supports limited government principles. She is opting out of the legislative pension system. She supports privatizing liquor sales and much-needed reforms to the state pension system. It is also worth noting that Lisa Esler worked tirelessly for Toomey’s 2010 campaign as a grassroots leader in Delaware County.
We have come to expect the state Republican Party to offer an endorsement to anyone with an “R” behind their name. However, for Senator Toomey to offer his support to a candidate who would undoubtedly support the same types of policies he railed against when he challenged Specter and other big government Republicans as head of Club for Growth is beyond disappointing. In a 2013 fundraising letter, Toomey stated:
“I firmly believe the future is in our hands—it’s up to you and me—and it all depends on the level of urgency we give this great new campaign of ours, Project Goliath: Conquering Pennsylvania’s Political Giant. Now is the time to fight back. Like David of the Bible, now is the time to come forward and slay Pennsylvania’s Big Labor Goliath!” (Emphasis added.)
Today, Toomey is supporting a candidate who not only works against conservative efforts to “slay” Goliath; Mullen will actively give aid and provide strategic information to Goliath’s army if he is elected to the General Assembly.
If Paul Mullen succeeds on August 4th and works to advance union priorities in the House, be sure to thank Pennsylvania’s Junior Senator for making things worse for taxpayers.