HARRISBURG — Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason released the following statement criticizing Joe Sestak for funneling taxpayer dollars through a nonprofit organization to a for-profit company. Sestak’s latest scandal appeared in an article in The Morning Call on Saturday.
“Joe Sestak talks a lot about how he is different from the typical Washington, D.C. politician, but his actions speak much louder than words ever could,” Gleason said. “It appears that the further we dig into Joe’s record, the more it becomes clear just how entrenched he is in the Washington, D.C. way of doing business.
“In this case, Sestak either knowingly diverted money to a for-profit company or he does not do the proper research necessary before earmarking funds. Either way, Joe Sestak’s actions raise some serious questions about his ability to serve as a Congressman and certainly don’t warrant a promotion to the U.S. Senate.”
According to an article published in The Morning Call, Congressman Sestak requested a $350,000 earmark for a small, non-profit atheist group called the Thomas Paine Foundation for the stated purpose of developing a prototype Vertical Axis Wind Turbine project.
When the layers are pulled back, things aren’t what they seem. The Thomas Paine Foundation is a Philadelphia-area group dedicated to sponsoring “activities, events and speakers to educate the public about the non-theist life stance,” not exactly the likely recipient for a $350,000 energy earmark. The address for the Foundation was a home address listed in Media, PA even though the earmark description on Congressman Sestak’s Web site said the money would be spent in Aston, PA.
The Morning Call discovered that Sestak’s earmark was never intended for the Thomas Paine Foundation, but for a for-profit company in Aston, PA called New Way Energy, founded by a man named Drew Devitt. In order to sneak around House rules prohibited earmarks for for-profit companies in 2010, the Thomas Paine Foundation was used as a front to funnel the money to the for-profit New Way Energy LLC.
Devitt laid out their scheme to The Morning Call, saying “One of the things Obama did for 2010 was to eliminate for-profit filing for line items, so obviously New Way [Energy LLC] wasn’t qualified. But Thomas Paine wasn’t for-profit, so it was eligible to file for a line item.”