Club For Growth Gives Casey Lowest Score

Allentown Morning Call

The conservative Club for Growth, once run by Pat Toomey, listed Democrat Bob Casey at the very bottom of all U.S. Senators in promoting “pro-growth policies.”

The club, through its political action committee, has worked to purge Capitol Hill of moderates, endorsing and throwing its substantial weight behind those deemed more fiscally conservative.

Casey and Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown are the only two U.S. senators to receive a score of zero on the club’s 2011 scorecard. A number of votes and other actions went into computing the score, which is explained by the Club here. Some of the factors considered were a lawmaker’s support for lowering income taxes, cutting spending, and promoting free trade. Casey voted last year against free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, warning repercussions for Pennsylvania workers.

“Bob Casey has voted for every big-government bill that’s come his way, whether it’s the bank bailout, ObamaCare, or Obama’s failed stimulus. Calling Bob Casey a centrist is like calling Allen Iverson stingy.” Barney Keller, Club for Growth spokesman, said in an e-mail when questioned about Casey’s low score.

Larry Smar, a spokesman for Casey, said the senator has “voted with Pennsylvania working families and manufacturers.”

“That’s the important scorecard,” he said. Senator Casey worked hard to pass legislation to crack down on China’scurrency manipulation that is putting U.S. manufacturers and workers at a disadvantage. He voted against the NAFTA-style free trade deals that would put Pennsylvania jobs at risk while not doing enough to level the playing field Pennsylvania workers. His proposal to extend Trade Adjustment Assistance to help workers hurt by unfair trade became law. And he fought hard to pass an extension of the payroll tax credit to put more money in the pockets of working families. These are all things that the Club for Growth said were the wrong votes.”

There’s long been a struggle to typecast Casey, a pro-life Democrat, as a moderate or as a liberal. In press releases his office has referred to him as a “moderate,” but Republicans are always eager to paint him as far left, especially with him up for re-election this fall.

There are five Republicans vying to fight Casey for his Senate seat. One, Steve Welch, is endorsed by the state Republican party and by Gov. Tom Corbett. The Club for Growth has not endorsed in the primary race, but will likely invest in the Republican nominee and/or fund Casey attack ads. Its super PAC spent more than $2 million against Joe Sestak in the 2010 Senate race versus Toomey.

Toomey scored a 97 percent. Local area U.S. House members, Charlie Dent, R-15, scored a 46 percent; Tim Holden, D-17, 15 percent; Lou Barletta, R-11, 47 percent; Mike Fitzpatrick, R-8, 43 percent; and Allyson Schwartz, D-13, 6 percent.

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