POLS ON THE STREET: Loaded With Cash, Toomey Fires Off TV Ads

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Avoiding a tough primary challenge allowed US Senate candidate Pat Toomey to collect campaign donations all year and then sit back and patiently wait his turn.

Now that his turn has come, Toomey, a Republican from Zionsville, can spare large sums on a massive television ad buy four months before the November General Election.

Like a warning shot to his Democratic opponent, Congressman Joe Sestak, Toomey began airing five new television commercials Wednesday in every television market for an “indefinite” amount of time.

The ads are quick hits, running less than 20 seconds. Four of them focus on Sestak’s votes, each taking on a different policies: the economic stimulus, health care reform, cap and trade, and tax increases, and a fifth one taking on the Democrats in power.

A sixth biographic ad of Toomey, running a little more than 30 seconds, is also re-airing. It first aired in the days leading up to the May primary as a way for Toomey to introduce himself to voters when all the attention was focused on the Democratic battle between Sestak and Sen. Arlen Specter.

Toomey broke a new fundraising record for the second quarter of 2010 and out-raised his opponent Sestak by over $1 million. Toomey raised $3.1 million and the campaign has $4.65 million cash on hand. Since Toomey’s announcement of his candidacy in April 2009, he has raised $10.3 million from over 54,000 contributors. He outraised his previous first-quarter fundraising record by $800,000.

While Toomey benefits from this huge war chest, Sestak’s name has been all over the national media.

Sestak, of Delaware Co, beat an iconic political figure and then became entangled in a White House brouhaha over whether he was offered a job in the Obama administration in exchange for bowing out of the Senate race.

Chris Borick, a Muhlenberg College political-science professor, said Sestak has a more-public profile and the ads are a way for Toomey, a former Congressman for the 15th Dist. to raise his.

“We’re talking four months before an election. To go with that type of an advertising onslaught is showing a sign of strength,” Borick said. “Voters have now heard a little about you, it’s starting to break into their consciousness.”

One ad starts with ominous music and pictures of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. A voiceover says, “Want to stop the extreme spending from Washington’s one-party rule?” Then the music becomes more upbeat as video footage shows Toomey walking beside an elderly couple and Toomey sitting at a table with construction workers. A voiceover says, “Pat Toomey’s been called a ‘taxpayer hero’.”The other four focus on Sestak. They each end with: “That’s liberal. That’s Joe Sestak.”

The ads take on Sestak for saying he would have supported the $787 billion stimulus package even if it had cost $1 trillion, and for voting for a cap and trade plan Toomey believes will result in increased gas prices and cost Pennsylvania jobs.

The ad also criticizes Sestak for his vote on the health-care reform bill and says that he voted to “permit banning all private health insurance” during a committee markup of the bill.


While the average voter may not be following the Senate race closely, business never takes a vacation. Small-business interests are busy assessing their political choices during the summer. A candidate who makes a strong impact as business-firendly can gain crucial financial support in time for the fall drive on ordinary voters.

Sestak has been touring small businesses across the state to announce his initiatives to expand small business assistance and lending to create and protect jobs. E has been slamming Toomey, for “consistently opposing assistance to small businesses,” and even championing a 26% decrease in one SBA loan program.

“There is a tremendous opportunity for startups and small businesses to offer the services and goods our economy demands. With the right tools and incentives, we can spur a wave of new jobs for Pennsylvania’s working families,” Sestak said. “If we are going to have a full economic recovery, we must ensure small businesses have access to the capital they need to act on their entrepreneurial spirit.”

Sestak has been touting his track record as vice chairman of the House Small Business Committee. and has become Congress’ strongest voice for small businesses. In this capacity, he has developed a comprehensive plan to guarantee affordable and accessible small business lending assistance, including:

  • Raising SBA lending limits to $5 million to support immediate small-business growth;
  • increasing SBA interest rates from 6% to 7%;
  • guaranteeing 98% of community-bank small-business loans to minimize risk and get credit flowing again;
  • increasing lending to startups with $50,000 in micro-loans;
  • raising lending limits on the SBA’s micro-loan program from $35,000 to $50,000.

Sestak has been tagging Toomey with his track record as a Wall Street trader and an advocate for big finance, which Sestak says is put small businesses into they bind they’re in today.


Another Democrat behind in early polls is working hard to tag his Republican competitor with news that is bad enough to punch through the summer doldrums.

Gubernatorial nominee Dan Onorato has been blasting Republican Tom Corbett for claiming the only thing preventing unemployed workers from finding a job is their own laziness.

Corbett told Pennsylvania Public Radio last week, “People don’t want to come back to work while they still have unemployment. They’re literally telling – I’ll come back to work when the unemployment runs out. That’s becoming a problem. The jobs are there….”

Ever since, Corbett has been trying to unsay those words. But Onorato won’t let him. Across the state, 591,000 Pennsylvanians are out of work. The average person on unemployment receives $310 per week in benefits to put food on the table and keep a roof over their family’s heads.

“This is a fundamental difference between me and my opponent, and I don’t know what world Tom Corbett is living in,” Onorato said. “Our economy is struggling, families in Pennsylvania are hurting, and Harrisburg insiders like Tom Corbett aren’t doing anything to help them. Tom Corbett doesn’t even recognize there’s a problem, so it’s no surprise that he has no real plan to improve our economy or actually create the jobs that in his mind already exist.”

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One Response to POLS ON THE STREET: Loaded With Cash, Toomey Fires Off TV Ads

  1. It’s kind of sad that the more money you have the more are your chances to win the elections. It really shouldn’t be who has more tv ads but who has a better political program. Maybe I’m just being naive a little bit, but I still believe that our representatives should be choose merely on merits not on the basis of the budget size.

    July 27, 2010 at 4:34 pm

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