Politics & Policy

Fact Check: Sestak’s ‘Timeline’ and Crossroads GPS

Joe Sestak is running a television ad that attacks Pat Toomey for being Wall Street’s “top lobbyist.” The problem? Toomey has never worked as a registered lobbyist — ever — according to the Clerk of the U.S. House and the Secretary of the Senate.

Sestak’s campaign has argued that their claim is valid due to Toomey’s advocacy for certain politicians and policies as head of the Club for Growth, a free market advocacy group. But if influence-seeking is the definition of “lobbyist” in the sense that most think of those K-street types, then we’re dealing with a stupendously broad vocabulary.

After all, most Tea Party groups engage in similar influence efforts and advocacy, but could we call their leaders “lobbyists?”

Meanwhile, the latest ad from Crossroads GPS, a Karl Rove affiliated group. “Over half a million Pennsylvanians unemployed, intones a narrator. “And what’s Congressman Joe Sestak done?”

The ad claims Sestak “voted to gut” Medicare by $500 billion. FactCheck.org has found his claim to be a “wild exaggeration,” noting, “It’s true that the law calls for restraining the future growth of Medicare spending by about $555 billion — about a 7 percent reduction spread over the next 10 years.”

For comparison, the Pledge to America seeks to reduce federal spending and cap that spending at 2008 levels, which would mean about a 10 percent reduction in the budget. If a 7 percent reduction is “gutting,” what would Crossroads GPS call a 10 percent reduction?

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