As Anti-Earmarker Ron Johnson Visits VA, Will George Allen Explain What Made Him So "Proud" Of "Every Single Earmark" He Sponsored As A Senator?
Richmond, VA - Just one week ahead of his first primary debate with Tea Party challengers Radtke, Jackson, and Marshall, George Allen is trotting out Tea Party darling Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson. As a Senator, Johnson co-sponsored the "Earmark Elimination Act of 2011" -- making his visit to Virginia today to campaign with 'proud' Senate earmarker George Allen even more awkward. Johnson's endorsement is just the latest attempt by George Allen to disguise a career-long record of big spending.
"No amount of elbow-rubbing from the Tea Party will erase the $3 trillion George Allen added to our national debt or the tens of thousands of earmarks he supported as a Senator," said Kaine for Virginia Communications Director Brandi Hoffine. "Time and again, George Allen has promised Virginians that he would govern as a 'fiscal conservative.' But instead, he grew spending by more than 45 percent as Governor and turned a record surplus into a record deficit as Senator. Now, he's campaigning for reelection on the same hypocritical rhetoric of fiscal responsibility, but Virginians aren't buying it. In fact, the harder George Allen tries to rewrite his fiscally reckless record, the more obvious it is that he helped create our economic problems during his last term in the Senate and has no solutions to fix them.
"There's only one candidate in this race with a proven record of balancing budgets and cutting spending, and that's Tim Kaine."
Johnson's rescue mission to Virginia to help excite conservatives who aren't buying Allen's claims of fiscal conservatism must be particularly embarrassing for Allen who likes to call himself the "original tea partier."
ALLEN'S EARMARK HYPOCRISY
March 2006: Allen Said, “Every Single Earmark I’ve Gotten, I’m Proud Of;” Allen Said Legislators Who Attach Earmarks Should Be Identified.PolitiFact reported, “Allen clearly sought pork for Virginia. ‘Every single earmark I’ve gotten, I’m proud of,’ he told a town hall meeting in Chesterfield County on March 20, 2006, according to a Richmond Times-Dispatch article. Allen said then that legislators who attach earmarks to appropriations bills should be identified.” [PolitiFact, 4/18/12]
• A Few Months Later, Allen Refused To Identify Earmarks He Requested In Fiscal Year 2006. PolitiFact reported, “A few months later, Allen and other members of Virginia's congressional delegation refused cooperate with a Times-Dispatch reporter’s request to identify the earmarks they requested during fiscal 2006.” [PolitiFact, 4/18/12]
2012: Allen’s Current Position Is That There Should Not Be Earmarks Until The Budget Is Balanced. PolitiFact reported, “In this year’s campaign, Allen is calling for a ban on earmarks until the federal budget is balanced. Afterwards, earmarks would require a two-thirds majority.” [PolitiFact, 4/18/12]
• Allen Helped Turn A Surplus Into A Deficit In His Very First Full Fiscal Year In The Senate. [Office of Management And Budget, Historical Data]
April 2012: Allen Said Earmark Sponsors Should Be Identified, Acknowledged That “Surreptitious” Earmarking Was A Problem In The Past. On the Leland Conway Hour, Allen said, “I don’t think there ought to be any earmarks whatsoever until you get to a balanced budget and then there should be a 2/3rds vote for earmarks. And there ought to be the, obviously, the transparency. If there’s an earmark, a Member should put their name associated with it rather than making it surreptitious approach of earmarking, which was one of the problems previously.” [Leland Conway Hour, WRVA 1140AM, 4/19/12]
JOHNSON HAS WORKED TO END EARMARKS
Johnson Cosponsored The Earmark Elimination Act of 2011 On January 30, 2012. [S.1930, Cosponsored on 1/30/12]
Johnson Co-Sponsored DeMint’s Resolution On Earmarks, Saying "As I Promised During My Campaign, I'll Vote For The Elimination Of Earmarks Every Opportunity I Get.”On his campaign website, Ron Johnson said, "As I promised during my campaign, I'll vote for the elimination of earmarks every opportunity I get and am pleased to co-sponsor Senator DeMint's resolution. I'm looking forward to the orientation sessions next week as an opportunity to begin learning the rules of the institution so I can be effective for Wisconsin.” [Ron Johnson For Senate Blog Post, 11/12/10]
• Johnson On Helping To Stop Earmarks: "This Is An Important Signal To The American Public That We Are Serious About Restoring Fiscal Sanity To This Nation."[Wisconsin State Journal, 11/18/10]
ALLEN CALLS HIMSELF 'ORIGINAL TEA PARTIER'
Allen Claimed He Was “The Original Tea Partier” During A Radio Interview. According to WMAL, Allen claimed he was “the original Tea Partier” in an interview: “Former Virginia Senator George Allen wrapped up the first day of his campaign to regain the seat he lost to Democrat Jim Webb in 2006 with an extensive interview on the Mark Levin Show on 630 WMAL. The interview covered a broad range, from Allen's contention that he is 'the original Tea Partier' to his legacy as the son of a Redskins football legend, to his analysis of the upcoming Super Bowl between the Steelers and Packers.” [WMAL, 1/25/11]
ALLEN HAS LONG HISTORY OF FISCAL IRRESPONSIBILITY; HELPED CREATE OUR CURRENT ECONOMIC MESS
PolitiFact: As Governor, Allen Increased Spending 45.6%; His Claim That He Reined In Spending Rated “False.” In September 2011, PolitiFact Virginia wrote, “The general fund was almost $6.8 billion when Allen took office. At the end of his term, he proposed a $9.9 billion general fund budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1998. That means Allen endorsed $3.1 billion in additional general fund spending when he was governor -- a 45.6.percent rise. . . . Our ruling: Allen takes credit for ‘reining in state spending’ when he was governor. . . . We rate the statement False.” [PolitiFact Virginia, 9/12/11]
Allen Took America's Largest Budget Surplus And Turned It Into A Record Federal Deficit. When George Allen took office in the United States Senate in January 2001, “the federal budget surplus for fiscal year 2000 amounted to at least $230 billion, making it the largest in U.S. history,” according to CNN. By July 2003, after Allen was in office for only two years, the budget deficit had already hit a record $455 billion. [CNN, 9/27/2000; Chicago Tribune, 7/16/03]
As Senator, Allen Voted For Every Appropriations Bill That Came Up, Adding Over $3 Trillion To The National Debt. PolitiFact Virginia wrote, “Under the budgets approved during Allen’s term, debt climbed by $3.202 trillion. Congress sets budgets through a series of appropriations bills, and Allen supported all of the roughly four dozen bills to hit the Senate floor during his term. . . . Radtke said debt increased by $3 trillion during Allen’s Senate term, a figure equal to $16,000 per second. The actual figures were $3.202 trillion, or $16,896.68 per second.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, “PolitiFact Virginia,” 4/15/11]
Allen Voted for Every Deficit-Growing, Budget-Busting Bush Budget. [Vote 74, 3/16/06; Vote 363, 12/21/05; Vote 114, 4/28/05; Vote 58, 3/12/04; Vote 134, 4/11/03; Vote 98, 5/10/01; Vote 86, 4/6/01]