Newsweek has exposed Lou Barletta’s ad portraying Paul Kanjorski as responsible for the financial meltdown false. Here’s the text of the ad:
Paul Kanjorski pocketed millions in contributions from his friends at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and other banks. Then Kanjorski sponsored a bill to slash oversight on the banking industry. His friends at the banks made millions. Now, after they’ve sucked up all of the money, Kanjorski wants you to bail his rich friends out. Kanjorski, millions for him and his friends taken out of our pockets.
Lou Barletta: I’m Lou Barletta and I approve this message.
This is revisionist history. It was Republicans who deregulated the financial industry, Republicans who privatized Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and Republicans who refused to regulate hedge funds speculating in risky mortgage securities.
The bill Barletta references didn’t even make it out of committee but he says bankers made millions because of a law sponsored by Paul Kanjorski. There is no such law. Barletta also tells voters Kanjo took $96,000 in campaign contributions from mortgage buyers. What he omits is that this is since 1989. This is an average of about $5,000 per year, hardly enough to buy off anyone.
Barletta also lies when he claims Kanjorski has taken “millions of dollars from banks.” Unfortunately Lou Barletta has to include non banking sectors such as real estate and insurance companies to reach that figure. Of course real estate and insurance companies are NOT banks.
Adam Benson, spokesperson for Kanjorski’s campaign, said this:
“Mayor Barletta has a history on this front. You will remember that in 2002, his campaign had to pull another ad down because it was inaccurate. Barletta says he is an ‘independent Republican’, but his campaign is looking more like a typical Republican campaign every day – he is relying on smear tactics to win a seat in Congress. America is rejecting that in the Presidential race, and I think Northeastern Pennsylvania will reject it too.”
Do we really want someone in Congress who has to lie to win? Aren’t we trying to change Washington this year? Why would we send the likes of Lou Barletta whose only claim to fame is destroying the economy of Hazleton and saddling taxpayers with hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and liabilities?
Hazleton’s own city administrator says they could end the year with a deficit of between $1.3 to $1.6 million. Hazlton almost lost state pension aid when Mayor Barletta improperly transferred $1.5 million from the city’s pension fund to pay health care costs. This isn’t the sort of financial mismanagement we need in Washington.
Benson says this about Mayor Barletta’s reign as Mayor of Hazleton:
“The Mayor has neglected his responsibilities in Hazleton during his aggressive pursuit to be a Congressman, while Congressman Paul Kanjorski has been working to help American families get through a financial crisis. The Wall Street Journal called Congressman Kanjorski a ‘profile in courage’ for his work on the economic recovery package while in the midst of a competitive campaign. There is a real contrast here – Barletta puts himself and his ambition ahead of his city’s needs, while Congressman Kanjorski fights to help working Americans during a financial crisis.”
“When it comes to financial management, Lou Barletta stands right up there with his friend George W. Bush as a failed leader,” Benson said. “We need someone who will work with Barack Obama to bring real change in healthcare, the economy and America’s energy policy – and Senator Obama would tell you that person is Paul Kanjorski.”
Lou Barletta is a one trick pony whose immigrant bashing has already led to the cold blooded murder of a Mexican in Shenandoah. His demagoguery has resulted in empty businesses in Hazleton and a rash of lawsuits against the city. All this based on false allegations that hispanics were responsible for increases in crime.
Lou Barletta will run anyone under the bus, almost literally, in his thirst for personal power and glory. Be very careful not to run the entire 11th Congressional District under the bus on November 4th.