The Real Jim Gerlach: On The Issues
Republican Jim Gerlach is a career politician who has supported the failed policies of the Bush Administration that have led us into a crippling financial crisis and an endless and costly war. He advertises himself as an independent. Yet, he has only broken ranks with the Bush Republicans 16.2% of the time in the current Congress. [Washington Post 9/15/08]
Rather than accept responsibility for 6 years of tragic economic policies, Gerlach is now masquerading as a self-proclaimed “champion” for change. Read more about Gerlach's disingenuous calls to change the system he has championed for 3 terms.
Update: Jim Gerlach Launches Predictable (and False) Negative Ads
Jim Gerlach has a well-documented record of using dirty campaign tactics. He has been accused of participating in an “astounding display of pettiness,” “name-calling,” and of “running a campaign of unbridled negativity.” [The Reading Eagle, 10/5/06] Ads supporting Gerlach were even criticized for “distorting facts and misleading voters” and had to be pulled off the air. [Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/3/06]
To distract from his record, Jim Gerlach is once again employing the same dirty and deceitful tricks this cycle in expensive television commercials and hundreds of thousands of mail pieces. More details: Jim Gerlach
Jim Gerlach on the Issues:
Ethics — Largest FEC Fine in Pennsylvania History
Gerlach was recently sanctioned by the FEC with the largest fine ever imposed on a member from Pennsylvania for violating federal campaign law. [READ MORE] Additionally, Jim Gerlach has consistently opposed changing the culture of special interest influence in Washington. He has voted to give more access to special interests by allowing lobbyists to wine and dine members of Congress in their official offices and pay for member travel. Gerlach has compromised his so-called “independence” by accepting enormous campaign contributions from special interests.
Economic Policy — Irresponsible Spending, Wrong Priorities for PA
Instead of prioritizing middle class tax cuts and investments in alternative energy sources, infrastructure, and education, Jim Gerlach has supported fiscal policies that subsidize the oil companies, give tax breaks to millionaires, and continue to allow for spending on a war that isn't making Americans any safer. Jim Gerlach has consistently voted against fiscally responsible budgets, including a budget that would call for a surplus by 2012 and instruct for a reduction in mandatory spending by $750 million over 6 years. He has worked side-by-side with George Bush and plans to continue the same failed policies that have led us into the largest economic crisis since the Great Depression.
Energy and the Environment — Rubber Stamp for Bush Agenda
Jim Gerlach isn't making energy decisions with consumers in mind; he is fighting for Big Oil. Gerlach has accepted over $100,000 in campaign contributions from the oil industry and has repeatedly rewarded them with votes to protect their tax breaks. His votes have stalled environmental progress, postponed efforts to gain energy independence, and have directly hurt the poorest among us. He twice voted to cut millions from home heating assistance and voted against an emergency strategic refinery reserve in case of a national disaster. Gerlach supports President Bush’s plan to lift the ban on drilling for oil and gas off America’s coasts, a band-aid measure that will likely have little effect on current gas prices.
Veterans — Not Enough for those Who Have Served Our Country
Jim Gerlach has repeatedly voted against increasing funding for veterans’ health care and improving conditions at veterans’ facilities that are falling into massive disrepair. Since going to Washington, Gerlach has opposed important increases in veterans’ programs, including a FY09 budget with $48 billion designated for veterans’ services. He has opposed ending the military families tax, which penalizes more than 50,000 survivors in military families.
Iraq — Votes with Bush 100% of the Time
Jim Gerlach has been a strident supporter of President Bush’s failed policies in Iraq. He has voted against numerous bills aimed at bringing our troops home quickly and responsibly. He has opposed accountability in Iraq by voting against benchmarks for success and an investigation into contractor spending. Additionally, he voted against a $1,500 pay raise for each member of the Armed Services serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and voted against increasing funding for quality of life improvements for our troops like medical and dental screening, pre-paid phone cards, and repairs and replacements for damaged equipment.
Health Care — Failure to Confront Skyrocketing Costs
Jim Gerlach continues to rationalize accepting over $250,000 in campaign contributions from drug companies while touting himself an “independent.” He has voted against letting Medicare negotiate lower drug prices for seniors and voted against allowing seniors to buy safe and low-cost drugs from Canada and Europe. He has supported a health care policy that would weaken mental health benefits, leave children in need without appropriate coverage, and cause seniors to pay prohibitively expensive prescription drug costs.