Op-Ed: Kevin Deely 'I'm Responding to Simmons' Lies'
In an op-ed, Kevin Deely, challenger for the 131 district seat responds to a recent round of advertisements released by incumbent Rep. Justin Simmons campaign.
Justin Simmons cannot hide from his extreme, Tea-Party agenda. His record of cutting funding from our schools and giving huge tax breaks to special interests, like big corporations and his own campaign donors, demonstrates that Simmons' priorities are not in-line with our community, and it is time he be held accountable.
In 2011, Justin Simmons voted for a State Budget, which cut over $16.7 million from Lehigh County schools, and cut over $1 billion in health care services for middle class families and children. Additionally, in 2012 Simmons supported a budget that gives giant corporations $2.4 billion in tax breaks.
Justin Simmons' numbers don't add up and Lehigh families know the truth - our schools are suffering from massive cuts; our property taxes are on the rise; foreign corporations are winning and middle-class families are losing. Justin Simmons cannot hide from those facts.
Attached below are the facts.
Simmons’ Lies vs. Reality
LIE:[Simmons’ commercial: Voice Over] “We are putting families back to work by helping our job creators. Here at home unemployment is beginning to drop and local companies are turning the corner”
TRUTH: A6530 Santarsiero Amendment: This amendment gives “substantial weight and priority” to proposals if the companies involved commits to using American made construction materials, Pennsylvania made steel, if the business is located in the United States, if the business is located in Pennsylvania, and if the business has or will create a physical presence in Pennsylvania – Simmons voted nay[2/15/2012]
A6705 Santarsiero Amendment: This amendment requires the business entering into the private partnership to be majority-owned by an American person, entity, group or organizations – Simmons voted nay [2/15/2012]
LIE: [Simmons’ commercial: On Screen Text] Helping Working Families
TRUTH: 2011/12 State Budget (HB 1485/Act 1A of 2011) – $1.03 billion in cuts to the Department of Public Welfare budget, which affects middle-class families and children [SOURCE: Democratic House Appropriations Committee Budget Briefing, Department of Public Welfare, (July 28 2011)
41,467 Pennsylvanians affected after adult Basic was shut down[SOURCE: New York Times, Feeling Budget Pinch, States Cut Insurance, (March 1 2011)
LIE: [Simmons’ commercial: Voice Over] “I opposed the Harrisburg politicians when they proposed education cuts that went too deep”
TRUTH: 2011/12 State Budget (HB 1485/Act 1A of 2011): Nearly $1 billion cut from basic education – Simmons voted yea [6/29/2011]
2012/13 State Budget (SB 1466/Act 9A of 2012): Locks-in the education cuts from the 2011/12 budget – Simmons voted yea[6/28/2012]
LIE: [Simmons’ commercial: On Screen Text] Independent
TRUTH: Justin Simmons has voted with majority leader Mike Turzai 95% of the time.
LIE: [Simmons’ commercial: Voice Over] “Today, we commit more state tax dollars to our school than ever before”
TRUTH: Lehigh County School Districts have experienced $12,733,635 in cuts, since 2010/11 – [SOURCE: Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA), How state budget cuts will affect your district
Average education cuts in Lehigh County of $315.21 per student, since 2010/11 – [SOURCE: Pennsylvania House Democratic Appropriation Committee, K-12 School Budget Cuts Per Student, 6/29/12
LIE: [Simmons’ commercial: On Screen Text] More for Schools
TRUTH: Increased funding for Charter Schools (SB 761/Act 85 of 2012): Expanded the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC) by $25 million and created a $50 million Education Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program (EISC) to help their political donors from the charter school lobby – Simmons voted yea [6/30/2012]
LIE: [Simmons’ commercial: Voice Over] “And I controlled spending, to focus on our priorities. So that we don’t spend more, we spend wisely.”
TRUTH: Tax Credits for Foreign Corporations: A $1.76 billion tax credit was given to Shell, the 3rd largest corporation in the world, in order to lure them to the Beaver County site of their cracker plant (SB761/ Act 85 of 2012) – Simmons voted yea[6/30/2012]
Corporate Loopholes help Big Business – HB 2150 does NOT close the Delaware Loophole OR deliver real tax fairness to Pennsylvania
LIE: [Simmons’ commercial: On Screen Text] Focus on Priorities
TRUTH: Simmons was a co-sponsor of the invasive ultrasound procedure bill (HB 1077) – The bill forces women to get an ultrasound before an abortion, even if this is deemed medically unnecessary by a doctor. For most women, this would require an invasive transvaginal ultrasound. After the ultrasound, the woman would then be forced to view an image of the ultrasound, as the doctor records whether the woman viewed it, closed her eyes, or looked the other direction. The women would then be required to take the image with her and return with a signed copy in order to obtain the abortion [SOURCE: HB 1077 (from 2011 but voted on in February 2012)