Checking Specter (Specter v. Toomey)

Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter is an important man. How do I know this?

A congressman told me.

While Specter is a Republican, his congressional booster happens to be a Democrat. Pennsylvania Congressman Robert Brady credits Specter with passage of Obama’s stimulus bill.

“[T]his bill would not have passed,” says Brady, “if not for Arlen Specter,” who was one of three Republican senators to break ranks for the presidents’ bailout extravaganza. In case you were wondering, Brady clarified his enthusiasm for the so-called “stimulus” package. “[E]very congressman is passing out checks, all over the country . . . because of a man named Arlen Specter.”

Clearly, Brady likes to pass out checks . . . as do most other congressmen.

But one former congressman doesn’t seem so fond of the program. Pat Toomey ran for Congress back in 1998 pledging to serve just three terms. He won, spent six years fighting wasteful, overbearing government, and then stepped down as promised.

Toomey, until very recently the president of the Club for Growth — a group dedicated to market growth, not growth of government — is likely to challenge Specter next year for his Senate seat.

The difference between Toomey and Specter? Toomey, being the challenger, may ask you to write a check to his campaign, while Specter, being the incumbent, will offer to give you a check . . . drawn on your account.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.