The theme of today’s meeting was “Manufacturing Jobs” with special emphasis on small businesses as job creators.
Here is Sestak’s summary from his web site:
Admiral Joe Sestak knows from his experience as Vice Chair of the Small Business Committee that job growth comes from innovation, and innovating is what America does best. Because the average manufacturing business has fewer than 50 employees, it’s the rugged innovators in small businesses that will be the future face of American manufacturing, creating quality jobs and putting the Dream back in reach for millions. Joe believes there is much we can do to empower the initiative and enterprise of our renewed manufacturing sector to prosper, creating opportunities for manufacturers and workers alike.
You can also download a press release and a detailed “contrast sheet” showing Sestak’s and Toomey’s divergences on this issue.
Here are a few of his remarks that particularly caught my attention at the Gateway Park in Coatesville, with the large globe in front of the Lukens steel plant (not a small business, he noted) where his grandfather, an immigrant from Czechoslovakia, worked.
“Grassroots is back.” Sestak is “walking in our shoes,” deriving his strength from “We the People,” ordinary Pennsylvanian citizens.
There followed a closely reasoned development–as one would expect from a Harvard PhD–about what he has done to support small businesses and their creation of jobs, and what his opponent has not done, which you can read in his press release, such as:
Sen. Toomey… tells Pennsylvanians he cares about people with manufacturing jobs but then votes against them back in Washington, D.C. He filibustered the Bring Jobs Home Act twice, which would end tax credits for businesses that have jobs overseas and provided tax credits for businesses that bring jobs back to the U.S. Toomey has also voted against support for small manufacturing businesses in the United States. Despite saying that small businesses “are already struggling,” he voted three times against funding the SBA as a senator, which included voting against loan guarantees, microloans and access to capital for manufacturers. This included support for manufacturers to purchase machinery, equipment and working capital. He also voted against funding for small businesses that are owned by veterans and women.
He challenged Sen. Toomey to say: “Look at what I do.” Toomey did boast to the Tea Party about leading the filibuster against a transportation bill that actually would have helped American manufacturers.
Toomey also signed the open letter to the Iranian leaders, harming American leadership by telling them that 47 Republican Senators do not support the president of the United States. The presidency has long been respected in the world; Toomey and his colleagues are diminishing it.
Toomey voted against funding the Small business Administration, against bills to train workers, against bills to remedy problems like veterans’ suicides.
We also need a voting Rights Act to solve the problems of selective voter disenfranchisement.
Maybe when Admiral Sestak gets back to Washington, but not as long as the incumbent is part of the majority there.