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On Saturday, Toomey declared in a statement: “Passage of this pro-growth tax reform bill brings hardworking Pennsylvanians one step closer to seeing a direct pay raise and better job opportunities.” The truth?
It’s a safe bet that Toomey doesn’t care because a politician who actually cares what Pennsylvania thinks would probably have real town-hall meetings — not carefully scripted and highly screened encounters on the telephone or in a tiny TV studio (where asking a startling question, as real Pennsylvanians do sometimes, can get you arrested).
It’s a safe bet that Toomey doesn’t care because the Founders — convinced that six-year terms would make the Senate a “deliberative” body and not an unaccountable monster — ensured that voters won’t get another crack at our junior senator until 2022, and many suspect that Toomey is already planning to cash in his chips as a lobbyist on K Street by then.
OK, maybe “die” isn’t the right word, but the state’s junior senator did reveal a lot about himself on the wee wee hours on Friday when — in a strange 11-minute debate amid the dead-of-night push for the GOP’s $1 trillion millionaire tax giveaway — Toomey tried to defend his amendment that would mean a $700,000 annual tax break for the conservative-oriented Hillsdale by exempting it from a levy on endowments that would hammer the University of Pennsylvania and several other schools in the state Toomey supposedly represents.
Under pressure from Democratic senators — “There are so many deserving schools in Oregon and Pennsylvania and elsewhere who don’t get this special treatment,” Oregon’s Ron Wyden observed — Toomey claimed Hillsdale’s not having to pay a tax on its endowment should be seen as a reward for not taking federal funds (the move that frees the school up to discriminate).
Since 2005, he’s written the uber-opinionated, fair-but-dangerously unbalanced opinion blog "Attytood," covering a range of topics (but mostly politics and the media these days); it’s been named best blog in the state by the Associated Press Managing Editors and best blog in the city by Philadelphia Magazine.
He’s also authored three full-length books and three Amazon Kindle Single e-books, including 2015’s The Bern Identity: A Search for Bernie Sanders and the New American Dream.
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Even in a time when politicians are often accused of working for their rich donors instead of fighting for their constituents, Toomey’s move was stunningly brazen.