FACT CHECK: Washington Group That Attacked Senator Lugar Continues Assault on Donnelly

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Indianapolis, Ind.--Today, Joe Donnelly’s campaign responded to the latest attack ad from Washington special interest group Club for Growth, which attacked Senator Lugar in the primary and now has its focus on Donnelly.

“The same group that spent $2 million to attack Senator Lugar in the primary race now has its sights set on Joe,” said Paul Tencher, campaign manager.  “Club for Growth President Chris Chocola, who lost his congressional seat to Joe in 2006, is now trying to use his billionaire backers to buy Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat.  Hoosier voters are smarter than this.  While special interest groups continue their efforts to mislead on Joe’s bipartisan record, he will continue his non-stop work around the state talking about his common sense approach to getting things done for middle class families.”


The Truth

V/O: Politicians will say anything.  Joe Donnelly says he wants a balanced budget... Joe Donnelly voted for a Balanced Budget Amendment. The Evansville Courier & Press reported that Donnelly would vote yes on the Balanced Budget Amendment, writing “U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, the only Democratic candidate in the race, said he will be among the “yes” votes when the House on Friday takes up a constitutional amendment that would require Congress to balance the federal budget.” [Evansville Courier & Press 11/17/11]

Joe Donnelly has returned more than $600,000 to the Treasury from his office budget since being elected to Congress.  [disbursements.house.gov, 2007-2011]

Joe Donnelly has voted against $2.4 trillion in federal spending.  [2011 Roll Call 690; 2011 Roll Calls 154, 179, 253, 268; 2009 Roll Calls 369, 502, 623, 625, 636, 991; H.R. 1105 Roll Call #86; 2011 Roll Call #941; 2007 Roll Calls #454,456, 457, 467, 468, 520, 524, 539, 545, 571, 572, 601, 602, 659, 681, 682, 683, 709, 710, 740, 741, 742]
...but in congress he voted to fund pork projects like a ballet theater in New York, an exploratorium in San Francisco, a lobster institute in Maine.   Donnelly Supported Earmark Reform.  In 2007, Donnelly voted in favor of new House rules to reform the process of creating “earmarks” in legislation. The rule required legislation and conference reports to be accompanied by a list of earmarks and limited tax or trade benefits, and their sponsors.
Members would have to provide information about the recipient and purpose of an earmark. It also created new budget points of order, including pay-as-you-go rules which would require offsets to any new entitlement spending or tax cuts. [H Res 6, Vote #9, 1/05/07]

Donnelly Opposed Funding for the “Bridge to Nowhere.” In March 2011, Donnelly voted in favor of a measure that would have prevented funding for the notorious Alaskan “Bridge to Nowhere.” The motion to recommit would have rescinded $183 million in funding for planning, design and construction of the Gravina Island and Knik Arm bridges in Alaska. The motion specifically rescinded all unobligated balances provided for the planning or construction of the both bridges. Rep. Jared Polis, who introduced the measure, noted that a CBO study estimated that the motion would reduce the deficit by $160 million.  [HR 662, Vote #159, 3/02/11]

Supported Effort to Rescind Unused Earmark Funds.  In February 2011, a USA Today investigation found billions of taxpayer dollars earmarked by members of Congress for their local districts over the previous two decades that - for one reason or another - just didn’t get used. The funding has become known as an orphan earmark. USA Today reported that more than $7.5 billion in orphan earmarks over the last two decades remains unspent.  Donnelly said he voted for a bill in 2010 that would have rescinded millions in orphan earmark funding. “I voted in July 2010 to rescind more than $700 million in unused transportation funding because taxpayer dollars should not be left in limbo. These dollars should either be returned to the Treasury or redirected to critical infrastructure projects,” Donnelly said.  [HR5730, Vote #471, 7/27/10; South Bend Tribune, 2/16/11; Kokomo Tribune, 11/04/10]

Voted to Remove Earmarks from Intelligence Authorization Bill.  In 2007, Donnelly voted in favor of a motion to instruct House conferees to eliminate any House or Senate provisions providing for earmarks and insist on provisions authorizing the maximum level of funding permissible for human intelligence collection activities. [HR 2082, Vote #1125, 12/04/07]
The list never ends.  Donnelly wasted our money on all of them.  Hey Joe, if you won’t even stop spending on a lobster institute, you’ll never balance the budget.   Mourdock’s budget would still have a deficit of $287 Billion in 2020 and would not run a surplus until 2040.  [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/28/12]

Mourdock’s budget would raise taxes on the middle class to pay for tax cuts for millionaires.  Families earning less than $30,000 each year would see their tax rates go up and services they depend on slashed as the wealthiest Americans saw their rates fall to the lowest levels since the Herbert Hoover administration.  [Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/12/12]
Club for Growth Action is responsible for the content of this advertising. Club for Growth spent nearly $2 Million against Senator Richard Lugar.  [Washington Post, 5/10/12]



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