Tag: gop senators
Dave McCormick

GOP Senate Nominee McCormick Grew Up In A Mansion -- Not 'On A Farm'

David McCormick, who is Pennsylvania's presumptive Republican U.S. Senate nominee, has often suggested he grew up poor in a rural community. But a new report finds that his upbringing was far more affluent than he's suggested.

The New York Times reported Friday that McCormick — a former hedge fund executive who lived in Connecticut as recently as 2022 — has been cagey with voters about his childhood. McCormick has tweeted that he was "raised in Bloomsburg working on his family's farm," said on a 2022 podcast that he "started with nothing" and told CBS News that same year that he "didn't have anything" growing up as the son of two schoolteachers.

But according to the Times, McCormick's father, Dr. James H. McCormick, was appointed president of what is now Bloomsburg University by Gov. Milton Schapp (D) in 1973. He moved his family into Buckalew Place — the official mansion for presidents of the school that currently spans 5,500 square feet — when his son was just eight years old. The Times reported that he was paid a salary of $29,000 at the time, which is more than $200,000 in today's dollars.

"He had a very privileged childhood," 76-year-old Linda Cromley — a lifelong Bloomsburg resident who attended church with the McCormicks for a stretch — told the Times. "He didn’t grow up a poor kid. Which doesn’t mean that he has to — but don’t pretend that you were."

During a roundtable discussion earlier this year, McCormick referred to himself as a "farmer that's got a big farm in Columbia County." However, that's a reference to his family's 600-acre Christmas tree farm that they purchased after the McCormicks had already been living at Buckalew Place for several years.

Mary Gummerson, who rented part of the farm with her husband for more than three decades, told the Times that while David McCormick had spent some summers baling hay and trimming trees, his description of himself as a "farmer" was somewhat misleading.

“They were hunters and he grew up in a farm kind of environment," Gummerson said. “But no, he’s not planting corn.”

McCormick didn't respond to the Times' interview request, but clarified in a statement that "growing up, we lived on campus at Bloomsburg State College and my parents owned a farm 10 minutes down the road." He added that the Times' highlighting of the discrepancies between his descriptions of his biographical details and the actual details of his upbringing were "hair-splitting, frivolous, cherry-picked distortions of what I have always said."

Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate primary is Tuesday, though McCormick has no Republican opposition. He will face off with Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) in the November election, who is seeking a fourth six-year term. According to RealClearPolitics' polling average, Casey leads McCormick by more than five points.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Todd Young

Todd Young Becomes Third GOP Senator To Reject Trump In 2024

There are now three Senate Republicans who are declining to endorse former President Donald Trump's candidacy in the 2024 election, and that number may grow larger over the next eight months.

MSNBC columnist Steve Benen wrote that despite Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) endorsement of the 45th president of the United States earlier this week, not all members of his caucus are as eager. On Friday, Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) — who represents a state Trump won by 16 points in 2020 — declined to get behind Trump's 2024 campaign for the White House while speaking with reporters on Capitol Hill.

When asked what his other issues with Trump were, Young said, "Where do I begin?" He elaborated that his chief complaint with Trump was with his indifference toward Russian President Vladimir Putin's conquest of Ukraine.

"I think President Trump's judgment is wrong in this case, Young said. "President Putin and his government have engaged in war crimes."

At one point, CNN's Manu Raju asked Young, "does it worry you that he's your party's leading presidential candidate?"

"Of course it does," Young quipped. "That's why I don't intend to support him for the Republican nomination."

"Who do you plan to support?" A reporter asked.

"I haven't decided yet," the senator responded. "But it won't be him."

While Young noted that his lack of support for Trump is for the Republican presidential primary, the 45th president is the only Republican still in the running for the GOP's nomination after former UN ambassador Nikki Haley exited the race earlier this week. The former South Carolina governor had been Trump's final opponent following the New Hampshire primary, but she suspended her campaign after losing nearly every Super Tuesday contest with the exception of Vermont. Haley did not endorse Trump in her announcement ending her campaign, and said the ex-president would have to "earn" the votes of her supporters.

Todd Young is the third Senate Republican to publicly distance himself from Trump's third bid for the White House. Previously, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) have said they also would not be supporting the ex-president in 2024. If Trump is convicted of felonies in any of his four upcoming criminal trials this year, it's likely other Republican elected officials may join those three in declining to support Trump.

The former president will face his first trial in Manhattan on March 25, where District Attorney Alvin Bragg has indicted him on 34 felony counts relating to hush money payments he allegedly orchestrated in 2016. His former lawyer and "fixer" Michael Cohen, who was already sentenced to three years in federal prison for facilitating those payments among other crimes, will be Bragg's star witness.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

John Cornyn

'Hard To Run From Prison, Ken': Senator Rips Indicted Texas Attorney General

Former Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) is among the Senate Republicans who is being mentioned as a possible replacement for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who on Wednesday announced that he is retiring from that position. The 82-year-old McConnell plans to serve out the rest of his term, which doesn't end until January 3, 2027, but he is stepping down as GOP leader in the U.S. Senate in November.

Far-right Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is hoping that someone other than Cornyn will be chosen. Although the conservative Cornyn has endorsed Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential election, Paxton believes that he isn't MAGA enough.

Paxton, who has been battling legal problems — including securities fraud charges — but survived an impeachment effort in the Texas legislature, attacked Cornyn in a February 28 post on X (formerly Twitter).

The Texas AG wrote, "It will be difficult for @JohnCornyn to be an effective leader since he is anti-Trump, anti-gun, and will be focused on his highly competitive primary campaign in 2026. Republicans deserve better in their next leader and Texans deserve another conservative Senator."

Cornyn, in response to Paxton's tweet, posted, "Hard to run from prison, Ken."

Paxton has been battling legal problems for almost a decade.

In 2015, Paxton was serving his first term as Texas attorney general when he was indicted on securities fraud charges And his legal problems have persisted; the case has been delayed but is scheduled to go to trial in April. Paxton, as Cornyn mentioned, is still in danger of going to prison.

Despite his legal problems, Paxton was reelected as state attorney general in 2018 and won a third term in 2022.

Paxton, in 2023, was impeached in the GOP-controlled Texas House of Representatives, and fellow Republicans argued that acts of corruption and allegations of bribery made him unfit to continue serving as Texas attorney general. But he was later acquitted in an impeachment trial in the Texas Senate, where Republicans also have a majority.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Dave McCormick

'I'm Prospecting With Really Wealthy People' Boasts Senate Candidate McCormick

Wealthy Connecticut former hedge fund executive Dave McCormick, who has been endorsed by the Republican Party of Pennsylvania to challenge Democratic Sen. Bob Casey this November, has backed a series of policies that would help very rich individuals and hurt working families. On January 22, he indicated that he is spending half of his time fundraising with out-of-state rich people.

In a discussion at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, titled “View from the Top with Dave McCormick, U.S. Senate Candidate,” the millionaire former CEO of Bridgewater Associates and unsuccessful 2022 Senate primary candidate told students: “I’m spending half my time with donors. Essentially, it’s going to be the most expensive race in the country.”

In an audio recording of the event, posted by Heartland Signal, he said: “I’m nationalizing the race. if you vote for me you’re voting for winning the Senate, blah blah blah. So I’m everywhere, prospecting mostly with really wealthy people, where you will all be in 20 years, or many of you. And I’m also spending half my time in Pennsylvania, where the median income is $55,000 to $60,000.”

His campaign has said it raised $6.4 million in the last quarter of 2023, including $1 million of McCormick’s own money.

The only policy issues mentioned in the agenda section of McCormick’s campaign site are his plans to counter the influence of China, where his old investment firm invested more than $1 billion during his tenure.

In remarks at last year’s annual Pennsylvania Society reception, an event attended by Pennsylvania politicians and business leaders in New York City, heard in a recording obtained by the Pennsylvania Capital-Star in December, McCormick argued that wealthy business executives are not greedy price-gougers and that their taxes should be cut permanently. “We need to make this a more business-friendly commonwealth and more business-friendly country,” he said, according to the Capital-Star. “We need to make permanent the Tax [Cuts] and Jobs Act. We need to get rid of this onerous red tape and regulation which has gotten a lot worse under the Biden administration.”

The 2017 tax law in question, signed by President Donald Trump, slashed tax rates for the wealthiest Americans and large corporations while actually raising them for 10 million American families. For top earners like McCormick, whose 2022 salary exceeded $22 million, the law dropped his tax rate from 39.6 percent to 37 percent, likely saving him hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. The individual cuts are set to expire in 2025; making them permanent would add an estimated $3.5 trillion to the national debt through 2033, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

In October 2023, McCormick said he opposed President Joe Biden’s 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, which boosted climate investments and reduced health care costs. Though the law has lowered prescription drug prices and the cost of insulin for Pennsylvanians on Medicare, McCormick implied he would like to scrap most or all of it along with Biden’s bipartisan 2021 infrastructure investments: “We’ve got to roll that back. … So the big Biden legislation was a terrible mistake. The Green New Bill, all these things were disasters. And so we’ve got to roll that back.”

Biden has not signed a “Green New Bill,” but the infrastructure law has already provided funds to help Pennsylvania families afford air conditioning and heating bills, repair the commonwealth’s unsafe bridges, and improve water infrastructure in Pennsylvania.

McCormick said in March 2023 that the public education system is not doing enough to teach kids that America is exceptional, “And that’s why we’ve got to break the back of our teachers’ unions and our public school system and give kids choice and get parents more involved.”

He has come under fire for actually living in Connecticut, rather than in Pennsylvania, according to tax records. Although he calls himself “a Pennsylvania job creator and a business leader,” a January 9 HuffPost report found that his firm cut hundreds of jobs after accepting Connecticut state funds to boost hiring.

Though he claimed in a January 2022 radio interview never to have outsourced jobs, he boasted in a 2005 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review interview that his experience helping companies move jobs offshore would help him in the role to which he had just been appointed, as undersecretary of commerce for export administration in the George W. Bush administration.

Reprinted with permission from Pennsylvania Independent.