Last night, Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D) and Mike Kelly (R) sparred for 70 minutes in a debate held at Allegheny College. One of the major issues raised was the abundance of outside expenditures in Pennsylvania’s third congressional district, largely in support of Kelly and against Dahlkemper. Indeed, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has spent approximately $250,000 attacking Dahlkemper on Kelly’s behalf.
It is little surprise then that when asked about his vision for the role of government, Kelly vehemently defended tax loopholes for corporations that outsource American jobs, an issue near-and-dear to the Chamber’s heart. Despite the fact that over 12,000 jobs in PA-03 have been shipped overseas since 1994, Kelly gave his full-throated support for corporate tax loopholes that encourage outsourcing:
MODERATOR: I have a simple question, but it’s very direct. What do you believe the role of government is? [...]
KELLY: I would say the role of government is to [inaudible]. I really think that when we talk about what’s happening in this country, a government – and I really mean this because this is the problem – a government that is so overregulating, so intrusive, so overtaxing. And then by the same token, you say, “well, we just want to eliminate the tax loopholes.” Why do you think these businesses are leaving this country? They’re being penalized to stay here! We have to level the playing field. [...]
Watch here (Kelly begins at 0:44):
Dahlkemper, who has been on the receiving end of the Chamber’s attack ads, was incensed that the group could play such a major role in the race without disclosing its sources of funding, especially after it was revealed that some of that money comes from foreign companies. The congresswoman decried the fact that “foreign interests [were] trying to influence our elections” and called for an FEC investigation into the Chamber’s funding. Dahlkemper is joined by many others who support a formal investigation, including Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), Reps. Steve Driehaus (D-OH) and Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH), and OH-18 GOP nominee Bob Gibbs. Watch it: