Aug 14, 2012
Congressman Runyan Awarded For Seniors Work By Front Group for Republicans
Congressman Jon Runyan (NJ-03) is currently touting that the group RetireSafe has given him an award for his work on senior's issues. What he doesn't mention is that RetireSafe is nothing but a front group for Republicans and the pharmaceutical industry. RetireSafe is "led by former Bush and Reagan administration officials, small-government activists and pharmaceutical industry lobbyists and consultants." This week, Congressman Paul Ryan and his plan to end Medicare were added to the Republican ticket, highlighting Congessman Runyan’s horrible voting record on Medicare.
"Congressman Jon Runyan voted for Paul Ryan's budget that would end Medicare and nearly double health care costs for seniors, and there is no special interest group that can pull the wool over New Jersey seniors' eyes about it," said Josh Schwerin of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "The only award that Congressman Jon Runyan deserves is one for being the favorite of corporate special interests and leaving New Jersey seniors out in the cold."
Congressman Runyan Received an Award from RetireSafe. "On Monday August 13th, Congressman Jon Runyan (R-NJ) received the '2012 Standing Up for American Seniors Award' from RetireSafe." [Runyan press release, 8/13/12]
RetireSafe is Closely Tied to the Republican Party, Pharmaceutical Industry. "RetireSafe bills itself as a nonpartisan senior citizens advocacy organization, but it is led by former Bush and Reagan administration officials, small-government activists and pharmaceutical industry lobbyists and consultants." [Roll Call, 12/1/11]
Provided Cover. "RetireSafe’s awards provided these Republicans with valuable political cover for supporting controversial bills, such as the budget proposed by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that would have dramatically revamped Medicare." [Roll Call, 12/1/11]
Pharmaceutical Industry Bankrolled RetireSafe. “PhRMA has long supported RetireSafe, contributing $88,000 to the organization during the past three years, according to federal filings.” [Roll Call, 12/1/11]
Bulk of RetireSafe’s Budget Went to Direct Mail. “Federal records show that the bulk of RetireSafe’s expenditures, about $2.2 million, go to direct mail such as the flier that voters in Michigan received this fall praising freshman Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Mich.) for protecting Part D. Other Republican freshmen who have won awards from RetireSafe include Reps. Jon Runyan (N.J.), Allen West (Fla.) and Paul Gosar (Ariz.).” [Roll Call, 12/1/11]
Alliance for Retired Americans: Beware RetireSafe, a Front Group for the Pharmaceutical Industry. “It is funded at least in part by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the drug industry’s chief lobbying group, and has served to validate the industry’s agenda. RetireSafe’s awards provided these Republicans with valuable political cover for supporting controversial bills, such as the budget proposed by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that would have dramatically revamped Medicare.” [ARA, 12/2/11]
RetireSafe Supported Privatizing Social Security. Retirsafe.org has claimed, “Personal retirement accounts (PRAs) are good for individuals and good for the economy […] PRA is an account you own and control made up of a portion of your existing payroll taxes invested in stocks, bonds, mutual funds or simple government T-bills.” [Human Events, 5/15/03]
Congressman Runyan Voted for Paul Ryan’s Plan to End Medicare. On April 15, 2011, Runyan voted for the House Republican budget plan for fiscal year 2012, authored by Congressman Paul Ryan. On March 29, 2012, Runyan again voted for the fiscal year 2013 version of the plan. According to the Wall Street Journal, Ryan’s plan “would essentially end Medicare.” [H Con. Res. 34, Vote #277, 4/15/11; H Con Res 112, Vote #151, 3/29/12; Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]