Treasurer Bob Casey, Jr. and Senator Rick Santorum
Voter's Guide: U.S. Senate Race Pennsylvania
Rick Santorum vs. Bob Casey.
-- Jeff Hauser
The contest for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania features Republican
Senator Rick Santorum
running against Democratic Challenger Bob
Santorum was first elected to the U.S. Senate in
1994, and before that served two terms as a congressman from
Pennsylvania's 18th district. Santorum is currently the Chairman
of the Senate Republican Conference, making him the 3rd highest
official in the Senate.
Bob Casey also has an impressive history of public service. Casey
was elected to two terms as Pennsylvania's Auditor General before
serving in his current post as State Treasurer. Casey is also the
son of the late Robert
P. Casey, who was the highly popular Governor of Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Senate race has risen to the forefront of the
2006 election cycle. Despite his position of power within the Senate
leadership, Senator Santorum has one of the lowest approval ratings
of any U.S. Senator, and his seat has become a top target for
Democratic leaders seeking to regain control of the Senate in
Much of the criticism directed at Santorum can be traced to his
ultra-conservative views on many key issues, including gay rights
and the separation of church and state. In addition, Santorum has
also come under fire on numerous occasions because of insensitive
public statements he has made on topics like homosexuality and the
Casey is generally more moderate and progressive-minded on the
key Jewish issues. Casey has a positive relationship
with the gay rights community and adamantly advocates on behalf of
the separation of church and state. He also supports access to
contraception and funding for family planning, which Santorum
opposes. However, both Casey and Santorum strongly support Israel,
and both endorse a pro-life position on abortion issues.
Here is some more information on how the two candidates stand on
issues of importance to the Jewish community.
||Bob Casey, Jr. (D. Challenger)
||Rick Santorum (R. Incumbent)
- Strong supporter of Israel.
- Policy statement: ?The United States and
Israel share a deep bond based on common values and
mutual interests. As a United States Senator, I will
work to continue and strengthen this bond."
- As Pennsylvania's state Treasurer, he has
increased the state's investment in Israel
Bonds, saying that support for Israel's economy
is "a worthwhile international cause."
- Strong supporter of Israel.
- Sen. Santorum's homepage
on Israel/Jewish issues.
- 3 times Frank Lautenberg has sought to close the
loopholes that allow American corporations to make
huge profits working with the very same Iranian oil
industry that funds terrorists killing innocent
Israelis and Americans. Three times, Rick Santorum
stood by Halliburton, rather
than Israel and the American people. (7/26/2005
S.AMDT.1351 to S.1042;
9/30/2004 S.AMDT.3802 to S.2845;
5/19/2004 S.AMDT.3151 to S.2400)
- Casey advocates a pro-life position on
- However, Casey also ?supports birth control and
public funding of family planning as a way to reduce
the number of unintended pregnancies."
of Church and State
- Supports the 1st amendment guarantee of the
separation of church and state.
- Policy statement: ?The United States must
maintain a separation of church and state and resist
the encroachment of religion into the classroom and
- Casey also opposes the teaching of "intelligent
design" in the classroom: "Bob Casey
believes if intelligent design is taught it should
be taught at home or in religious class, not in
- Bob Casey has been embraced
as a supporter of the gay rights movement.
- In addition, "Bob Casey supports the Hate
Crimes bill that extends federal jurisdiction to
hate crimes based on 'the actual or perceived
race, color, religion, national origin, sexual
orientation, gender or disability' of the
- Sen. Santorum's insensitive and offensive comments
- Sen. Santorum also voted
in favor of S.J.R.
1, which sought to propose a
constitutional amendment defining marriage as a
union between a man and woman only.
statement: the current leadership in
Washington "puts forth an energy policy
that gives billions in tax breaks to ExxonMobil
without doing enough to reduce our dependence on
- In addition, "Bob Casey will fight for a
national energy policy that reduces our
dependence on foreign oil and gives support to
alternative energy and not Big Oil."
- Sen. Santorum voted
in favor of the Energy
Policy Act of 2005. This act has been criticized by many experts
as little more than a massive subsidy for the
traditional powerbrokers in the energy industry.
- "Yes, there will be species that will go
extinct but other species will come along and
take their place." (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
- Santorum is second in contributions from gas
companies only to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison