In PA, GOP Senate candidate Toomey is even opposed to Hate Crimes law

We’d like to think that candidates have moved beyond the debate about hate crimes. I mean, you really have to sink pretty low to oppose the hate crimes law, right? In 2009, the Senate voted by a lopside margin 63 – 28 to end the filibuster of the Matthew Shepard Act.

But, we’re not past that debate. Nope. The right wing GOPer running for Senate in Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey, proudly proclaimed his opposition to the Matthew Shepard Act. Via Amanda Terkel at Huffington Post:

The issue of hate crimes legislation is the latest debate in the U.S. Senate election in Pennsylvania, with Republican Pat Toomey reiterating his 2004 position against such measures to a local news station this week.

“I think it’s a bad idea for government to legislate on the basis of what they think people are thinking, what’s in a person’s mind or heart when they create a crime,” Toomey told KDKA in Pennsylvania on Thursday. “Crime should be prosecuted for what’s actually done, and it should be vigorously prosecuted… We shouldn’t have a system that is designed to say now, what was so and so thinking at the time he committed his crime and let’s punish him more or less depending of what we think the thought process was. That’s ridiculous. People should be punished for the crime they commit.”

It should comes as no surprise that the Democratic candidate, Joe Sestak, supports the hate crimes law. He voted for it twice in the House.

Toomey is spewing the right wing lie that this is about thought crimes. It’s not. He should know better. And, he shouldn’t be a Senator.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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