The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 21, 2013

Tea party group gives Marino, Barletta 'C' grades

By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item

SUNBURY —  Americans for Prosperity, the highly influential conservative tea party political action group, released its voting scorecard for the 112th Congress and Valley Reps. Tom Marino, R-10 of Cogan Station, and Lou Barletta, R-11 of Hazleton, received grades of “C.”

The grades are based on opposition to the Affordable Health Care Act — Obamacare — and seven other key voting categories, including environmental regulations and alternative energy, which in AFP’s view would increase taxes and grow the size of government. The group is funded in large part by billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch.

Marino took a position similar to Americans for Prosperity’s 70 percent of the time in 2012, the group said. But his lifetime rating from AFP is 85, which is the second highest in the Pennsylvania congressional delegation.

“While I am proud to be rated amongst the most conservative members of the Pennsylvania delegation,” Marino said, “I will ultimately be judged by my constituents. They sent me to Washington to represent their voices, and it is their needs I consider when casting a vote — not the needs of scorecards.”

Meanwhile, Barletta voted the Americans for Prosperity line 62 percent of the time; his lifetime score average is 56 percent.

Tim Murtough, a spokesman for Barletta, said: “The congressman is proud of his record on economic freedom. He stands strong for lower taxes, reduced government spending, and greater opportunities for all law-abiding citizens. He also opposes Obamacare and limits on our ability to pursue our own abundant sources of energy.”

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania’s senators were also rated. Pat Toomey received a score of 94 percent; Robert Casey, 11 percent.

The five U.S. senators who scored 100 percent on the Americans for Prosperity test are Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Mike Crapo, R-Ind., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Marco Rubio, R-Fla.