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Profile of Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania

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Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania:

Bob Casey, Jr., former Pennsylvania State Treasurer, was first elected U.S. senator in 2006, defeating Republican incumbent Rick Santorum. Sen Casey won reelection in 2012.

Casey is a firm believer in fiscal discipline. As state Auditor General, he compiled an impressive record of fighting wasteful spending and bureaucratic inefficiencies and errors.

A devout Catholic, Casey does not support abortion and holds pro-life views, which is at odds with Democratic Party stances, but appealing in battleground state Pennsylvania.

Bob Casey, Jr. on the Issues:

Casey is a firm believer in fiscal discipline. He pledges to end federal "no-bid contracts, sweetheat deals and wasteful spending" and "corporate welfare."

He wants to reform No Child Left Behind, which he dubs "all stick and no carrot," and prioritizes new school construction and repair of aging schools.

Casey seeks to end deep cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, and declares that "Every American deserves a secure retirement with affordable prescription drugs and reliable Social Security."

Senate Committees in 112th Congress, 2011-2012:

  • Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry Committee
  • Agriculture Subcommittee on Energy, Science & Technology
  • Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition & Food Assistance, Sustainable & Organic Agriculture
  • Foreign Relations Committee
  • Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Operations & Organizations, Democracy & Human Rights
  • Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs
  • Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee
  • Joint Economic Committee
  • Special Committee on Aging

Bob Casey, Jr., a Pro-Life, Pro-Gay Rights Democrat:

As a devout Catholic, Casey does not support abortion or embryonic stem cell research, and holds pro-life views, which is at odds with official Democratic Party stances.

He is, however, a strong supporter of gay rights, including adoption by same-gender families and extension of domestic partner benefits to same-gender couples... stances which have enraged some Catholics. He opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment which bans gay marriage.

Professional Experience:

  • Attorney, mainly with Haggerty, McDonnell & O'Brien, a Scranton law firm co-founded by his father - 1991-1996
  • Pennsylvania State Auditor General - 1996-2004
  • Pennsylvania State Treasurer - 2004-present
As Auditor General, Casey exposed holes in state oversight of nursing homes, uncovered numerous instances of wasteful spending, identified millions in uncollected debts owed to the state, and found that the state had lost track of 1,600 parolees and probationers in two years.

Personal Data:

  • Birth - April 13, 1960 in Scranton, PA, the eldest son of 8 children born to Irish Catholic parents, Bob Sr. and Ellen.
  • Education - Roman Catholic schools. B.A. 1982, College of the Holy Cross. J.D. 1988 from Catholic University of America.
  • Family - Married in 1985 to Terese. Four daughters.
  • Faith - Roman Catholic
Casey has never tested for the genetic disease that claimed his father's life after an 8-year struggle. Casey's physician says Casey is in "excellent physical health."

Between College and Law School:

Between college and law school, Casey worked for the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, which works "with people who are homeless unemployed, refugees, people with AIDS, the elderly, street youth, abused women and children, the mentally ill and the developmentally disabled." While with JVC, he taught 5th grade and coached 8th grade basketball in inner city Philadelphia.

The Bob Casey, Jr. Persona:

Tenacious and bright, Casey, like his late father, has a wooden speaking-style. Local press reports that Casey consulted a speech coach to ramp-up his charisma factor. A local Democratic operative says of Casey, "He doesn't come across as aggressive... he's a low-key, decent kind of guy."

Casey played basketball in high school and college. In 1991, he suffered a fractured nose and ruptured Achilles tendon in a basketball incident.

Father, Robert Casey, Sr., Former Governor of Pennsylvania:

Attorney Robert Casey, Sr. was the Democratic governor of Pennsylvania from 1987 to 1995. As governor, he expanded healthcare for women and implemented health insurance for uninsured children.

Strongly pro-life, Casey famously refused to endorse Bill Clinton for the presidency in 1992, and accordingly, wasn't allowed to speak at the party convention. He passed away in 2000 of familial amyloidosis, a rare, inheritable genetic disease.

Memorable Quotes by Bob Casey, Jr.:

On Family

"The most important lesson I learned from my father was the unconditional love he had for my mother, his eight children, and his grandchildren...

He also said "the most important quality a person can bring to political office is a passion for justice and a sense of outrage in the face of injustice."

My wife Terese and our four daughters influence me every day in the most profound way by their love and support for me."

--- July 29, 2005, interview with Ignatius Insight

On Why Pro-Choice Voters Should Support Him

"I’ve always been a strong advocate for programs and policies that make life better for women before and after giving birth... I will work hard to protect important programs like WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and Head Start. I’ve also been a strong supporter of family planning and will continue the fight to keep it funded...

That’s why I’ve enjoyed the support of pro-choice and pro-life people every time I’ve run for office in Pennsylvania. If there is one thing that brings people together on this issue it’s the need to reduce the number of abortions – the number of unwanted pregnancies and crisis pregnancies."

--- September 2, 2005, interview with The Philadelphia Jewish Voice

On Stem Cell Research

"... I will strongly support funding for stem cell research that doesn’t destroy an embryo. There are many promising techniques under development that don’t require destroying the embryo and there’s good reason to hope that soon we’ll be able to remove the politics from this issue.

I also strongly support increased federal funding for research on stem cells derived from adult cells, bone marrow and placentas..."

--- July 29, 2005, interview with Ignatius Insight

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