LETTER: Toomey using children as pawns

York Dispatch

I felt the need to write this letter after reading a recent misleading column in your newspaper (OP-ED: Back to safer schools) by Sen. Pat Toomey. While it is good that the bill he discussed will help children, I'm upset because I feel that Toomey is using this issue to gain political points to help him get re-elected next year.

The senator's record on voting for legislation to protect children is sadly deficient. He has voted three times to defund the National Sex Offender Registry, which establishes the requirement that sex offenders update their whereabouts every three months for life. He has also voted against funding the National Sex Offender Public website, which compiles all 50 states' data on sex offenders' whereabouts for national use. Sen. Toomey has voted against funding for investigations of missing and exploited children.

Last year, the former chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee offered Sen. Toomey a chance to have his bill vetted through the committee but the senator refused. Even worse, Toomey placed a temporary "hold" on another bill, which would have protected children at day care centers, because he wasn't getting his way on his own bill.

Even a Philadelphia Daily News columnist noted that Toomey's bill is mostly redundant and is unlikely to pass — so accept it as a campaign talking point akin to saying, "I like children." I'm so tired of politicians who use children as pawns in a re-election bid.