After beating up Dan Meuser for the past week because Pride Mobility employed a few illegal immigrants a decade ago it has been revealed that Chris Hackett had one working in his home until last week. Like Zoey Baird he did not withhold Social Security or other payroll taxes and did not turn her in to the Feds.
Congressional hopeful says he discharged housekeeper after learning her status.
“People who hire help like housekeepers or yard workers generally don’t check if they are legally allowed to work in this country,” Hackett said. “Dan Meuser’s company got fined and the truth is that you only get fined if you knowingly hire illegal immigrants. I think that’s an important point here.”
Meuser’s campaign reacted strongly to the news about Hackett.
“Chris Hackett and his campaign have spent weeks attacking Dan Meuser, all the while concealing Hackett’s real record on illegals,” said Meuser campaign spokesman Eric Wallace. “Chris Hackett has displayed a pattern of hypocrisy throughout this campaign that the public is getting to see firsthand regarding this issue. It’s only a matter of time before Hackett brings his negative and hypocritical campaign to the airwaves, despite his promise to run a positive campaign.”
Anticipating this bad news I received this press release yesterday afternoon from the Hackett camp.
MORE QUESTIONS RAISED ABOUT MEUSER BUSINESS PRACTICES
Medicare Kickbacks, Software Piracy, Outsourcing Jobs At Issue
Dallas, PA – During the course of his campaign for Congress, Dan Meuser has repeatedly made an issue of his company’s business performance. By all accounts, Meuser’s company has been successful and is a significant employer in Pennsylvania, and he is to be commended for that.
However, Meuser seems to think the failings of his business are out-of-bounds for public discussion. He’s wrong. Voters deserve to know the truth about any illegal or otherwise questionable business practices.
· Official testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance on April 28, 2004, indicates that Dan Meuser’s company “agreed to pay $80,000 to resolve its liability for violations of the kickback provision of the Civil Monetary Penalties Law.” The testimony of Dara Corrigan, Acting Principal Deputy Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, goes on to cite that “In Pennsylvania, an OIG investigation revealed that, through a marketing program, Pride Mobility Products Corporation, a manufacturer of power wheelchairs, scooters, and lift chairs, solicited and received monthly payments from supplies in return for referring sales leads to those suppliers.” The official testimony also states, “in addition to the payment under the settlement agreement, the company was also required to adopt and implement certain compliance measures.” (See attached testimony).
Questions: Will Dan Meuser release the terms of the settlement agreement in this Medicare kickback scheme? How else can voters know the extent to which Meuser’s violations harmed taxpayers who fund the Medicare program and seniors who depend on it?
· Just last year, Dan Meuser’s company paid an enormous $380,000 fine to settle a software piracy case with the Business Software Alliance (BSA) (see “Software Group Ready to Levy Fines Against Pittsburgh’s Pirates,” Pittsburgh Business Times, 7/9/07).
The BSA notes that “Software piracy is against the law, costing millions of dollars in tax revenues and lost jobs. In 2005, the United States lost $6.9 billion as a result of software piracy (see Business Software Alliance press release, “BSA Issues an Alert to Pittsburgh Businesses,” 5/1/7). The Citizens Voice reported that Meuser’s company was fined for “unauthorized use of Adobe, Autodesk, Microsoft, and Symantec software,” (“Pride Pays Organization for Using Pirated Software,” The Citizens Voice, 6/30/07).
The Pittsburgh Business Times further noted on June 6, 2007, that “fines [for software piracy] can range anywhere from $5,000 into the millions, but average around $35,000.”
Questions: Why was Dan Meuser’s company forced to pay a software piracy fine that was more than 10 times the average size? Will Meuser release the legal records of this case that explain the full extent of the theft?
This race is starting to resemble the Democratic Presidential contest. The 2 candidates have very few policy differences so contrasts must be made in other ways.