Reporter’s Notebook: Dan Meuser, the Congressional candidate for Pennsylvania’s Ninth District, who previously served as the Pennsylvania State Revenue Secretary, is facing a lot of backlash and criticism from conservatives after campaign contributions to Democrats were revealed this week.
In a series of FEC reports that show Meuser contributing thousands of dollars through his Pride Mobility Products PAC to anti-Trump left-wing politicians, including former DNC chair woman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a firestorm of outrage ensued among conservative pundits labeling Meuser a D.C. swamp rat.
On April 3, Sebastian Gorka officially endorsed Meuser’s opposition, Scott Uehlinger, who is also running as a Republican in Pennsylvania’s Ninth District, saying Uehlinger, “truly understands how deep the D.C. swamp goes, and what it will take to drain it.”
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) April 5, 2018
Pride Mobility is a manufacturer of power wheelchairs, scooters, and lift chairs. From 1988 to 2008, Dan Meuser was Pride Mobility’s owner and president. Meuser’s brother, Scott, who is Pride Mobility’s current chairman and CEO, said of his brother leaving the top position in 2008, “During Dan’s 20 years of senior leadership, Pride Mobility grew from approximately $2 million in sales to more than $400 million and became the leader in the global market for mobility products.”
However, Acting Principal Deputy Inspector General Dara Corrigan may not share the same familial endorsement of Meuser’s business practices. In 2004, Corrigan testified in front of the United States Senate Committee on Finance Hearing stating, “we have found significant and troubling abuses of the Medicare wheelchair benefit that deplete the Medicare Trust Fund of scarce dollars and harm beneficiaries.”
Corrigan continued, “Pride Mobility Products Corporation, a manufacturer of power wheelchairs, scooters, and lift chairs, solicited and received monthly payments from suppliers in return for referring sales leads to those suppliers. On October 22, 2002, the company [Pride Mobility Products Corporation] agreed to pay $80,000 to resolve its liability for violations of the kickback provision of the Civil Monetary Penalties Law.”
A kickback indicates payments made to someone who has facilitated a transaction or appointment, especially an illicit bribe, payoff, or payola, like when a business pays off politicians such as Debbie Wasserman Shultz, Charlie Rangel and other Democrats (and Republicans) for favorable legislation, so that their company, like potentially Dan Meuser’s, can grow from $2 million in sales to $400 million in sales.
That’s how Washington works – that’s the swamp. One may be able to conclude that Meuser’s company could be a major player in the Medicare swamp and that Meuser is nothing but a swamp monster.
Meuser continues to claim Pride Mobility PAC, which has distributed money to Democrats as well as establishment Republicans (58% to Democrats in 2010) has absolutely 100% nothing to do with him or his campaign. However, Meuser listed himself as one of the top donors to Pride Mobility PAC in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016.
Shockingly, Meuser still listed himself on FEC documents as Corporation/President and Business Owner of Pride Mobility Products, and State of Pennsylvania Secretary of Revenue as recently as 2016.
I confronted Meuser after a meet-the-candidate forum last Tuesday about contributing thousands of dollars to anti-Trump Democrats, including the Democrat in his own home district. He became visibly flustered and angered. He said there was no truth in the fact that he donated thousands of dollars to anti-Trump Democrats.
Instead of addressing the FEC reports, Meuser and his campaign spokesperson, Mike Barley instead chose to mock me, stating, “I’ve never heard of you” and, “You’re not a real member of the media.”
This seems to ignore the fact that, most recently, Rush Limbaugh credited me as a courageous conservative journalist after questioning former FBI director James Comey at a New York book promotion event. Worse yet, Meuser and his staff even threatened to have me removed by security for asking Mueser tough questions.
When I asked why he was running as a Republican in Pennsylvania’s Ninth instead of running and challenging the Democrat in the Eighth District where he actually lives, Meuser became agitated and said he had a Constitutional right to run.
That understanding of the Constitution may be somewhat selective since during the confrontation, he tried to have me, a journalist exercising her First Amendment right, removed.
I continued to press Meuser and his campaign spokesperson and their arrogance persisted. Nobody would ever see my video confrontation, they scoffed. Well, they were wrong. It’s now been seen by thousands of people on social media all across the country, as well as individuals within the Trump administration, I’ve been told.
Dear Mr. Meuser, care to have a sit-down?
Watch the video below
feature image: Dan Meuser via YouTube
Laura Loomer is a conservative investigative journalist and activist. She is the author of What Happens In Vegas, forthcoming from Dangerous Books. Follow her on Twitter @LauraLoomer