Campaign 2010

Sep 18, 2008

Ad Watch:  Dale Sweetland, Not Such a Sweet Record on Energy Independence

Yesterday, Dale Sweetland released a radio ad highlighting his commitment to energy independence.  Unfortunately for him, his record tells a different tale.


"Dale Sweetland can try to sweeten his record on gas prices, but the reality is that after 20 years in public office he has failed to reduce gas prices, and continues to defend the status quo," said Carrie James, regional press secretary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  "Even worse, Dale Sweetland fought for a gas tax holiday that oil companies profited off of - and New Yorkers didn't save a dime.  This is a desperate attempt to cover up his long record of standing in the way of progress. It's time for change and clearly Dale Sweetland is not going to deliver."



Ad Script



Audio:  I'm Dale Sweetland.  Look around.  Do you see a solar energy gauge or alternative fuel source? Probably not because cars still run on gas and buildings are still fueled the way they've been for years.  Someday that'll change.  But not anytime soon. (Music starts)  I'm running for Congress because Congress should be responsible to help bring down the cost of energy that fuels your car and heats your home.  As your Congressman I will demand a real energy plan be passed in Washington.  To learn more visit our website at  I'm Dale Sweetland and I approve this message.  Paid for by Sweetland08.  



Fact: Sweetland's Last "Real Energy Plan" was a Failure


  • Sweetland sponsored gas tax cap that caused higher property taxes.  In 2006 Sweetland sponsored Onondaga County's cap on the gas tax which was extended through May 31, 2008.  According to a 2008 study by Onandago County's chief fiscal officer Joe Mareane, the gas tax cap just shifted the tax burden to property tax payers.  The idea was that service stations would pass the estimated $10.3 million a year in savings to consumers by dropping the price of gas by a few cents a gallon but two years later there was no evidence the cap lowered prices at all. The only thing the study found the cap did accomplish is to shift more than $20 million in tax burden from the gasoline industry to local property owners over the last two years.  [Post-Standard (Syracuse), 5/18/07; Post-Standard (Syracuse), 4/9/08]       


  • Oil companies likely profited from cap.  Mareane said he doesn't know exactly who pocketed the more than $20 million in sales tax savings but is certain it wasn't consumers. It was somebody along the supply gasoline supply chain, from the oil companies to the wholesalers to the service station owners, he said. [Post-Standard (Syracuse), 4/9/08]       


  • After cap lifted, Sweetland expressed "mixed feelings."  In 2008, after the Gas Tax Cap was lifted in March, Sweetland said he probably would have voted to keep it on.  He said, "I have mixed feelings about it. I probably would have voted to keep the cap on." [Post-Standard (Syracuse), 4/9/08]