What do atheism and wind energy have in common?

The correct answer is “nothing,” but don’t tell that to Rep. Joe Sestak, D, who is running for Senate in Pennsylvania this year against former Rep. Pat Toomey, R.

Sestak has requested a $350,000 grant for the Thomas Paine Foundation, the Allentown Morning Call reports. The Paine Foundation is part of the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia, a tiny nonprofit (annual income: $14,000) seeking to purge religion from private life. The earmark is for the purpose of developing “a prototype Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) that could be floated offshore, utilizing recent developments in air bearing technology that allow for more efficient generation of electrical power.”

If the grant is given, the money will go to Drew Devitt, the sole officer of the Thomas Paine Foundation. Devitt “also operates New Way Energy LLC, which is developing wind turbines for offshore use.”

Sestak’s office professes ignorance about this strange  arrangement, and let’s give  him the benefit of the doubt. But Democrats agreed to a moratorium on for-profit earmarks, and the purpose of the grant is such a mismatch with the purpose of this non-profit that one must ask: When people come begging for money at Sestak’s office, do they do any research into who’s getting the taxpayers’ money, or do they just offer to hand it out will-nilly?

Beltway Confidentialelection 2010joe sestakUS

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