A recent report revealed that Senate candidate John Fetterman (D-PA) lived on an annual allowance of up to five figures paid by his parents well into his forties. Republicans say Fetterman’s gives an impression of someone who is more working-class – and more moderate – than he really is, suggesting that constantly taking money from parents is not considered working hard or blue collar at all.
During his 13-year tenure as mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, the lieutenant governor survived on the money his parents gave him. The 52-year-old Fetterman was elected in 2006 and resigned in 2019 after being elected to his current position. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, his parents gave him $54,000 in 2015 alone. And as a mayor, Fetterman was paid 1,800$ a year. For Fetterman, serving the public has been made possible by his family’s generosity, he said.
During a recent interview on Fox News, Republican Senate nominee Mehmet Oz, an ultra-wealthy TV star, said, “He’s a pretend populist. Many folks think it’s because of the way he dresses with his hoodies and his shorts that he’s been working his whole life. It’s quite the opposite.”
The campaign spokesperson of Fetterman, Joe Calvello, defended him and told the Philadelphia paper, “John has spent his career rolling up his sleeves and fighting for forgotten people and communities in Pennsylvania,” Meadville Tribune reported.
Calvello noted that if Fetterman decided to stop working at an insurance company at the start of his career, it was to pursue public service. Calvello stated to the Inquirer, “He has dedicated his life to public service and helping others.” “John had a good job with a good paycheck, but gave it up to focus on serving the forgotten communities in Pennsylvania.”
Throughout his career, Fetterman has maintained a rugged image and blunt style, which has led him to become a lieutenant governor and now a Democratic candidate running in one of the country’s most crucial Senate races. It would even land him in Rolling Stone (“The Mayor from Hell”) and a Levi’s ad campaign.
Both Fetterman and his supporters reject critics of his record, particularly considering his challenger Dr. Oz. Oz is a daytime TV celebrity who celebrated the Fourth of July with fellow stars in the Hamptons.
Malcolm Kenyatta, a state representative from Philadelphia who was his challenger in the Senate primary, said, “This is a silly conversation that you can’t even have with somebody, and with a party, that doesn’t know a damn thing about the working class. They only know working people who are their employees.”
Oz is a successful cardiothoracic surgeon. He is also the son of a surgeon and went to a prestigious prep school before attending Harvard and then earning business and medical degrees at the University of Pennsylvania.
For Fetterman, the biggest question is how someone with such massive wealth might possibly be of any relevance to an average Pennsylvanian facing rising prices. Last week, a video of Oz discussing his custom-made suits and extensive travels was posted by Fetterman.
According to a financial disclosure report he filed in May 2021, the assets of Fetterman amount to between $717,000 and $1.58 million.