Federal records appear to show an ongoing pipeline between Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) and businesses or organizations with ties to friends and family.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) first highlighted the so-called “Casey Cartel” in a web ad last year.



“Bob Casey promised to change Washington. Two decades later, it’s clear Washington has changed him,” said NRSC spokesperson Philip Letsou.

Casey has long been a vocal supporter of ethics reform. He was endorsed by Democratic Party-aligned campaign finance reform activists last year. Casey also championed new ethics rules passed in 2007.

But Republicans say Casey’s actions behind the scenes tell a different story.

The Casey campaign has paid millions of dollars to Universal Printing Company for print advertising, according to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). The Dunmore-based company is owned by Casey’s oldest sister, Margaret McGrath. She and her husband have donated thousands to Casey’s U.S. Senate campaign in return including more than $7,500 last year.

A brother, Patrick Casey, is a federal lobbyist on online travel and CHIPS and Science Act policies. Bob Casey’s campaign says his brother never lobbied the office.

Casey has leaned on extended family to help with judicial picks. In 2011, Casey selected Robert Ross and Harry P. McGrath to serve as co-chairs on two judicial nomination committees. McGrath is the nephew of Casey’s sister. Ross, who served on similar committees in 2017 and 2021, helped co-found a Philadelphia law firm with another Casey brother, Matt Casey. RossFellerCasey employees have donated millions to Bob Casey Jr.’s campaigns.

Another potential conflict of interest came in the form of another brother-in-law, Patrick Brier. More than a year after Brier was hired as a statewide lobbyist by Maternal & Family Health Services (MFHS), the nonprofit received a $200,000 federal grant. Brier can’t discuss MFHS issues with Casey because he’s not registered as a federal lobbyist.

At least one of Casey’s top lieutenants parlayed her involvement with the senator into lobbying prowess. Vanessa DeSalvo Getz was a longtime confidante of Casey’s in the 2000s and donated multiple times to his campaign. She was reimbursed more than $2000 for catering and providing food at campaign events. Lobbying disclosures show she advocated for U.S. Steel on the state level last year. Casey is a longtime supporter of the domestic steel industry and criticized a plan by Nippon Steel to buy U.S. Steel for $14 billion.

Casey isn’t accused of ethics violations or breaking the law. But Republicans say Casey’s “Friends and Family” plan echoes the story of President Joe Biden and the ways his family members have prospered during his years in politics.

“The Casey Cartel’s decades of graft and cynical self-dealing are catching up to them,” said Letsou.

Keystone Renewal PAC, a group that supports Casey’s Republican opponent, Dave McCormick, said Biden and Casey might as well be the same person.

“Voters are fed up with being put last, with feeling unsafe, and with having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet,” Keystone Renewal spokesperson Kaelan Dorr told DVJournal.

Polls show Casey leads McCormick by single digits.