If you have visited Ryan Costello's campaign website and read his bio, you may recall that he unabashedly touts the fact that he was raised by two Pennsylvania school teachers. What he doesn't mention is that his father, Dr. Anthony V. Costello was the Superintendent for the Garnet Valley School District in Delaware County from approximately 1991 to January 2010, and before he retired had an annual salary of $365,655 according to Open PA Gov. Per Evan Brandt of the Pottstown Mercury, Dr. Costello is currently drawing one of the biggest PSERS pensions in Pennsylvania at approximately $222,685 per year (or $18,557 per month). So when Commissioner Costello indicates that being an observer of his parents' decades long careers in public education somehow gives him special insight into the average educator's experience, it's simply not the case. From what can be gleaned from news articles, it is unclear as to how Costello would approach improving education without increasing government spending. Perhaps maybe, individuals receiving six figure PSERS pensions could voluntarily opt to invest that money back into Pennsylvania's school children? Regardless of how hard Dr. Costello worked over the years, it boggles the mind as to how it is acceptable for one retired superintendent to receive a pension in excess of $200,000 when there are so many school districts statewide that are severely underfunded.
In a recent debate, Democratic challenger Dr. Manan Trivedi confronted Costello about his acceptance of several thousands of dollars from the National Rifle Association (NRA). Reportedly, Costello's response was "I have an independent mind, I think for myself. I don’t take orders from anybody." For people who want to see for themselves and learn more about who else Costello has accepted money from, go to FEC Committee/Candidate Search page and look him up.
In addition to the estimated $4,950 to $10,000 Costello has received from the NRA , he has accepted $10,000 from Exxon Mobil and $5,000 from McDonald's!
Where does Costello's selective version of the truth intersect with the harshness of reality? Hopefully, we won't have to find out the answer to that in November!