Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sestak Wipes Off Muck, Summons Volunteers

As many of you know, Senator Arlen Specter recently embarked upon what can only be described as a very negative ad campaign against his challenger in the PA Democratic senatorial primary, Congressman Joe Sestak.

At the Pittsburgh office of the Sestak campaign, staff and volunteers say they aren't bringing up the attacks during their own outreach -- but they do have some talking points available for voters who ask.

To the charge of being "relieved from duty" in the U.S. Navy (Sestak was busted down to 2 Star Admiral from having been a 3 Star Admiral) for having fostered a "poor command climate", the campaign is sharing a quote from Adm. Vernon Clark in response, head of the Navy at the time:

"[Joe] did what I asked him to do; I wanted straight talk, and this put him in the crosshairs. People are going to say what they want to say, but he challenged people who did not want to be challenged. The guy is courageous, a patriot's patriot."

As to the allegation of missing too many votes as a congressman, Team Sestak differs sharply. They assert rather that he has "a strong 94% voting record and a well-earned reputation as the hardest worker in Washington", something they have long been boasting upon.

While admitting that the congressman missed some votes this past year because he was traveling throughout Pennsylvania "to make sure staying in [the Senate race] was the right thing to do", the memo also at one point mentions that other votes were missed "during the long illness of his father, who was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery in October."


"Truth is, Joe was there for every important vote, and made sure Democrats had all the votes they needed"


"Specter doesn't want to talk about votes that actually matter, like his deciding to vote for the trillion dollar tax cuts for the rich -- votes that we're all living with today."

Meanwhile, especially for this blog, the Pittsburgh field director of Sestak for Senate whipped up a call for volunteers.

When: EVERYDAY from now until May 18th,
For However Long You Can Stay
Open 9am to 9 pm- 7 Days a Week

... is what it says. See LINK for more details. They do seem to be very focused on the ground campaign.

Now, I wouldn't be playing straight with you if I didn't pass along that President Obama today sent out an e-mail (through OFA) in support of Arlen Specter. Read it.

As to that dynamic, Congressman Sestak said during a conference call earlier this month that back when Democrats were hungry after a 60-vote "filibuster-proof" majority in the Senate, Barack Obama probably "spent about seven seconds deciding" whether or not to accept a deal with Specter to switch parties in exchange for boisterous party support. The difference is, in Sestak's opinion "that was the wrong deal for Pennsylvania."

UPDATE: Potter thinks the negative ads either will be effective or backfire. (Slag Heap)


  1. Yo B. I completely and utterly plotzed over that OFA solicitation for Arlen. To the extent that I took back my dad's famous "flying fuck" remark that had been pilfered. I don't think the OFA folks did their homework on this race and I'm all for giving 'em a little Pgh-style resistance. I encourage other Sestak Supporters to do the same. Disclosure: the I. Agitator (or aptly, In Ag)is volunteeringly housing the Sestak Outreach Coordinator. In Ag cannot vote in Primary due to Non-Affiliated status assumed during House District 20 race feasibility study. Save all flying fucks for 2012, Comet readers! Woo-Hoo!

  2. well said. sestak is not perfect but he's better than specter at this point, who may have been a moderate R, but was still an R and contributed to many a despicable policy and debate. see: anita hill interrogation.

  3. Arlen Specter would have to be what one might call old school -- right down to the campaigning. According to the old school, you take your money and you slime your opponent as badly as you can and who cares. It'll be interesting to see how much the ground has shifted beneath him.

    In addition to what Sestak is doing, he needs to draw distinctions between what he'd DEMAND from his Senate perch that Specter would never get particularly excited over.

    As to what many of Specter's surrogates have been saying, just remember -- in terms of scoring pork and gravy from Washington -- positioning Bob Casey as senior senator wouldn't exactly be the end of the world, right?


  5. Thanks for the alert, Anon 10:43. Have fun with that, but to me a $1,500 bill for services related to a memorial does not strike me as a priority issue.