After a Two-Year Campaign, Joe Sestak’s Claim to Independence? “Well…I ran against Arlen Specter.”

After a Two-Year Campaign, Joe Sestak’s Claim to Independence? “Well…I ran against Arlen Specter.”
 
Whoop Dee Doo – So Did Pat Toomey
Allentown, PA – Congressman Joe Sestak’s new television commercial is laughably titled “Independence,” despite the fact that Joe Sestak has voted nearly 100% of the time with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 
 
Joe Sestak supports the entire Obama-Pelosi agenda from the bailouts to the stimulus, the bloated budgets, the cap-and-trade energy tax, and the government-run health care bill, and the only time he criticizes his party is when he thinks these job-killing bills should go further.
 
The only example of “independence” Congressman Sestak cites in his ad is when he ran against Senator Arlen Specter to further his own political career.
 
“Throughout this campaign, Congressman Sestak boasts about his sham independence, but he votes in lockstep with Nancy Pelosi on every major policy issue,” Toomey Communications Director Nachama Soloveichik said.  “What exactly is ‘independent’ about that?  Pat Toomey is surging in the polls because voters are rejecting Joe Sestak and his extreme liberal agenda.”
 
From a man known principally for standing with Nancy Pelosi 100% of the time, it appears that Congressman Sestak may not know what the word “independence” means.
Joe Sestak and Nancy Pelosi: Two peas in a pod:
The continuation of the Wall Street bailout (RC #27, 01/22/09).
The auto bailout (RC #690, 12/10/08)
The stimulus (RC #70, 02/13/09)
A second stimulus (RC #991, 12/16/09)
Cash for clunkers (RC #314, 06/09/09) (RC #682, 07/31/10)
Government-run health care (RC #165, 3/21/10)
The cap-and-trade energy tax (RC #477, 06/26/09)
Raising the debt limit to $14.3 trillion (RC #46, 02/04/10)
The FY 2009 Omnibus bill (RC #86, 02/25/09)
The FY 2010 Omnibus bill (RC #949, 12/10/09)
President Obama’s FY 2010 budget (RC #192, 04/02/09)
Card Check (Thomas.gov, 03/10/09)
2007: Joe Sestak voted with Nancy Pelosi 97% of the time (Congressional Quarterly).
2008: Joe Sestak voted with Nancy Pelosi 95% of the time (Congressional Quarterly).
2009: Joe Sestak voted with Nancy Pelosi 100% of the time (Congressional Quarterly).
2010: Joe Sestak voted with Nancy Pelosi 94% of the time (Congressional Quarterly).
 
Congressman Sestak on himself:
Sestak: “I absolutely do say I’m a progressive” (RJ Harris, WHP 580 AM, 05/14/10).
Sestak: “I want to be Obama’s strongest ally” (The Valley-News Dispatch, 03/01/10).
Sestak: “I think that the strength of my beliefs and convictions in democratic principles, which land me on the progressive wing of the Democratic Party” (AlterNet, 06/04/10).
Sestak: “I’m a Democrat out of core beliefs and core convictions” (MSNBC, 05/18/10).
Sestak: “I’ll compare my voting record for Democratic principles, any day, any time” (Primary debate, 02/05/10).
Morning Call: “Sestak said the major difference is that he’s the real Democrat” (Allentown Morning Call, 05/02/10).
Morning Call: “Sestak ran a TV ad that said: If you have a problem with Joe Sestak’s record as the real Democrat go ahead and attack that” (Morning Call, 04/29/10).
Philadelphia Inquirer: “His [Sestak’s] core message: I’m a real Democrat; Specter is not. You can’t trust him” (Philadelphia Inquirer, 04/11/10).
The Times-Tribune: “Mr. Sestak said he’s the only ‘real Democrat’ in the race’” (The Times-Tribune, 08/05/09).
 
In contrast, Pat Toomey has a long record of standing up to his own party leaders to reduce the deficit and fight for fiscal responsibility:
Pat stood up to Republican leaders in 1999 when they wanted to eradicate spending caps they had passed in 1997 (Morning Call, 03/25/99).
In 2000, Pat took on his own leadership and won a guarantee to use a portion of the surplus to pay off the federal debt.  The Morning Call wrote: “Just getting debt reduction into the $1.82 trillion budget resolution was a coup.  But to do it knowing it could threaten a $9 billion supplemental appropriations bill supported by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, took moxie” (Morning Call, 03/26/00).
Pat was instrumental in convincing Republican leaders to maintain rules mandating term limits for committee chairs, originally passed in 1995 (Morning Call, 11/17/00).  The Morning Call wrote: “Constituents of the 15th and 8th Congressional Districts can feel a measure of pride in their Republican representatives for the leadership and wisdom they demonstrated in Washington this week.  U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey was instrumental in convincing his Republican colleagues Wednesday to keep a three-term limit on committee and subcommittee chairmen” (Morning Call, 11/17/00).
Pat and other congressmen led a “filibuster” against his own Republican leadership in order to force House leaders to restrain spending.  They offered a series of amendments on the $19.8 billion Interior Department bill, nearly $900 million more than the President’s request (Associated Press, 07/17/02).
Pat supported the importation of prescription drugs even though the Bush administration and the Republican leadership opposed it (RC #445, 07/25/03). 

Pat voted against the $460 billion Medicare Part D Program (RC #669, 11/22/03).  He was 1 of only 25 Republicans to do so.  He even spearheaded a letter, signed by 23 other Republicans, to Speaker Denny Hastert, saying he wouldn’t vote for the final bill unless it held down costs, guaranteed competition, and prohibited price controls (Morning Call, 11/19/03).
Pat voted for a more fiscally responsible budget every year one was offered as an alternative to President Bush’s budget because he thought it spent too much money (RC #73, 03/23/00) (RC #68, 03/28/01) (RC #79, 03/20/03) (RC #90, 03/25/04).

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