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PA-Sen: Sestak Blasts Dem Party Leaders

Joe-Sestak-headshotJoe Sestak is going after the Democratic establishment by name.

It’s no secret that Democratic leaders, both in PA and D.C., don’t want the former Congressman and 2010 nominee to win next year’s primary. Sestak has also made it clear that he doesn’t particularly care what they think.

In a new campaign email, Sestak not only reiterates this point but calls out the officials who are supporting Katie McGinty.

“It’s déjà vu all over again: the party elite are lining up behind their hand-picked primary candidate while the Admiral is taking his message directly to the people,” Sestak campaign spokesman Jake Sternberger writes.

“There is no doubt what’s happening in the country right now,” he continues. “Democrats, Republicans and Independents just do not trust the establishment – an establishment that actually thinks they can pick and choose candidates.”

“There are no more kings. There are no more kingmakers.”

“The only question is: who do you want picking candidates… establishment politicians or we the people?,” he asks.

The email then presents a chart with one side labeled “Establishment” and the other “We the People”.

The latter side contains sunny pictures of Sestak campaigning throughout the state. The former depicts officials who have either endorsed McGinty or are well-known Sestak detractors, including Rep. Bob Brady, Rep. Mike Doyle, former Gov. Ed Rendell and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer.

A new addition is Governor Tom Wolf, who just yesterday endorsed his former Chief of Staff Katie McGinty. Wolf and Sestak have never had any public spats up to this point and it will be worth seeing if things change.

One final note is that Sen. Schumer is set to become the leader of the Democratic caucus after Harry Reid retires next year. Would Sestak be able to have a relationship with his party’s leader after running against him in this primary?

17 Responses

  1. Diano: Some transgressions known to you, some (even more alarming ones) definitely not. Can’t emphasize this enough: its all interconnected. All of the scandals plaguing the Commonwealth, even Kane’s woes – they all have one thing in common. And in 2010, you discovered what that is, whether you realize it or not. Your favorite would-be Senator (and others linked to him) made the biggest mistake in the modern history of American politics that year. And the PA Democratic Party is paying a dear price for that mistake. And they will continue to for many, many, many months to come.

  2. Unknown-

    What serious transgression are you referring to? Is this one that’s out publicly, or one that’s been under the hood so far?


    In answer to your query:
    “#2: can you identify even ONE senator from NY OH PA who did not move his family to DC after s/he got elected??”

    Sestak never moved his family FROM Virginia to PA in the first place. They’ve been there since Joe bought the house in Alexandria in 1998.

    Don’t Toomey’s and Casey’s families both live in PA?

    Toomey’s wife is registered in PA at the same address as Pat.
    Bob’s wife (and kids) are registered at his own PA house.

    But, Sestak’s wife isn’t registered in PA (and hasn’t been since they rented an apartment in 2006, and she dropped her registration when they bought a 2nd house here).

    “Dem Machine might go to Fetterman with an illegal deal to have him drop out of the r ace in exchange for a plum job with wolfrendell”

    That is NOTHING like the character of Fetterman, who could have gone anywhere but chose to move to Braddock and do a lot of hard, thankless work for the community. I don’t know a lot about Fetterman, but he’s the last guy Wolf/Rendell can buy off.

    And… why would they? His candidacy hurts Sestak more than anyone. It would be more plausible that Wolf/Rendell put him in the race to hurt Sestak. They certainly wouldn’t want him out (unless he starts beating McGinty).

    And “Fetterman’s campaign finance reports filed for the bitterly contested mayor of braddock ”

    WTF??? This race is completely different and Fetterman’s already raised $122K in two weeks (likely $150K or more by the midnight deadline).

    My thinking on the primary was McGinty beating Sestak somewhere between 55-45 and 52-48. Fetterman’s entry takes a BIG bite out of of Joe’s votes (30%-40%) and 20%-25% of McGinty’s.

    (Figure, the complete unknown Vodvarka got 19% against Casey in 2012, without any campaign, and just his name on the ballot.)

    So, that puts McGinty around 42%, Sestak at 31% and Fetterman at 27% as a baseline, just using Fetterman’s gender and anti-establishment credentials. That’s not even taking in regional factors.

    After some campaigning, this could tighten to McGinty 38%, Fetterman 32% and Sestak 30%.

    But, the rest is going to depend on quality of advertising, ground game, fundraising and debate performance.

    Sestak can’t keep good people, he won’t hire professional staff, and seems intent on micro-managing his campaign. McGinty and Fetterman are both building their campaigns with professional staff. McGinty will have “machine” support, and Fetterman will bring in the activists (some of whom mistakenly supported Sestak last time, or have just tired of him).

    So, since Sestak isn’t that strong anyway, and can’t attack McGinty and Fetterman the way he did Specter, the longer this race goes on, the worse he will do against experienced professionals.

    At this point, I think McGinty has the initial advantage on paper due to gender, establishment backing and greater fundraising potential.

    However, Fetterman has a good story, interesting personality, authenticity and a regional advantage (assuming Sestak and McGinty cancel their SE PA population advantage).

    It could come down to how these candidate appear in side-by-side comparisons as voters get to know them and they have to answer tough questions on policy and their vision.

  3. 1) no one knows Fetterman’s positions on anything but braddock, where he;s the mayor.
    2) i’d want to know who’s bankrolling his campaign before i decide for whom to vote. if it’s WolfRendell or some dark money DSCC run PAC that’s paying for john Hynes, i need to know that too. if so- they sure screwed up because McG is now many points below Fetterman..

    of course the Dem Machine might go to Fetterman with an illegal deal to have him drop out of the r ace in exchange for a plum job with wolfrendell, since his entry seems to be putting McG as 3rd place in a 3 way race.

    Fetterman’s campaign finance reports filed for the bitterly contested mayor of braddock race don’t show a balance that would support john hynes for even a month –let alone the next 10 months of campaigning across the whole state of PA.

  4. #1: Slimy innuendos like this one :” If you were a Senate candidate in dire straits – say, if you committed some serious transgression as a Congressman and it was coming back to haunt you – what strategy would you employ? One strategy would undoubtedly be to repeatedly attack “the powers that be” in advance. ”

    the ..such comments do nothing to advance the state of knowledge in PA about candidates.

    #2: can you identify even ONE senator from NY OH PA who did not move his family to DC after s/he got elected??

  5. DD yeah that email is insipid. Joe Sestak– who for some reason thinks his first name is Admiral– continually points out his own cluelessness and thinks it’s endearing. Well I guess it hypnotizes people like Policoff who forsome inexplicable reason are attracted to a militaristic tyrant with a penchant for long distance hiking.

    Time to get on board with the true progressive in this race who actually has working brain cells–Fetterman.

  6. Diano: If you were a Senate candidate in dire straits – say, if you committed some serious transgression as a Congressman and it was coming back to haunt you – what strategy would you employ? One strategy would undoubtedly be to repeatedly attack “the powers that be” in advance. That way, when the @#$! hits the fan, you can claim that the “powers that be” are retaliating against you for your earlier remarks. Simple strategy. Of course, it will not alter the (incredibly, unbelievably, horribly grim) outcome in the slightest…

  7. BTW, here is another idiotic email I got today from the Sestak campaign:

    “Crew, I want to tell you one of my favorite stories about the Admiral. When Joe first ran for Congress, someone told him his “first step must be to get the DCCC’s backing.” Naturally, Joe drove across town to the Delaware County Community College to seek
    their support. Shortly thereafter, Joe was told he had the wrong DCCC – it was the “Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee” that he had to talk to. Joe wasn’t supposed to go meet with College President Jerry Parker to talk about education policy, but to call Rep. Rahm Emanuel to talk about endorsements. That is so Joe!”

    Now, this “story” has several problems:

    1) Sestak was living in Alexandria, VA when he made the decision to visit Delaware County and run for congress. So, the only DCCC was “across town” was the congressional campaign committee in his own backyard (less than a 10 mile drive from his house).

    2) How could he have worked in the White House under Clinton, decided to run for Congress and not know what the DCCC was.

    3) He was pretty f*cking clueless when he started and needed A LOT of help from the local Delco Dems county party. So, that part is true. But, no one “in town” in Delaware County would have sent him to the community college (especially since he would have had to ask directions).

    4) Joe’s image problem already is that he’s hapless and clueless. Reminding people that he hasn’t improved after 10 years doesn’t help.

  8. SGTBrubaker-

    Sestak was an establishment military guy, and a disgrace for how he mistreated the men under his command. That’s why the first thing Admiral Mullen did was give Sestak a long overdue boot. Sestak had 3 stars and retired with 2.

  9. Nick Field is confused. Chuck Schumer is more a leader of the Likud than the Democrats.

    What kind of “relationship” would Sestak have had anyway after he got f–ked by Scumer?

  10. So, I’ve heard that one candidate is a puppet for Club for Growth, the other a puppet for the elites/frackers and the 3rd candidate, Sestak is his own person. It seems Fetterman may also be his own person. Anyone have insight on these things I’ve heard, and does anyone know the answers to my earlier question I asked previously on this thread? Inquiring minds want to know!

  11. Oh Joe! When will he learn that Pennsylvanians are stupid.

    Joe Sestak is right. He is definitely an outsider to Pennsylvania. Because Joe Sestak and his family have lived in Alexandria, Virginia for years. In fact, his daughter even attends school there. It’s no wonder Joe had to walk 400+ miles across the state, he doesn’t even live here.

    Joe Sestak doesn’t care about the people of Pennsylvania. Joe Sestak cares about Joe Sestak and Joe Sestak’s career.

    Enough is enough. Go home Joe. If you want to run for Senate, run for Senate from Virginia. We aren’t buying your load of crap.

  12. Classic DD, hating on the US Military. Just because you wear a uniform ( not that you would know what that’s like david) doesn’t mean your part of the “establishment”, let alone the democratic establishment.

  13. No one seems to know McG’s and Fetterman’s position on single payer! Sestak is currently not for single payer. It was reported that McG told people in Erie she WAS for single payer—a switcheroo from her anti-single payer stance when running for Guv.!! As for marijuana, 2 candidates need to clarify their positions. Sestak’s views are pretty clear on all the issues.

    McG can’t possibly win this primary, so it matters little what her views are, I suppose.

  14. Observer –

    Sestak has even less chance of being a Senator, so it’s not really much of an issue. 🙂

    BTW, Fetterman’s all in for pot legalization. Pretty anti-establishment. Ironically, Sestak’s supporters appear to be the ones who are high. 🙂

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