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Sestak Fires at Toomey Fundraiser

admin-ajaxThe executive vice-president of Comcast David Cohen is raising money for Pat Toomey, and Joe Sestak isn’t happy.

“SuperPACs and special interests are trying to buy Senator Toomey’s re-election early. Can you believe that a Comcast Democrat powerbroker is hosting a private $5,200 a ticket fundraiser for Toomey,” Sestak’s campaign wrote in an email Monday.

The traditionally Democratic powerbroker is bypassing party allegiances and plans to host a $1,000-a-plate and up fundraiser for Pat Toomey next month at his home in Mount Airy. Cohen was Chief of Staff to then-Mayor Ed Rendell and has raised money for President Obama and other Democrats.

But more recently, Cohen hosted a fundraiser for Tom Corbett in January which netted the incumbent governor $200,000.

“Pat Toomey is a smart and gutsy legislator, and exactly the kind of person we need in Washington,” Cohen wrote in a fundraising email.

Sestak’s campaign took aim at Cohen and asked for money to “cancel out” the Toomey fundraiser. Team Sestak also attacked Toomey’s polling numbers, citing a recent Quinnipiac Poll in which Toomey received 42% of the support and Sestak close behind at 37%.

“There’s nothing wrong with people making their choice; and the powerbroker made his. But we are asking you to clearly show your choice. While Senator Toomey is being supported by SuperPACs and special interests, Admiral Sestak wants to be supported by you.”

This is the second fundraising email Sestak has sent in a week. Last Wednesday, an email addressed from Sestak’s daughter asked supporters to donate to her father.

Another top PA democrat fundraiser is also throwing his support behind Toomey. Philadelphia lawyer Alan Kessler is co-sponsoring a $5,200-a-ticket fundraiser next week for the Senator.

“We need more Pat Toomeys,” Kessler told the Inquirer. “Time and time again he has reached across the aisle to work with Democrats and do what people are looking for: someone who goes to Washington and gets things done.”

Sestak, 61, has announced the formation of a 2016 Senate exploratory committee but has yet to officially declare.

Full disclosure: Comcast is a client of Ceisler Media and Issue Advocacy. Larry Ceisler is a PoliticsPA co-owner and Keegan Gibson works both for CMIA and PoliticsPA. 

22 Responses

  1. I have to laugh at that one posting talking about this guy being impressed with Toomey showing bi-partisan support for background checks. I wonder if he is impressed with Toomey coming out in The Nation announcing “Operation Goliath” with Corbett. Busting up all the teachers unions. (That’s what that is) We will see if he is impressed then as a “Democrat for Gloomey”. Throw up !!!

  2. I will give Diano credit. He hates Sestak with every fiber in his body but has been reasonable with criticism. Diano has also fallen in line and been truthful about Toomey.

    Sorry Mr. Balleater, I disagree with you!

  3. Sinclair balleater-
    Did you not notice that delco observer responded to me directly by name at his/her post on June 25, 2013 at 12:38 pm ?

    “You’re Kidding Right?” responded to me as well on June 24, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    Maybe you read the posts in the wrong order? Did you not realize that the most recent posts are at the top?

    Maybe your ball eating was too distracting (like trying to walk and chew gum at same time)?

    Anyway, your post was factually incorrect.

    Amateurs. -sigh-

  4. Delco Observer-

    Not trying to change your mind. And I agree that Sestak is probably best chance to defeat Toomey (but only because Sestak can raise money, and 2016 a presidential year with high Dem turnout).

    But, it’s sad for our party that we don’t have a decent Democrat to run against Toomey, but merely an electable candidate running as a Democrat.

  5. David Diano – I won’t change your mind, you wont’t change mine…so save the Anti-Sestak rhetoric you keep spouting for someone else. Joe Sestak is our best chance to retire Pat Toomey in 2016…PERIOD.

  6. Delco Observer-
    I agree with everything you wrote, except for full support of Sestak. While he’s arguably better than Toomey (the argument being he flips a seat for calculating which party is the majority), Sestak really has nothing to offer. He’s got no vision (for the party or country) and he’s not a leader. He’s just a guy who likes having an important sounding title next to his name.

    Besides, Sestak stated during his 2010 run, that he wouldn’t seek more than two terms in Senate, because he’d be too old for a 3rd term. Well, since Sestak wasn’t cryogenicly frozen, he’s only planning to be a one-term Senator if he gets elected in 2016. How many millions of dollars do Dems want to spend on a one-term Senator?

    BTW, being given command authority over people who can’t disobey is not the same as being a leader. It’s not like his subordinates in the Navy “voted” for him. In fact, they complained enough that Admiral Mullen relieved Sestak of duty for a “poor command climate”.

  7. I would rather chew glass than support Pat Toomey. Joe Sestak is our Party’s best chance to defeat Toomey and will have my full support in the run-up to 2016. Before we get there, though, there are very important races in 2013, 2014 (defeating Governor Corbett and winning legislative and congressional seats) and 2015 (at least two supreme court seats and county elections) that we must address, first.

  8. So, Sestak’s campaign strategy is pout like a five-year old and demand money?? Big-rollers like Cohen who represent a major corporation usually give similar amounts to both parties… and Sestak is not officially campaigning so what’s his huff? He just burned a bridge…

  9. FactFinder- Good one! Obvious Sestak called for check #3 and got turned down.

    Any Dem but Joe-
    While I agree with your sentiments:
    1) There is no “2014 primary between Sestak and McCord”
    2) Murphy couldn’t even win back his congressional seat.
    3) He’s a blight (not a plight) on the Democratic party.
    4) Unfortunately, the bean counters running the party just look at the amount in your campaign account, and aren’t going to fight against Sestak if he’s got the bankroll. (They aren’t going to lift a finger to help him either, as they will be focused on the 2016 Presidential campaign, and having a Dem State House, for our new Dem Gov.)

  10. Joe Sestak is the worst thing to ever happen to PA’s Democratic Party. Him leading the ticket in 2010 was a complete disaster and Dems should be smart enough to stay far away from this guy in 2016. Now I wouldn’t go as far as Cohen did and do a fundraiser for Toomey but there are better Dems out there than Sestak and he’s NOT entitled to be the nominee. I’d rather see Patrick Murphy or whoever loses the 2014 primary between Sestak and McCord; hell maybe even Michael Nutter from Philly. As long as its any Democrat other than Joe Sestak. And another point, WHO THE HELL CARES THAT HE SERVED IN THE MILITARY!!! That doesn’t make him better qualified to hold office. He’s a plight on the Democratic Party and I hope that the party leaders make serious moves against Joe Sestak.

  11. Guess the ole Admiral forgot the two $1,000 checks David Cohen gave him in 2007 & 2010. #swingandamiss

  12. John-
    I was typing my post, while yours had posted. So, please don’t think that I read your post and called you a liar. If you are not part of the Toomey campaign, then you are the first one with a site like this that I’ve heard of.

    I’m pretty much the top Democrat critic of Sestak in the state, but even I wouldn’t put up a site promoting Toomey. I would sooner put up a site for “None of the Above”, as I’d rather have a 99 Senator Senate with only one Senator from PA, that either of those two dipsh*ts in office.

    BTW, John, try posting under your full name. There’s are obvious questions where about whether you’ve supported other Republicans, or whether this is just a rare aberration from an ardent Dem.

  13. pm-
    I didn’t (and wouldn’t) waste my time viewing any of those “OppositeParty” for XYZ sites. I’ve been involved in enough campaigns to know they are run directly by the campaign. So, RepublicansForSestak is going to be the same malarkey (Go Biden!).

    However, we’ve got two more fundraising quarters this year, four in 2014, and four more in 2015 before anyone should be giving a rat’s @ss about this race. Are we going to hear Joe Sestak whine for 10 more quarters every time someone give Toomey money that Sestak wishes went to him? He’s a 4-star crybaby.

  14. Hi, my name is John, I live in South Central PA and I created the “Democrats for Pat Toomey” page on Facebook. Yes, I am a registered Democrat. No, I am NOT on the Toomey campaign. I just realize the inevitable that Sestak will most likely be the nominee and I cannot support him. Senator Toomey impressed me with his support on the background check issue. He has not made me embarrassed to be from PA and he has demonstrated to me, that he is able to work in a bipartisan fashion. My grandfather taught me to never just pull the lever of your party, but vote for the person based on their character. In a Toomey-Sestak rematch, I’m with Senator Toomey. If you would like to discuss this further you can message me through and will be happy to reply with more information.

  15. Dave, please dont believe that a Facebook page titled Democrats for Pat Toomey is actually a legitimate group of Democrats supporting Pat Toomey. It is so obviously a ruse its laughable. The people behind it and who run it on a daily basis are Toomey’s campaign team. The oldest trick in the political play book- create your own phony grassroots support group where it would never exist on its own. Let’s see, what’s next… Labor For Toomey! Snort.

  16. DFPT (Dem for Pat Toomey)-

    Toomey is not a centrist. As a congressman he had a more conservative voting record than Rick Santorum.

    Sestak may be a self-serving, arrogant, pr*ck, but that doesn’t mean Democrats should run off and help Toomey, especially raise money. Toomey helps elect other conservative Republicans, and provides one more Republican votes the Dems need to overcome to retain a majority.

    Can you imagine the kind of crap bills Mitch McConnell would be putting up in the Senate if the GOP had the majority?

    If Democrats don’t like Sestak (plenty of those), then they should spend their time/money/energy helping REAL Democrats. Leave Sestak and his pathetic lemmings to fend for themselves.

    We’ve got a congressional race in the 8th district and a Governor’s race in 2014 , and these guys are d*cking around raising money for a 2016 Senate race for two sh*tty candidates who are both bad for PA.


    I’m another Democrat supporting US Senator Pat Toomey for reelection. Join me and “Like” our page, Democrats for Pat Toomey. Senator Toomey is a centrist, pragmatic and bipartisan leader for all Pennsylvanians! Self-serving Democrats like Joe Sestak who mentions he was an admiral and that his daughter had cancer in every single speech he gives is a disgrace to the party.

  18. Cohen has never really been a Democrat… [redacted for violation of the comment policy]

  19. So is “Team Sestak” going to forgo any donations from “SuperPACs and special interests”?


    Is Sestak going to continue to exploit his daughter for politics?


    Why the push?

    ANSWER: Fundraising Quarter ends Sunday June 30th and Joe can’t afford to lose momentum from his stealth quarter.

    If Sestak is doing all this, then he’s really not in an “exploratory” campaign phase and he should relinquish the Omar Bradley Chair.

    (But he won’t because he’s using it for politics and to refine his campaign speeches.)

  20. “SuperPACs and special interests are trying to buy Senator Toomey’s re-election early. ”

    “Sestak’s . . . asked for money to “cancel out” the Toomey fundraiser.”

    So special interest money is okay if you buy everyone out? Got it, Admiral!

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