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Sestak Fundraising for ‘Occupy’ Challenger to Schwartz

Former Congressman and 2010 Senate candidate Joe Sestak is raising money for Nate Kleinman, the Occupy movement candidate challenging Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Montgomery) said today.

“I could not be more excited to announce the following event. This is a game-changer,” Kleimman said in an email to supporters. “Please feel free to forward widely!”

Kleinman worked and volunteered for Sestak’s congressional and Senate campaigns.

The event flier is below.

Sestak has the reputation of a maverick, earned when he challenged Democratic party leadership in his successful bid against Sen. Arlen Specter (Schwartz endorsed Specter in the 2010 primary).

Schwartz and Sestak served together in Congress from 2007 to 2011. Schwartz directs recruiting for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a role she has had for several years in the Philadelphia area.

Update: Schwartz’s campaign diplomatically criticized Sestak’s decision to appear at the fundraiser.

“It’s a kind gesture that Joe Sestak wants to support a former staffer, but for Democrats in Pennsylvania who care about taking back Congress and ensuring that women have a seat at the political table, we think they will be pretty taken aback to learn that Joe Sestak is supporting a candidate running a write in campaign against the only female member of the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation and one of the Democrats pivotal to ensuring that House Democrats take back the Majority,” said Schwartz Political Director Neil Deegan.

According to multiple Democratic sources, Sestak also has a practice of helping any Democratic candidate who asks, contested primary or not. PoliticsPA is seeking to confirm the event with Sestak, but in the past – a 2011 race for Cumberland County Commissioner – a similar appearance did not constitute an official endorsement.

Kleinman’s name was knocked off the ballot last week after a petition challenge, and he launched a write-in campaign against Schwartz immediately after.

He faces a steep uphill climb; in addition to being on the ballot, Schwartz boasts $2.3 million cash on hand.

Here’s the flier:

Sestak/Kleinman Fundraiser

13 Responses

  1. Oh, you people whining about Sestak costing the Democrats anything are hilarious. Arlen Specter would have lost that seat, and probably by a bigger margin, just as Sestak did. The Dems’ awful gubernatorial candidate hurt the ticket as a whole, along with it being an awful year for Democrats across the country.
    Middle of the road Dems, like Allyson Schwartz, who didn’t get meaningful healthcare reform through and gave progressive-minded voters (the Democratic base) nothing worth defending helped the GOP pick up those seats a whole lot more than Joe Sestak running against fair-weather Dem Arlen Specter who outlived his usefulness 20 years ago.
    Grow up.

  2. Steelblitz, Sestak cost us 3 seats when you consider that Brian Lentz’s seat as state rep was also lost in 2010.

  3. As a lifelong Dem from Adams County, I am ashamed to admit that I ever supported Joe Sestak. I voted for him over Specter and now I regret making that vote. His behavior following that race really disgusted me. After the 2010 primary Sestak did everything to rip apart the Democratic Party. He was critical of our President and even had the nerve to chastise Democratic voters who supported Specter in the primary. With Joe being at the top of the ticket he was supposed to unite the party but instead he resorted to self-serving measures. Based on that alone I would never vote for him if he ran for office again. But now Sestak throws his support to a write-in candidate over the only woman representative from PA in Congress. A woman that has done a stellar job and actively recruits other candidates throughout the country. This is unforgivable and as a woman I am personally offended yet again by the actions of Joe Sestak. I wish that I could turn back the hands of time and vote for Specter. But since that’s impossible then I guarantee that Joe Sestak will never have my support in an election and I hope that other women feel the same. JOE SESTAK IS A DISGRACE TO THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY!!!

  4. Bob- Even when he’s on the ticket, he doesn’t like to expend time/resources helping the rest of the ticket. Quite to the contrary, he’ll go after split-ticket Republicans who will vote for him, but against the rest of the ticket. There’s a reason he never had coattails.
    Even in odd-years he doesn’t help out. In 2007, some people who supported him became candidates, but when they came to him for help/fundraising, he turned them aside.

    In 2007, one guy from a small local borough ask Joe for some help with a mailing. He was looking to get around $200. Joe invites the guy to come to Joe’s campaign office at 7:30am on a Saturday, just to tell him in person: “No. If I help you then other people will want my help.” The candidate wound up losing the election by around 10 votes.

    Also in Sept 2007, Sestak was at a Delco Dems awards breakfast. He was thanking (pandering to) the crowd, and telling them “It wasn’t MY victory, it was YOUR victory. I couldn’t have done it without you.” Less than 5 minutes after Joe’s speech, I approached his brother (Richard) and asked if Joe would be doing any fundraising for the party and candidates. Richard’s chilling response was: “Why should he? It’s not his contest. No one here did anything for him.” So, either Richard didn’t understand Joe’s speech, or he did understand that the speech was total BS.

    That’s the Sestak political philosophy in a nutshell.

  5. “Sestak also has a practice of helping any Democratic candidate who asks, contested primary or not.” Who has he helped except when he was on the ticket himself?

  6. Schwartz Political Director Neil Deegan’s statement that “Sestak is supporting a candidate running a write in campaign against the only female member of the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation” is a sexist statement as it suggests that Sestak and voters should support Schwartz because she’s a woman, without regard to her middle of the road positions when up against a progressive Democrat.

  7. Maybe we should go with former rear admiral Joe sestak.

    Let’s keep emphasis on making sure he stays in the rear after giving up a seat to help GOP win two. Will sestak wear a tie or his Navy jacket to the fundraiser?

  8. BTW, the invitation should also say former (or rather “retired”) Admiral, as well as former representative.

    I think the proper designation should be something like
    Admiral Joe Sestak, USN Retired

    Admiral Joe Sestak, USN Ret.

  9. Btw, I’m guessing Allison also supported Specter.

    Alex, don’t fool yourself into thinking Sestak is a stand up guy who fights the establishment. Sestak voted twice to give Bush a blank check on Iraq. He voted for telecom immunity, warrantless wiretaps, and finding Cheney’s office. Sestak opposes the establishment only when it doesn’t serve his self interests, ambitions and ego (or vindictive pushback for perceived slights).

  10. Schwartz is such a typical politician, anyway. I don’t agree with Occupy, but looks like Sestak is supporting the lesser of two evils. Glad to see that he’s still going up against the establishment.

  11. If you do a little more homework, you can not only find candidates who Sestak didn’t help, but ones that gave up asking. One St Senate candidate told me regarding Sestak, “If I want to get rejected, I’d rather go to a bar”.
    I guess this means that Sestak already knows Allison won’t endorse him for gov.

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