PA-Sen: Netroots Overwhelmingly Support a Draft Sestak Effort

As many of you know, over the last five days, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, in partnership with a number of progressive organizations and blogs including Senate Guru, asked those in the netroots, "Should a Draft Sestak movement be created to take on Sen. Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary?"

Netroots for SestakThe results are in and they are overwhelming.  85% of Pennsylvanian respondents and 86% of respondents nationally want Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak to challenge Arlen Specter in the 2010 Democratic Senate primary.  The poll has even gotten the attention of Congressman Sestak, as the PCCC points out:

"I am honored that so many of you took the time to vote in the recent grassroots Straw Poll. Let me tell you, I and many others were paying attention. If I decide to run it will be in large measure because of the grassroots energy of so many people like you. Until I and my family make that decision, please accept my thanks and my best wishes as you continue be active participants in our people-powered democracy. Thank you so very much!"

Due to such an overwhelming response, a Draft Sestak Fund has been created on ActBlue.  To contribute and further encourage Congressman Sestak to enter the race, click on the image below:

Draft Sestak Fund

If you need any additional motivation to contribute to this effort to draft a real Democrat to oppose Specter in the primary, consider Specter's actions since announcing his Party switch:

1. Specter opposed the Obama budget.
2. Specter opposed the "cramdown" mortgage/bankruptcy reform, siding with banks over families.
3. Specter reiterated his opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act.
4. Specter reiterated his opposition to President Obama's nomination of Dawn Johnsen to the Office of Legal Counsel.
5. Specter announced his support for Republican Norm Coleman over Democratic Senator-elect Al Franken in Minnesota's Senate race.
6. Specter promoted a website that appeared to raise money for cancer research but, in actuality, simply raised money for his campaign.
7. Specter denied reports that he told President Obama that he would be a "loyal Democrat" despite multiple reporters sticking to their story.

The netroots have displayed overwhelming support for Congressman Sestak to take on recently-Republican Arlen Specter.  Help the effort by contributing to the Draft Sestak Fund.

Tags: 2010 Senate Races, actblue, Arlen Specter, Democratic Primary, Joe Sestak, netroots, PA-Sen, progressive change campaign committee (all tags)




I threw some $ in today, and I'll throw a little more in once we know Joe Sestak will run. If Specter doesn't intend to vote like a Democrat, then he shouldn't be allowed to run as one.

by atdleft 2009-05-11 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: PA-Sen
I admit that i have not followed Joe Sestak or Joe Torsella before now but it seems to me that Torsella is a more progressive option.  
Is there some reason that everyone has gotten on the Sestak band wagon that I'm missing.
Better general predicitions?  Better fund raising history?
It would be nice if those of us wishing to challenge Specter could have a dialog about who we should be rallying behind rather than this forgone conclusion that "anybody but Specter" is good and Sestak currently has my attention, therefore we should support him.
I do not volunteer for nor have I yet given money to anybody in the PA race, although I do plan on doing some phone banking for Torsella if the opportunity comes along (I live in Ohio so I can't do much more volunteerwise).
by goodleh 2009-05-11 01:00PM | 0 recs
Re: PA-Sen

Torsella is, at best, a second tier candidate.

by JDF 2009-05-11 01:15PM | 0 recs

Joe Sestak is almost as close as you can get to a lock, no matter who the Republicans run (especially since the lemmings don't want Ridge, the one guy who could get independents)

Toomey will get creamed by Sestak, and that is what I want to see.

by WashStateBlue 2009-05-11 01:35PM | 0 recs
Toomey in a General Election

I don't know how much time you spend in Pennsylvania, but I will turn 30 next September, and have never run for public office... and despite all of that I am pretty sure I would cream Toomey in a General Election.

by JDF 2009-05-11 09:39PM | 0 recs
How is Torsella more progressive?

In the several months since he's entered the race, I haven't seen Torsella (on his website or in the media) talk about positions on any issues at all.  At all.  He has a terrific civic resume, to be sure, but that doesn't make him progressive.  I'm not saying he's not progressive - I'm saying that we have no way to know since Torsella hasn't said boo about any issues yet.

by Senate Guru 2009-05-11 01:53PM | 0 recs
We dont want to do this

If Sestak leaves PA-07, Republicans will have a real shot at picking it up.  We are already going to lose a lot of seats in 2010 and we dont want to give Republicans another opportunity.  

by Kent 2009-05-11 01:42PM | 0 recs
The historic voice of doom chimes in...

We are already going to lose a lot of seats in 2010

Somehow, given your posting history, I am not surprised you say that.

Kent, I think you deserve special recognition as the MyDD poster who most lives in future disaster.

You are in a class all by yourself for the doom and gloom predictions....

by WashStateBlue 2009-05-11 01:49PM | 0 recs
Re: PA-Sen: Netroots Overwhelmingly Support

Sestak doesn't strike me as particularly progressive at all.  I attribute his support to two things: (1) the alternative is Specter, who is really icky; and (2) the netroots always swoon over anyone in a uniform.  Having said that, I have nothing against Sestak, but if people are interested in supporting a real progressive then I think they need to stop being such cheap dates.

by Steve M 2009-05-11 02:06PM | 0 recs
I go a bit the other way on this....

I have seen the Netroots, from a distance, do the opposite.

Ignore the realities on the ground, fall in love with a candidate who is a wrong match for the demographics of the district, and, in fact, drive out candidates who match the district better by allowing the Netroot darling to build up a huge warchest from outside the district.

I still am smarting from running around on this blog, a single voice everytime someone with veryt little knowledge of WA state politics prompted Darcy Burner for WA-08. In a year when a democrat had the wind at their back (with Obama on the ticket) Darcy drove off Rodney Tom, a candidate most of the folk I know in WA-08 prefered to another run by Darcy. And, she indeed lost in the general to a very beatable Dave Richert (whom I detest.)

I wonder HOW progressive someone can be and win Senate in PA?

For example, in his primary, Bob Casey faced two candidates way more progressive then he, and that was their argument against him. Casey clobbered both of them, getting 85% of the primary vote. Yes, I am sure some of that was name recognition, but Sestak brings that as well.

So, in this case, I think Sestak might indeed fit the PA profile for the type if Senator we can get there.  I don't expect Russ Feingold or Barbara Boxer type of liberal out of PA Senator anytime soon.

by WashStateBlue 2009-05-11 02:30PM | 0 recs
Re: I go a bit the other way on this....

Funny you should mention Russ Feingold.  If he weren't already in office, don't you think a lot of people would be asking if it's possible to elect a real progressive in a purple state like Wisconsin?  Keep in mind that Kerry only defeated Bush there by 0.4%.

by Steve M 2009-05-11 04:07PM | 0 recs
I think Feingold is almost legacy'ed in...

To be honest, were he running for Senate as a rookie, with his liberal of a record, I think it would not be a slam dunk...

by WashStateBlue 2009-05-11 06:05PM | 0 recs
I can't speak for everyone...

But I'll just explain why I support Sestak:

1. He has a 93% lifetime Progressive Punch score.

2. He's supported us strongly on important issues like DADT repeal, EFCA, ending the Iraq Occupation, and climate change.

3. He can easily beat Pat Toomey in the general and has enough gravitas to defeat Specter in the primary.

And perhaps another reason why support for Sestak is growing is because no one else has really popped out. Patrick Murphy and Allyson Schwartz have stayed out (and even if either were to run, Sestak still has a better record than both). Even if Torsella or Hoeffels runs, I don't know if either can go against the Obama-Biden-Rendell-Casey machine if they remain aligned with Specter.

by atdleft 2009-05-11 02:45PM | 0 recs
Re: PA-S: Netroots Overwhelmingly Support...
Seriously, I would like to have seen in the body of the post some comparative information on Sestak.  "Spector sux!", while true, is not an argument in favor of a specific opponent.  I've always seen Sestak as a military official who carpetbagged his way into the 'fightin' Dems' meme of '06, which was fine for Virginia and PA-07 and such places, but definitely part of the 'more Democrats' strategy rather than the 'better Democrats' strategy.  
Now, you can say things like 'Pennsylvania's had lynchings since before the Revolution,' or 'the Appalachians go pretty far north' but Pennsylvania, statewide, isn't Virginia.  If we can't dig up a Senator who's actually representative of PA, I'm fine with a spineless hack who's liable to be replaced via appointment anyway.
by Endymion 2009-05-11 03:49PM | 0 recs
Re: PA-Sen: Netroots Overwhelmingly Support a Draf

I just sent Sestak some money. There doesn't appear to be a lot of space between the progressive records of Sestak or any other candidate likely to succeed. Beating Specter should be a priority and Sestak appears to be the most likely to do that and I see nothing in his record that would give me second thoughts. There is a less noble notion here for me as well. Sticking a finger in the eyes of those who have bent over backwards to swallow the crap Specter is spewing and then asked us to swallow it as well.

by Retired Catholic 2009-05-11 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: PA-Sen: Netroots Overwhelmingly Support a Draf

Just let Spector be. Let's not go undermining the Democrats broad spread appeal by launching an attack campaign against Spector. Our resources should be invested in going after our Republican held seats!

by Graham1979 2009-05-12 03:56AM | 0 recs
Re: PA-Sen: Netroots Overwhelmingly Support a Draf

While I think we are seeing some progress with our overwhelming majorities in Congress in these first 100+ days, we aren't getting everything we hoped for and in some cases -- like cram-down legislation which recently failed -- progressive causes aren't doing so well.

This is why if we want EFCA to pass (and green-energy bill, and health care reform) we need to show "Democrats" like Specter that we mean business.  At the best we win and fill the Senate seat with a better Democrat and at the worst we push Specter a tiny-bit farther left while things like health care are actually being voted on in this Congress.

by jlars 2009-05-12 02:59PM | 0 recs


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