PA-Sen: More Hypocrisy from Arlen Specter

One of recent Republican Arlen Specter's weak but frequent lines of attack against Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak is that Congressman Sestak has missed handfuls of votes in the House.  Now, given the hundreds of procedural and substantive votes, most Representatives miss some votes here and there.  Still, Congressman Sestak's 94% attendance record in 2008, for instance, is very strong.  Nevertheless, Specter has, over and over again, harped on Congressman Sestak's attendance record.

August 4, on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:

Specter, on Sestak: "He's missed 105 votes; worst record of any Pennsylvania member of the House of Representatives. He's AWOL, been absent without leave. If he were still in the Navy, he would be court martialed. Now he wants to be promoted. How can you be promoted with a voting record like that?

August 9, on CNN's State of the Union with John King:

''He talks about his military record. If he was still in the service, he would be a court martial, and he's been AWOL,'' Specter, appearing on CNN, said of Sestak, who has missed 15 percent of votes in 2009, ranking him 10th among the chamber's 434 members.

So apparently Specter thinks missing work, even to meet with constituents, is bad.  OK, fine.  Then how does Specter justify this?

Coaxing Arlen Specter into switching parties and running for re-election as a Democrat was a major coup for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is bending the Senate's schedule to accommodate a presidential fundraiser for Specter Tuesday afternoon in Pennsylvania.

Reid announced Friday that the Senate would hold no votes after 3 p.m. Tuesday. His office later said that the scheduling decision was meant to accommodate a long-planned fundraiser that President Obama is headlining in Philadelphia to benefit Specter's campaign.

The move could delay efforts to finish work on the fiscal 2010 transportation spending bill, which the Senate began considering Thursday.

Because of Specter's fundraiser, the entire U.S. Senate is shutting down Tuesday afternoon, delaying important transportation legislation.  After spending over a month weakly misleading voters on Congressman Sestak's attendance record, Specter is getting the principal to close the entire school early one afternoon to accommodate his political campaign.  Just more hypocrisy from Arlen Specter.  Hey, Arlen, for an encore in hypocrisy and dishonesty, why don't you create a website that looks like it's raising money for cancer research but actually sends all contributions right into your campaign coffers?  Oh, right, you already did that.

Does recent Republican Arlen Specter's all-too-frequent hypocrisy aggravate you?  Consider a contribution to Congressman Sestak via the Expand the Map! ActBlue page.

For daily news and analysis on the U.S. Senate races around the country, regularly read Senate Guru.

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PA-Sen: Rep. Joe Sestak to Liveblog at Senate Guru Today at 5pm ET

I'm very pleased to let you know that Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak, candidate for U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania, will join us at Senate Guru today (Thursday, September 10) at 5pm Eastern Time for a live blog session.  I'm sure he will update us on how his campaign is going, discuss a variety of issues, offer his thoughts in response to the President's address on health care reform, and, of course, field your questions.

I hope you will be able to join us for the first candidate liveblog session of the 2010 cycle at Senate Guru; and, be sure to bring your questions for Congressman Sestak.  (And, if you're really excited for the conversation, support Congressman Sestak with a contribution via the Expand the Map! ActBlue page.)

In the meantime, enjoy reading Congressman Sestak's diary from earlier this week at Daily Kos - here's an excerpt:

This week, join me in signing a petition, which calls on our congressional leaders, Republicans and Democrats in the House and the Senate, to hold an up or down roll call vote on the public option.

Right now, 14,000 people are losing their health care coverage every day because our costs are skyrocketing. Meanwhile, too many politicians in Washington, who seem to be ignoring the lessons from Wall Street, would rather leave our health insurance reform up to the insurance companies.  No matter what the final bill looks like, we deserve to know how our Representatives and Senators will vote on a public option - up or down!

On the web:
Joe Sestak for Senate
Senate Guru
Senate Guru Facebook Group
Senate Guru's Expand the Map! ActBlue Page

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PA-Sen: Joe Sestak Flips the Electability Argument (Rasmussen Part Two)

Following its PA-Sen Democratic primary numbers released yesterday showing Congressman Joe Sestak closing the gap on recent Republican Arlen Specter, Rasmussen Reports released general election match-up numbers:

Pat Toomey (R) 48
Arlen Specter (D) 36
Other 4
Not Sure 12
Pat Toomey (R) 43
Joe Sestak (D) 35
Other 5
Not Sure 18

Two obvious takeaways here.  One, Toomey has taken the lead.  Is it discontent over the protracted health care reform debate?  Is it burgeoning discontent with Specter himself harming the Democratic brand in Pennsylvania?  And how temporary will this lead be?  Unclear.

Two, the "electability" argument in the Democratic primary has flipped.  In previous polls, Specter matched up against Toomey better than Congressman Sestak did (no doubt relying largely on Specter's strong name ID).  In this poll, however, Congressman Sestak matches up better.  His deficit against Toomey is only 8 points (and, remember, Congressman Sestak has never run statewide, unlike Toomey, and is still working to build name recognition across the state, which should improve his numbers significantly), while Specter's deficit against Toomey is 12 points.  This is probably due to a plummetting favorable-unfavorable rating for Specter, as Rasmussen points out; Specter's is down to 43-54.

While the numbers against Toomey are nothing to celebrate, this poll further cements the notion that Arlen Specter would not serve Democrats well as the Party's Senate nominee.

By the way, want integrity?  Congressman Sestak went on Fox News to promote that he is "a strong proponent of the public health care plan option." He's not going to pander or sugar coat.  He's going to fight for Democratic values everywhere.  (And you can help Congressman Sestak's fight with a contribution via the Expand the Map! ActBlue page.)

For daily news and updates on the U.S. Senate races around the country, regularly read Senate Guru.

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PA-Sen: Joe Sestak Closes the Gap on Arlen Specter

45, 29, 19, 20, 32.  What are those numbers?  Those numbers are the gaps between recent Republican Arlen Specter and Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak in the five public, independent, non-partisan polls of the 2010 Democratic Senate primary in Pennsylvania from May to July.

13.  What's that number?  It's the gap between Specter and Congressman Sestak in the latest Rasmussen Reports poll.  Specter's lead over Congressman Sestak is only 47-34 according to Rasmussen.  Rasmussen's last poll, in June, showed the 19-point deficit, a 51-32 result.

Rasmussen also reminds us that Specter still remains "much better known" across the state than Congressman Sestak.  In other words, Congressman Sestak still has plenty of room to grow in terms of name ID as his campaign gets underway, but has already cut his deficit by a third.  Also, this is the very first non-Franklin & Marshall poll (F&M's numbers were relatively very low for both candidates) to show Specter under 50%.

Additionally, the Rasmussen poll found the following:

Among voters who favor the congressional health care plan, Specter leads 55% to 26%. However, among those who oppose the plan, Sestak leads 61% to 25%.

Assuming that those who favor health care reform are more liberal Democrats and opponents are more conservative, this would indicate that Congressman Sestak has already made inroads into the moderate-to-conservative Democrats that one would think ought to lean toward Specter.  If Congressman Sestak can hold these Democrats while later making inroads with more liberal Democrats (perhaps by pointing out that Specter was a pretty staunch ally of George W. Bush's), the gap between the two should tighten further still.

This poll is bad news for Specter and great news for Congressman Sestak - not just because it shows Congressman Sestak closing the gap, but also because it adds credibility to his campaign.  Specter winning is not remotely a foregone conclusion.  The more that PA-Dem primary voters recognize that, the more open they'll be to Congressman Sestak's candidacy, and the less power the Ed Rendell machine will have to stop the political dam from breaking.

As polls continue to tighten, Congressman Sestak's fundraising continues to grow, and endorsements for Congressman Sestak's campaign get announced, a critical mass of political will to unseat Specter will be achieved.  You can help that critical mass get reached with a contribution to Congressman Sestak via the Expand the Map! ActBlue page.

For daily news and updates on the U.S. Senate races around the country, regularly read Senate Guru.

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Kicking Off the Expand the Map! ActBlue Page for the 2010 Cycle

Last cycle, I started an ActBlue page specifically for Democratic Senate candidates working to pick up seats held by Republicans.  I named it the Expand the Map! ActBlue page because the goal was to expand the map of competitive Senate seats.  The effort was a big success, achieving over 300 contributions and $40,000 for the Democratic Senate candidates included on the page.

Today, I kicked off the 2010 edition of the Expand the Map! ActBlue page with three Democratic candidates for Senate: Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, New Hampshire Congressman Paul Hodes, and Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak.

Click here to visit the Expand the Map! ActBlue page!

In New Hampshire and Missouri, we have the strongest candidates available, candidates who will also make terrific Democratic Senators.  In both races, however, fundraising will always be a top priority.  Missouri Republican Roy Blunt will be able to tap his lobbyist buddies and corrupt cronies for cash ad nauseum.  No doubt the NRSC will also make holding New Hampshire a top priority; and the D.C. GOP establishment has already begun fawning over Palin-esque quitter Kelly Ayotte.  Carnahan and Hodes need our support!  A few years back, all four of New Hampshire's and Missouri's combined Senate seats were held by Republicans.  Wouldn't it feel great to have flipped all four?

In Pennsylvania, y'all know the deal.  Arlen Specter was a Republican Senator for decades.  Even though he changed his Party affiliation, he's still not a Democrat as far as I'm concerned.  Joe Sestak is a real Democrat, and he - not Specter - should win the Democratic primary.  But Specter has a significant edge when it comes to campaign cash; and, Ed Rendell will do all he can to shut off Sestak's fundraising.  Let Specter, Rendell, etc. know that they can't shut down the netroots by supporting Sestak!

Please, please, please help kick off the 2010 cycle's Expand the Map! effort by sending these highly deserving Democrats a few bucks.  $100 makes a huge difference, $20 makes a huge difference, $10 makes a huge difference!  Hop over to the Expand the Map! ActBlue page and make your voice heard.

This is not just a contribution to these Democrats' campaigns.  This is a contribution toward slowing and eventually stopping Republican obstruction in the U.S. Senate.  Thank you SO much!

For daily news and updates on the U.S. Senate races around the country, regularly read Senate Guru.

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