Sounds Like Sestak Will Primary Specter

Inching closer (via TPM):

Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) is privately telling supporters that he intends to run for Senate, TPMDC has confirmed.

"He intends to get in the race," says Meg Infantino, the Congressman's sister, who works at Sestak for Congress. "In the not too distant future, he will sit down with his wife and daughter to make the final decision."
...
Earlier today, a Sestak volunteer and contributor received a handwritten note from Sestak himself, announcing his intent to run and asking for a contribution.

Two sides to this. On the one hand, I don't want Sestak to run and fail hard without support - SEIU backed WAY off and Arlen's enjoying the President's fundraising machine. On the other hand, Specter's a pretty weak Democrat - his party change was all politics. Plus, primaries are healthy and Pennsylvania Democrats are less than thrilled with him. If Sestak runs a decent race with the goal of nudging Specter left, it could be a good thing.

There's more...

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.

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PA-Sen: A Draft Sestak Effort?

{Beeton touched on this earlier, but I wanted to help front-and-center it. -Guru}

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, working with a number of progressive organizations and blogs including Senate Guru, has put out a poll to gauge netroots interest in supporting an effort to draft Congressman Joe Sestak to challenge recently-Republican Arlen Specter in the PA-Sen Democratic primary next year.  The poll will be open for the next four days, and provided are both pro and con arguments regarding a draft effort.  To read the arguments and vote in the poll, click the below link:

Sestak vote

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PA-Sen: Pennsylvania Democrats Embracing Specter For Now

According to GOP polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, Arlen Specter, predictably, leads in a hypothetical Democratic primary with Joe Sestak.

Arlen Specter: 57
Joe Sestak: 20
Undecided: 22

Consider this a baseline poll, still largely a function of name ID. Sestak will close once he finally gets in and starts to gain a statewide profile.

The PCCC has an online straw poll asking whether there should be a Draft Sestak movement (vote HERE.) I've been a vocal supporter of Sestak's running against Specter for several reasons, one of which can be found in the general election numbers from the POS poll:

Arlen Specter: 41
Tom Ridge: 49
Undecided: 10

When deciding between two moderates, all things presumably being equal, Pennsylvania voters choose the guy who hasn't just sold out for political expediency. If Ridge does run, there needs to be a battle of ideas in this Senate race, Ridge needs to be able to be saddled with the failures of the Republican Party; how can Arlen Specter make that case when he's been right there, enabling that failure?

We simply must have a real Democrat running in the general election or at worst make Arlen Specter resemble one. The way to accomplish both of these goals is to draft Joe Sestak for Senate.

There's more...

PA-Sen: Arlen Hoping Norm Wins

Hey, who said Arlen Specter wasn't consistent and principled? Here it's been two days since he declared that he had no intention of being a loyal Democrat and sure enough, according to Mark Halperin, the following will appear in The New York Times Magazine on Sunday:

The new Democrat says the Minnesota Republican should return to the Senate.

"There's still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner."

Wow, really? So, the question must be asked: DSCC, Ed Rendell, Joe Biden and Barack Obama, is he still your guy? Really?

I guess I gotta give Specter credit, with each passing day, he keeps making a stronger and stronger case for a primary challenge against him.

Update [2009-5-5 17:8:20 by Todd Beeton]:Deep thought: can we send Specter back?

Update [2009-5-5 17:25:22 by Todd Beeton]:In the comments the quote is being met with some skepticism, understandable considering the source. I would like to see a New York Times source give the full context of the quote but here's Byron York in the meantime:

In next Sunday's New York Times Magazine, Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter sits for the "Questions For" feature. In the not-yet-released article, Specter becomes the only member of the Senate Democratic caucus to pull for Republican Norm Coleman to win the disputed Senate race in Minnesota, although the way the question is phrased, it's not solely a matter of party loyalty or disloyalty:

Question: With your departure from the Republican Party, there are no more Jewish Republicans in the Senate. Do you care about that?

Specter: I sure do. There’s still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner.

What do you think?

Update [2009-5-5 17:25:22 by Todd Beeton]:Per TPM, Harry Reid's office responds to what appears to be an unambiguous statement of support for Norm Coleman by our latest "Democrat":

"Well, on that one we are just going to have to disagree," Manley writes, "because as far as Senator Reid and the people of Minnesota are concerned, Al Franken is going to be the next Senator from Minnesota."

I'd say Reid is being rather restrained. Regretting your support for Specter yet, Harry?

Update [2009-5-5 18:33:15 by Todd Beeton]:NYT link is up. Here's more context:

With your departure from the Republican Party, there are no more Jewish Republicans in the Senate. Do you care about that?
I sure do. There’s still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner.

Which seems about as likely at this point as Jerry Seinfeld’s joining the Senate.
Well, it was about as likely as my becoming a Democrat.

I don't really see how he could just be kidding as some have suggested, and clearly neither does the NYT since their headline is "Specter Backs Coleman For Senate."

There's more...

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