As many of you know, Senator Arlen Specter recently embarked upon what can only be described as a very negative ad campaign against his challenger in the PA Democratic senatorial primary, Congressman Joe Sestak.
At the Pittsburgh office of the Sestak campaign, staff and volunteers say they aren’t bringing up the attacks during their own outreach — but they do have some talking points available for voters who ask.
To the charge of being “relieved from duty” in the U.S. Navy (Sestak was busted down to 2 Star Admiral from having been a 3 Star Admiral) for having fostered a “poor command climate”, the campaign is sharing a quote from Adm. Vernon Clark in response, head of the Navy at the time:
“[Joe] did what I asked him to do; I wanted straight talk, and this put him in the crosshairs. People are going to say what they want to say, but he challenged people who did not want to be challenged. The guy is courageous, a patriot’s patriot.”
As to the allegation of missing too many votes as a congressman, Team Sestak differs sharply. They assert rather that he has “a strong 94% voting record and a well-earned reputation as the hardest worker in Washington”, something they have long been boasting upon.
While admitting that the congressman missed some votes this past year because he was traveling throughout Pennsylvania “to make sure staying in [the Senate race] was the right thing to do”, the memo also at one point mentions that other votes were missed “during the long illness of his father, who was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery in October.”
“Truth is, Joe was there for every important vote, and made sure Democrats had all the votes they needed”
“Specter doesn’t want to talk about votes that actually matter, like his deciding to vote for the trillion dollar tax cuts for the rich — votes that we’re all living with today.”
Meanwhile, especially for this blog, the Pittsburgh field director of Sestak for Senate whipped up a call for volunteers.
For However Long You Can Stay
Open 9am to 9 pm- 7 Days a Week
… is what it says. See LINK for more details. They do seem to be very focused on the ground campaign.
Now, I wouldn’t be playing straight with you if I didn’t pass along that President Obama today sent out an e-mail (through OFA) in support of Arlen Specter. Read it.
As to that dynamic, Congressman Sestak said during a conference call earlier this month that back when Democrats were hungry after a 60-vote “filibuster-proof” majority in the Senate, Barack Obama probably “spent about seven seconds deciding” whether or not to accept a deal with Specter to switch parties in exchange for boisterous party support. The difference is, in Sestak’s opinion “that was the wrong deal for Pennsylvania.”
UPDATE: Potter thinks the negative ads either will be effective or backfire. (Slag Heap)