Extremism Watch: Who is Joe Sestak? TV Ads Mask Extreme Liberal Record
For Immediate Release—May 11, 2010
Nachama Soloveichik • 484.809.7994 • 646.528.1029
Tim Kelly • 484.809.7994
Kristin Anderson • 484.809.7994 • 612.280.5196
Allentown, PA – As Pennsylvanians see more of Congressman Joe Sestak on their television screens, they are asking themselves: “Who is Joe Sestak?”
This is an important question, as Sestak is so far outside the mainstream, even his own Party leaders admit he’s unelectable in November. Just five days ago, Pennsylvania Democratic Chairman T.J. Rooney told Politico: “If we want to keep this seat in Democratic hands, the only person capable of delivering that victory is Arlen Specter. I can’t say, honest and true, if the shoe’s on the other foot, that we’ll have the same race in November. The results could be cataclysmic.” Rooney also said it will be easy for [opponents] to “paint Joe Sestak as a far-flung lefty.” (Politico, 05/06/10)
Not only is Joe Sestak a “far-flung lefty” who has voted with Nancy Pelosi 100% of the time in the 111th Congress, he has often advocated far-left positions that go much further than what his Democratic colleagues are supporting. It is no exaggeration to say that Sestak thinks Nancy Pelosi’s extreme agenda does not go far enough. Just listen to Sestak’s own words:
Joe Sestak voted for the job-killing cap-and-trade legislation (44 Democrats voted against it, including 4 Pennsylvania Democrats) (RC #477, 06/26/09), but he is one of just a few congressmen saying the legislation does not go far enough.
Sestak: I was disappointed in this bill because I thought it was eviscerated during the process too much. I did vote for it, however, because it’s better than not having it done. (Netroots, 08/14/09)
Sestak: “I pushed hard for the cap-and-trade bill. The one the House passed should have been even more.” (Senate Forum Urban Issues, 05/03/00)
Joe Sestak voted for the final health care bill (RC #887, 11/07/09), but he continues to say that the $2.3 trillion health care monstrosity was insufficient. Maybe that’s why he voted for a version of the legislation in committee that would have allowed states to outlaw private health insurance altogether! (Education & Labor Committee, 07/17/09)
Sestak voted for the $787 billion stimulus (RC #70, 02/13/09), but he continues to state that this massive budget-busting, deficit-ballooning boondoggle was not enough:
Sestak: “This bill is actually a bit small in my opinion, but it’s the right step.” – ABC WPVI, 02/27/09
Sestak: “It’s the minimum amount needed. I would have voted for $1 trillion.” – NBC WCAU, 02/27/09
Sestak: “I hope that the talk begins again about having another stimulus plan.” – Fox News Business, 10/16/09
Sestak: “No, we aren’t bold or aggressive enough. Nor do I believe that our first economic stimulus bill was bold or aggressive enough.” - MSNBC, 10/19/09
Sestak: “This economic stimulus bill . . . did exactly what it had to do. If anything, it needed to be more bold and even more aggressive.” (Fox News, 02/19/10)
Joe Sestak voted for the initial bailout of Wall Street (Roll Call #681, 10/03/08), but even the first bailout wasn’t enough for him. In January 2009, Sestak voted to add another $350 billion to the Wall Street bailout. How outside the mainstream was this vote? Well, 99 Democrats including 4 Pennsylvania Democrats (Reps. Altmire, Carney, Dahlkemper, and Holden) voted against it (RC #27, 01/22/09). And it gets worse. In the fall of 2009, a bipartisan group of senators and representatives urged Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to let the Wall Street bailout expire, but Joe Sestak adamantly stood by his Wall Street friends and refused to join the bipartisan effort (Press release, 09/26/09).
Sestak’s foreign policy positions are far outside the mainstream, putting him to the left of even Pennsylvania’s reliable Democrats.
Sestak supports trying terrorists like 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in civilian courts right here in western Pennsylvania (Wall Street Journal, 02/25/10). This move was opposed by nearly every Democrat in Pennsylvania, including Gov. Ed Rendell, Sens. Arlen Specter and Bob Casey, Rep. Jason Altmire, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. It is no wonder Sestak is supported by the likes of MoveOn.Org.
- Rep. Joe Sestak, a Pennsylvania Democrat, U.S. Senate candidate and former Navy admiral, said Thursday the administration should send the plotters of 9/11 to federal court in Pennsylvania if politics block trials in Virginia or New York.” (Wall Street Journal, 02/25/10)
“More bailouts, even more ‘stimulus’ spending, banning private health insurance, higher cap-and-trade energy taxes, and trying foreign terrorist leaders in Pennsylvania civilian courts – what could be more of a definition of an extreme liberal?” said Toomey Communications Director Nachama Soloveichik.
“Over the past three years in Congress, Joe Sestak has proven his credentials as a far-left liberal who not only rubber stamps Nancy Pelosi’s left-wing agenda, but wants to go even further. It’s no surprise that Democratic Chairman T.J. Rooney predicted Sestak’s defeat in the general election. Even Democrats recognize that Sestak’s extreme liberal positions are far outside the Pennsylvania mainstream,” concluded Soloveichik.