Sestak Fights Back, Nails Specter Record

Following last night’s abominable behavior towards their candidate the Sestak campaign released a broadside against Sen. Specter’s record.  While other candidates may have released a bitter attack after being treated so badly Congressman Sestak simply decided to remind voters about Arlen Specter’s 30 years of voting Republican.

I was shocked to hear Specter remind the large audience about his cancer.  I also thought it disingenuous for him to criticize Rick Santorum after cozying up with him six years ago.  While running against Pat Toomey in 2004 Arlen got Santorum to not only endorse him but to campaign for him.  Now Rick is suddenly the devil.  Of course Sen. Specter moved to the far right in 2004 to defeat Toomey just as he’s trying to pivot left and outflank Sestak.  Maybe that explains his monumental screw up last night:  his head is spinning from all the pivoting positions.

When will Specter publicly apologize to the Congressman?  How many public apologies do you get in a major campaign?

From the Sestak people:

For the Record: PA Progressive Summit

Washington, DC – When you’ve been in Washington for more than a quarter-century, you learn to do or say whatever it takes to get elected. After having to appeal to a Democratic audience at the Pennsylvania Progressive Summit on Saturday, The Real Arlen Specter would like to clarify, for the record, his actual views.

WHAT SPECTER SAID:

“In my career I’ve voted with Democrats more often than with Republicans.”

THE REAL ARLEN SPECTER:

   * Has voted with Republican presidents 85% of the time. (Lancaster Intelligencer Journal)

   * Cast more than 2,000 votes with President George W. Bush [Washington Post Votes Database]. In the years Bush was in office, Arlen Specter voted with the Republican Party over 70% of the time in the 110th Congress, over 77% of the time in the 109th Congress, over 85% of the time in the 108th Congress, and over 76% of the time in the 107th Congress.

   * Raised money for Republicans nationally and throughout the state, campaigning for George Bush, Dick Cheney, Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin.

   * Said John McCain and Sarah Palin were “the better choice.”

WHAT SPECTER SAID:

I supported a “robust public option” on health care.

THE REAL ARLEN SPECTER:

Was dead-set against a public option before Joe Sestak entered the race:

NBC’s Meet the Press, May 3, 2009:

David Gregory: Would you support health care reform that puts up a government-run public plan to complete with a private plan issued by a private insurance company?

SEN. SPECTER: No. …

David Gregory: Let me-I just want to turn, then, to the issue of health care. You would not support a public plan?

SEN. SPECTER: That’s what I said … and that’s what I meant.

WHAT SPECTER SAID:

“My labor record is pure as ivory snow … I have a 99.4 rating.”

THE REAL ARLEN SPECTER:

   * Has poor lifetime union ratings:  AFL-CIO-61%;  AFSCME-54%; IBEW-65%.

   * Voted to deny collective bargaining rights to federal employees. [HR 5005, 9/26/02]

   * Voted to restrict unions’ access to the workplace, voting for a bill that would have made it harder for unions to distribute materials and solicit contributions from employees. [HR 3061, 11/1/01]

WHAT SPECTER SAID:

“I believe there ought to be labor law reform.”

THE REAL ARLEN SPECTER:

   * Totally opposed the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) before Joe Sestak got in the race:

     “I think [EFCA] is a bad bill and I am opposed to it.” — April 28, 2009

     “I’m still against [EFCA]. Democrats are all for it, Republicans are all against it and I’m the critical vote.” — May 3, 2009

WHAT SPECTER SAID:

“I believe that the status of people of the same sex to marry ought to be the same as for men and women”

THE REAL ARLEN SPECTER:

Voted with Rick Santorum for the Defense Of Marriage Act [HR 3396, 9/10/96, Record Vote 280].

In a letter to a constituent this September, Specter defended his support of DOMA and went on to say “I appreciate the goal of the proposed amendment (to ban gay marriage)” and “I support traditional marriage as defined in DOMA.”

WHAT SPECTER SAID:

Voted for Economic Stimulus Bill after Gov. Rendell said “I’m in deep trouble.”

THE REAL ARLEN SPECTER:

Cut approximately $1.5 billion in state aid to Pennsylvania — enough to cut the state budget deficit in half.

Preferred John McCain’s plan of mostly corporate tax breaks and NO stimulus investments or aid for Pennsylvania.

WHAT SPECTER SAID:

“I opposed the Bush administration on warrant-less wiretapping.”

THE REAL ARLEN SPECTER:

Worked with the Bush administration to write a bill that the Washington Post said was a “green light for domestic spying.”

WHAT SPECTER SAID:

“The Clean Air Act is vital and I support it.”

THE REAL ARLEN SPECTER:

Supports George W. Bush’s “Clean Air” Act — the largest rollback of environmental protections in history. [HJRes2, 01/23/03, #28]

WHAT SPECTER SAID:

“Abstinence-only education has not worked. … I believe all the information ought to be available.”

THE REAL ARLEN SPECTER:

Has earmarked nearly $10 million for abstinence-only education — the only Member of Congress to do so — in order to solidify his conservative base.

WHAT SPECTER SAID:

“Look how far out of touch Santorum was with the Pennsylvania electorate.”

THE REAL ARLEN SPECTER:

Is proud of the strong support he’s received from Rick Santorum:

“If I’m a good enough Republican for [President Bush], and I’m a good enough Republican for Rick Santorum, then I think I’m a good enough Republican for a majority of Pennsylvanians.”

[See the 26:30 mark here.]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *