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It's one thing to know a candidate's positions and support them, and another thing entirely to feel the fire that comes with having them stated, by the candidate, unapologetically progressive and in direct contrast to every policy that has been taking us down the road to disaster of every kind.

Sestak did a lengthy interview with the Times Leader - in it he talks about every subject, from education (changing the metrics from numbers of students passing tests to per-student improvement measured across the year) to immigration; Sestak he repeats his insistence that the Obama administration come up with some metrics for progress in Afghanistan, and calls out the U.S. for lagging so far behind China when it comes to high-speed rail.

But it is the economy that has and continues to take center stage as Sestak lays into Toomey for helping to cause, under Bush, the current economic disaster --- and unapologetically defends his votes.  

Ways to support the campaign, video, and quotes after the fold. Go Joe!

First things first, of course - anyone, anywhere can help the campaign by Donating or Calling (through the campaign's virtual phone bank) --- this is one race the Netroots should get behind.  Sestak challenged Republican-turned-Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter in the primary and beat him, despite a complete lack of support from the establishment, and is now in a serious contest with one of the most extreme right-wingers this election cycle. Get involved (from anywhere) at GoJoe, the social networking tool that helped win the primary.  It only takes a minute to sign in.

The interview was great, and I encourage you to watch the whole thing, thanks to the Times Leader, if you have time (it runs a little over an hour, though the economy question is the first one.) I apologize if you can't see the video, it shows up in my diary preview fine.  Just head here to watch on the Times Leader site:

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In it are fabulous ideas on every subject, from education (changing the metrics from numbers of students passing tests to per-student improvement measured across the year) to immigration; Sestak he repeats his insistence that the Obama administration come up with some metrics for progress in Afghanistan, and calls out the U.S. for lagging so far behind China when it comes to high-speed rail.

But it is the economy that has and continues to take center stage as Sestak lays into Toomey for helping to cause, under Bush, the current economic disaster --- and unapologetically defends his votes.  He also points out the little-touted fact that the government is going to or has already gotten the bailout money back.  

Joe Sestak says the handouts to big business and trickle-down economic policies his opponent, Pat Toomey, supports have “savaged” the U.S. economy. Giving more help to small businesses and families will bring it back.

“We have a different approach,” Sestak told The Times Leader’s endorsement board Tuesday. “He’ll always side with the big interests: Medicare Advantage insurance coverage, large corporations, eliminate taxes for the very wealthy 1 percent. … It hasn’t worked. Small businesses, and Pennsylvania’s been the prime proving ground for the past 30 years, if you give them the tax credits, and pay for them, they will create the jobs. … So that’s where I’ll always side.”

--- Times Leader

"This was a war (against this recession) we were in," the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate said in explaining his stimulus vote. "We had been torpedoed … The last six months of the Bush administration, three million men and women lost their jobs. The gross domestic product (declined) 6 percent. The first six months of the (Obama) administration, before anything (in the stimulus) took hold, we lost another three million (jobs). In the last eight months, nine months, we've created almost a million jobs. I didn't want to do that, those votes, but I had to do it because that's what leadership is. It was an emergency. We had to do it, unfortunately."

Mr. Sestak faces Republican Pat Toomey, who opposed the stimulus. He blamed Mr. Toomey, a former congressman, for voting to do away with pay-as-you-go spending rules under President Bush that required Congress to pay for new spending or revenue cuts with new revenues or cuts in other spending.

--- The Times-Tribune.com

Hilariously, he calls out Toomey (apparently, Sestak has read Toomey's book, too) for his own words --- admitting that his plan for Social Security will require borrowing money, and also that shipping jobs overseas will cost jobs here at home.  Toomey apparently, in his book, believes that that those people will find other jobs and outsourcing is good for the economy as a whole.

When Sestak calls Toomey "disconnected" I think that's being very charitable.

Seriously, when was the last time you heard a progressive with a backbone like this defend the current policies?

Sestak chided the Republican nominee, former Lehigh Valley U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey, for a supposed lack of depth in his ideas and proposals and accused Toomey and his Club for Growth organization of endorsing policies that deepened the national debt, buoyed Wall Street and weakened the middle class.

--- Citizensvoice.com

The latest from the polls, emphasis mine:

A half-dozen polls conducted within the last two weeks show Toomey with a lead of 3 to 9 percentage points. An Allentown Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll released Tuesday showed Toomey with a 45 percent to 38 percent lead over Sestak with 17 percent of voters still undecided.

The poll, of 577 likely voters, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points, meaning Toomey could actually be ahead by as few as 3 percentage points or as much as 11 percentage points.

Polls conducted a month before the May 18 primary showed Sestak trailing Sen. Arlen Specter by as many as 14 percentage points. Sestak defeated Specter, the long-time Republican turned Democrat, by 81,346 votes, or 7.7 percent.

"I've never been this close this far out," Sestak said Tuesday. "And I mean very close."

--- Citizensvoice.com

(Oh, and by the way, in what will surprise no one, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is totally hypocritical, supporting TARP and stimulus funding before spending millions in ads against Sestak for doing the same.)

Help make Joe Sestak the next senator from the Keystone state.

Here are the important to-do items:

  1. Donate (I set up a new ActBlue page, it seems to me this series ought to be able to get at least 50 contributors - my email - feel free to cut-and-paste - got us several new donors!)
  1. Canvass --- getting out the vote is critical. You can also go to their contact us page --- they just opened four new offices!
  1. Call - they have a Virtual Phone Bank, so you can make calls from anywhere! (h/t angel65)
  1. Send email (link takes you to the diary yesterday with a template) or call or talk in person with those you know in Pennsylvania about this race.
  1. Go to go.joesestak.com (GoJoe for short) create an account, and look for ways.
  1. And, if you are in Pennsylvania, plan to vote, and bring as many people with you as possible.

Other diaries in the series:
#14 - Pushing Obama on Afghanistan, and October debates!
#13 - GoJoe site is back and today is voter reg deadline! (can't seem to get this link to work right now but you can go to my page to view)
#12 - The narrative begins to change.
#11 - Matching funds until tonight! And, Sestak in his own words.
#10 - New Poll, We're Gaining Ground!
#9 - Toomey's outlandish beliefs on parade
#8 - Knocking on doors in Pittsburgh this past weekend
#7 - The Admirable Admiral weighs in on tax cuts.
#6 - Sestak v. Toomey on crime
#5 - Mobilizing Pennsylvania's Progressives
#4 - Why is dKos advertising for a Tea Party Republican?!
#3 - Obama's other engagement today
#2 - Lies, Damn Lies, and Pat Toomey's ads.
#1 - Let's do better than the teabaggers in DE.  Seriously, people, fight for it.

Thanks for reading, and make sure to check in tomorrow to see what a new day brings in this incredibly important contest.

Originally posted to demandcaring on Wed Oct 06, 2010 at 11:12 AM PDT.

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