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Congressman Sestak spoke in the state Capitol rotunda yesterday.  

The spin is 'Sestak is distancing himself from the president' - which is interesting, considering that my reading of this means Sestak is pushing Obama to be more diligent and transparent in his assessment of what's happening overseas.  In other words, he's pushing Obama to the left.

This comes days after Sestak testified on improving transparency in the VA, too - in support of a bill he sponsored after leaked closed reports revealed atrocious negligence in some number of cases.  (Go ahead, Google "maggots," "foot wound" and "Sestak" to read all about it.)

I think this is a great move in reminding voters of his unquestioned military expertise.  Hopefully, it will lead to increasing support in the run-up to the debates, scheduled on Oct. 20 and 22.

Quotes, ways to help, and more news after the fold.

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Hi all,

I trust you had a good weekend!

I was all set to do today's diary on the Reading Eagle's actual reporting of candidates' positions.  Granted, they were just cut-and-paste blurbs that the candidates submitted, but at least they were informative.

But this morning, I got an email from the Sestak campaign, saying that they were reactivating GoJoe, the social networking site that enabled Sestak to beat Arlen Specter in the primary.  If you're not already active on that site, I urge you to go and sign up now.  No matter if you're in PA or not, there's a lot at stake and a lot you can do.  We need all hands on deck to make sure Admiral Sestak makes it to the Senate, and Pat Toomey is kept from the halls of power.

Also, if you haven't already, please make sure every PA resident you know is registered to vote!  Today is the deadline!

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First today, I just want to say thank you to everyone who was able to donate money yesterday to the campaign!  The ActBlue page is more than halfway to its goal of 50 contributors and we've raised over $1000 for the campaign so far!  Go team!

Secondly, I want to take today's diary to point out some other positive news.  Since I began this series, way back in aught-two-weeks-ago, the media has been clobbering us over and over again with the narrative that Toomey is too far ahead, Dems are dispirited and hate Obama, Pennsylvania is swinging to the right, etc...

Well, yesterday, in the wake of some better polling numbers this week (and, I suspect, a renewed grassroots effort), that narrative is starting to change.  Witness headlines like:

Poll: Sestak within striking distance in Penn. -MSNBC

Follow over the fold for my thoughts and to-do items to keep this train moving in the right direction.

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Just three quick items today -

First, if you haven't donated yet to the Sestak campaign, please do so!  (And if you've already donated, thank you!) Apparently, there's been a 2-to-1 match program in place the last couple of days, expiring tonight! (I called to ask, and yes, your recent donations count!)

Sestak did an interview with the Post-Gazette, posted today.  See what he has to say, in his own words.

And, there are two events happening in Pittsburgh this Saturday.  If you're in the vicinity, I hope you'll try to attend!  I'm having people over on Saturday night but if I can get away from the prep, I'll see you there!

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Of course, you can believe whatever polls you want, but a new one just came out from Suffolk University, (incidentally, they came closest to the right answer for the PA Democratic primary, with Sestak crushing Specter) and it shows Joe Sestak within 5 points of Toomey.

For those who are new to following this race, Sestak was ahead this spring, and then Big Business spent the whole summer funding attack ad after attack ad for Toomey. We ended August down by 9 or 10 points - so this is welcome news, and a reason for renewed vigor in our support, now that the Sestak campaign is using their conserved cash to go on the offensive (see below for Sestak's newest ad).

Oh, and in case you were wondering about the rational for the missed debate I talked about yesterday:

Democrat Joe Sestak skipped the debate after the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent thousands of dollars attacking him in TV ads. -KDKA.com

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Last night, Joe Sestak, somewhat disappointingly, declined an invitation to debate with Pat Toomey (moderated by Ted Koppel) and instead attended a fundraiser with John Kerry and Teresa Heinz.

I really wonder about this, though.  There's nothing obvious up on the (conservative) PA Chamber of Commerce website (they sponsored the event) about the event and the first I heard of it was today when I did my daily news search to put together this diary.  By contrast, I've been hearing about the fundraiser for at least a week.

All I have to say is that if a fundraiser was deemed more important, then we need to continue to turn up the support.  

Let's take a look at what Toomey actually said when talking to Koppel.  Our guy wasn't there, true --- but in reading the reports, I think Toomey's views were embarrassing enough for "Wall Street's Congressman" anyway.  Some quotes after the fold.

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...And we're back!  With another diary covering Admiral, Congressman, Dr. Joe Sestak in his challenge against Tea Party crony and former George W. Bush lapdog Pat Toomey.  Sestak needs our help to win this one.

Today, I wanted to report on my uplifting experience canvassing with the Sestak crew this Saturday in a particularly depressed part of Pittsburgh, PA.

Also, a reminder of what we're up against.  Toomey is a Norquist Republican (h/t dizzydean, who convinced Karen Heller at the Philadelphia Inquirer to buy Toomey's book) as evidenced quite plainly in this article.  Excerpts below the fold as well.

Poll

What have you done for Sestak lately?

20%8 votes
12%5 votes
12%5 votes
22%9 votes
15%6 votes
17%7 votes

| 40 votes | Vote | Results

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Happy Friday, all!

Since yesterday Sestak, too, has weighed in on the issue of tax cuts, today, and like every other issue under the sun, there's a stark contrast between him and his Republican opponent, who of course thinks that the extremely wealthy people need more favors at the expense of the country's balance sheet:

Pennsylvania's Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate is criticizing the decision by Senate Democratic leaders to delay a vote on extending soon-to-expire tax cuts until after elections in November....  Sestak's opponent, Republican Pat Toomey, wants all of the tax cuts to be extended permanently.
--- AP/Centre Daily Times

There was also a great biographical write up about our guy by Pennsylvania AP, excerpts, thoughts and action items below the fold.

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A little later today than I might've hoped, but here's the latest installment in the Support Sestak diary series!

So, as you may know, last week the Sestak camp set up a great spoof website for opponent and local Republican nutcase Pat Toomey.  I thought it was well done, though worried that they might catch a little flack for so accurately representing Toomey's views in such a fashion.

Little was I aware that Toomey started this off --- by buying up joesestak.org,  putting in an animated caricature of Sestak and claiming he's "got a lot to learn."

Ah, what I'm sure Toomey could teach him about the ways of Wall Street and how to not care at all about fairness or regular Americans.

Well, yesterday, Sestak was on the CBS Unplugged to talk about the situation and why he's better than Toomey.  Video and commentary ---and ways you can help propel our candidate to the Senate-- after the fold.

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When it comes to the media, sometimes I hate the messenger, and sometimes I hate the message.  

Right now it's a little bit of both.  Congressman and Navy Admiral Joe Sestak is behind in the polls in his bid for the PA Senate seat.  Not as behind as he was a few weeks ago, and he's coming off a high-profile event where the President netted him a much-needed infusion of cash, but still, 7 points means we've got serious work to do.  

Of course, all the news stories can talk about is how much indifference there is in the Democratic party or how disillusioned people are with the president.

The story is always so light on substantive information on the candidates -  and is always about the spin itself.  

Now is the time when you - me - all of us change the narrative, and reach that 30% of the electorate that's undecided.  Follow me for the email I'm sending to family and friends today, and ways that you can help.

Poll

Good day for GOTV?

57%12 votes
4%1 votes
28%6 votes
4%1 votes
4%1 votes

| 21 votes | Vote | Results

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That's what I shouted out loud when I came to the site yesterday.  I even clicked through to verify that the ad asking me to give money to Republican nutcase Pat Toomey was real.  Talk about incongruous; check out the photo:

dkos toomey.png

Of course, it was all because I've been writing diaries about the PA-Sen race for several days now, and in so doing have been visiting unsavory websites, like Pat Toomey's. (That link is not really to his website, but rather to a spoof put up by the Sestak camp.)  

So now my dKos page is asking me to give a crazy Republican money.  I hope you all appreciate the irony and my sacrifice. :-)

Follow me after the fold for your daily dose of Sestak is awesome and Toomey is decidedly not.

Poll

What have you done for Sestak lately?

20%8 votes
12%5 votes
10%4 votes
12%5 votes
28%11 votes
15%6 votes

| 39 votes | Vote | Results

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Hey all,

Welcome to Diary Number Three in this series supporting Congressman Sestak's bid for the open (now that he's defeated Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary) Pennsylvania Senate seat.  No one seemed to be consistently tracking this very important race on dKos, so I've taken it upon myself.

For reference, the first two diaries are here:
Diary 1 - let's do better than the teabaggers in DE. Seriously, people, fight for it!
Diary 2 - Lies, Damn Lies, and Pat Toomey's ads

Also for reference, the contest is between a Navy Admiral and true liberal and a complete loon who thinks that businesses should pay no taxes.  And the loon is ahead in the polls.  We NEED to GOTV.

Obama's coming to town today to help.  But he can't do it alone.

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