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Sat Aug 15, 2015, 06:05 PM

Sestak + 50 interns + volunteers busy campaigning today.


Thank you to all the volunteers today who are helping us pass out brochures and make phone calls to voters across the Commonwealth!

This week, our brochures made it into the hands of people in Allegheny, Tioga, Wyoming, Erie, Bucks, Berks, Huntingdon, Northampton, Cumberland and Clearfield counties. And our team of over 50 interns plus our volunteer army made thousands of phone calls from the office and from home.

To help right the ship of state, I need all hands on deck. If you haven't already, please sign up to volunteer at joesestak.com/sign-up-to-volunteer/

(I've been meaning to sign up to volunteer, and did it just now at the above link.)

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Reply Sestak + 50 interns + volunteers busy campaigning today. (Original post)
Divernan Aug 2015 OP
blue neen Aug 2015 #1
Divernan Aug 2015 #2
blue neen Aug 2015 #3
Divernan Aug 2015 #4

Response to Divernan (Original post)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 08:46 PM

1. We have two great candidates here in PA.

Both would serve us well as Senator....can't wait to get rid of Toomey.

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Response to blue neen (Reply #1)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 09:33 PM

2. You & I disagree on that.

I've spelled out my strong disapproval of Katie McGinty & her husband's deep ties to Big Energy and fracking. In addition, she was recruited by the DSCC and will be beholden to them if elected. As many are pointing out, the environment should be the prime issue both in the U.S. and internationally. Sadly, McGinty, who has many fine qualifications, has lost her way when it comes to the environment, and has been co-opted by Big Oil and Big Fracking, as has her campaign chairman, Ed Rendell.

3rd Way Democrats had been unhappy with the prospect of former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak seeking a rematch with incumbent Republican Pat Toomey in 2016 and searched for months for an alternative. It was tougher than it looked. Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro was approached, but demurred. Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski got into the race, and then quickly got out amidst a federal investigation of city hall there. She was 3rd choice to be recruited by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, after the first 2 fizzled out.

The Old Guard Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee are still pissed at Sestak that he wouldn't be bribed to drop out of the primary, and that he defeated Bill & Rahm's then brand new bestie, Arlen ("magic bullet", attacker of Anita Hill and promoter of Clarence Thomas) Specter.

Washington (CNN) -- White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel used former President Bill Clinton as an intermediary last year as part of a failed administration effort to dissuade Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak from running for the U.S. Senate, according to a publicly released memorandum from the White House legal counsel's office.

Top White House lawyer Robert Bauer conceded that "options for Executive Branch service were raised" for Sestak, but insisted that administration officials did not act improperly. He characterized the attempt to influence Pennsylvania's Democratic Senate primary -- ultimately won by Sestak -- as no different from political maneuvers by past administrations from both political parties.

Key Republicans disagreed with Bauer's assessment. Several House GOP members sent a letter to the FBI Friday asking for an investigation.

The White House was instrumental in last year's switch by Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter from the GOP to the Democratic Party. President Barack Obama backed Specter in his bid for a sixth term in the Senate, and the administration was eager to clear the field of any primary opponents.


Then we have her campaign chairman, Ed Rendell:

Rendell the Lobbyist – Home on the Range?
by Dory Hippauf on February 5, 2013

E&E Reporter, Mike Soraghan, shook the Pennsylvania fractivist community this morning with news of former Governor Ed Rendell (PA-D) lobbying the EPA on behalf of Range Resources regarding a high-profile Texas water contamination case.

Former Pa. Gov. Rendell pressed EPA in Range pollution case, emails show | Mike Soraghan, E&E reporter | EnergyWire: Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell interceded with then-U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on behalf of Range Resources Corp. to settle the oil and gas company’s high-profile Texas water contamination case, emails obtained by EnergyWire show.

An EPA attorney wrote that Rendell, acting as a “spokesman for Range,” met with Jackson in 2011 and “proposed certain terms to the administrator.” But the case didn’t settle for more than a year after that.”

In May 2010, Common Cause issued a report: Deep Drilling, Deep Pockets. The Campaign Contributions & Lobbying Expenditures of the Natural Gas Industry in Pennsylvania, by Alex Kaplan and James Browning.

A Bonanza of Lobbying & Campaign Contributions: Gov. Ed Rendell was number six on the list of top recipients with $84,100. Rendell has been a leading proponent of a severance tax, but has also called himself the industry’s “best ally.”

[b]Rendell wasn’t the only one in his administration spinning through the revolving door from government and into the arms of the natural gas industry.

Per Sourcewatch: (emphasis added) Three of Rendell’s former high-level staffers have abruptly left their jobs for gas industry lobbying positions. The three are Kenneth Scott Roy, Barbara Sexton, and Sarah Battisti. Roy was Rendell’s former executive deputy chief of staff and left to work for Range Resources Corp. He formerly served as chief liaison between the governor’s office and the gas industry and environmental groups, making the transition to Range Resources a perfectly logical one. Sexton, former executive deputy secretary of environmental protection of Pennsylvania left to work in governmental affairs for Chesapeake Energy Corp., an Oklahoma company that is one of the nation’s largest gas exploration firms. Battisti, former Deputy Chief of Staff for Rendell, who, on her LinkedIn page says she focused on “Energy, Conservation and Natural Resources, Community and Economic Development,” now works for the BG Group, an integrated oil and gas company which has its headquarters in Reading, Berkshire, England. “BG Group’s main business is exploration for and the extraction of natural gas, liquefied natural gas and to a lesser extent oil. It sells these products to wholesale customers such as retail gas suppliers and electricity generating companies. It also owns some gas pipelines and is involved in some power generation projects. It is active around the world, with only a minority of its business being in the UK. BG Group is a multinational company with operations in 27 countries.” (See also: Rendell advisers getting jobs with shale gas firms.

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Response to Divernan (Reply #2)

Sun Aug 16, 2015, 11:31 PM

3. I'm not sure if you're trying to call me a 3rd Way Democrat, whatever that is.

You really don't have to give me any explanations....I don't want to know what it is. The average Pennsylvanian is not going to care about "oligarchs" and "plutocrats" and DLC's, DNC's, or DSCC's.

You are welcome to check my posting history (if able to on this site anymore) from the Democratic forum in 2010. I was a major supporter of Joe Sestak, including during the primary and am well aware of the Arlen Specter debacle.

As for Rendell, he tried to get a gas extraction tax passed before he left office, and he deserves credit for that.

When the time comes, I'll be pulling a lever (figuratively speaking) for either candidate in November 2016 against Pat Toomey.

Good luck, Divernan.

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Response to blue neen (Reply #3)

Mon Aug 17, 2015, 02:23 AM

4. I don't call you a 3rd way Dem.

Last edited Mon Aug 17, 2015, 04:02 AM - Edit history (2)

I would like to provide you and other PA. Democrats sufficient information to show you that Katie McGinty, as well as her campaign chair, Rendell, are not impartial when it comes to Big Energy, Fracking, and the like in Pennsylvania.

And that means that there IS a critical, substantive difference between McGinty & Sestak. Sestak has commented on that himself. This is how he reacted on Twitter to the news that Rendell was lining up behind McGinty: “If party leaders in DC & the machine in Philly want an establishment candidate, I’m not their guy. I’m for people, above party or type. ” http://www.delcotimes.com/opinion/20150812/editorial-get-ready-for-a-barn-burner-in-dem-senate-primary#disqus_thread

Sestak does and will put people above party. And aside from the issue of fracking, the Democratic party is at a fork in the road right now - it can go more corporate or it can go progressive.

Perhaps the average Pennsylvanian does not know what an oligarch is, or what the acronyms DLC, DSCC or DNC stand for, let alone what role those entities play in the political world. But most people who read DU do know.

One last thought - you mentioned that Rendell tried to get a gas extraction tax passed before he left office. The fact is he did NOT get it passed. Shortly after that, he left office and began lobbying for the very parties who continue to vehemently oppose the extraction tax.
More Than a Matter of Opinion: Ed Rendell’s Plea for Fracking Fails to Disclose Industry Ties

That matches the pattern I observed in 10 years of working as an executive director and legal counsel for the Democratic caucus in the PA. House of Representatives. The pattern was that the same pieces of legislation would be introduced every 2 years, in session after session (Bills which have been introduced, but not passed, die at the end of each 2 year session, and are often re-introduced at the next session.) This was back in the period before the religious right took over the Republican party, and Rs & Ds were quite congenial. So one session, a bill would be introduced by a Democrat, but never get to the stage of final passage, and would die; and the next session the Rs would introduce it. But here's the kicker, and the big payoff. These bills had one thing in common - whatever deep pocket industry or profession was involved, the proposed legislation threatened the profits of said special interest - either by new or increased taxes/fees/fines, or by regulations which would cut into bottom line profits. Everyone (the legislators, the staff, the lobbyists & the special interest groups) knew that the bills were introduced to trigger/justify major payoffs from lobbyists for said special interests. In Rendell's case, since he was precluded by the state constitution for running for re-election, the payoff for not actually passing the fracking tax appears to be employment as a lobbyist.

Lobbyist: "Say, Representative (or Senator), the impact of this bill would CRIPPLE my special interest employer; it would DRIVE US OUT OF PENNSYLVANIA; it would end civilization as we now know it, etc., etc.
State Representative: Well, say, Mr. Luxury Home Builders' Association Lobbyist (Or Mr. Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Lobbyist, or Mr. Big Health Insurance Lobbyist), I'm under a lot of. . . I repeat, A LOT OF PRESSURE from the good folks back home to support this bill. And if I don't vote for this bill, well they may stop contributing to my campaign, and they may not re-elect me, and THEN what would happen to ME?!?!?
Lobbyist: Well, Mr. Representative, that would be terrible. Tell you what, let me take you out for dinner and a lot of booze at the most expensive restaurant in town and I'll give you a nice fat check to assuage your worries. And there's always more where that came from. Wink, wink! How does that sound?"
State Representative: "That sounds great! Oh, and can I bring my girl friend along?"

Two years later, lather, rinse, repeat.

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