One of 16 congressional candidates
who could make Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
Twenty-year Pennsylvania Republican incumbent
in dead heat with Democratic challenger Joe Sestak
By Pat Murphy
Copyright fogcityjournal.com 2006
June 29, 2006
One of the Congressional candidates who stand an even chance
of returning the U.S. House of Representatives to Democratic control
visited San Francisco Wednesday to ask for help.
Polls show Democrat Joe Sestak running 46-46% against 20-year
incumbent Republican Curt Weldon in the working class Pennsylvania
7th Congressional District, Sestak introduced himself to a Washington
Square Bar and Grill gathering.
Democrats must unseat 15 Republican House members to become the
majority party and elect the next Speaker of the House - with
San Francisco's Nancy Pelosi widely believed to be House Democrats
choice for Speaker.
Across the country, Democrats believe their candidates have at
least an even chance to defeat Republican candidates in 16 Congressional
Sestak stands out, said political consultant Tom Hsieh who organized
the event, as a Naval Admiral who opposes the Bush Iraq policy.
Joe Sestak in discussion with West Sider Tony Guilfoyle, center,
and political consultant Tom Hsieh.
Hsieh contrasted differences between Sestak and Weldon.
Sestak "is running as a Democratic candidate against a Republican
who is anti-choice, who is anti-environment, who is anti-gay marriage,
anti-civil union, and anti-education," noted Hsieh.
"It's pretty clear for me, because I get to run against
Democrats all the time here in San Francisco, that he's running
against the real enemy.
"So I look at his record. Thirty-one years in the Navy.
Ends up a three star Vice Admiral in the Navy.
"I look at his educational experience. A doctorate degree
"His personal experience. He's a father. He's a husband.
He's running in the place where he grew up and went to school
at in his hometown.
"I look at his policy experience. He served with President
Bill Clinton as director of policy on defense, on the National
Sestak served in Afghanistan and retired from the Navy in January.
He looks back wryly on Bush Administration strategy in Afghanistan.
"I actually flew into Afghanistan about two months after
we did the retaliatory strikes," recalled Sestak.
"I sat next to a guy from the CIA who had a handcuff on
one wrist and the handcuff was to a suitcase filled with millions
"We really did buy a lot of loyalty in that war," the
candidate said to laughter.
"The terrorism that is still rampant and the fighting that
is still rampant in Afghanistan... is because we forfeited the
opportunity to bring stability back to that country.
"The other (influence) elements of ours - the international
power, the rule of law, the society that works... to match whatever
stability is there and constantly bring society in - we've lost
If elected, Sestak said he would vote to authorize a safe return
of troops from Iraq for one year.
"I will pay for whatever it takes for a safe withdrawl within
a year but not beyond that."
As director of the Navy Quadrennial Defense Review, Sestak focused
on economic investment in developing countries as part of national
strategy to combat terrorism.
Yesterday he added economic investment begins at home
"I'm running because I believe in security," pledged
"A security where we invest in people, where national security
begins at home in universal health care, in education... in economic
For more information, visit sestakforcongress.com.