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DSCC memo on Sestak win

TO: Interested Parties

FR: DSCC Chairman Robert Menendez

DT: May 18 2010

RE: The Pennsylvania Senate Race

Tonight Pennsylvania Democrats nominated Joe Sestak, a former Naval Officer who has proven he takes a back seat to nobody when it comes to shaking-up Washington and taking on the establishment. Joe, an energetic campaigner, has a compelling personal profile and a message of change that resonates with voters, especially in this political environment.

Democrats enter the general election season with a number of advantages. Democrats enjoy a 14 percent party registration advantage, with 1.2 million more Democrats than Republicans. Four million new Democrats registered in 2008. President Obama carried Pennsylvania by double digits. Governor Rendell and Senator Casey remain well-liked.

With far less fanfare, Republicans today nominated a former Wall Street executive who made his money trading derivatives. While in Congress, he not only racked up an extreme right-wing voting record, but he also championed free-wheeling Wall Street practices. After five years in the House of Representatives, Toomey led the Wall Street backed Club for Growth, advocating for corporate interests like the big banks, oil companies, and insurance companies. While in Congress, Pat Toomey racked up a voting record that would make Rick Santorum look moderate. In fact, Toomey has a 97 percent lifetime conservative rating from the American Conservative Union - nine points higher than Santorum's 88 percent.

For Democrats in Pennsylvania to be successful this November, we must be aggressive in framing the choice for voters. Democrat Joe Sestak is focused on creating jobs and the needs of the middle class, while Pat Toomey would do even more to protect the big banks, Wall Street, the oil companies and the insurance companies. Look no further than this week's debate over Wall Street reform for the difference between the two candidates. Joe Sestak has already voted to hold the big banks accountable and Pat Toomey opposes common sense measures to reign-in the big banks. Given that we cannot return to the failed economic policies of the past, the stakes for November could not be higher.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 18, 2010; 10:27 PM ET
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