Able Danger Blog

Click here to order Triple Cross in paperback now

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Weldon fights back against Sestak and CREW

From the National Review online:

Under the shadow of FBI investigations of his family and associates, Curt Weldon squared off with Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania's 7th district.

He called the Democrats' attacks on his family "outrageous and un-American," defended his record of public service and then laid into his opponent.

As a volunteer fireman, Weldon said, "I put myself between a 700-foot-long oil tanker in Marcus Hook and an oil refinery for three days, where 29 people were killed ..I would ask you," he said turning to Sestak, "have you ever faced a similar situation, Joe? Or (were you) always in the admiral quarter drinking out of your wine goblets and being waited on by your sailor servants?"

Weldon just picked up steam from there.

When a baffled Sestak mangled a question from moderator G. Terry Madonna about where he stood on the question of having a regional airport authority, confusing it with the FAA's controversial redesign plan, Weldon pounced again.

"He doesn't even understand your question, Terry."

Weldon laid into Sestak again and again, showing his superior knowledge of the district and the issues.

It was Sestak who played the part of Underdog's alter ego, Shoeshine Boy. He smiled meekly and tolerantly throughout, even when lampooned by Weldon for giving wrong answers to fairly simple questions.

Where Weldon talked specifics, Sestak spoke in fractured generalities.

No wonder at the end of the show, when Madonna said he regretted he didn't have time to ask more questions, Weldon chirped, "Go ahead, I'll stay!"

According to the Weldon campaign, Sestak couldn't even get the details of his own brother's life straight.

In his opening statement recounting his Springfield roots, Sestak said that before his brother could get a lifeguard job at country club pool, he first had to be interviewed by Charlie Sexton, because "that's the way things were done back then."

It was meant to be a clever dig at the GOP boss who'd just been forced to resign as Weldon's adviser. But it wasn't Sexton who ran the pool back then. It was Springfield Democrat Bernie Stein.

"I was the pool guy," Stein told me Friday afternoon. "And I ran the pool hiring procedures ..There was no way in hell I would send anyone over to talk to Charlie Sexton."