White House Offers High-Ranking Job in Exchange for Congressman's Agreement Not to Challenge Senator

Posted: Feb 19, 2010 9:36 PM
The Philadelphia Enquirer reports that Pennsylvania Democrat Rep. Joe Sestak was offered a high-ranking federal job in exchange for agreeing to not pose a challenge against Sen. Arlen Specter in the state's Democratic Senate primary election:

The disclosure came during an afternoon taping of Larry Kane: Voice of Reason, a Sunday news-analysis show on the Comcast Network. Sestak would not elaborate on the circumstances and seemed chagrined after blurting out "yes" to veteran news anchor Kane's direct question.

"Was it secretary of the Navy?" Kane asked.

"No comment," Sestak said.

"Was it [the job] high-ranking?" Kane asked. Sestak said yes, but added that he would "never leave" the Senate race for a deal.

A White House spokesman this morning strongly denied an offer had been made to Sestak. Before the spokesman issued the denial, a senior Pennsylvania Democrat said Sestak's account was met with anger by White House officials yesterday.

After yesterday's taping, Sestak said he recalled the White House offer coming in July, as he was preparing to formally announce his Senate candidacy in August. He declined to identify who spoke to him or the job under discussion. Sestak also would not say whether the person who approached him worked for the administration or was an intermediary for the offer.

"I'm not going to say who or how and what was offered," Sestak said in an interview. "I don't feel it's appropriate to go beyond what I said," because the conversation was confidential.

On the contrary, I think Rep. Sestak should say exactly who, how and what was offered to him.  His own party and its leader in the White House just tried to buy him off in an effort to control the Senate race.  Disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich got in trouble for doing something similar, no?

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