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MSNBC: Sestak avoids questions on WH job offer


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http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2010/05/24/2326814.aspx

Here’s the key exchange between Sestak and NBC’s David Gregory:

MR. GREGORY: Yes or no' date=' straightforward question. Were you, were you offered a job, and what was the job?

REP. SESTAK: I was offered a job, and I answered that.

MR. GREGORY: You said no, you wouldn't take the job. Was it the secretary of the Navy?

REP. SESTAK: Right. And I also said, "Look, I'm getting into this...

MR. GREGORY: Was it the secretary of the Navy job?

REP. SESTAK: Anything that go -- goes beyond that is others -- for others to talk about.

A direct offer of employment could be illegal under U.S. Code. Republicans point to three statutes that make it a misdemeanor to solicit or receive employment in exchange for political activity or to use one’s official government authority to interfere in an election[/quote']

So Rep. Sestak fully admits he was offered a job to drop out of the senate race vs. Specter. But then he clams up when asked if the job was Secretary of the Navy (which would HAVE to have been approved by the president.) Pretty damning.

It'll be interesting to see where this goes.

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I heard about this too. My questions is, isn't this the way politics works? The constituency wanted Specter, so they use leverage to get Sestak out of the way...but for a moment. Is the real question whether Sestak was offered a federal job? Or that the administration tried to keep him quiet?

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I'm still trying to figure out what could possibly be illegal or even unethical in this. It seems like this is what goes on within parties all the time. Don't the DNC or RNC always do this?

"Don't run against Johnny Incumbant in the primary for Senate and we will clear the field for you next time for governor......"

Me too. This seems like an attempt to make political hay over a typical appointment process.

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Well, obviously Sestak did nothing wrong here since he refused the offer. Now the White House on the other hand...I'm not sure. It depends on the job I guess. Aren't Federal Gov't jobs subject to certain hiring regulations?

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It is illegal to offer anything of value to convince someone to drop out of a race. Secretary of the Navy seems pretty valuable to me.

I guess it all depends on the details, from whom the offer was made, and the time-line involved with it.

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It is illegal to offer anything of value to convince someone to drop out of a race. Secretary of the Navy seems pretty valuable to me.

There is no federal statute on that as far as I know.

There is a law that a federal appointee can't run for office while in their position, which is what the Administration was going for.

Anyway, Richard Painter was W's ethics attorney and he agrees with me.

http://www.legalethicsforum.com/blog/2010/05/joe-sestaks-bribe-scandal-another-ethics-sideshow.html

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Well, obviously Sestak did nothing wrong here since he refused the offer. Now the White House on the other hand...I'm not sure. It depends on the job I guess. Aren't Federal Gov't jobs subject to certain hiring regulations?

Civil service jobs are, but political appointments are not (as far as I know).

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And, hey, Reagan apparently tried the same move.

Reagan administration reportedly offered job for candidate to step down

Reagan adviser reportedly offered CA senator a job with the administration "if he decided not to seek re-election." A November 25, 1981, Associated Press article (from the Nexis database) reported that President Reagan's political adviser Ed Rollins planned to offer former California Sen. S.I. Hayakawa a job in the administration in exchange for not seeking re-election.

From the AP article:

Sen. S.I. Hayakawa on Wednesday spurned a Reagan administration suggestion that if he drops out of the crowded Republican Senate primary race in California, President Reagan would find him a job.

"I'm not interested," said the 75-year-old Hayakawa.

"I do not want to be an ambassador, and I do not want an administration post."

[...]

In an interview earlier this week, Ed Rollins, who will become the president's chief political adviser in January, said Hayakawa would be offered an administration post if he decided not to seek re-election. No offer has been made directly to Hayakawa, Rollins said.

Similarly, Hayakawa said in a statement, "I have not contacted the White House in regard to any administration or ambassadorial post, and they have not been in contact with me."

http://mediamatters.org/research/201005260026

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Well, obviously Sestak did nothing wrong here since he refused the offer. Now the White House on the other hand...I'm not sure. It depends on the job I guess. Aren't Federal Gov't jobs subject to certain hiring regulations?

Political appointees are exempt.

For instance, you don't find "White House Chief of Staff" listed on a job site.

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There is no federal statute on that as far as I know.

There is a law that a federal appointee can't run for office while in their position' date=' which is what the Administration was going for.

Anyway, Richard Painter was W's ethics attorney and he agrees with me.

[url']http://www.legalethicsforum.com/blog/2010/05/joe-sestaks-bribe-scandal-another-ethics-sideshow.html[/url]

Fair enough.

David Axelrod is Obama's senior advisor, and he agrees with me:

On CNN' date=' Axelrod agreed that if Sestak's assertions were true, "they would constitute a serious breach of the law," but he repeated Gibbs' claims that the conversations between Sestak and the White House official "were perfectly appropriate."[/quote']

Funny too that the senior advisor to the president is taking his cues from the press secretary. (Hmm....setting up a fall guy?)

*edit* Forgot the link, sorry: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20005850-503544.html

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It is illegal to offer anything of value to convince someone to drop out of a race.

I'm pretty sure this is not accurate in this context. If it were, every President since John Adams probably broke the law.

(I admit that I am speaking out of my azz on this subject - I know nothing of the law in this area).

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I'm pretty sure this is not accurate in this context. If it were, every President since John Adams probably broke the law.

I think we should investigate it and find out.

Either way, we win. Either unethical activity is put to bed, or the Administration is cleared.

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:yawn: Politics as usual. Sestak was just too smart for Obama. After all, why take a 2-6 year gig as Sec of Navy when he'll get at least that much as a Senator with the natural advantages of the incumbent in every election after that? Besides, Sec of Navy might have some actual responsibilities, while a junior senator can coast for years before he gets any real responsibility.

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Rep. Joe Sestak, winner of the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary, is refusing to provide more information on what job he was offered by a White House official to drop of that race, although he confirmed again that the incident occurred.

The White House was backing incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) in the primary. Sestak acknowledged in an interview in February that he was offered a position by an unnamed White House official - a potential violation of federal law - but has not offered any specifics on conversation. Republicans are trying to use the issue against Sestak in the November Senate race.

"It's interesting. I was asked a question about something that happened months earlier, and I felt that I should answer it honestly, and that's all I had to say about it." Sestak said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "Anybody else has to decide on what they will say upon their role. That's their responsibility."

Yet Sestak confirmed to NBC's David Gregory that the incident did take place.

"I was offered a job, and I answered that," Sestak said. "Anything that goes beyond that is for others to talk about."

http://www.politico.com/blogs/politicolive/0510/Sestak_confirms_WH_job_offer_to_get_out_of_Senate_race.html?showall

On CNN, Axelrod agreed that if Sestak's assertions were true, "they would constitute a serious breach of the law," but he repeated Gibbs' claims that the conversations between Sestak and the White House official "were perfectly appropriate."

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20005850-503544.html

Federal Code-

18 USC Sec. 600. Promise of employment or other benefit for political

activity

Whoever, directly or indirectly, promises any employment,

position, compensation, contract, appointment, or other benefit,

provided for or made possible in whole or in part by any Act of

Congress, or any special consideration in obtaining any such

benefit, to any person as consideration, favor, or reward for any

political activity or for the support of or opposition to any

candidate or any political party in connection with any general or

special election to any political office, or in connection with any

primary election or political convention or caucus held to select

candidates for any political office, shall be fined under this

title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

AMENDMENTS

1994 - Pub. L. 103-322 substituted "fined under this title" for

"fined not more than $10,000".

1976 - Pub. L. 94-453 substituted $10,000 for $1,000 maximum

allowable fine.

1972 - Pub. L. 92-225 struck out "work," after "position,",

inserted "contract, appointment," after "compensation," and "or any

special consideration in obtaining any such benefit," after "Act of

Congress,", and substituted "in connection with any general or

special election to any political office, or in connection with any

primary election or political convention or caucus held to select

candidates for any political office" for "in any election".

EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1972 AMENDMENT

Amendment by Pub. L. 92-225 effective Dec. 31, 1971, or sixty

days after date of enactment [Feb. 7, 1972], whichever is later,

see section 408 of Pub. L. 92-225, set out as an Effective Date

note under section 431 of Title 2, The Congress.

http://law.onecle.com/uscode/18/600.html

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:yawn: Politics as usual. Sestak was just too smart for Obama. After all, why take a 2-6 year gig as Sec of Navy when he'll get at least that much as a Senator with the natural advantages of the incumbent in every election after that? Besides, Sec of Navy might have some actual responsibilities, while a junior senator can coast for years before he gets any real responsibility.

Couple things wrong with this post. There is no guarantee Sestak will beat Toomey. So that does factor into the equation. Secondly, based on the timing of it all, there is zero possibility that it was the Secretary of the Navy position. Obama would have had to fire his recently confirmed sec of navy. Highly unlikely. Thirdly, Sestak is no slacker. He's notorious for being a slave driver, and he's gone through more staffers than pretty much anyone else in the House because he works them hard. Also I don't think being a Senator is quite as easy as you think it is.

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What I like about Sestak is that he is a hardcore liberal. He's far to the left of Specter. He's particularly liberal when it comes to Government healthcare. And he should know because he spent a lot of time in the military. But the best part about him is that conservatives see his military record and they automatically like him even though he opposes everything they stand for.

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What I like about Sestak is that he is a hardcore liberal. He's far to the left of Specter. He's particularly liberal when it comes to Government healthcare. And he should know because he spent a lot of time in the military. But the best part about him is that conservatives see his military record and they automatically like him even though he opposes everything they stand for.

I am a conservative, veteran, PA resident and Sestak won't get my vote :silly:

But it was nice seeing him beat Specter.

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You can't have thrown Blago under the bus.

And then act as if its no idea when you do the same basic thing.

Selling a position for personal gain. (Blago)

Selling a position for political gain. (Pres. Obama, as he's responsible for his Sr. Admins).

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