Senate Candidate Joe Sestak shares views @ DFA meeting

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from the front page of the Gettysburg Times

Senate candidate Sestak shares views in Gettysburg

By T.W. Burger For the Gettysburg Times | Posted: Friday, March 13, 2015 

Still in the early stages of a campaign walk across Pennsylvania, former admiral Joe Sestak fired a broadside at his opponent, incumbent Sen. Pat Toomey, and the Senate Republican leadership in general.

Speaking on the campus of the Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary Thursday during a Democracy for America event, Sestak said the current leadership in the Senate and in Washington overall are half of what is needed to create what he called a “Restoring the American Dream.”

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What makes America work is a balance of rugged individualism and a willingness to work for the common good.

“The term ‘commonwealth’ is taken from ‘for the common weal,’ which means ‘for the common good,'” Sestak said, adding that the country’s modern leaders from both sides seem to have forgotten that concept.

“They have the rugged individualism thing down, that ‘you’re on your own’ idea,” Sestak said. “But they are forgetting about the common good.”

He said he lectures about the Affordable Care Act, so-called “Obamacare,” by talking to people about just that the common good.

“I talked to people in Elk County. I asked if they liked freeloaders. They said hell no. I said that before the Affordable Care Act, poor people who couldn’t afford insurance were costing them $1500 per year in additional insurance costs, to the tune of 80 to 100 billion dollars per year. Now, poor people can have insurance and are required to pay part of it. That’s better for everybody.”

Sestak, 63, is the son of a Slovakian immigrant who served as a U.S. Naval officer in World War II. He followed in his father’s footsteps, joining the Navy and graduating second in his class in the Naval Academy. He also earned a Ph.D. from Harvard in Political Economy and Government. He became a three-star Admiral, and commanded the USS George Washington carrier strike group during combat operations in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean in 2002.

Sestak retired from the navy to help care for his daughter Alex who had been diagnosed with cancer. After she was cured he ran for Congress on the platform that all Americans should have access to affordable and quality health care. He represented Pennsylvania’s Seventh Congressional District from 2007-2010.

Sestak served as President Clinton’s Director for Defense Policy, the first Director of the Navy’s anti-terrorism unit (Deep Blue) after 9/11, and the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations responsible for the Navy’s five year $350 billion warfare requirements.

In 2010 Joe decided to run for the US Senate. Although he defeated incumbent Senator Arlen Specter in the primary, he was defeated by Sen. Pat Toomey in the general election.

Sestak noted that Pennsylvania has a special place in the history of the nation. Thomas Wharton, then governor, provided the first three words of the Constitution, “We the people.”

Sestak said that America’s leaders need to get back to the philosophy of the earliest years of the country, before there was even a Constitution or even a United States.

“The people of America sense that there is something wrong,” he said. “They can feel their country slipping away.”

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