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Sestak on Dems: 'We Aren't Transparent'

'I find the caucus is a real disappointment.'

1:35 PM, Jan 7, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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In an interview with the Pittsburgh newspaper, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), Arlen Specter's opponent in the Democratic primary, blamed Democrats for the plummeting popularity of the health-care bill.

He said they have not kept the promises they made:

"They said it would be transparent. Why isn't it?" said Sestak, a Delaware County Democrat, in a meeting with Tribune-Review editors and reporters. "At times, I find the caucus is a real disappointment. We aren't transparent, not just to the public but at times to the members."

Sestak also joined Sen. Blanche Lincoln (R-Ark.) in openly criticizing Ben Nelson's special deal:

Sestak said political deals that Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and others cut in closing the health care bill were a disgrace: "To think that you would hold out to close a deal for a special interest is absolutely wrong."

Sestak has to distance himself from Washington to have any hope of winning in Pennsylvania in this political climate, but he's also probably not anxious to speak kindly of the Washington establishment that urged him to run, but told him to cool his heels after Specter switched parties. Case in point:

"Three, four weeks later, Arlen converts, and they call and say, 'Sit down,'" Sestak said. Party leaders said he should drop out of the race to make way for Specter. "What kind of deal is this? If there's anything that has to change, it has to be that."

Here's video of Sestak's transparency comments:

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