In a statement, Joe Sestak recounts pretty much the same story the White House is giving about its efforts to persuade him to stay out of the Senate race in Pennsylvania. Via Dave Weigel, here’s what Sestak says happened:
Last summer, I received a phone call from President Clinton. During the course of the conversation, he expressed concern over my prospects if I were to enter the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and the value of having me stay in the House of Representatives because of my military background. He said that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with him about my being on a Presidential Board while remaining in the House of Representatives. I said no. I told President Clinton that my only consideration in getting into the Senate race or not was whether it was the right thing to do for Pennsylvania working families and not any offer. The former President said he knew I’d say that, and the conversation moved on to other subjects.
There are many important challenges facing Pennsylvania and the rest of the country. I intend to remain focused on those issues and continue my fight on behalf of working families.
But don’t expect this issue to go away. Here’s what Republican Rep. Darrell Issa had said earlier in response to the White House memo:
The White House has admitted today to coordinating an arrangement that would represent an illegal quid-pro-quo as federal law prohibits directly or indirectly offering any position or appointment, paid or unpaid, in exchange for favors connected with an election.