June 18th, 2010
01:38 PM ET
13 years ago

PA Republican chairman requests Sestak-related records

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/18/art.rendell.file9.gi.jpg caption ="The head of the Pennsylvania GOP wants to know what Gov. Ed Rendell said to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel during discussions they had about Joe Sestak."](CNN) - The head of the Republican Party in Pennsylvania Friday formally requested records that might explain how members of the Obama administration sought to convince Rep. Joe Sestak to abandon his Senate campaign last month.

State GOP Chairman Rob Gleason penned a letter to Pennsylvania's Agency Open Records Officer Mily Maiden seeking "all cell phone, landline and email/written correspondence, sent/received by the Governor [Ed Rendell] or his office, regarding any job offer or other enticement provided to Congressman Joe Sestak or any other Pennsylvania primary candidate, by the White House."

Read Gleason's letter here [pdf]

Rendell told Fox News on June 2 that he and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel "had discussions" about how to persuade Sestak not to challenge incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter.

"We very much wanted to persuade Congressman Sestak to stay in the House and run for his seat, 'cause he would have won his seat easily and now that's a seat that's up for grabs," Rendell told Sean Hannity. "So I know that the administration did not want to offer him a job that would have meant he would have to leave Congress."

But Gleason wants to know more.

"How many discussions?", Gleason said in a statement. "Were there email exchanges, and, if so, what was suggested?"

"Governor Ed Rendell has said that Democrats need to do a better job of explaining their attempts to bribe Joe Sestak out of the race," Gleason said. "…Now it's time for Governor Ed Rendell to put his money where his mouth is and comply with our request as soon as possible."

The Pennsylvania Office of Open Records policy dictates that the open record officer has five days to issue what's called an "interim response" to a Right To Know Law request if the records must be redacted, are located at a "remote location," a legal review is required, or any of several other conditions apply.

The OOR did not respond to CNN's request for comment. Gary Tuma, Rendell's press secretary, said the governor's office will comply with any applicable Right to Know Law requests.

This article was updated at 5:30 p.m. ET to reflect comment from Gov. Rendell's office.

Filed under: 2010 • Ed Rendell • Joe Sestak • Pennsylvania • Rahm Emanuel
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Stupid Republicans... NOTHING ELSE TO DO?

    June 18, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. NVa Native

    The party of no-morals or integrity (GOPs) wants to know the truth now?? Why should anyone waste their time with these self-righteous hypocrites. They have done this and much worse over and over.
    Why do the Repubs think everyone is as dumb and absent-minded as they are?

    June 18, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. Ken, AZ

    This inquiry is irrelavent since the congressman didn't drop out of the primary race. This is just attempt to try to get him out of the general election where he is going to kick the republican candidateTomey's butt.

    June 18, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. Jim In Miami

    Pat Toomey is wholly owned by Don Blankenship and Massey Energy.
    Anyone in Pennsylvania who 'works' for living should be wary of Toomey

    June 18, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. EBC

    Sestak was offered a JOB to drop out of a race. Jesus, like that's even news to anyone in politics. SO THE HELL WHAT? Why is this still even news? Every President or their cabinet staffer makes those offers ALL the time. This is politics people not "Kinder-Care".

    June 18, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  6. Emilio

    Funny how the Repuglicans always try to force the Democrats to behave better than they do. Where were all these strict moralists when the Bush Crime Syndicate, and its cohorts in the Supreme Court, were on the path to thoroughly destroying this nation? Sestack was offered no more than a none-paying position on a board, so it's time for these time wasting royalists who despise the American people to SHUT THE HELL UP.

    June 18, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. PalmReader

    "How many discussions?", Gleason said in a statement. "Were there email exchanges, and, if so, what was suggested?"

    This dude is sounding way too Nancy Grace. Seriously.

    June 18, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. Larry

    Jeez, Rendell, stay on topic.

    That little morsel has taken a back seat to the 8 other crises we have going now.

    June 18, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  9. William Jefferson

    This is all just BS and the only reason the republicons are wasting time on it is because they know without question that Admiral Sestak is going to beat toomey by 20+% in November. The Admiral is a great guy, served his nation honorably for more than 30 years, knows the issues, has been a fantastic congressman (I live in his district) and after his 6 years in the seante are coming to a close he will be a fine candidate to take the mantle from President obama in 2016. All this nonsesne is just smoke so republicons don't have to have toomey actually get out there and tell anyone outside a private tea bagging what he will do to America if elected.

    June 18, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. sifto77

    Blago is going to jail for, basically, the same things these guys have pulled....

    June 18, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. William Jefferson

    toomey makes rand paul and angel look moderate well reasoned and sane by comparison.

    June 18, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  12. Joan

    At the same time the Republicans can make public the conversations between Rove and then sitting VP Cheney with Tim Pawlenty who was forced to withdraw from running again Norm Coleman back in 2002. What do you think Cheney might have promised? Also, while they are at it, they could divulge the coversations yesterday when the Republican leadership threatened Barton that they would take away his chairman role on the committee if he didn't retract his stupid statements from the early morning. People, wisen up. They are just putting up smokescreens and trying to divert you all from their ties with big oil and the causes of this whole mess. You are all falling for their traps. You get all twisted up with these silly issues and then overlook the really important ones. You did that with the Tea Party and Health care. You spent more time covering the rude, loud tea partiers than covering what the Democratic lawmakers were trying to tell everyone about the health care bill. What a shame that sensationalism trumps substance.

    June 18, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. Tilly

    Why don't you Republicans stop the FOX HUNT and get busy with the business of this country.....you are always trying to make something out of nothing or stirring up crap........everyone of you Republicans needs to be voted out of office, we are sick of your constant idiot games you try to play.......YOU ARE THE PARTY OF NO AND ALWAYS WILL BE........SENIORS YOU BETTER GET SMART THESE NEW TEA BAG REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO PUT AN END TO YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE.........THEN WHAT WILLL YOU DO?

    June 18, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  14. Marie (Portland, Oregon)

    Ridiculous...party business is party business. Can we disclosures of all cell phone calls and emails made by the Republican party during the Bush administration. I would love to see those to insure I never vote for another Republican ever again.

    June 18, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  15. Ramon

    Republicans have no ideas for the future they're just counting I may seat they’re going to win in November.

    June 18, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    You know, it's too late now, but you've gotta wonder what would have happened to Bushtard and Cheneybot if the Dems spent as much time as Republicans always do trying to drum up something to use as some loose justification for impeachment proceedings. Seriously. As it is, it's a crying godd-mn shame that they're not being tried for their crimes solely because of the political backlash it would create for us to enforce the laws against them. Politics trumping justice? Noway! But hey, getting back power and tearing down the other side is all GOPers care about when they're not in control...other than dividing splitting the country and stirring up hate, anger and misinformed fearful ranting as much as possible in hopes it finally breaks the federal government so they can turn all the red states into their little theocratic fascist utopias. This is a non-issue according to every single expert out there...it's never been interpreted as bribery under the statutes, never been prosecuted as any sort of crime and is somethign that every single administration has done since Washington. This is a farce...smoke and mirrors distraction games designed to further incite anger and hate among the GOP/conservative base, who CLEARLY care nothing for law, precedent, facts or evidence.

    June 18, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  17. obama victim

    the file will probably include a roster of Chicago political thugs

    June 18, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. Da Professor

    Gleason - It is none of your business since NO laws were broken and NO lies have been told.

    I do not remember you asking about the Bushy – Dicky lies about WMD, NO exit strategy, and NO funding of the wars.

    June 18, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. GI Joe

    Typical republicans – can't spend time doing things FOR their constituents, but have plenty of time to bash the democrats trying to do the work. Shame shame shame

    June 18, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. usualone

    At this point, it is a moot issue. Politicians always try to persuade others to come into their camp and/or think like they do. If this were the case with the Obama administration, it didn't work. This is just a big waste of the taxpayers' monies.

    June 18, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. mike

    the republicans are really desperate to get something to throw at Sestak
    lets find out the number of times he farted maybe we can use that
    against him or the democratic party look what they did to haley and it back fired didn't it

    June 18, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. Linda

    Gleason, please, do you not have better things to do with your time that penn letters asking form information that is so typical of politics.

    How many discussions have you had in your political career regarding your attempt to persuade others to do things you prefer.

    What a hypocrite you are.

    June 18, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  23. Marge

    If he wants to check on things he ought to start with the five candidates that Rove tried to get to pull out of their race so Bush/Cheney could put their candidate in. And how about the Pawlenty/Coleman thingy dingy..You know the one where Cheney called Pawlenty and told him to drop out of the race for senator of Minnesota so Coleman could get the job.

    I suppose since republicans are so darn dumb and don't have the memory of the animal their party is supposed to represent, they forgot all about those.

    I think they better shut up and keep their nose clean before they start an investigation into the Bush administration's many attempts to seed the candidates they wanted.

    June 18, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. Joan

    Two more soldiers died in Afghanistan. Remember your country is at war. Things are not great in the Gaza-Israel area. Iran is balking at sanctions. Twenty people died in the Tennessee floods and Nashville will have far reaching job losses because of it.. You get bad storms and tornadoes constantly around the country wrecking people's lives. Wildfires in California kill people, burn their homes and put thousands of lumber workers out of work. A small part of the Gulf coast has been hit with oil. Considering the amount that has been gushing into the water, they have done a pretty great job keeping most of the beaches clean and safe. Due to your exaggerated, gloomy coverage which makes it seen like the whole Gulf is a mess, many businesses are going bankrupt. All this is going on and you consider this Sestak story a top issue. Wow!

    June 18, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. Sue, Vienna, VA

    Obviously the republican party has way too much time on their hands! They spend an inordinate amount of time on the most trivial matters rather than tending to more grave and serious ones, oh, such as an oil spill of epic proportions, the economy, jobs, the environment, etc., etc. Not to mention they should concentrate more on reining in their lunatic party members such as Angle, Barton, Palin, Bachmann, and many more, too numerous to mention. It would be so much more productive than continuing to try and find fault with the current administration.

    June 18, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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