Joseph Sestak

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This is a profile of a former U.S. Representative. (See the Pennsylvania portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)
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Joe Sestak has been a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the Seventh Congressional District of Pennsylvania, since 2007.


Record and controversies

Congressional scorecards

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Organization 2007 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
2008 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
American Civil Liberties Union not avail. not avail.
American Conservative Union 0 - 0/25 not avail.
AFSCME not avail. not avail.
Americans for Democratic Action 95 - 19/20 90 - 18/20
Club for Growth not avail. not avail.
Drum Major Institute not avail. not avail.
Family Research Council not avail. not avail.
Information Technology Industry Council not avail. not avail.
League of Conservation Voters not avail. not avail.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not avail. not avail.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce 60 - 12/20 not avail.

Iraq War

Sestak introduced a bill (H.R.960) on February 8, 2007, that would redeploy all U.S. troops in Iraq "to locations within the Middle East or Southwest Asia regions or to other regions or nations, or returned to the United States" by December 31, 2007. That same day, the bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Armed Services and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. [1]

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Norman Hsu Campaign Donations

Upon hearing revelations of Norman Hsu's fugitive status, Sestak has opted to give back the thousand dollar donation that he received from Hsu.[1]


Sestak was born in 1951 in Springfield, PA. His father had come to the United States as a small boy and attended the Naval Academy before serving in WWII. After finishing high school, Sestak continued the family tradition, attending the U.S. Naval academy, graduating in 1974. He served in the Navy for the next 31 years, rising to the rank of vice admiral. According to his campaign website, Sestak "served six sea tours with units of the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets during which he made seven deployments to Europe, the Persian Gulf and the western and South Pacific. He served in command of USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) named the best overall surface ship in the Atlantic Fleet in the Battenberg Cup selection, and as Commander, Destroyer Squadron Fourteen. He also served at sea as Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group Two and George Washington Battle Group deploying to both the Arabian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea. As the Battle Group Commander, he led an international coalition force of 30 U.S. and allied ships and 15,000 sailors, exercising command of combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as senior diplomatic engagements throughout Southwest Asia, Europe and Africa." [2]

When not at sea, Sestak directed the CNO's Strategy and Policy Division (N51), and led the Navy's efforts toward the 2000 Quadrennial Defense Review, for which he analyzed the economic value of U.S. defense spending. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, he became the first director of the Navy Operations Group (Deep Blue), which sought to redefine strategic, operational and budgetary policies in the Global War on Terrorism. [[3]

Between tours of duty, Sestak earned a master's degree in Public Administration and and Ph.D in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University. During the Clinton presidency, he worked for the White House as the Director for Defense Policy on the National Security Council staff. He and his wife Susan have one daughter. [4]

Congressional career

2006 election

Sestak defeated incumbent Republican Rep. Curt Weldon 56%-44% to take possession of the seat in the 2006 congressional elections.

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.

Campaign contribution data could not be found.

Links to more campaign contribution information for Joseph Sestak
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 election cycle Career totals


Committees and Affiliations


Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

More Background Data

Background information on Curt WeldonfckLR, whom Joseph Sestak challenged in the 2006 congressional elections:


DC office
  • 303 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
    Ph: 202-224-3954 Fax: 202-225-6798
    Webform email
District offices
  • 600 N. Jackson Street, Suite 203, Media, PA 19063
    Ph: 610-892-8623 Fax: (none entered)
On the Web
Campaign office
  • No campaign website entered.
  • No campaign webform email entered.
  • No campaign office information entered.


Joe Sestak posts on Twitter at

Latest posts: See all the Members of Congress who Twitter

Articles and Resources

Science policy tracking by Nirav Patel, SEA (Climate Policy) Intern

“Congressman Sestak Commends the Delaware River Basin Commission for Protecting Pennsylvanians’ Water Supply” 7/15/2010
Sestak recently supported the Delaware River Basin Commission for protecting the water supply in the region. They are making is mandatory for drillers to get permission before they drill to retrieve water from the basin. Sestak is glad that the environment is being protected and the health of the community is protected.


“Energy and Environment”
Sestak believe that climate change is factor that we should consider when looking at national security. He wants to create a new clean energy economy. He is a believer of global warming and wants to create framework for climate change legislation.



The first thing Sestak wants to do when in office is reform the healthcare system. He already has a nine step procedure he wants to implement. He believes that the costs of healthcare should be shared between society and the government.

“Congressman Sestak Stands Up for New Health Care Laws at Town Hall” 4/3/2010
Sestak supports the new health care laws in his town which improves coverage, improves Medicare, protects families from bankruptcies, and reduces costs of health care providers. “Health care is the most personal of any public policy and it understandably evokes profound emotion, as we have seen throughout the current debate,” said Congressman Sestak.

“Congressman Sestak Expresses Deep Disappointment With Unsafe Practices at the Saint Louis VA Medical Center” 7/1/2010
In this article, Sestak is unhappy with unsafe practices at his local medical center. “Since 2007 Congress has worked hard to overcome more than two decades of neglect of providing the VA with the resources necessary to meet our nation’s moral obligation to our bravest citizens. Unfortunately, the resources provided in the last few years have yet to produce the aggressive and effective oversight necessary to make the VA medical system one of the nation’s premier healthcare providers,” said Congressman Sestak.

Research and Development (R&D):


Local blogs and discussion sites


Renee Schoof, "Former admiral says all American forces should pull out by year's end," McClatchy Newspapers, February 20, 2007.

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