GOP files new FEC complaint on Sestak

Published by Tim McNulty on .

The state Republican Party has filed another complaint with the Federal Election Commission saying Joe Sestak has clearly passed the "testing the waters" phase of a 2016 U.S. Senate run against Pat Toomey and should formally file as a federal candidate. The Democrat's team responded that they're working within FEC rules, and dinged the GOP for shutting it and other federal agencies down this fall.

The GOP last made a similar complaint in May. Since then, with the addition of quarterly spending reports and fundraising announcements from the former Navy admiral and Chester County congressman, state chairman Rob Gleason said it is clearer than ever that Sestak is acting like candidate facing off against Toomey (as he did in 2010). Wrote Gleason near the end of a 6-page letter filed Friday:

"The flagrant violations of law in which Joe Sestak and his campaign committee have been engaged for more than a year are startling. They have lied to the Commission by falsely stating that their activities are 'testing the waters' when, in fact, their own communications demonstrate otherwise and they have violated provisions of the FEC regulations which allow for a 'testing of the waters."

Sestak has been teaching lately at Carnegie Mellon, Cheyney University and the United States Army War College. His"Friends of Joe Sestak" committee wrote the FEC in August in response to the last GOP complaint, and his spokesman Ewin Wee said in an email to the P-G today that it remains in contact with the commission:

"The status of our committee has not changed. The FEC has guided us throughout this process for almost a year, and assured us that we are well within the guidelines. If the more extreme Republicans had not voted to shut down the government and the FEC, it would have been easier for the GOP complainant to find that out."

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