Tom Wolf, the Democratic nominee for governor, suffered an embarrassing setback last week when his hand-picked candidate to chair the state party committee dropped out of the race.
Wolf wanted Katie McGinty as chairwoman. However, the current chairman, Jim Burn, wanted to keep the job.
Before last weekend’s party gathering in Harrisburg, McGinty dropped out of the race. She is a Rhawnhurst native and St. Hubert High School graduate who served as secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection. She finished last in a four-person race in the primary for governor, taking just 8 percent of the vote.
“Tom Wolf is a typical politician who tried to force his choice for Democratic Party chairman onto a party that doesn’t trust his judgment,” said Megan Sweeney, communications director for the Republican Party of Pennsylvania. “While Tom Wolf may be able to create a nice television ad, he’s shown a serious inability to energize his party’s grassroots network.
“Tom Wolf openly rejected Jim Burn, and now the Pennsylvania Democratic Party has returned the favor. Just weeks after holding a tightly controlled unity breakfast with Jim Burn, Tom Wolf tried to fire him from his job. The fact that Tom Wolf’s running mate, Mike Stack, wouldn’t even support his choice for chair serves as further proof that the people who know Tom Wolf best still have plenty of questions about his decision-making. The Pennsylvania Democratic Party is in disarray, and Tom Wolf’s failure to lead is making their numerous problems even worse.”
After McGinty’s withdrawal, Wolf formed the Campaign for a Fresh Start and installed her as chairwoman.
The state’s unemployment rate for May fell to 5.6 percent, below the national average of 6.3 percent.
Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, welcomed that news. He is being challenged by Democrat Tom Wolf.
“The people of Pennsylvania elected me on my promise to bring fiscal responsibility back to state government, and we continue to see clear evidence that our agenda is working as we see another positive jobs report,” Corbett said. “My opponent is calling for higher spending and more tax increases, but that will just make Pennsylvania weaker. Pennsylvania cannot afford to go back to those days, and as your governor, we will continue building a stronger Pennsylvania.”
The NARAL Pro-Choice America political action committee endorsed Democrat Tom Wolf over Republican Gov. Tom Corbett.
NARAL Pro-Choice America board vice chairwoman Karen Ritter, a former Democratic state representative and candidate for lieutenant governor, said, “With a General Assembly controlled by anti-choice politicians, we need a governor who will stand for and with women. Tom Wolf is the only candidate in this race that is dedicated to protecting and expanding women’s rights in the commonwealth.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America director of public affairs Samantha Gordon said, “Considering the widespread attacks on women’s reproductive rights in statehouses across the country, Pennsylvania has an opportunity to elect a governor who respects women and families — Tom Wolf.”
Wolf said, “Women should have the right to make their own health care decisions. As governor, I will oppose legislation that restricts these rights, and I will fight to make sure women and their families have access to safe, affordable and high-quality health care.”
The Philadelphia Republican City Committee is happy that District Attorney Seth Williams has announced a grand jury investigation into allegations that several Philadelphia Democratic elected officials accepted gifts and money in exchange for political favors and votes.
“It is nice to know that D.A. Williams takes these accusations seriously enough to potentially put them forward to a court of law, unlike his colleague, Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who has bungled this from the start and has used weak reasoning such as sex and race for motivation into the sting to begin with, clearly ignoring the facts in front of her,” said Joe DeFelice, executive director of the local GOP.
DeFelice is also criticizing the spending of $1 million in state funds to West Philadelphia’s Lancaster Avenue Redevelopment Corporation.
A Philadelphia Daily News article pointed out that the only thing to show for the money was a Little Caesars pizza shop in a shopping center named after state Rep. Louise Bishop.
“This was one of the reasons why Governor Corbett scaled down grant programs,” DeFelice said. “When the Democrats had the governor’s mansion, they handed out money to pay back their political cronies with no oversight. Those same people really want Tom Wolf to win so they can go back to raiding the cookie jar for phantom projects; it would be a disaster.” ••