Northeast Times

Tom Wolf’s pick for chairwoman drops out of race

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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.” ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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