Dems Endorse Judicial Candidates at Winter Meeting

kevin-doughertyThe Democrats met in Hershey today to decide which candidates to endorse ahead of the judicial primary elections in May.

Supreme Court

Philly Judge Kevin Dougherty won the endorsement of the party on the first ballot. The brother of IBEW 98 Business Manager John Dougherty, Kevin had one of the more impressive receptions on Friday night complete with food, ice cream and free tote bags and travel cups.

Also scoring an endorsement on the first ballot was Superior Court Judge David Wecht, son of Dr. Cyril Wecht. The Allegheny County native was pleased and motivated by his victory.

“Today marks the end of one journey and the beginning of another,” Wecht stated. “The journey which took me to today’s nomination took my campaign across 67 counties and too many county dinners to mention. But that kind of grassroots journey is what, I believe, will win this seat in November.”

“My nomination today by the rank-and-file of the state Democratic Party is both humbling and re-invigorating,” he continued. “Today we begin again to cross the Commonwealth building upon our effort today. I pledge to continue to work hard every day on the campaign trail to earn the confidence that state Democrats have placed in me today.”

No other State Supreme Court candidate received the necessary two-thirds of the committee’s vote, leaving one endorsement spot empty.

Superior Court Judge Christine Donohue, who had the support of Lt. Governor Mike Stack, finished third but couldn’t reach that high two-thirds benchmark.

Meanwhile, Allegheny County Judge (and former Pittsburgh Steeler) Dwayne Woodruff finished fourth.

Woodruff came up short despite the backing of the party’s Black Caucus, which urged Chairman Burn to include Woodruff as one of the endorsees.

Despite those decisions, Donohue and Woodruff, as well as candidates Anne Lazarus and John Foradora will still compete in the May primary.

Superior Court

The committee did not endorse any of the Superior Court candidates.

Commonwealth Court

Finally, Todd Eagen of Dauphin County won the party’s endorsement.

February 21st, 2015 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Top Stories | 41 Comments

41 thoughts on “Dems Endorse Judicial Candidates at Winter Meeting”

  1. Jessie Bloom says:

    It is a sad day for the Pa. Democrats!!!

  2. State Committee and Proud of It says:

    Irrelevant — I won’t swear at you; I will just tell you: if you think the State Committee is irrelevant then quit. We don’t need people like you who are as much of the problem as the old boys who find votes on the floor and make “mistakes” when counting ballots. We need new ideas and lots of grassroots energy from people who respect the office of Democratic State Committee member and the voters who sent them there. So if that’s not you (and it appears that it’s not) then please — just quit. QUIT NOW. Send in your resignation today.

  3. Craig Lowton says:

    …and then you walked away and he thought “well, at least now I know what he looks like so I can avoid him in the future.”

  4. David Diano says:

    Craig-

    What’s the with fake name? Why didn’t you just go with Craig LowIQ?

    Ball-less wonders like you won’t post under your real names, so why should anyone take you seriously?

    If you have something real and worthwhile to say, it’s worth putting under your real name.

    I got a very friendly welcome from one of the Supreme Court candidates. When I introduced myself, he recognized my name from this site and said he enjoyed my comments. He didn’t have to say anything, but he clearly knew me.

    I had two takeaways:
    1) I thought it was interesting that a potential Supreme Court justice follows PoliticsPA himself (rather than just his campaign manager trolling it for the candidate). It means the site has influence and candidates and (likely) elected officials read the comments, and not just the headlines or the articles.

    2) It reminded me of the value of posting under my real name. Whether people agree with my opinions or not, they know where I stand on the issues, and my reasons why. The trolls that pass through don’t have any standing. They may work for a special interest or have their opinions tainted or influenced by personal gain. They may work for a candidate or elected official I’ve criticized or post under several aliases to promote some agenda.

  5. Craig Lowton says:

    Ugh! Spare us, wise one! David Diano please shut up. You’re not even a member of state committee. You’re just the resident moron that everyone makes fun of when you walk away, wondering if you’ll ever get a life.

    Just shut up… please!!!!!

  6. David Diano says:

    Steven

    People like Irrelevant and Robbie (and Wolf’s team) want the GOP system. “Ignorance is Strength”

  7. Steven says:

    You guys think the democratic process is bad, you should have been at the republican meeting! They TELL you who to vote for and if you don’t, you are an outcast. At least this process sounds a little more reasonable. However, this backfired on the GOP because one of their favorites, Anne Covey, lied to the PBA panel and the republicans hid it from everybody prior to the vote. Now, the people have turned against the endorsed candidates and are supporting the non-endorsed candidates – Stevens, Allen, and Warren. Should be interesting.

  8. David Diano says:

    Robbie-

    I agree that Wolf doesn’t need Brady. He won by more than the total vote out of Philly. My predictions about McCord were before Wolf aired his first ad. After that, while I still liked Rob, I felt he was doomed. He lost my vote/support with his false claims of racism against Wolf. “McCord finished in 3rd place despite Diano’s advocacy”. Actually, I wrote a strong letter against McCord to about 900 on my mailing list.

    I have good relationship with Burn. He appreciates my candor and support for his election by the committee membership. Brady controls a large portion of the delegation and helped get DNC to pick Philly, so Burn has as good working relationship with him. Wolf remains completely petty about his perceived “snub” by state committee. Fresh Start got money that would have otherwise been funneled to state committee. Since the election, Fresh Start has been a non-entity, and will remain so until Wolf is up for re-election.

    I already stated that I wasn’t a member of state committee. I support independent candidates and challengers to endorsed candidates. I couldn’t do that as a state committee member. But, I contribute to state committee. I bought tickets to the Fall dinner and donated money to the “second star” fund. The free food is provided by candidates seeking support, and some of them are my clients, so I’m there just like campaign managers and staffers.

    Robbie, you keep hiding behind your anonymity, and won’t reveal yourself and so people can point out how little you know and unimportant you are.

    It’s no secret that I don’t get along with the current Delco chair, but you are 100% wrong about the previous chair. He is a mentor to me and one of my biggest supporters. That you could say otherwise, just shows how misinformed you are.

    I’ve already got one of the statewide judges this year as a client. I expect to get a few others, whom I met for the first time Friday. None of the candidates is purchasing the VAN/VoterBuilder system. So, if they are interested in having a solid voter database, at a reasonable price, they are going to come to me.

    This year, I’ve got already got common pleas judge candidates in Philly, Allegheny and Westmoreland. I’ve got city council candidates in Philly and Pittsburgh. 4 years ago I helped knock 5 of the 20 council-at-large candidates off the ballot with petition challenges. Two years ago, Westmoreland used my system to sweep the row offices.

    Last year I had 5 of the statewide candidates (gov and lt gov) as clients, and several state legislators, and state senator who won his primary when he couldn’t get VAN because he wasn’t endorsed.

    I’ve already got one congressional candidate for 2016 pledged to use my system as well as a state senator (who used me in 2012).

    One of the top political consulting mailing firms in the state uses me when they want up-to-date voter lists, fined tuned targeting and rapid turn-around.

    I’ve got hundreds of committee people and more than half a dozen Philly ward leaders using my system. I also help out school board candidates for free (and flipped several Delco school districts in 2013).

    What have YOU done Robbie?

  9. Lula says:

    Wait, that State Committee meeting was for real?! I thought they were filming an upcoming episode of House of Cards.

  10. David Diano says:

    Robbie-
    So many things wrong in your post, I lost count. Will respond later today.

  11. Robbie says:

    ABCDEF is right about Brady. Brady owns Jim Burn. Burn is in his position because Brady doesn’t like anybody more powerful than him, especially somebody not from Philly. Brady was jealous of Rendell when he was Governor too, but Wolf is worse to Brady because Wolf isn’t from Philly. Wolf has never trusted Brady and doesn’t need Brady for anything. The people who support Burn are too dumb to realize they are being used by Brady to hold on to the little power he has, know nothing about politics, are just happy Burn gave them attention by putting them on the do-nothing By-laws committee, or all of the above. Dem State Committee is a joke. Fresh Start raised 10x the money Dem State Committee did and Fresh Start did more to help Dem candidates for state office than Dem State Committee did. Burn can’t raise any money and can’t even get the governor from his own party to return his phone calls and e-mails. The only money going into Dem State Committee is to pay for the mail the candidates designed on their own. Dem State Committee gets a lower postage rate (the idiot staff running Dem State Committee didn’t even know that lower rate existed when they started after everybody left last summer) and skims a percentage off the top (legal, but similar to how organized crime skimmed at old Las Vegas and Atlantic City casinos).

    Diano is not and has never been a member of Dem State Committee. He is just a guy who crashes and is the quiet joke of everybody who knows him at the Friday night parties so he can feel important, because there is free food and drink, and they anybody can go. He won’t go to any events at the Dem national convention in Philly next year because you have to be invited to the real events.

    Diano likes to pretend he is an important Dem who knows a lot, but he is ridiculously unimportant and knows nothing. Nobody important cares about Dem State Committee. The support and endorsement of weak old committee members from the counties mean nothing. McCord had almost 50% support from the committee members a year ago. How did that work out? McCord finished in 3rd place despite Diano’s advocacy, losing by more than 40%, and has entered a guilty plea to two federal felonies. Tom Wolf was 3rd in Dem State Committee member support a year ago. How did that work out? He won every county and we now call him Governor Wolf. You’re really on top of it, Diano.

    The two most recent Delaware County Dem chairs don’t agree on anything, except they both think Diano is a joke (same with almost everybody from Delaware County). The Montgomery County people (including Josh Shapiro – Diano’s new hero, while McCord was his hero last year – Diano was talking about how great McCord is and was supporting him, though nobody cared, until McCord got killed in the primary last year) think Diano is a joke. Diano doesn’t have any major political clients. None of the Dem statewide official, members of Congress, Dem State Committee, SDCC, HDCC, and every major Dem uses Diano or listens to his advice. All of them think Diano is a joke. Every Dem political consultant thinks he is an annoying joke. Nobody I know likes Diano or has anything worthwhile. That is why no important elected official says anything good about Diano.

    Running his mouth on Politics PA and at the free events is the only place Diano can think he is important. But Diano we are laughing at you, not with you.

  12. Rich says:

    ABCDEF, the “mistake”/”mis-statement” wasn’t by Bob Brady. He sent someone else to the mic to read the Philly’s results. Not sure who it was, but it was a woman. Cover?

  13. lenore says:

    Process still sounds a lot more open than the Republicans.

  14. ABCDEF says:

    Bob Brady’s “mistake” “misstating” the Commonwealth Court votes from Philly, only being off by 17 votes, was a disgrace, as is he. His behavior this weekend–making deals, reneging on the deals, muscling his delegation to vote a certain way, then denying that he made a deal to begin with, (as well as the “misstated” vote) was a demonstration of his lack of integrity.

    State Committee, chairs and elected officials from elsewhere, need to stop dealing with Brady, and start treating him like the untrustable self serving egomaniac that he is.

    Once he got commitments for Dougherty through his lies, he screwed those who he promised votes in return.

    Oh…Jim Burn is where he is because of Bob Brady. It was Wolf’s refusal to ascede to Brady’s demands that resulted in Brady not going along with Wolf’s desire for a different chair.

  15. ABCDEF says:

    @ODP What the hell are you talking about? The link you posted was about David Wecht of Fort Lee, NJ not Superior Court Judge David Wecht of Pittsburgh. You don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

  16. Rich says:

    After the Philly Causus’ “mistake” and Allegheny Co.’s dropped ballots in the Commonwealth Court vote, perhaps we can get Jimmy Carter and the UN to help them monitor and count next time.

  17. David Diano says:

    Irrelevant-

    1) I’ve never heard even a whiff of the problem with Wolf since June having having ANYTHING to do with McCord. Everything I’ve heard has been about how Wolf tried to bigfoot the process with McGinty, and how Fresh Start and other maneuvers are related to the chairmanship election.

    2) You definitely sound like one of those “stubborn, power hungry egos who do very little to actually elect Democrats”

    3) I’m not a member of state committee

    4) Bob Brady is an example of what’s wrong with the party. I respect Montco leadership on most issues, but I think it is misguided here and should be supporting party unity and the duly elected chairman.

    5) You were a Schwartz supporter. That says a lot about why your head is so far up your @ss.

    6) There are plenty of stories from my state committee friend in Delco who have nothing good to say about how Rooney and Rendell ran the show.

    I get it. You like the “leadership tells you what to do” approach, instead of the “leadership asks for your vote/opinion” approach that reflects the collective will of the committee. Under the “dictatorial” style, the committee member are irrelevant.

    Given all your comments, I can’t understand why you bother to be on committee. You should resign so you can devote more time to polishing Brady’s @ss with your lips.

  18. Jackb1977 says:

    I think the discussion should not be about the Rendell/Rooney years, but about what we want our state party organization to really be about. Right now, it doesn’t accomplish much of anything. It doesn’t raise funds at all and the communications program is practically non-existent. I want a state party that functions as a 24/7 campaign, instead of the social club that it is right now. Jim Burn had 4 years to accomplish something, but in my opinion he has very little if anything to show for it. He might be a nice guy, but that doesn’t win campaigns against the republican party of PA.

  19. CentralPA DemChair says:

    Almost all of the counties in Central PA firmly support Chairman Burn, and we are tired of the criticisms that a few of you keep leveling against him. We overwhelmingly re-elected him last June to a four-year term, so let’s let him do his job of growing the Party, and electing more Democrats. Chairman Burn came to all of our counties to learn about our areas, and to hear about our problems. No other PA Dem Chair ever came to most of these places. If you want to support someone else in 2018, go right ahead, but until then let’s all unify behind Chaiman Burn!

    Most of us also firmly support Joe Sestak for U.S Senate in 2016. Joe tirelessly traveled throughout PA four years ago, to thank all of us for our support, after he lost in a squeaker in an overwhelmingly red year. He continues to travel the state, and attend our events in counties large and small, to meet the people and listen to their concerns. Joe will be the strongest candidate that we could nominate next year. If you want to support someone else, that’s your right, but please don’t keep tearing our probable 2016 nominees down!

  20. Jackb1977 says:

    OmarDPoodle, the David Wecht that you are talking about is not the same as Judge David Wecht that just won the endorsement. He has been a county/state appelate judge since 2003. I have no idea who your posting is about.

  21. Quick somebody burp "Irrelevant" says:

    As a state committee person serving a second term, I find a lot of whining among lifers (mostly white older men), that state committee members are not swallowing everything they are told to do without asking questions. They come across angry that we are trying to practice democracy. I attended state committee meetings as a proxy when Rooney was Chair. I was embarrassed & appalled at his dictatorial style. Trust me, not everybody thinks the Party was better with Rooney & Rendell. The state committee members I know the best are representing the people who voted them into office. They are not there trying to cut backroom deals. The push back against the old boy network is what is really driving “State Committee is Irrelevant” bonkers. Many of us voted for Burn because we didn’t want to go back to the Rendell days.

  22. State Committee is Irrelevant says:

    @DD – No one is bringing up McGinty vs. Burn, but you. I’m referring to the broader lack of supporter and bitterness towards Wolf among members of State Committee mostly from former McCord supporters.

    You need to take your head out of your a** and realize that State Committee is becoming increasingly irrelevant. It’s a bunch of stubborn, power hungry egos who do very little to actually elect Democrats. Members, like you, act as though Democrats and Democratic candidates should bow down in your presence and highly covet your pathetic, ineffective and usually dooming endorsement.

    I know for a fact that Wolf received bitterness and backlash from McCord supporters and especially County Chairs. County Chairs refused to work in a coordinated campaign with Wolf. Fresh Start and McGinty criss-crossed the state holding multiple events with House and Senate candidates. Multiple members who donated to McCord during the primary didn’t donate a single dime to Wolf in the general or even work to elect Wolf. I was a Schwartz supporter, but after the primary I contributed and volunteered for Wolf and worked hard to elect him.

    You are part of the problem DD. Egos like yours are destroying the party. Not Bob Brady and Montco Leadership. They get it. You clearly do not!

    T.J. Rooney and Ed Rendell had it right. Rooney always deferred to the Governor as the de facto leader of the state party. And we were much more organized, unified and effective during those years. It’s a fact!! Look at the numbers!

    No one takes State Committee seriously. It’s a chaotic, disorganized mess. New leadership is needed and hopefully PA Young Dems and PA College Dems can win some local committee seats in 2018 and overturn some county chairs like was done previous in Dauphin County.

    -signing off

  23. David Diano says:

    Irrelevent-

    1) You were told wrong about the head of the party. Or maybe, you were confused between head of the party vs the party organization. The committee selects their chairman. The governor’s recommendation carries weight, but in this case, he picked a candidate that the committee simply did not want and had no confidence in. Had Wolf picked a different person, he might have gotten his wish. A LOT of the progressives I talked to voted against her (rather than for Burn) because they felt she was a phony and an industry shill. (I never got that vibe from her, but it is strong consensus opinion among the progressives.)

    2) The state committee is responsible for more than just one candidate. They have to support the entire ticket. State committee did not one someone who might ignore all the other vital races.

    3) I’m in the 7th district. Mine’s worst than Ed P.’s district. Bob Brady should be kicked out of the party for his involvement and deal cutting to pass the redistricting.

    Legally Blonde-
    The problem is the 2/3 hurdle to get the endorsement. Had it been 1/2, Donahue would have gotten the third endorsement. Donahue and Woodruff are both good candidates. There is strong support for having a female candidate and strong support for having a black candidate. However, since each is a desirable outcome, it’s hard to get a full 2/3 to pick one over the other.

    Maybe the solution is to change the rule to 50% or %60 instead of 2/3.

  24. frank says:

    I would also like to add, the only african american running, mr. woodruff.Did not recieve an endorsement.Sad

  25. Legally Blonde says:

    I find it astounding that the Democratic Committee would endorse 2 white men, and only 2 white men for Supreme Court and deny endorsements to 2 outstanding women. Judges Donohue and Lazarus are highly recommended by the PA Bar but spurned by their own party for endorsement. How foolish, given the fact that women seem to make the strongest candidates in judicial races. I have a message for the party and the party’s endorsed candidates, I am voting for the two women in the race and only the two women and encourage other women to join me.

  26. State Committee is Irrelevant says:

    @DD – When I attend newly elected State Committee members training years ago we were told that the Governor is the leader of the party. I still believe that and I still understand why. DD it is so important for the party to support the Governor. We need Governor Wolf to be reelected in 2018 so we can occupy the Governor’s Mansion during redistricting. I cannot tell you how vital this is to the future. Just like Allentown Mayor Ed P. said at the meeting yesterday, his Congressional district spans from Allentown all the way to Three Mile Island. That’s ridiculous.

  27. OmarDPoodle says:

    I am very disappointed with the endorsements, especially David Wecht. I worked with him years ago and found him to be arrogant, opinionated, and self-absorbed. He has no concern for common, middle class people. Case in point: http://www.lawyerratingz.com/reviews/3626/Attorney-David-Wecht.html

    Woodruff and Donahue are knowledgable, authentic, and would bring ethics back to the high court.

  28. David Diano says:

    Irrelevant-

    If you want unity, they you shouldn’t be applauding the behavior on Montco and other elements undermining state committee. These people should be supporting Burn, and offering him advice for improvements and work with him, rather than attempting to cut off funding and manpower.

    It’s the side the lost that needs to swallow their pride and come into the fold for unity.

    I’ve seen no evidence to suggest that Burn would refuse their support and input.

    The petty people should respect the vote of the duly elected committee members.

    As for Sestak, his winning is almost as bad an outcome as Toomey winning. I’d sooner have NO Senator than either one of them.

  29. State Committee is Irrelevant says:

    @DD – I’m really not interested in getting into a I’m right, you’re wrong back and forth argument. We disagree and that’s okay. Although it sounds like we both agree that we need a better candidate than Sestak if we want to defeat Pat Toomey. There is not a doubt in my mind that Sestak would lose again to Toomey by an even larger margin this time around.

    Ultimately, I disagree with you that the endorsement of State Committee will impact the outcome of the primary election. In my humble opinion State Committee is essentially just a group of big egos who meet occasionally for social conventions. It wasn’t always that way, but it is now and has been for a few years. State Committee lacks the leadership and resources to be impactful and effective in elections. I applaud the actions of Montco Dems and their respective leadership. I’m hopeful that State Committee will one day unify and get organized under new leadership. Unfortunately many Democratic voters don’t understand the importance of electing local committee people and state committee people. Too often county chairs and county committees hand pick state committee candidates.

    I wish all the Democratic judicial candidates luck, because we genuinely do have an incredibly qualified group of individuals running. Traditionally women are the top vote getters in judge races and I believe both Anne and Christine have great shot of winning the nomination.

  30. David Diano says:

    Irrelevant-

    The profanity is because you are so thick and embarrassing.

    1) Wolf never goes to any events since McGinty was rejected. It’s not only an open secret that he refuses to go, but it’s the policy of the Montco Dems not to support funding State committee as long a Burn is in office (or as long as the current Montco chair is in office)

    2) Events prior to state committee rejecting his choice are even more irrelevant than you.

    3) Bullsh*t. You can state your opinions under your real name.

    4) Plenty of Republicans stayed home and plenty that did turn out voted for Wolf and then stupidly for the same GOP legislators that supported Corbett’s policies. The GOP legislators ran FAR away from Corbett. There were more pictures of them together with Corbett on Dem literature than Republican lit.

    5) I’m talking about Wolf not coordinating with the candidates. I didn’t say anything about county chairs. They usually coordinate with local candidates, so lack of coordination with Wolf looks more like side effect of Wolf’s lack of coordination with the candidates.

    6) Sestak could only win the endorsement if there was no other challenger. He’d never cross 2/3 if anyone decent appeared. More likely no endorsement than a Sestak endorsement.

    7) Why are you so proud of being irrelevant. Give up your slot to someone who believes in the value of state committee.

    8) I didn’t say they were the host committee. But, they are the official party organization.

    9) By declaring the committee to be irrelevant you aren’t trying to “implement change”. If you want a real change that will help state committee, resign and let someone good replace you.

    BTW, if Wolf’s people succeeding in ousting Burn, they’d be treating the state committee as the greatest and most prestigious political organization in the state.

    Also, the VAN/VoteBuilder system is run through the state party as well as non-profit mailing discounts that candidates want. That’s why a lot of candidates use the party’s access for mailing.

    While, I’m certainly a critic of VAN/VoteBuilder, it IS the monopoly system and the state party controls access.

    The organization is underfunded. Having Wolf’s supporters undercut it (out of spite) further hurts the party.

  31. State Committee is Irrelevant says:

    …continued… I ran out of room to type.

    8) DD is once again incorrect. Democratic State Committee is NOT the host of the DNC Convention in Philadelphia. There is a separate convention committee established who acts as the Host Committee. State Committee has no influence on that.

    9) And DD, I realize your ego is as massive as McCord’s, but at least I’m willing to implement change in the party instead of just blaming others.

  32. State Committee is Irrelevant says:

    @DD

    Whoa! I must have struck a nerve, I mean with you swearing at me and all. You know it’s true.

    1) Tom Wolf is in Washington DC for the National Governor’s Association meeting which is why he didn’t attend today

    2) Tom Wolf attended State Committee in June 2013 when it was hosted at the Marriott/Convention Center in Lancaster

    3) And you know every well I need to post anonymously so what I say isn’t interpreted as violating the bylaws

    4) I partially agree with one point. Corbett was massively unpopular. But Wolf was also a perfect Democratic candidate appealing to equally to Western PA Reagan Democrats as Philly Burb Progressives. I’m not sure McCord or Schwartz could have won in the Republican year that 2014 was, especially as Republicans came home to Corbett in the end. Schwartz would have lost the west and McCord’s personality would have turned off independents and moderates. Ultimately Corbett was unpopular and Wolf ran an incredible campaign.

    5) You’ve got it backwards. Many county chairs refused to coordinate with the Wolf campaign not the other way around. In fact county committees tried to manage local candidates independently from the gov race.

    6) It’s no wonder we’re having such a hard time trying to recruit a viable candidate against Toomey. State Committee has become a joke. McCord’s stupidity and arrogance has reflected poorly on our party and image. Sestak will most likely get State Committee endorsement which would be a huge mistake, but again irrelevant. Thankfully the vast majority of Democratic voters often reject endorsements of State and county Committees.

    7) Democrats across PA should be celebrating Tom Wolf’s victory and leadership. We should have taken the opportunity to chart a new direction for our state party, instead we’re faltering and chaotically dealing with distractions. We’re not unified. We’re not organized. We’re simply IRRELEVANT.

  33. David Diano says:

    Jackb1977- The state party is the official organization for the state. The DNC doesn’t care about the internal feud with Wolf, and as a matter of policy, would have to support the will of the duly elected committee members.

    Irrelevant-
    So, basically, you are saying that you are a member of the state committee and that state committee is irrelevant. Then f*cking quit! You are clearly useless.

    Wolf’s team ABSOLUTELY refused to coordinate with candidates bu fully supporting them, or appear in ads that attacked both Corbett and the legislators that voted for Corbett’s policies. The strategy was “appeasement” of the GOP for fear that if Wolf supported a Dem who lost, the winning GOP candidate would retaliate against Wolf. This was a f*cking stupid strategy. I spoke to campaign insiders who had objected to the strategy, but they were overruled. I also spoke to candidates who vocally complained about Wolf’s refusal to help in any significant way (beyond mere lip service).

    While I like a lot of the changes Wolf is bringing to the office, he didn’t win because he was “the best candidate for Governor in the country”. He won because Corbett was the worst candidate for Governor in the country. This is part of the reason he had no coattails, because to the voters he was simply “not-Corbett”. But, he and his team COMPLETELY FAILED to connect Corbett to the legislators that voted with Corbett. Fresh Start was only interested in Wolf. Had its money gone to the state party instead, there would have been a better coordinated campaign.

    As for the HDCC, it has always been poorly run. They have no actual interest in winning, but rather maintain the status quo, protect some special interest candidates and funnel their $4 million into cronyism. There are several top operatives who won’t even bother to apply to run HDCC because they don’t want a woman in charge and they don’t want to run serious campaigns with a statewide strategy.

    As for McCord, the failure there was McCord’s, not the state committee. On paper, McCord had the credentials, had won statewide twice previously and was well known within the party, as he often attended events and helped with fundraising. Wolf came in with sh*tload of money and flooded the airwaves early. McCord and Schwartz failed to respond with a blitz of their own, and lost mindshare, as Wolf became the defacto nominee to the voters.

    Under Howard Dean, we took back congress. One of his key strategies was bolstering the state committees and paying for additional staffers per state. The Republicans underfund education, then claim it’s a failure. Similarly, Wolf and his people have worked behind the scenes to undermine funding of state committee. The Montco delegation refused to attend the Fall fundraising dinner in Sept (in Philly) specifically to undermine the organization in retaliation against Burn. Wolf refused to attend, and sent Stack as his proxy. I’ve never before heard of a candidate refusing to attend a dinner like that in an election year.

    By posting anonymously, you further enhance your irrelevance.

  34. Chet royer says:

    Irrelevant, yes…..but I will bet on doughert and wecht will win nomination with a tough fight for the third. My hunch is woodruff. But this will be a barn burner of an election with good candidates.

  35. State Committee is Irrelevant says:

    As a member of Democratic State Committee I stand by my comments. I left the meeting embarrassed and discouraged about our future. Chairman “Jimmy” Burn often seemed confused throughout the meeting. It was completely unorganized and chaotic. But congrats to Bobby Brady on his “certificate”!! LMAO!! State Committee lost its influence in elections long ago. We’ve become a bunch of do-nothing amateurs!!!

    @DD You proved my point. How defensive you got when I insisted that State Committee is a bunch of power hungry people who actually think they impact elections. Because its true.

    Wolf and Fresh Start did not abandon anything! You’re full of it! It was a Republican year across the country. Luckily we had “the best candidate for Governor in the country” as President Bill Clinton put it.

    Last year, the vast majority of State Committee members voted to endorse Rob McCord who will mostly likely soon be behind bars. In fact the majority of county chairs supported McCord. Tom Wolf won all 67 counties in the primary. Man, you’re right DD, the party still has influence. LOL!

    As a lifelong Democrat and a rather longtime member of State Committee I must admit that PA Republican State Committee is much more organized, unified and effective.

    Ultimately I’m curious to see how this years primary election will turn out. I don’t think today’s endorsement will have any impact. Traditionally women are the top vote getters for judge. I think Lazarus and Donohue have a great shot.

  36. Jackb1977 says:

    David, I believe that there were no coattails to be had last year. The results are more a result of poor leadership and management at the PA sdcc and hdcc. The fundraising and polling strategies were laughable in execution within these two organizations. The problem, as I see it, with regards to Jim Burn and state party is the lack of any real value for candidates other than getting petitions circulated. The state party raises very little $ and the communications arm is quite poor. Burn has done very little to change this in his 4 prior years as chair and won’t do much going forward. As for the convention, I can’t see Jim having any real impact other than being a talking head from time to time.

  37. Bruce from Lancaster says:

    It is a little more than embarrassing that Johnny Dougherty had to come to town to buy an endorsement for his little brother. The IBEW never sponsors anything at state committee except for Johnnys brother. Philly politics on streroids, what a sham! I guess Bradey has his vote in his pocket when redistricting comes around in 2020

  38. David Diano says:

    Irrelevant-
    1) The State committee members were elected by the voters in May

    2) They, not the governor, elect the head of the party.

    3) My understanding is that if McGinty had been elected chair, would have resigned after Wolf was elected to join his staff, leaving the party to select a new chair. Burn wanted the job for all 4 years.

    4) Wolf and Fresh Start abandoned the down-ticket candidates, in a short-sighted strategy that had the well predicted outcome of a stronger GOP majority in the legislature.

    5) Wolf and his people have gone out of their way to undermine the state party out of pure spite, and Wolf has refused to attend events. Mike Stack, to his credit, understands the value of a party infrastructure and does attend events.

    6) The current interest in going after Burn is likely related to desire in controlling access to the DNC convention by the special interests who gave money to Wolf. The state party is the official party organization dealing with the DNC and convention. Not the Gov. Not the defunk Fresh Start PAC.

  39. David Diano says:

    So, you’ve got two endorsed candidates and a lack of 2/3 agreement for the third endorsement.

    It’s a pretty good crop of a candidates this year, so the 2/3 hurdle is a challenge.

    The individual county endorsements tend to dictate who appears on the sample ballots at the polls. In some cases, only the endorsed candidates appear. In other cases, all the candidates appear, but the endorsed candidates are highlighted.

    Often, the primary voting is regional, based upon the home county of the candidates.

    While the average voter will have no idea who the candidates are, much less who was endorsed by state committee, I think (not sure) that the endorsed candidates may get access to some state committee resources (like mailing house discounts, data, etc.)

    It’s always nice to get the endorsement. But, there is still plenty of work for all the candidates to do over the next 3 months to get their messages out to the voters.

  40. Rich says:

    Narrowly??? After Philly’s correction, Todd’s win was pretty decisive. You might want to recheck your numbers.

  41. State Committee is Irrelevant says:

    Democratic State Committee has become increasingly irrelevant in recent years. It’s essentially a bunch of power hungry people who actually think they have a say in the election. We need only go back to a year ago to see how little of an impact these people actually have. The entire meeting today was incredibly embarrassing. It was totally unorganized, chaotic and poorly ran. The Chairman often seemed confused.

    http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-pa-democrats-wild-weekend-20150220-story.html

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