Exclusive: Staff Shakeup Highlights Dem Family Feud

Tom-WolfThe Democratic Party is currently split between the old guard and the Wolf team and people are beginning to pick sides.

According to a Democratic insider, two high-level Pennsylvania Democratic Party employees are leaving to join the Wolf campaign.

Beth Melena, the Press Secretary and Digital Director of the Party, has jumped to Wolf’s press office. Meanwhile Marc Eisenstein, the party’s Communications Director and veteran of Bob Casey’s successful 2006 and 2012 campaigns, will be Wolf’s new research director.

This exodus marks a significant shift from the party establishment to Wolf’s campaign. Burn’s communications and research team were seen one of his strengths and now they have left to join his rival.

Tom Wolf shocked the PA political world yesterday when he announced he was creating his own PAC that would essentially act as a way to circumvent the state Democratic party.

The move came after Wolf’s choice for Dem Party Chair (and head of his new PAC, The Campaign For a Fresh Start) Katie McGinty met resistance from currently party chairman Jim Burn. Traditionally, gubernatorial nominees have gotten the opportunity to chose their own chair but Burn refused to step aside.

Since yesterday many Democrats have noted that Burn’s victory will actually harm his career as he caused a public relations mess and no one will want to deal with him anymore. These latest moves could be early indications that Burn may have won the battle but lost the war.

June 20th, 2014 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Governor, Top Stories | 38 Comments

38 thoughts on “Exclusive: Staff Shakeup Highlights Dem Family Feud”

  1. flynnbw says:

    @Chris Martinez: Sorry, please feel free to continue doing so.

  2. Chris Martinez says:

    Flynn, I don’t know what your talking about. I aint no troll, I dont know what that even means. I’m only exspressing my opinon about the Penn. gov race.

  3. flynnbw says:

    This Martinez guy is trolling everybody! Classic.

  4. “Many Democrats have noted that Burn’s victory will actually harm his career as he caused a public relations mess and no one will want to deal with him anymore.”

    Exactly when did McGinty say that? No one else I know thinks that. Tom Wolf was ill advisedly. Yes, I am looking at you Ed Rendell.

  5. Chris Martinez says:

    larry your the dumb one here, I’m not. I may not have a collage degree but I have street smartz and know a lot of politicans. I don’t like you talking bad about me, it shows you think your better then everbody else but your not.

  6. Chris Martinez says:

    Isac, I been around a long long time and been watching politics a long long time and penn. aint never seen its govenors get beaten when they go for a second term. the genrul election is a long way off and nobody is really paying attention to the gov race til after summer is finished. then people will focus on the gov race and he will get a second term with a landslide.

  7. Chris Martinez says:

    David Daino, you think you know it all but you don’t and that’s the truth. And for you to say joe paterno should be governor is really a crazy suggestion. he was part of the whole problem with the kid abuse.
    I don’t know why you hate the govenorr but it aint nice and your not nice for hating Corbett.

  8. Larry says:

    Isaac, don’t bother. Chris Martinez is consistently the dumbest commenter on here. You can prove something to a scientific certainty, and if it doesn’t jive with his beliefs, he will disagree with you.

  9. Isaac L. says:

    Chris Martinez – it sounds like someone you trust told you “this is the way it is” and now you’re ignoring any information from people who actually understand and have worked in Harrisburg. Please allow me to disabuse you of that notion – I know people who work on the campaign side and the official side for both Republicans and Democrats and I have worked on both and understand how polling works. There are people in the Corbett Administration who have been leaving or preparing their resumes for months because they don’t expect him to win – these are true believers who campaigned for him in 2010, and they see the writing on the wall. It’s possible for Wolf to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but it’s highly unlikely. You can make up a 5 or 10 point deficit in four months, but it depends a lot on the candidates, the issues, the electorate, and what surprises there might be, but in this situation where the incumbent is incredibly unpopular and well-known and the challenger is incredibly popular (among Democrats AND Republicans), it would take some serious shockers for Corbett to win.

    M. Dodel – in a small staff (state committee sometimes has had as few as a half dozen employees), two people is significant. They also already lost their previous communications director to the Wolf Campaign months ago, so it’s more like three. If you lost a quarter of your staff to another organization, I think it’s safe to say that’s an exodus.

  10. Oz says:

    I stood and watched a state dem officer holder rant and scream at a fellow democrat outside Friday night, that was concerned that the party was losing sight of the prize. He told her until Wolf shows respect and offers a position to Burn for his 4 years of service. She calmly stated. “You need to get help” Wolf won’t be bullied. Please read the state by laws. Our job is to elect democrats not chairs.

  11. Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    @DD:

    You must admit that, if nothing else, I end-up provoking you to type comments that provoke me to LOL.

  12. Bob-
    The ““nothing to see here comment” wasn’t mine. I can’t help it if you are too dumb to recognize a fake posting.

    Chris’s illiteracy is on clear display and far different than a minor typo.

    All the polls already include any Sandusky effects, and Corbett is down 20 points. There’s nothing in any report or news on that story that’s going to help him by 20 points. JoePA could come back from the grave, and go on TV endorsing Corbett and it still would get Corbett elected. And, let’s face it, JoePA aided and abetted a child rapist.

    “notwithstanding polls” translation: ignoring the polls because they show you are wrong

    Corbett cannot “assemble the same complement of voters” from 2010. BECAUSE they’ve already seen he’s a total f*ck-up.

    Chris-
    It’s a pattern, not a tradition. People don’t go to the polls and say: “we’ve got to give each side 8 years” before they vote. The governor is limited to two terms (eight years), and most incumbents tend to get reelected. (Most, not all, an certainly not Corbett).

    Pennsylvania has been ranked consistently as the most likely state to flip party for Governor (and this was even before there was a Dem nominee).

    Any candidate named: “Not Corbett” or “the other guy” would win. Even a fool like you could win against Corbett.

  13. Chris Martinez says:

    David Daino obviously knows hes wrong because hes resorting to bullying tactix and making fun of people who point out hes wrong about stuff.
    David Daino knows very well that the tradistion in Penn. is 8 years for each party to be governor. David is short on smarts.

  14. Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    @ DD:

    You cannot justify attacking me for your ambiguity [The “nothing to see here comment” “] when you had to explain-it-away subsequently by citing information you had failed initially to divulge; it is certainly gratifying that you concur that the weekend’s events will undoubtedly create an additional challenge for Wolf.

    You attacked Chris for alleged-illiteracy, but you forgot to insert a vowel in a subsequent sentence [“If you agree with Marcel that unification is achieved, then you should (BE) more, not less, convinced of Corbett’s defeat.”].

    The Sandusky-stats include employees, indeed, anyone who has potentially-emotional ties to PSU’s storied-past; I didn’t argue that most would vote for Corbett, but I did express the concern that they would not be as predisposed to support his re-election if they felt he had unjustifiably dissed JoePa.

    I concur that “deserves” is a strong term but, as you know, “you can’t beat someone with no-one” and those who may feel disaffected would have to feel motivated to vote for someone else [whom they actually might not consider qualified, or might not share their beliefs, or may not seem trustworthy, etc.]; thus, notwithstanding polls, Corbett can attempt to assemble the same complement of voters he enjoyed in ’10.

    I may write for others when suggesting that you satirize only yourself by using inflated rhetoric; better you should provide unbridled info when pontificating, if you would want your assertions to withstand the test-of-time.

  15. Chris-
    I realize that illiteracy is practically a requirement to be a right-wing Republican these days so facts don’t slip in accidentally.

    However, I did NOT “say Corbett will get less then sixty %percent of the vote from republicans”

    I wrote “(BTW, Corbett will barely get 60% of the Republican vote).”
    That means I think he will get 60% of the Republican vote, but not much more.

    You should really get a 4th grader to help you research your comments before posting them. It would save you a lot of embarrassment. (like writing: “You aint know what your talking about”)
    three errors:
    1) it’s spelled ain’t not aint
    2) you meant don’t not ain’t or aint
    3) it’s you’re (the contraction for “you are”)

    Bob-
    The “nothing to see here comment” was from the clown posting as me, that the moderators didn’t get a chance to zap, as it was posted while Nick was covering state committee in Harrisburg.

    And, as usual, you showed you can’t even tell fake from real. So, score a point for “fake me” for fooling you. You should be embarrassed.

    If you agree with Marcel that unification is achieved, then you should more, not less, convinced of Corbett’s defeat.

    As for Penn State and Sandusky:
    1) I don’t know where you are getting your number of 250,000 voting alumini
    2) the belief that all, most or any of them will vote for Corbett due to the Sandusky issue.
    3) LEARN TO READ A POLL !!!!
    Corbett loses on every issue. He is not trusted to run the state and the majority of voters don’t believe he deserves reelection.

    That “deserves” is a big hurdle. Voters can believe he does deserve reelection but believe the opponent could do a better job. But, when they don’t even believe you deserve the job, you are cooked.

    You might as well claim that Guzzardi will beat both Wolf and Corbett in a spontaneous write-in campaign. However, I don’t think you have time to attach alien pods to 4 million voters. Though, your own alien pod seems to be functioning perfectly.

  16. Chris Martinez says:

    David Daino, you don’t know what your talking about and your full of baloney.
    You say Corbett will get less then sixty %percent of the vote from republicans but that is realy way off from reality. He’s gonna get much more of the vote and win in a landslide because he’s the present governor now in office and theres a report that no guv. in penn. has ever lost so why would you say he’s gonna lose. You aint know what your talking about. Corbett is gonna win in a landslide and you gotta know that. Its a sure bet.

  17. Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    @ DD:

    The comment that triggered my reaction was your initial “Nothing to see here! Remain calm! All is well!”; this attempt to minimize what occurred was contravened by the subsequent comments [including yours] regarding what had transpired [and why].

    Obviously, my allegedly “obtuse” lingo didn’t impede your ability to appreciate my having concurred with Marcel’s viewpoint; regardless of how the issue was “handled,” the task of unification was created.

    Your pontifications aside, your prediction of Corbett’s inevitable defeat [“There is no action he can take in these last few months to dig out of the hole he’s dug for 4 years.”] denies the import of Sandusky [“it’s summertime”] without recognizing the fact that one may presume 1/4-million PSU-grads [who vote] will suddenly shed their chronic fealty for JoePa.

  18. Becky says:

    I am in agreement with OldSiamese, with hiring 20 something for State Committee – they are not only arrogant, but rude and have no personality. When you let someone run the day to day operations and they don’t know how to interact with people, that is wrong!

  19. Bob-
    You really seem to enjoy writing in an obtuse manner rather than directly making points. I think this may be an attempt to mask the lack of any actual content.

    1) So, now you are trying to ding me for not making a prediction in a race where there wasn’t a single public poll to analyze? You are sounding pretty desperate to find fault. I don’t recall you making any predictions in that race either.

    2) The polls may tighten from 20 points to 15 points, but that’s still going to be a landslide victory for Wolf. Corbett is deeply unpopular. Conservative tea-party nuts might just stay home because Corbett is crazy enough for them.

    3) You wrote: ” it would be wrong to conclude Wolf’s “three-headed monster” paradigm is flawed at its onset” This seems an odd criticism of me since I indicated that a three-pronged attack could be effective if coordinated well to avoid duplication of effort. So, I have no idea what point you are trying to make, since you seem to be agreeing with my point in your list of criticisms.

    4) You are mentioning “Marcel’s” observation without reiterating clearly, and tossing in come incoherent attack on Obama in the process. Wolf may be the head of the party, but that doesn’t mean the state committee wants him or his pick to run their organization. There are about 300 state committee people, and it was my understanding that at least 200 were expected to vote for Burn over McGinty (based on my conversation with one of the whip counters).

    There was actually a wide range of criticisms about Wolf’s move. Some resented the way he handled it. Some didn’t like the choice of McGinty, so he might possibly have been more successful with a different pick. Some people just felt that Burn had reached out and helped them a lot at the local level and earned their loyalty. My point is that there were a wide range of reasons, rather than a single explanation why Burn was chosen over McGinty. However, none of those reasons will prevent state committee members from working hard to help Wolf defeat Corbett.

    5) The Kane report is not going to have any impact on the outcome. Even without a finding of criminal intent to aid Sandusky, a lot of voters are going to feel he was criminally negligent or criminally incompetent with the delays. I don’t see Wolf even bringing it up as a campaign issue, and a report released in mid-summer will have no legs into the Fall anyway.

    5)

  20. Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    @DD

    First, remember that your opinions were discounted and your avoidance of predicting was documented [regarding PA13], so you continue pontificating @ your peril.

    Second, it is true that Corbett is down in the polls, but you know that they routinely tighten as election-day approaches; thus, it is apt BOTH to reject the two-term mantra AND the assumption that Corbett is doomed.

    Third, it would be wrong to conclude Wolf’s “three-headed monster” paradigm is flawed at its onset, for it’s possible he’ll be able to divide the workload and to coordinate [to whatever degree it’s legal] accordingly.

    Fourth, you ignore Marcel’s observation; as MAD as he knows I am @ him for not lambasting BHO on his failed foreign policies [particularly Iran], he is indubitably correct, here, for Wolf must be perceived as the titular head of the party [win or lose] now and for the next four years [reflecting the grass-roots verdict].

    Fifth, it is vital that the GOP not become excessively pleased with awareness of this presumed-turmoil; it will settle-down as common-goals are rediscovered; the far more important event will be the AG-Kane report on whether there will be a “Tom and Jerry” [Sandusky] show in the Fall [due to be released tomorrow].

  21. OldSiamese says:

    The big problem with democratic state committee is they think hiring arrogant 20somethings will fix things. Need to go back to the days when we had a serious and professional staff…. Tony May!

  22. Chris-
    You couldn’t be more wrong if you were a Schwartz staff the week before the primary.

    “election is a long way away and he’s gonna get enough votes back”

    Actually, the election is very close. Almost nothing happens in the summer (though a budget crisis will hurt Corbett). Corbett’s got to deal with 4 years of voter “buyer’s remorse”. His right-wing trickle-down economics have failed miserably. He is immensely unpopular and the majority feel he does not deserve or has earned reelection.

    There is no action he can take in these last few months to dig out of the hole he’s dug for 4 years.

    I’d rather bet you $5 than a million, because you don’t have a million for me to collect. I’ll even spot you 15 points and say Corbett won’t get over 45%.
    (BTW, Corbett will barely get 60% of the Republican vote).

    “I know a few people who work in harisburg and they know whose gonna win the election”

    Well, I don’t know anybody in “harisburg”, but in HARRISBURG everyone knows Wolf is going to win.

  23. Chris Martinez says:

    David, your wrong and you know it. Corbett is the governor now its true, but the election is a long way away and he’s gonna get enough votes back and win big.
    I’ll bet you a millions dollars that he wins big in a landslide or at the least he will get at least 60 %percent of the vote in November.
    I know a few people who work in harisburg and they know whose gonna win the election.

  24. Chris-
    “Corbett is moving in the right direction” ???

    His current direction is:
    1) down 20 points in the polls
    2) $1.4 billion budget deficit
    3) doubling down with drilling in state parks

    It’s the “right-wing” direction, and why Wolf is going to win.

  25. Chris Martinez says:

    Wrong again, David. I ain’t much of a Corbett voter. Infact, I don’t know who I’ll vote for for governor, but you can be sure Corbett is moving in the right direction. He aint toast, he’s the incumbent guv. and he’s gonna win. Its the way things go in Penn.

  26. Chris-
    “The way things look right now Corbett is going to win a landslide” ??? Huh ???

    20 points down in the polls (and losing in EVERY category) does NOT sound like a landslide. Sounds more like Corbett getting buried in an avalanche.

    Also, the 8-year pattern is not a “rule”. And, even if it were a rule, this would be the year with the notorious “exception to the rule”.

    Corbett is toast.

  27. Chris Martinez says:

    The way things look right now Corbett is going to win a landslide. Besides, the rule in Penn. is Repubs. have the governor seat for 8 years, then the Demos. have the governor seat for 8 years, then the Republs. have it, so fourth so on.

  28. Sean Ryan-

    There is NO divide on the issue that Dems want to get rid of Corbett. The “divide” the GOP is pretending to salivate over is on the approach. What Corbett foolishly fail to realize (besides the fact that Corbett is the worse governor we’ve had) is that there is a three-pronged approach: Wolf campaign, State Committee and Fresh-Start PAC.

  29. Sean Ryan says:

    Democrats fall in love,
    Republicans fall in line.

    With this weeks unemployment numbers and the divide that is within the Democratic party, Corbett may actually pull off a re-election.

  30. South PGH Voter says:

    Exactly what Tom Crowell said. This has nothing to do with the “fight”, it has been planned. Come on, guys….

  31. Connie j says:

    Burns biggest problem is his character…he has none….he has not lead anything but medocricy since being elected with a candidate that we don’t even need to mention other than that now he is lobbyist…and sometimes people you need to leave the game.
    That’s for both of you.
    Burns should have stepped aside but he was so caught up in himself that he failed to see the big picture and how small he ultimately comes out looking.

    We all are democrats who disagree and agree on certain issues but we all agree that leadership should be good people, selfless leaders and men and women with character so we can believe what they say.

  32. M. Dodel says:

    Two people moving is an “exodus”?

  33. Ben Rothschild says:

    Eric Bradway Former Lower Merion Constable , is running for Governor on all Ballots as a Write In Candidate . So you now have a Choice in who to vote for for Governor in Pennsylvania

  34. Steven PSU 76 says:

    If they won’t invite you to the party start your own. A lesson learned at 13

  35. Tom Crowell says:

    This might be true if they hadn’t moved weeks ago, before McGinty was even rumored for the spot. Easy enough to check up too.
    Nick got spun hard on this one.

  36. Sawyer Turtle says:

    That Melena girl is [redacted for violation of the comment policy]. She should go back to Ohio where she belongs.

  37. alex says:

    Reporting has gone down: analysis is bad.

  38. better_call_saul says:

    Looks like the wolf pack is eating its own…

    I’ll see myself out.

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