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McGinty Supporters Question Burn’s Fundraising Record

McGinty Burn“Money is the mother’s milk of politics,” Jesse Unruh once said and it could make the difference the contentious battle for Democratic Party Chair.

In this case, the issue is lack of money. With incumbent chairman Jim Burn battling against Tom Wolf’s choice Katie McGinty, some Democrats who back McGinty are citing Burn’s lackluster fundraising efforts.

“It’s deeply concerning that the state Democratic party’s coffers are shrinking at a time when they should be growing,” said one Democratic insider. “The fact that the party is struggling to keep pace with their expenditures at this critical time does not bode well for November.”

In both federal and state funds, the party has significantly less cash on hand at this point in time than it did four years ago heading into the 2010 midterm elections.

Back in 2010 the party had $422,390 in federal COH and $206,970 in state COH. This year, the Democratic party has $256,115 in federal cash on hand and $97,223 in state funds.

Through January to April 2010, the party had raised $1,118,990 yet at the end of April of this year they have raised just $595,473 over the same time span.

Several Democrats who support McGinty said the Chairman was a major reason for these declining numbers. Wolf’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment. Neither did Burn.

Burn supporters – and several independent observers – note that there are some significant differences between 2010 and this year. Four years ago, the party had an incumbent Governor in Ed Rendell and a state House majority. Both provide big boons for fundraising.

Nonetheless, the McGinty camp is lobbying state committee members and making that case that their candidate will do a better job when it comes to fundraising.

Burn has his supporters as well. Currently, he holds a large lead in our reader poll, indicating he still has a base of support.

On the whole, though, while many party insiders lavish praise on Burn few offer any concrete words of support. They don’t want Burn to be seen as fired or ousted but also want the gubernatorial nominee to have the candidate he wants.

From elected officials as high as Wolf’s running mate Mike Stack, to lower-level party members, there seems to be a widespread hope that a conflict can be avoided. Left unsaid is the increasingly apparent likelihood that Burn would have to step aside for this to occur.

28 Responses

  1. Don’t forget to go to the Friday night hospitality suite for Wolf and McGinty the shrimp should be huge and with all Wolf’s money there should be lobster too!

  2. According to Philly Inquirer, Wolf’s forming a separate PAC with McGinty heading it.

    Translation: they counted the State Committee votes, and Jim Burn had more.

    It will be interesting to find out how close each side thought it was.

    Congrats to Jim for standing his ground and showing he had the votes. (And so much for the people speculating that Jim would step down before the vote).

    — Begin quote
    “Tom Wolf, the Democratic nominee for governor, is sidestepping a potentially nasty fight for chair of the state party by naming his choice for that job, Katie McGinty, to head a new independent campaign committee.

    Sources said The Campaign for a Fresh Start, the new PAC, will be a parallel organization to the Democratic State Committee, mobilizing support among Democrats, independents and Republicans for Wolf and the party’s legislative candidates.

    Wolf had named McGinty, a former rival for the nomination, as his choice for state party chairman. But the incumbent, Chairman Jim Burn of Allegheny County, announced he would contest the election at Saturday’s meeting of the state committee in Camp Hill, Pa.

    “Tom Wolf is a different kind of leader, and this will be a different kind of campaign,” McGinty said in a statement. “We need to shake up the status quo, and that goes from everything to changing the way we campaign to changing the way we govern. We need to bring together and mobilize all Pennsylvanians concerned with jobs, education, and health care to and who know that Pennsylvania needs a fresh start.”

    Advisers described the decision as a liberating one for Wolf, and a political benefit in that it will enable him to avoid seeming beholden to party bosses – as well as preventing a potentially distracting fight.
    — end quote

  3. That is true David. JB does not stand for Jim Burn.

    I don’t care who wins and I’m howling with the Wolf Pack now.

  4. There is a big difference raising money to run for governor against the most unpopular incumbent in modern PA history and raising it for a state party where both chambers and the governor are from the opposing party.

    Most people do not understand that there is still power in the minority and the money simply would not flow there.

    McGinty is not known for her fundraising. That’s a fact.

  5. 1)Wolf raised (not including what he donated to
    his own campaign) more than $4.5 million for the primary.
    2) McGinty raised about $3.5 million for the primary.
    This was in a hotly contested primary where donor dollars are going all over the place.

    McGinty ran a smart race. It became apparent that Wolf was going to win, (too everyone but Schwartz, McCord and their deluded supporters) so she played nice. Used it as an opportunity to increase name recognition and earn goodwill.

    Both McGinty’s and Wolf’s fundraising numbers are more that Jim Burn has raised for the State Party in any given cycle Jim is a great guy, but, unfortunately, he is going to end up the King of his own ant hill as he drives State Committee toward irrelevancy with a pointless fight.

  6. Looking at McGinty’s track record I don’t see how she could be viewed as the right choice for the Party Chair. Her supporters cite issues with Burn’s fundraising efforts, but fail to mention her own issues with fundraising. Many viewed McGinty as the best Democratic candidate to run for Governor in the beginning of the primaries; however, she lacked funding for her campaign. She failed to raise near enough money to win, and therefore lost the nomination by a landslide. If she was incapable of funding her own campaign, how can we truly believe that she will be able to fund the entire PA Democratic Party? Because Tom Wolf thinks so?

    This brings me to my next point, Tom Wolf. Wolf won the nomination for governor with a campaign based almost entirely on his own finances. What makes him an expert in state party funding? I don’t see him helping the fundraising issue the Democratic Party faces, and I think he has picked an individual for the Party Chair much like himself; one with no real experience in fundraising.

  7. Philly Pedophile-
    Actually, I haven’t made an endorsement nor a prediction on this one.

    I’ve just been commenting the various merits of arguments, silly reactions of people being surprised by the nominee expressing a preference, and reminding people that the committee members make the decision.

    I’m not a voting member, so I don’t feel the need to make an endorsement. I like both Jim and Katie and would enjoy working with either of them to help PA Dems. I have found both of them to be very approachable and appreciative of straight-talk and candor.

    As for predicting, I won’t have an idea until I actually get to the parties on Friday night an talk to people from other parts of the state.

    Both candidates have their strengths and loyal supporters. Not every member can attend on Saturday (and I don’t know if the rules permit proxy votes).

    At first I would have expected the committee members to follow Wolf’s suggestion, but Jim and his supporters seem to be mounting a vigorous effort.

    I don’t post as anyone but myself.

    And, as you’ve seen, the admins have been quite diligent about removing posts by those pretending to be me. They wouldn’t do that to preserve the integrity of my posts, if I was posting under a fake handle as well.

  8. David Diano, thank you for your insight into Delaware County politics and the political climate there. You certainly have your finger on the pulse of what is going on around the state and in your own neck of the woods. It’s like you voter file — right on time, every time.

    Maybe I missed it, but have you made a formal prediction or endrosement yet? I’m worried that when you promised that your name tag will display the name of the winner on Friday night, you were joking (because who would take a light up name tag seriously).

    I’m looking forward to knowing what will happen after you tell us!

  9. While I’m fond of Jim Burn, fundraising certainly has been a struggle over the past four years. Fundraising for parties is notoriously far more difficult than raising for candidates, but Katie McGinty has already shown that she’s willing to put in the call time and face time necessary to raise not insubstantial amounts of money.

    In an expensive state (five media markets, nearly 13 million people spread over 45,000 square miles), where Republicans enjoy the advantages of incumbency and industry support from some lucrative sectors, cash is king. If Democrats want to see expansions in statewide offices, judicial positions, and eventually House and Senate majorities, they need to seriously re-evaluate their fundraising efforts. Democratic voter information systems have helped candidates and campaigns be more efficient and save millions, but technology can only do so much to even the playing field.

  10. Isn’t really a far more interesting question who will become Chair of the PAGOP when the Corbett/Brabender/Gleason team goes up in smoke in November? Is Pennsylvania on its way to becoming a one party state because of the failed leadership of Corbett/Brabender/Gleason and their operatives?

  11. If Burns has been so successful, please name those accomplishments. He is a lame no-name hack that believes that this will (which it never will) catapult him into a candidate. He can’t raise the money. He has little pull within the state. Quite frankly – the state party is out of touch and needs someone who can lead rather than continue fostering the ability for the democrats to little here in Pennsylvania.

  12. David, for what it’s worth, your insights are never penetrating, so we knew it wasn’t you.

  13. What a slanted article — is this supposed to be news or is it intended as an op-ed? If you call this news reporting, the bias is unworthy of PoliticsPA. Jim Burn has the lion’s share of support among every voting State Committee member I have spoken with. He has done a perfectly good job over the last 4 years and I am not changing my vote for him.

  14. McGinty raised around $4 million. That’s not too shabby for a first time candidate.
    She was the only candidate in the field who wasn’t a millionaire. Both McCord and Schwartz are, and had run before. That’s why she finished 4th–less money, less name recognition.
    Concerned Dem, if you don’t want to vote for her, you certainly don’t have to. But is it necessary to slander her? She’s been a Cabinet Secretary, run a White House unit, and served as a key staffer in the U.S. Senate. Have we ever had a candidate for State Party Chair who was even half as qualified?
    Burn by contrast was a county chair.

  15. The post below with timestamp: June 18, 2014 at 11:42 pm
    is from the fake poster who thinks it’s funny to post as me. (it will probably be gone soon after the admin staff sees it)

    However, his premise is incorrect that I was looking to make references to Burn being penetrated. Rather, I was making reference to Landau’s desire to embed himself.

    (and, to be accurate, I was merely quoting a state committee member’s take on Landau, when I inquired about how Delco might vote)

    I really don’t consider Rendell to still be factor. He’s going to spend the next two and a half years promoting Hillary (and whatever that entails).

    Concerned Dem-
    1) It was a field of 8 or 9 to start with. McCord and Schwartz each got less than 1/3 the votes that Wolf did. McGinty was a lot closer in votes to them than they were to Wolf.
    2) The extreme left doesn’t like her (well at least the environmentalists).
    3) Raising for the state party is completely different than raising for an individual candidate (especially in a crowded field with more well know candidates). As state chair, she’d be raising for the party overall, as well as the defeat of Corbett.
    4) That’s a matter for the committee members to decide and vote on.

  16. Fact#1–McGinty was and is a loser- she finished 4th for a reason.
    Fact#2– she appeals to few men and/or women other than the extreme left.
    Fact#3 — if McGinty couldn’t raise more for her own campaign she will do little for state party.
    Fact# 4– McGinty is not the right person to lead a state party- we can and should do better!

  17. David Diano is correct. Money talks and b.s. walks. Let Ed Rendell have the party chair he wants. Philly rules, baby.

  18. Fundraising arguments tend to carry weight, because they are objective measures. Underlying reasons can come off as weak excuses, even if the reasons are valid.

    McGinty can claim she would have done better, using no more than historical averages, if the recent numbers are below average. This puts Burn in a very defensive position leading up to the weekend vote.

    I think the Delco state committee members are close to spilt on this. The lines may be drawn along the lines of Landau supporters vs detractors. A Delco state committee member expressed the opinion that “Landau was completely up Burn’s @ss”

    So, that should give you an idea of what to expect from the Delco delegation.

  19. The center of the party seems headed in a Green/Progressive direction, while our Gubernatorial nominee is determined to keep us in the middle of the road. And only dead skunks and armadillos reside there.

  20. A more important question is why is Wolf pushing for Rep Jake Wheatley to be Vice Chair? Wheatley does not seem to properly represent his district with his views on public education & health care. He is not the best choice.

  21. We don’t need and RenDell to be the governor again through Wolf . Keep the base of power in the west. We can’t have a governor of Philadelphia

  22. Don’t know who Nick Field is, but his articles read increasingly like McGinty press releases as opposed to detached unbiased attempts at journalism.

    All you need to do, Nick, is read any article on this race that appeared in an actual newspaper and you will read quite a few “concrete words of support” from party leaders. Beats the hell out of anonymous Democratic Insiders who are not willing to go on record even with you.

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