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PA-Gov: McGinty Calls for Gift Ban


Following legislation introduced by state senators, gubernatorial candidate Katie McGinty has come out strongly in support of a cash gift ban.

The former DEP Secretary released a strong statement this afternoon calling for the legislature to enact a gift ban, and stating that she would ban gifts under her administration. That’s a full gift ban, not solely the prohibition of cash and its equivalent, but any offering of monetary value.

“Pennsylvanians are losing faith in state government and one way to remedy that is to enact a ban on all gifts to elected officials and their staff – with no exceptions,” McGinty said. “There will always be a gray area and distrust by the public as long as lobbyists are permitted to provide gifts to the people they are lobbying. The Legislature must act now to ban all gifts immediately because the people of Pennsylvania deserve a government they can trust.”

Such legislation is being introduced cooperatively from Senators Baker and Smucker, which would ban all monetary gifts to legislators, and they intend to introduce additional legislation that would prohibit such gifts to Senate staff.

Senator Daylin Leach is introducing similar legislation, but also includes a ban on campaign contributions given in cash over $50.

The renewed fervor for a ban on cash gifts is clearly the result of the Philadelphia sting investigation. According to the investigation, State Rep. Ronald G. Waters (D-Philadelphia) reportedly accepted $7,650 in bribes, while State Rep. Vanessa Brown (D-Philadelphia) accepted $4,000, State Rep. Michelle Brownlee accepted $3,500 (D-Philadelphia), and State Rep. Louise Bishop (D-Philadelphia) accepted $1,500. Traffic Court Judge Thomasine Tynes was also implicated for accepting a $2,000 Tiffany bracelet.

The Attorney General’s office elected not to bring charges in these crimes, as the result of a flawed investigation that occurred under three separate Attorneys General.

Ahead of the curve on this issue was former Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf, who called for a gift ban back in January of this year.

4 Responses

  1. The best gift she could give herself is to fire the producer of her TV commercials. They’re by far the worst and least convincing of any currently running.

    “I had to share the bathroom with a bunch of brothers and sisters when I was a kid! I wore earmuffs to do my homework! Al Gore and I are friends!”

    So what?

  2. Tim Potts, did you report on your ethics form the in-kind contribution the salary you received while you were out of work all day building your house?

  3. Let’s be clear: What the various Senators have proposed is NOT the same as what McGinty has proposed. Your writer missed that. McGinty is right: a complete gift ban, which really does work, is what PA needs.

    When I worked for DeWeese, the gift limit was $50. Lobbyists would wander in with gifts said to be valued under $50 — boxes of cigars, etc. — and have a good laugh at how they were avoiding disclosure. Somewhere in the night, that limit was raised to $250. Does anyone remember the public debate before that happened? Of course not. There was none. You cannot be “reasonable” with such things because the people who live by them are incapable of letting reason rule over greed.

  4. Dear Candidate . McGinty: Are you trying to put Savannah’s Gentleman’s Club out of business? Savannah’s is a job creator too! Do you really expect lonely legislators and their staffs to spend their evenings either Skyping their families or having intense policy discussions with Commonwealth Foundation nerds, over MOCKTAILS? Katie: Why are you trying to destroy the soft underbelly of the Harrisburg economy, a distressed city? Katie: Lads will be Lads!

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