PA-Gov: McGinty Officially Launches Fresh Start PAC

wolf-mcgintyGiven the turmoil over the budget it may seem like ages ago, but it was just less than a month back when Tom Wolf announced the creation of his own PAC.

The “Campaign for a Fresh Start” was launched after Wolf pulled out of a fight with Democratic state committee chairman Jim Burn. The Democratic nominee wanted former DEP Secretary, and ex-gubernatorial rival, Katie McGinty to take over while Burn refused to step aside.

The PAC, which Wolf said would be headed by McGinty, was a way to avoid a floor fight and Burn ended up being re-elected unanimously.

Today, Chairwoman McGinty published a letter on the organization’s’ new website

“Today, I’m excited to announce the launch of the Campaign for a Fresh Start, a new organization that is coordinating with Tom Wolf and House and Senate Democrats to help bring real change to Harrisburg,” she writes.

“I was honored when Tom asked me to serve as Chair of the Campaign for a Fresh Start, but I also know that we need all Pennsylvanians concerned about the future of our state standing with us if we’re going to win in November,” McGinty continued. “Governor Corbett and his allies have harmed working families with their misguided policies, but it’s on us to help elect Tom Wolf and Democratic majorities in the legislature who will create jobs, invest in education, and rebuild a strong middle class.”

She went on to ask supporters to spread awareness of the PAC and it’s website through the typical online avenues Facebook and Twitter.

The organization is a new phenomenon in PA politics and it will be intriguing to see what role it takes in the coming weeks and months.

36 Responses

  1. david daino you are reely wrong and are a bully and mean. saying I retarted is way wrong and mean and below belt and offensive . aplogise or else

  2. Chris Martinez-

    For someone who says he never tries to be wrong, you have a nearly perfect streak of being wrong.
    For example, how can you type “jim sesake” after I corrected you that it was Joe Sestak? Can’t you at least cut/paste?
    You can’t even get my name right, even though you see it every day printed plain as day on my posts.
    Why even bother posting, if you are just going to intentionally misspell words that you can just copy from the screen?

    My guess is that you are doing a tasteless parody of someone who is mentally retarded. But, even someone mentally retarded would use the built-in spell checking of the browser.

    So, cut it out and stop misspelling things on purpose. It’s getting old.

  3. Davis daino I aint wrong and I aint never try to be wrong and u shuld know bettar then to say I am wrong. yeah jim sesake lose the race but he also won it too.

  4. Chris-

    I realize you go out of your way to be wrong and make up crazy sh*t, but Joe (not Jim) Sestak lost by 80,000 votes.

    There were 110,000 absentee voters (and not every one of those cast a vote for the Senate race).
    But, if you think Sestak was ahead without the absentee votes, then Toomey would have had to get 95,000 of them to Sestak getting only 15,000. That’s a 6 to 1 ratio in a race that was otherwise practically a tie.

    That isn’t even plausible.

    Also, Toomey beat Sestak with the MACHINE count that night before the absentee votes were even counted.

    Sestak lost because:
    1) he refused to participate in coordinated campaign
    2) he refused help from former Specter supporters
    3) he had no real message
    4) he ran too far to the left in the primary and had no plan to take back the center (which he handed to Toomey without challenge)
    5) he was/is a p*ss poor debater and boring on the stump
    6) The western Dems are pro-lifers.
    7) he blew all his money on the primary, as well as $10 million from Specter, that not a dime of which was used to attack/expose Toomey
    8) Sestak alienated Obama with the whole job-gate fiasco, and got no help there.

  5. David daino, you should know that jim sestake actually won the electon last time and the poplar vote of it but absent ballets took the win a way from him and pat tomey came oout a head but sestake is defnitley gonna beat tomey next time.

  6. Chuck-
    “deference” is nice, but you’ve voted against your own preference on more than one occasion.

    So, are you really doing a service to the party (and the voters who selected you) if you fail to represent your own judgement/preference?

    I can understand if it’s a close call, then the nominee’s preference is more than a reasonable tie-breaker.

    But in this particular case, a lot of committee people were specifically opposed to McGinty (for various reasons).

    This opposition outweighed “deference”.

    Whether or not it was a good decision will take time. Some think it works out better this way because Fresh Start can (potentially) raise big money that Wolf and State committee cannot.

    We’ll see.

    But, Wolf’s going to beat Corbett anyway. You could dissolve state committee and Fresh Start and the outcome would be the same.

  7. @ Roger Lund

    With all due respect to my former colleague from Adams County, deference to the gubernatorial candidate’s selection of chair is far more than an urban legend. I cannot think of a single chair who was elected against the desire of the Governor or nominee. Only 2 chair’s have been elected since 1972 when there was either no sitting Democratic Governor or a nominee that fall, 1981 (Ed Medvinsky and 1995 (Mark Singel). Let’s actually look at the Chair’s over the past 40+ years.

    2010—Jim Burn: Certainly presented himself as Dan Onorato’s choice. Onorato never made a public choice, but certainly worked the to make sure votes were there.

    2003–TJ Rooney: 100% Rendell choice no question.

    2002–Allen Kukovich: Rendell Choice- he was a bit of a compromise.

    1998–Tina Tartaglione: Took over after Singel resigned. Was Itkin’s choice not so much for her, but to keep Veon out

    1995–Mark Singel: No Gov or Nominee. Won election over Mike Veon after Linda Rhodes resignation

    1994–Linda Rhodes: 95% Singel’s choice. He originally talked about Jonathan Saidel, but was more about gathering votes in the Philly primary.

    1991–Bill Lincoln: Casey’s choice to replace Yatch

    1987–Larry Yatch: Casey’s choice to succeed Harris Wofford

    1986–Harris Wofford: Casey’s choice for chair

    1981–Ed Mezvinsky: Elected chair following resignation of Alex Debreczeni. No Dem Gov or Nominee, but Al Benedict was a supporter
    1984–Ed Mezvinsky: Had the support of Alan Ertel but did not have to make push as the opposition never materialized.

    1980–Alex Debreczeni: Al Benedict’s choice for Chair.

    1972–Harvey Theiman: Governor Shapp’s hand picked chair for 4 state committee terms.

    Understand this is not about Jim Burn, this is about State Committee and its members, who for the first time in 40+ years disregarded the desires of the Governor/Nominee.

    I was once a member of this body and 3 times went with the desire of the Governor/Nominee over my own choice. Two of those times meant not supporting dear friends and valued colleagues.

    There is something to be said for tradition. However, this is more than tradition. This is about respect for the nominee and the voters who made him such. This is about making sure the nominee has the confidence in the operation which will play a large role in either victory or defeat.

    I certainly agree we need to elect Wolf and I agree this is not about Jim Burn. I however must disagree with you that the Governor picks, just the same as the President. The voters make them the leader of the party and the chair should be their choice. Shame on State Committee for failing to respect the wishes of the nominee.

  8. Chris Martinez-
    I was referring to Sestak’s win in the 2010 primary, shortly before the 2010 state committee meeting that first elected Jim Burn.
    Sestak was more full of himself than usual, and was trying to throw his weight around and put in his own pick/lackey as state chairman. Sestak was trying to claim that he was the rightful head/ruler of the party as the Senate race was the top of the ticket and should get to pick the chairman.

    In the 2010 General election, Philly Dem turnout percentage was several percent below the state average.
    In Westmoreland, the Dems outnumbered the Republicans, and over 5,000 more Ds than Rs turned out in 2010, plus another 6,000 independents, but Sestak lost Westmoreland to Toomey by 76,002 to 48,338.

  9. Jim sestake actually did win in 2010 but absent ballots from the other guy took the win away from him but sestak still win big in phildelpha.

  10. Party leaders-
    “Party leaders are picked by highest ranking canadate running”

    Um… that would have meant Sestak in 2010, getting to pick the chair, as the Federal race was above the Gov race,
    or Casey should have picked in 2006.

    If you don’t want to go with “Federal”, then within the state, AG Kane might be considered the highest ranking elected official.

    BUT, the CORRECT answer is: the state committee takes the candidates’ suggestions into account, and IF they like the suggestion, vote in favor. IF they don’t like the suggestion, then they do what they did last month.

    There is no “rule” beyond the state committee members voting their preference.

  11. Party leaders are picked by highest ranking canadate running. President-Governor!! Get it. It’s a fact! Not a myth! Burn blew it. He made a fool of himself and Brady.
    Funny how people that have been around a few years quote history.
    Wolf will win and put his picks in. Just like every other Governor had done.
    Just like he will fire all the standing Corbett leaders and replace them with his own.
    Just like Corbett did to Rendells.
    In January Burn will be outside looking in. And rightfully so!
    So let’s get back to important issues. Beating Corbett. I for one support Wolf not a party chair.

  12. Someone must have impersonated me on here given that wild response from Robbie. I wish I’d have seen what my impersonator wrote.

    Anyone who has heard Wolf speak and McCord speak on ANY subject can form their own opinion on who of those two is more qualified. That is all I have to say about that.

    As I the real JB have said in the past I am now on the Wolf train.

  13. And the question wasn’t asked because I believe there is a direct correlation between the two, I asked it because it was stated in the context of being “urban legend”. So I am asking for evidence back this up.

  14. david daino, yeah, schwatz also was a woman and both woman running for guvenor , schwatz and Kathleen mcglinchey, lost the primary and so did the two women running for congress, margart marigold and Victoria arkush, which meens the democrats voters hate idea of having woman as guv or congress. the dems guy for guven john wolfe is gonna lose because of that. corbet is gonna win in a land slide because of that too

  15. Stupid, selfish, unforced errors aren’t justified by a significant lead in the Summer. Why create problems on your own side when you have your foot on their neck? I’m not saying this will directly result in a Corbett resurgence but you are foolish if you believe this doesn’t have a negative impact.

  16. Carl-
    Q – “when has the gubernatorial nominee not gotten the chair they wanted?”
    A – 2014

    Q – “when did the incumbent Gov fail to get elected to a second term?
    A – 2014

  17. JB is a bitter and jaded Rob McCord supporter. JB, get over it. Your guy McCord came in 3rd place, losing by 41% even though more than half the county Dem chairs, half of Dem State Committee members, and most of organized labor supported him. McCord’s primary election performance so bad he finished much closer to last than to first. McCord’s primary performance was so bad he finished much closer to 0% than to Wolf’s 58%. You mentioned triples, so think about the fact that if McCord tripled his vote total in the primary election, he would have still lost to Wolf by almost 10%.

    Do you remember going to school with the kid who cried and blamed everybody else, especially winner, each time he lost? The kid that thought his guy was entitled to be Governor just because his guy ran a little department nobody knows or cares about? The one who can’t accept the fact his guy, the guy he thought couldn’t lose, came in 3rd place and lost by a lot? The one who sobbed about his guy losing, and during his sobbing attacked the winner because doesn’t know any other way to react to losing? That kid is posting on Politics PA now under the nickname “JB”.

    JB, enjoy the last two years of McCord serving out the rest of a political career nobody will remember. After that his political career is done. You and the others who backed McCord chose wrong and showed a lack of knowledge about Pennsylvania politics. In 8 years I’m sure you and the others will support another person who loses the Dem primary.

    JB, we know you are just a guy who knows very little about Pennsylvania politics. We don’t blame you. Somebody has to play the loser. You lost, that’s just the way it is. I’m sure it’s just what you’ve always known. And as expected, you are playing the role poorly. But know your role. I’m sure this isn’t the first time, and it won’t be your last time losing.

  18. To say the gubernatorial nominee hasn’t always picked the new state party chair answers a question no one asked. More importantly, when has the gubernatorial nominee not gotten the chair they wanted? Also, precedent=/=urban legend

  19. OFA was a huge success in 2008 and 2012. Likewise, Fresh Start PA will be a huge success in 2014 and thereafter.

    It’s time to shake up the establishment and take the power out of the hands of the incompetent county and state committees.

  20. The race for State Chair came down to Jim Burn placing himself and his ego over the interests of the Party. He is the voice of the moneyed class of lawyers and consultants. Anyone who says anything different just don’t know Jim Burn. As for the rest of the County Chairs, most of them are ineffective. Their inability to recruit a sufficient number of competent, committee members is killing our party structure.

  21. Chris Martinez-
    1) Schwartz was also a woman.
    2) The people active in the green/environmental movement do not believe/trust her on that issue.

    I’ve got nothing against McGinty and I’ve found her to be candid, direct and knowledgeable on a range of issues.
    While I strongly support the environmental movement, I’m not a activist or insider, and haven’t their detailed knowledge of policies, accident sites, DEP actions, etc.
    The activists and insiders that I’ve spoken to (who are knowledgeable in these areas) are fiercely against her.

    Her current role as head of Fresh Start is to get Tom Wolf elected with a strong effort to give him one or two Democratic controlled chambers in the legislature. Her success in that role is all that’s going to matter to anyone come November.

  22. I for one, think that Kathleen McGinty is exceptional and will bring her intellect and enthusiasm forward to secure a new PA with Tom Wolf.

  23. I have refrained from joining these discussions about Burn vs. McGinty as I was sure it would all play out in the end. Clearly a media outlet like politicspa feels the need to frame this as something that, in my opinion, it is not. It is a very unfortunate effort by them to drum up controversy.

    Some facts:
    1. The idea that a candidate for governor “picks” the state party chair is urban legend with no basis in fact. One only has to know who the candidates were in the past and who the state party chair was to see the truth. Sometimes the candidate for Governor had a favorite they wanted to run the party and they did, and sometimes they did not.
    2. Fresh Start is working closely with Democratic county committees all around the state to supply them with lit, signs and assorted chum. As a county chair, I can tell you the relationship could not be better.
    3. In the post “Citizen’s United” world, the ONLY group of people restricted on how they collect money and spend it are the political parties! That there would be a separate PAC to control the Wolf finances is a modern reality. Get used to the new political reality.
    4. I personally resent that this has been framed as a fight with Jim Burn. The truth is there were over 300 delegates to that meeting who were elected to represent their constituencies. The majority of us believed that Jim Burn has done a great job at reshaping the party from one that ebbed and flowed depending on if there was a Democrat in the Governor’s mansion, to one that grew and functioned quite well, despite having a Republican in office. We simply wanted to continue the bottom up approach that Burn has allowed to flourish, rather than go back to a top down approach used previously. The party is not perfect, but it is in a state of renewal and great enthusiasm and will serve a great role in seeing Tom Wolf to the governor’s mansion.
    5. Necessarily a campaign functions separate from a state or county committee. They need their own staff, strategy and advisors. County or State party’s should not “run” anyone’s campaigns and when they try, there is always tension. This set up with Fresh Start is a great one.
    6. State Committee can focus on what it does best: continue to build the county party’s to make them stronger by offering more trainings and support, and to continue to nurture those Democratic relationships that have been established over decades.

    So let’s quit the rumor mongering and report facts. Stop priding urban legend. Tom Wolf will be Governor come January because he is the best person for the job and because he has a strong team in Fresh Start and strong support through the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.

  24. David Daino your missing the real problem witch is Kathleen mcGlinchey came out forth place because shes a women. shes very much four protecking the enviremont and for green energy.

  25. PADem-
    And the voters all 67 counties gave McGinty the fewest votes. So how does that reconcile with your theory? By YOUR logic, Schwartz or McCord should be the chair, since they got more votes than McGinty.

    I talked to a bunch of state committee people. The progressives (REALLY, REALLY, REALLY) didn’t like McGinty because they are convinced she’s a stooge for the energy companies and her “green” record is a sham. A lot of other state committee people felt she was a weak choice because she came in 4th and raised the least money. And the rest that opposed her felt that Wolf handled it poorly (in a top down demand, rather than a bottom up request manner) and were put-off.
    These seemed to be the consensus reasons against her.

    This indicated to me that a different choice, presented more carefully, might have won over the committee. I don’t know who else was on Wolf’s short list after McGinty, and if the committee would have preferred them any better. (And, we’ll never know who was 2nd and 3rd pick)

    Nice try. It’s typical for the nominee to make a recommendation. It’s unusual for that recommendation to be rejected. But, don’t go manufacturing a false sense of entitlement because he did the same thing every other Dem nominee has done.

  26. Do you remember going to school with the kid who cried when he didn’t get his way? The one that thought he hit a triple? The one who could stay in school as long as he wanted to escape other duties? The one who held a couple summer jobs but then appeared out of nowhere to rise through the ranks of a company?

    That kid is about to become governor. Don’t try to convince him he’s displaying the behavior of a spoiled child. It’s not spoiled behavior to him.

    It’s just what he’s always known.

  27. Members of Democrat State committee are elected to represent the Democrats in their area. Seeing that Wolf won all 67 counties, if those members were doing their job and representing the Democrats in their areas they would have supported Wolf’s choice for chair. Has nothing to do with being King. Committee members who didn’t support his choice were abdicating their responsibility to the people who elected them.

  28. SoCePol-

    “Everyone knows, Tom Wolf, was well within his right as the nominee to select the next party leadership.”

    Correction: Everyone knows he was in his rights to express his PREFERENCE.

    However, he cannot “decree” the chairman. The Dem state committee members are ELECTED by the Dem voters in the primary. They are fully empowered by those voters (and the state party rules) to pick whomever they want. And according to the whip counts I heard, it was roughly 2 to 1 in Burn’s favor when Wolf/McGinty pulled the ripcord and parachuted to safety.
    I’m not saying whether or not sticking with Burn was the right/wrong call. I’m saying the committee members were in their rights to make that call.

    The committee members are NOT required to accept the nominee’s recommendation. In 2010, Sestak tried pushing his own preference for chair through, under the notion (ego) that as Senate candidate, he was the top of the ticket and leader of the party. (Needless to say, that argument didn’t go over well then either.)

  29. County and State Dem Committees are becoming more and more irrelevant, mostly bc of the incompetence of its leadership, take Lancaster County for example. This is evident across our state.

    Everyone knows, Tom Wolf, was well within his right as the nominee to select the next party leadership.

  30. It seems to me Wolf is installing himself as king, not governor.

    By ignoring the political party system and making his own rules, Wolf is bypassing our great democratic process (yes Democratic committee members are elected by voters registered as Democrats in the primary).

    Jim Burn wasn’t a threat to Wolf but we’ll never know how the outcome might have been different if Wolf had gone to the State Democratic Committee to begin support building within the Party instead of demanding Burn give up his duly elected position as State Party Chair. Where are we, Russia or the US?

    Lincoln said “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

    This is the Age of Narcissism where those who crave power manipulate, seduce, break rules, and eject all competitors to achieve it. It’s an abomination of democracy in my view.

  31. what a stupid, stupid move by Jim Burn. Congratulations, you have given the snowball a chance in Hell.

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