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PA-Sen: Rendell to Chair McGinty Campaign

EdRendellWe can’t say we’re surprised.

Today the McGinty campaign announced that former Governor Ed Rendell will serve as Chairman.

“I am glad that Katie McGinty answered the calls from across Pennsylvania for her to enter the race for U.S. Senate,” Rendell said. “I encouraged Katie to run because she’s a problem solver who knows how to get things done. Middle class Pennsylvanians will have a Senator who will fight for good schools, good jobs, and affordable health care in Katie McGinty.”

“When she was in administration, I saw first-hand that Katie McGinty is a problem solver who knows how to get things done for working families,” Rendell continued. “She will go to Washington and work to make sure that anyone willing to work for it has a shot at the American Dream.”

“It is an honor to have Governor Rendell as the chair of my campaign. He knows how to win tough races and I appreciate his support and encouragement,” McGinty said.

Rendell and McGinty have been allies for years. When he was Governor, she was his DEP Secretary from 2003 to 2008.

Additionally, the former Governor and McGinty’s Senate primary opponent, Joe Sestak, have never had a great relationship.

Rendell and former Senator Arlen Specter were long-time close friends. So much so that in 2009, the ex-Governor was able to convince Specter to switch parties and (eventually) become the Democrats’ sixtieth seat in the Senate.

Then-Congressman Sestak, however, refused to step aside and beat Specter in the 2010 Democratic primary.

Originally, the ex-Governor didn’t seem to think McGinty would leave her post as Gov. Wolf’s Chief of Staff. A few weeks later, however, once she had made her interest more well-known, Rendell changed his tune.

Now Ed Rendell is all in for another fight with the retired Navy Admiral.

UPDATE: The NRSC issued the following response:

“Establishment Democrats are making their second attempt to muscle Joe Sestak out of a Senate race, after failing to do so in 2010,” said NRSC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek. “Fresh off a last-place finish in the Governor’s race, Katie McGinty has enlisted a party boss to prop up her campaign – but even Ed Rendell has said it’s ‘crazy’ to face off against Sestak in a primary. With the party establishment facing off against a voter favorite, this promises to be a very messy primary for Democrats.”

UPDATE 2: The Sestak campaign released the following statement:

“If party leaders in Washington and the machine in Philadelphia want an establishment candidate, I’m not their guy. I’m for people, above party or type.”

31 Responses

  1. Specter was doomed from the start. Remember, it was a anti-incumbency year. Democrats didn’t vote FOR Sestak in the 2010 Dem. Primary, they voted AGAINST incumbency. My guess is that if Specter would have switched before the 2008 election and campaigned for Obama in PA he probably could have pulled it off, but regardless it wasn’t a good year for incumbents. It’s a myth that Sestak has a lot of support with “rank and file” Dems, he does have some goodwill especially with smaller, rural counties that he attends picnics and shakes hands, but at the end of the day Democrats want a strong candidate who can bring our party together and win… not to mention a history making candidate is a huge plus! I thought Katie ran a great campaign last year against three heavyweights and came out of it better than McCord or Schwartz. She has an incredible resume, actually what I would consider a dream resume for a Democratic nominee. I view Katie’s campaign as a winning one. I agree with Allegheny Co. Dem. Chair Nancy Mills, this time PA is going to elect a woman to the Senate. I will be proud to cast my vote for Katie McGinty, the best choice for the future of our state, our country and our party. Good luck Katie! We’re rooting for you!

  2. Jerry

    Rendell was right: Sestak has no political career left. He’s not going to win the primary. Then, he’ll put his house up for sale and stay in Virginia, where he really lives.

  3. Rendell’s very strong backing of Specter didn’t do much for Specter in 2010, did it? I remember Rendell strongly admonishing Sestak for challenging Specter and predicting that Sestak not only didn’t have a prayer of defeating Specter, but that by running he was destroying his political career. I suspect this is more payback than anything else. Rendell is a vindictive bully (that was his reputation in Harrisburg. Dems who crossed him paid a heavy price). I personally know of a Freshman member of the House who was considering becoming the name-sponsor of a bill Rendell opposed. He sent one of his henchmen to let her know in no uncertain terms that if she did sponsor the bill she would receive no Democratic money and would be primaried when she ran for re-election. She decided not to since she knew Rendell was known for such threats and also for carrying them out.

    Below is a link to an article I wrote about Rendell back in 2008, “Ed Rendell’s Healthcare Hoax” which will tell you all you need to know about what a corporate hack he is:

  4. Lizard-

    How am I in “lockstep” with Rendell?

    There are two Dem candidates.

    1) Sestak has no hope of raising enough money to defeat Toomey
    2) He can’t go toe-to-toe with him in a debate.
    3) He doesn’t even live in Pennsylvania
    4) If elected, he’d serve only one term due to his age (his statement from last time he ran that he wouldn’t serve past 2022)

    McGinty will still have a tough time defeating Toomey (incumbents win over 90% of the time). But..
    1) She can raise a lot more money with the Governor’s connections and support as well as the support of the party leadership and major donors who want to beat Toomey.
    2) She is great in debates, especially at deconstructing right-wing talking points and ideology
    3) She actually lives in Pennsylvania
    4) She is young enough to serve several terms

  5. The Rendell Redux is now complete. And now that Rendell and David Diano are in lockstep on McGinty, that means I have to be for Sestak. Thanks, Ed and David, for making my decision that much easier.

  6. If slick Eddie is claiming he talked Specter into switching parties he speaks with forked tongue. Specter switched because every poll indicated he was going to lose the Republican primary by a country mile and his only chance of keeping his seat was by switching parties.
    Rendell is nothing but a complete hack for corporate special interests, and he is one of the major advocates for austerity and for cutting Social Security. The fact that Katie McGinty is his gal is just one more reason not to vote for her.

  7. She’s a problem solver?? Seriously?? All she did was alienate the Senate Republicans during this budget stand off…so much so that they asked that she not even be in the room. How can you negotiate a budget deal when you offend the other side so much, because you publicly saying things that aren’t factual and you insult them on top of it…doing your boss (Wolf) a complete disservice.

  8. JoAnn-
    Corbett put his foot on the gas pedal and protected oil/gas from DEP, Health dept, and put industry shills in oversight.

  9. So Ed and Katie are responsible for all the fracking and pipelines. Here I thought it originated with Corbett. Money talks in a big way, and we have to suffer the consequences of bad air and contaminated water!

  10. Connie
    If you don’t know he’s a selfish egomaniac who cares only about himself and his own political aspirations, then you don’t know jack about him. Talk to his ex-staffers. One of them sent me the following:

    “I can attest to the fact he doesn’t care about any other candidate but himself….. a woman who was running for state house lost but ended up giving him a significant amount of her remaining campaign fund and then he says to me that her campaign was chicken sh*t and it didn’t matter anyway. His campaign is what matters.” That woman is a far better candidate and person than he could hope to be.”

    True, he does work hard, but that’s because he works harder not smarter.

    Sestak helps people when it’s in his interest: either to tell a story for his image or to hit them up for help later.

    But, big reveal about how Sestak takes advantage of people will come out during the campaign. This reveal will end his political career. He might even have to drop out.

  11. Diano, I know Joe Sestak a whole lot longer & much better than you ever will! I know how much he cares about representing us ALL in the best way possible & working very hard
    ( which NO one does better!) to improve our local & national interests. I’d wager Joe would even go the distance to assist YOU when help is needed. AND THAT’S SAYING A LOT !!

  12. Sorry—did not know there was another “Observer” I will adopt the name Observer #2

  13. And oh yeah, that first post by “Observer” is by some schmuck who can’t even come up with his own nom de comment. What a moron.

  14. This is the certain kiss of death for Katy. Tell me exactly which successful campaign Fast Eddie has run in the last ten years? None, nyet, nada. The guy is a corrupt Loser with a capital L.

  15. Connie-

    “Joe is his own man” … because he doesn’t care about the party, you or anybody but himself. He’s “independent” the way Trump is: an arrogant sob who’s only interested in having a title next to his name

    Hillary is not Bill and I think they cleared the slate/chits with Joe last go around so they don’t own Sestak anything. My guess is that they would prefer to stay neutral rather than endorse either, until after the primary.

  16. Ed Rendell, who is, in actuality, little more than a lackey of Hillary Rodham Clinton. The burning question, therefore, is this: why is the aforementioned presidential candidate so desperate to crush the candidacy of (her former ally) Joe Sestak? What does she know that the general populace does not? Another looming scandal perhaps…

  17. Ed Rendell and Katie McGinty for the Dem’s Machine politics team. I didn’t know Ed was responsible for convincing his old pal Arlen to convert.No wonder he won’t back Joe Sestak, an experienced, hard working former congressman. Too bad most people have lost respect for Rendell and his record.

  18. Joe Sestak is still, by far, the best & most experienced candidate! Don’t count him out kids! If anyone can overcome this, it is Joe. And shame on his own party for not supporting this man who would do the best job for PA. Joe is his own man & doesn’t kiss the party ring. They don’t like that. In fact, they will risk losing the seat to punish him. Very sad!

  19. I thought Katie Rendell could only run for two terms? Oopsss.. Stand corrected.. Ed McGinty

  20. In response to Observer’s question, the links between fracking and Rendell/McGinty are numerous. Rendell is the governor who handed the keys to the state over to the industry without a single study into any of the impacts. McGinty was his DEP chief. It was on her watch that the permits were issued that eventually led to the contamination of several private water supplies in Dimock, PA. There’s a very interesting report well worth reading on the revolving door between fracking and government in PA. Here are a couple of points from the synopsis:

    “Pennsylvania’s previous three governors have strong ties to the natural gas industry. Tom Ridge’s firms benefited from a $900,000 contract to lobby for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, Mark Schweiker joined a lobbying firm with a Marcellus Shale practice, and Ed Rendell is a partner in a private equity firm invested in fracking services companies and recently lobbied on behalf of driller Range Resources. Current governor Tom Corbett also has strong ties to the industry – he received more than $1 million in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry and previously worked as a lawyer for Waste Management, which is active in the Marcellus Shale.

    Every Secretary of Environmental Protection since the DEP was created has had ties to the natural gas industry. Jim Seif is now a principal and energy consultant at Ridge Global LLC, one of former governor Ridge’s firms that lobbied for the Marcellus Shale Coalition; David Hess is now a lobbyist at Crisci Associates and has gas industry clients; Kathleen McGinty has served on the boards of two energy companies, is managing director of a consulting firm that is part of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, and is a partner in former Governor Rendell’s private equity firm; John Hanger is now special counsel to a law firm that represents every segment of the natural resources industry; and Michael Krancer is former general counsel at a utility that relies on natural gas and a former partner at a law firm member of the Marcellus Shale Coalition.”

    By the way, that connection between Rendell and Range Resources mentioned in the first of the two paragraphs amounted to much more than lobbying. In 2012, the EPA called off investigations of fracking-related water contamination in Dimock, PA, Pavillion, WY, and Parker County, TX. Rendell interceded on behalf of Range Resources to get the Texas investigation called off. Subsequent studies by Duke University and others have confirmed that the contamination in Texas was indeed related to fracking.

    My organization organized an effort to get the PA Dems state committee to vote for a resolution calling for a statewide moratorium two years ago. Rendell was first to criticize it; McGinty and other Dem candidates for governor fell right in line, issuing their own criticisms.

    During her campaign, McGinty called natural gas part of the “secret sauce” of economic recovery, an unfortunate choice of words as we all know that fracking chemicals are a secret sauce protected from disclosure by the Halliburton loophole. Of course, she also has ties to the coal industry. She had to return a large donation she’d gotten from the company responsible for the West Virginia coal ash disaster early last year.

    Rendell and McGinty could not possibly be more enthusiastic about drilling. Rendell wrote an op-ed in the NY Daily News in 2013 urging Cuomo to lift the moratorium. Fortunately, Cuomo is not indifferent to the health and safety of his state and its people.

    What’s happening now is just the establishment of the new Rendell administration whose public face is his old revenue secretary Tom Wolf who is surrounded by other Rendell-era appointees.

  21. Observer-
    It’s probably just one dot.

    He may yet be force to drop out by embarrassing revelations. He’s treated a lot of people badly and taken advantage of them, especially young people. It would not be difficult to fill an ad with “the victims of Joe Sestak” (and I’m not even talking about the two kids he trampled).

  22. A Toomey vs McGinty race will be one for the record books. Maybe one of the best in the nation in ’16. Democrats and Republicans are well served if these are the candidates.

    Have to choose thought, can’t have both or neither. And Sestak. It’s very tough when you’re not liked or supported by your own team.

    He still runs of course, but this is a text book case of the writing being on the wall. Get a clue Joe, you’re done, even if you win the primary…you’re done. No way out.

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