Wolf to Keynote PA Dems Winter Dinner

Tom-Wolf1Governor Tom Wolf will be the Keynote speaker at the Pennsylvania Democratic Party’s Winter Dinner this Friday.  Wolf’s speech will come three days after he delivers his budget address, and as he starts his reelection efforts.  

Wolf is heading into the 2018 election cycle with the chance to talk to key Democratic activists and Party members all gathered in one place.  

“Governor Wolf will talk about the different approach he has taken to Harrisburg to prioritize Pennsylvania families by protecting education and seniors and fighting the opioid and heroin crisis,” Wolf campaign spokesman Jeffrey Sheridan said in an email.  

Pennsylvania Democrats face historic minorities in both legislative chambers, meaning it will be crucial to keep the governor’s mansion. Not to mention, whoever wins the governor’s race in 2018 will hold a veto pen for congressional redistricting in 2021.  

With a primary challenger possible but unlikely, Wolf will be looking to motivate activists to begin building the grassroots network that propelled him to victory in 2014.

February 8th, 2017 | Posted in Features, Front Page Stories, Governor, Top Stories | 20 Comments

20 thoughts on “Wolf to Keynote PA Dems Winter Dinner”

  1. David Diano says:

    Top 10 Uber charges (out of 300 charges and $36,000)

    3131.21
    891.78
    855.27
    851.89
    715.61
    686.83
    606.14
    597.81
    545.11
    484.44
    428.92

  2. David Diano says:

    Checking David-

    I hadn’t thought about the PA Society, but the $3,131.21 Uber ride is on the Nov 21st bill.

    I can’t wait to find out who took that ride.

  3. Checking David says:

    I wanted to do a 10 minute glance because of the amount of times I have seen this mentioned in recent weeks. After I found out where to go on the FEC page I went to look at their year end filing PDF which seems to cover December. They have things charged to disbursements and joint account spending. I see a lot of food charged to the joint account. With thousands of dollars in Uber charges, car rentals and out of state tolls charged to disbursements. The time frame seems to fall around Pennsylvania Society. There is also a giant unpaid debt to Kitty Purry, Inc for entertainment. From a quick google search, you will find out that this is Katy Perry’s company. I don’t know if there’s anything illegal, just downright horrible stewardship and no remorse to charge things.

  4. David Diano says:

    One other possibility on the $25, $50 and other special amounts:

    Uber has “eGift Cards” that you can buy online in denominations like $25, $50, $100 or you can enter a number. The eGift Card is emailed to recipient.

    So, these special amounts could be Uber eGift Card purchases, and there would be no record in the finance report as to whether the eGifts were spent or how much remains in peoples’ inboxes.

    So, if someone got a $25 per day travel “per-diam” as an eGift and spent $17 in rides, that would be $8 in their pocket with no one the wiser.

    To be clear, I have no direct knowledge if this was done by anyone (or everyone). I’m merely offer possible explanations for the high frequency of $25 Uber charges.

  5. David Diano says:

    I almost missed it:

    Page 5 had a $3,131.21 Uber charge. WTF??

    Someone at state committee has to ask about that one and who made the charge (and why).

    Unless the ride came with 3 prostitutes, at $1,000 each, I can’t explain it.

  6. David Diano says:

    Unkel Sam-

    I took a look at Oct, Sept and Aug. Nothing in the American Express entries really stood out for restaurants.

    docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00167130/1133809/sb/ALL/1

    In the post-general report, what DID look funny was Uber Charges like $321.49 and $373.31 and an INSANE $686.83 (along with ones like $12.50) and a total of $6,144.89 on the first page.
    The second page had a lot of smaller Uber charges, most under $30

    I called an Uber driver to ask how you get high charges like that. He said, if you order a “premium” car, it’s $3.50/mile and 40-cents a minute. For Philly to Harrisburg, that’s around 90-100 miles and a 100 minutes, which would be just north of $300. That could just be a coincidence, and I don’t know if you can ride from Philly to Harrisburg, but these are pretty high Uber charges.

    There are few car rentals on the first two pages, but A LOT on the third page.

    BUT VERY SUSPICIOUSLY, there are dozens of Uber charges for EXACTLY $25 or $50. My Uber driver friend says that’s very odd and could not explain it a first.

    Years ago, a read a very good book on forensic accounting and fraud detection. One of the examples was a lot of charges for $50 or $25. These were cases where the company had a reimbursement policy for petty cash expenditures and you didn’t have to show receipts for amounts under $50. So, everybody would spend $30 or $40 and report $50. When the company changed the limit to $25, all of a sudden you got a ton of $25 cases.

    I’m not saying that’s the case here, but it’s very unusual and it reminded me of the fraud example.

    I did check back with my friend, and he said Uber riders can split fares. So, maybe there was a $25 or $50 limit for some people and they paid the first $25 or $50 with the company card, and the rest with their own card or other passenger. Hard to say, but the exact numbers are a flag for something unusual.

    The report is missing a lot of detail and dates, time, locations of rides, etc.

    This is a job for Eugene, our Auditor General. 🙂

    I DO NOT see anything that ties to Sincere as had been implied. So if she’s done anything wrong (besides take Uber instead of a bus), I’m not seeing it and can’t look into every charge.

    So, if someone has something specific, speak up, because this is still under the rumor category. (But, the pissing away money by everyone on Uber is still fishy, especially the big charges).

  7. @Uncle Sam says:

    Can’t they just pay her in Amex points?

  8. Unkel Sam says:

    Just look at the federal account: “American Express” and in addition, thousands of dollars in $75+ restaurant tabs across the state. There’s also a $250,000 unpaid debt to Katie Perry.

  9. David Diano says:

    A Dem Despite My Party-

    The Dem State Committee is this weekend, with the 3 hour dinner event tomorrow night. Plenty of mingling, discussion, candid criticisms, backstabbing, power plays, ass-kissing, and rumors.

    This credit card issue seems to be a potential big deal. Will they cut her loose if it looks politically fatal?

    Does anyone have any interesting details about the amounts or “unusual” items on the credit card that are raising so many eyebrows? Are there personal items (like clothing) or expensive travel/hotel or just a lot of bar/restaurant bills?

    I would assume the committee members can demand an accounting of expenses.

    How badly does someone have to fail in the PA Dems to be held accountable? Regardless of the focus on Sincere, who was in charge of monitoring her credit card use? If there was a problem, it should have been identified after the first bill. Did the alleged problems span multiple bills or isolated to one month?

  10. A Dem Despite My Party says:

    Sincere (don’t forget the apostrophe – but unfortunately I can’t do one on this computer) and her crew have been a disaster and this credit card scandal is going to be the end of her. No political talent coming in – just a Wolf flunkie (who got elected without having to have anyone smart politically in his shop) there to make sure Marcel did the right thing. I hear the financial screw-ups are borderline criminal as well. With Sin leading the way – how can we go wrong? Get ready for 2018!

  11. David Diano says:

    bad judges-

    The heat is WELL deserved. In 2014 he DELIBERATELY implemented an appeasement strategy of not actively supporting Dem legislative candidates beyond lip service. The (irrational) fear was that any winning GOP candidates would hold a grudge. He was advised against this action by members of the campaign and others. He was even advised to go after a few to “make an example of them” that he wasn’t to be trifled with. But, instead, Wolf chose to proceed with appeasement anyway, leading to massive GOP gains. Now Wolf has to sweat out every vote for veto overrides.

    If he or his staff tells you otherwise, they are simply lying, like Sean Spicer. And, because they continue to lie about the causes, they are unable to solve the real problem.

    I agree completely with the “culture” problem. The state chairman, and the heads of the HDCC and SDCC are text-book examples of rewarding failure.

    Wolf had to bail out state committee last year with $600,000 from his PAC.

  12. bad judges says:

    Wolf seems to be taking much heat for the Dem Party failure to capture legislative seats. Hire a good lawyer and get gerrymandered districts fixed. Then Dems might have a chance, but have always failed to develop young talent for future posts. Old farts that paid their dues kissing butt were often choices over qualified persons. Dems owe much of their failures to that culture.

  13. David Diano says:

    Lois Herr-

    Not likely.

    I’m hoping Stack announces his own run for Gov.

  14. Lois Herr says:

    I hope this time when Wolf comes to the State Committee meeting that he will not escape after his speech to a VIP lounge but stay and talk with the rank and file.

  15. David Diano says:

    Rhonehold-

    Put Marcel and Wolf in that dunk tank and sign me up !

    I did hear something about credit card bills and possible irregularities or personal expenses, but not much in the way of details.

    Eugene’s a good auditor general. Maybe he should take a look.

  16. Rhonehold says:

    BREAKING – Marcel Groen is readying Sincere Harris and staff in a dunk tank to raise much needed funds from members in order to pay State Committee’s credit card bills.

  17. David Diano says:

    Guy-

    Well, these are appointed positions, not elected, so the NEW standard should not be to reward failure, instead of business as usual.

    Nixon was forced to resign. Trump might be if Bannon fires him.

  18. Chuckie Porter the rat says:

    Jim Burn was so bad that even as he hoed himself
    To the godfather and La Familia, we still didn’t like the little Irish mutt.

  19. Guy says:

    @David Diano–“This seems to be the only job where you can completely fail to meet your objectives and not get fired or forced to resign.” you forgot President of the United States

  20. David Diano says:

    1) Wolf didn’t win because of “activists” or a “grassroots network”. He won because he dumped $10 million into the race, had friendly ads, and Corbett was incredibly unpopular.

    2) If Wolf is genuinely interested in grassroots then he needs to replace the top-down leadership of the current chair, that he installed in a coup and subverted the will of the state committee members.

    3) If there was all this grassroots network in 2014, we wouldn’t have lost so many seats in the legislature. We didn’t have a “network”, but rather a candidate at the top of the ticket who purposely didn’t do enough to help out the bottom of the ticket. The price for this has been an intractable GOP that makes the Governor beg for scraps.

    4) How badly does the state chairman have to fail for Wolf to replace him? We lost the Presidential race for the first time in over 20 years, and the US senate race (with Wolf’s pick) and didn’t win back seats in the legislature.

    5) I know the party leadership will read all this and “ignore” me (because I don’t have millions of dollars). But, they need to wake up and smell their failures and start listening to the people who warned them about all of this ages ago. This seems to be the only job where you can completely fail to meet your objectives and not get fired or forced to resign.

    6) Anything short of replacing the leaders of the state party, HDCC and SDCC is going to yield the same failures. Let’s try a real “Fresh Start”.

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