Tom Waring, the Wire
Former congressman Joe Sestak, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, released a series of videos highlighting the 18,000 constituent cases he handled in the House of Representatives.
The videos focused on issues dealing with veterans, health care, gay rights and the middle class.
In other campaign news, Sestak was at the state Capitol steps just before Christmas to distribute food, bedding and supplies to people impacted by the failure of the state to pass a budget.
“In the Navy, I distributed humanitarian aid from the Horn of Africa to the Middle East because of natural disasters, poverty and hunger. I never expected there would be a need to do so when I returned home to Pennsylvania because of a political disaster,” he said.
Sestak will face Katie McGinty and John Fetterman in the primary. The incumbent is Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.
Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason released a statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to veto portions of a budget while approving funding for schools, county child welfare, rape crisis and homeless.
“Tom Wolf finally admitted his multi-billion dollar mistake,” Gleason said. “When Tom Wolf issued a complete veto of the Republicans’ on-time budget last June, he needlessly plunged our school districts and nonprofits into a six-month crisis. Throughout this year, Tom Wolf has repeatedly made special interests his top priority. It is tragic that so many schools and nonprofits were faced with unpaid bills, layoffs and even closures because Tom Wolf used them as political pawns in his reckless budget game.
“It is time for Tom Wolf to join with Republicans in enacting a fiscally responsible budget that puts our commonwealth on the right track for the future.”
The campaign of U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey is criticizing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada for writing a fundraising letter that credited Katie McGinty for her role in the state budget process.
McGinty was Wolf’s chief of staff before quitting to run for Senate.
Toomey spokesman Ted Kwong said, “The fact that Harry Reid touts Katie McGinty injecting increased partisanship and gridlock into Pennsylvania’s budget process shows where their shared priorities lie. The truth is that the unanimously rejected Wolf/McGinty budget was balanced on the backs of hardworking Pennsylvanians, and only out-of-touch machine politicians would boast about it and its continuing consequences.”
Amelia Chassé, press secretary for the America Rising political action committee, said, “Disgraced former Majority Leader Harry Reid became Katie McGinty’s best frenemy yesterday by touting her role in the state’s ongoing budget crisis in a laughable fundraising appeal that read more like sabotage than support. Senator Reid’s embarrassing email gaffe reveals just how out of touch he and his chosen candidate, Katie McGinty, are with the toll her partisanship and ineffectiveness continues to take on Pennsylvania.”
Meanwhile, the America Rising PAC believes a number of recent scandals will hurt Democrats in Pennsylvania in the 2016 elections.
“Democrats looking for votes in the Keystone State face a badly damaged brand plagued by scandal after scandal that even party leaders are calling a ‘mess.’ The spate of corruption charges and indictments for high-profile Democrats spells trouble for candidates up and down the ballot,” said Amelia Chassé, America Rising press secretary.
America Rising cited the indictments of Attorney General Kathleen Kane and U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah; guilty pleas to corruption charges by several current and former members of the state legislature; and the guilty plea by Treasurer Rob McCord, who awaits sentencing for attempting to shake down state contractors for campaign donations in the 2014 Democratic primary for governor.