Monday, May 05, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2649, May 5th, 2014

Candidates Katie McGinty, Tom Wolf, Allyson Schwartz and Rob McCord. (Photo:

Last week the four candidates running on the Democratic side for Governor of Pennsylvania squared off in two debates. What was once seen as a snooze fest for the better part of this year has now turned into a free for all with Democrats, well, acting like Democrats.
In the latest debate held at Franklin and Marshall College, candidates Rob McCord, and Allyson Schwartz took after front runner Tom Wolf. Katie McGinty, trying to gain traction in her campaign tried to stay above the fray but needed to defend herself regarding a large campaign contribution she accepted from a special interest group. Wolf pretty much took the attacks in stride but you got the impression that the three candidates trailing Wolf had wished they had gotten their acts together sooner in terms of doing more media promoting their campaigns.
During Thursday night’s event, the debate moderator Dr. Terry MaDonna totally lost control of the event and it was up to the two Journalists questioning the candidates, Jon Micek, and Pete Muntean to put things back on track.
Allyson Schwartz used her stance on ethics to go after Wolf. Standing right next to the guy, Schwartz accused Wolf of having sketchy political alliances. She hammered him on his relationship with convicted state Rep. Steve Stetler.
Okay, look, if you are involved in politics or have political friends, with so many State officials being convicted somewhere along the line you’re going to know one of them. And if they are a friend, you may or may not stand by them. This is, after all America. In LuLac land here more than 40 politicians have been serving time in one form or another, hell I knew many of them. You acknowledge your disappointment, but if they are a friend, I respect someone standing by them. I think Schwarz was really reaching here. Wolf was polite in his response. A better response would be “Look the guy is a shit, he did wrong, he won’t ever be in my administration but I’m not turning my back on him. Period.” Ed Rendell would have batted Schwartz away like a fly.
Rob McCord who came off like a man with height envy came after Wolf on an even more ridiculous charge. Former York Mayor Charlie Robertson was a police officer in 1969 and was on duty during a race riot. Robertson was charged by the federal government in connection with that death. He was acquitted. Wolf was criticized for heading the re-election committee for Robertson in 2001. Never mind that the current York Mayor, a black man has endorsed Wolf, McCord still made the case.
What is astounding is how McCord attacked a police officer in a racially charged situation. McCord who was born in 1959 would have been ten when all the racial tensions of the sixties were going on. And I’ll give him a pass if he was too young to remember the fear, the violence and the tension of race riots here in the Commonwealth. But his staff really chose the wrong issue to go after criticizing Wolf for a thing like this. Perhaps McCord and his staff think history began the day they got their driver’s license.
Katie McGinty tried to stay above the silliness to her credit but her positions seemed to be all over the place to me and were pretty hard to follow. In some instances she was incredible in terms of her acrobatic contortions in response to Jon Micek’s question about her campaign contribution from a coal executive who was instrumental in obtaining a permit from McGinty who fast tracked a waste coal power plant in western Pennsylvania. The contribution was $120,000. McGinty deftly shifted onto campaign reform and ethics which then gave Schwartz her opening to come after Wolf.
Right around mid March I decided on Tom Wolf as a candidate in this race. I voted for McCord as Treasurer and thought he has done a good job. But I am troubled by his chip on the shoulder, bully persona. If a Democrat does break the cycle of eight year administrations that WBRE TV’s Pa Live co host Jasmine Brooks and I spoke about on TV last Friday, that Democrat whether it be Wolf, McCord, Schwartz or McGinty is not going to carry a wave of Dems to make a majority in the State Legislature. If McCord governs like he is campaigning, nothing meaningful will get done in Harrisburg.
McGinty is, in my opinion still trying to find her footing and is underfunded. But she does have her supporters. If I were a Corbett operative I’d be praying for a Schwartz victory because unfortunately the Congresswoman has a record (which I support) would be red meat for the Corbett ad machine.
The debate at Franklin and Marshall was illuminating in the sense that you saw the following:
1. How Tom Wolf did under pressure, if he was more than the guy in all those ads and could think on his feet.
2. In a race with four candidates pretty much agreeing on everything (even a moratorium on the death penalty) it was interesting to see how they would try to distinguish themselves.
McGinty chose to highlight her tap dancing ability and display her tools as a policy wonk. Annoying at times because she seemed to race through her ideas but you’d want her to be a team lead on any governmental project. Schwartz and McCord took the low road and did everything but break into a chorus of Garth Brooks “Friends In Low Places” attacking Wolf. That was unfortunate because the Corbett/GOP attack machine is laying in wait.
Scratch that, it has already begun. The day after the debate radio ads sponsored by Corbett were going after Wolf, and Schwartz. I’m sure McCord’s turn is next.
If the Democrats want to cash in on the unpopularity of Tom Corbett and break the eight year cycle they better stop attacking each other on superfluous issues.
As the leading candidate, Wolf said he expects the attacks, but said the state cannot afford to nominate candidates who resort to negative, polarizing attacks that have wrecked Washington and Harrisburg.
Sunday the Philadelphia Inquirer endorsed Rob McCord. I’m not sure if endorsements matter much anymore. Former Governor Rendell and Senator Bob Casey told McCord that the attack on the York Mayor was a bit much. McCord is still attacking Wolf’s business practices on TV. Wolf has countered with former employees who are telling a different tale saying Wolf went back and bought the business in 2009 after problems caused by the recession of 2007.
Tonight as we speak Wolf is still ahead in the polls and the other three are trailing him. It will be interesting to see who will carry the Western part of the state in this race. If I were Wolf, I’d point that Jeep toward the Allegheny tunnels.


At 11:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks to me like Yonki cries Wolf.
His choice is made unless something
drastic comes out. And maybe its not a bad choice. As for me, anyone but Corbett will do.


At 1:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glover/Lee 2014!

At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Corbett hates Wolfe, Wolfe get's my vote.


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