May 23, 2016

“Bad Blood” Boils Over For Pennsylvania Democrats

While it’s old news that the Democratic establishment has been in a rush to coronate their party puppets up and down the ticket, tensions have been boiling over across the country in places as diverse as Nevada, Florida, and now a new Associated Press report details Democrat infighting in Pennsylvania, where local Democrats are still stinging from a vicious primary. 

Establishment favorite Katie McGinty won the primary over former Rep. Joe Sestak after national Democrats and outside special interests poured millions into “sleazy attacks ad[s]” to save McGinty’s flagging campaign in the weeks leading up to the election. Now, the AP reports:

Disgusted Sestak supporters are still seething.

“I’m still swallowing that pill,” said Georgiann Kerr, chairwoman of the Butler County Democratic Party. “It’s a very hard pill to swallow.”

Kerr has become one of the most outspoken critics of the national Party elites, writing in a recent op-ed that the false attacks on Sestak were part of “the myopic focus of the DSCC and Emily’s List on defeating Mr. Sestak no matter the means,” and that they will “backfire on the Democratic Party.”

Former Delaware County Democratic Chair Clifford Wilson also lobbed tough words toward his Party’s leadership in an opinion piece in the Delco Daily Times, writing.

It’s a shame that D.C. Democrats are so concerned with exerting complete control that power has become the end-all-be-all, leading them to make Sestak the example to other “independents.”

And former Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman Jim Burn said the Sestak takedown was about “ego as much as anything else,” telling the AP:

How else do you explain millions of dollars for one qualified candidate over another qualified candidate if not for the bad blood?

With the grassroots still reeling, McGinty’s attempts at mending fences have been laughable at best. She failed to even show up at a key Democratic Party event in Sestak’s home county, sending a lame video message instead.

Pennsylvania Democrats are now at a loss to explain how they ended up with a lackluster nominee who failed miserably at her only previous run for office – but they know who to blame if things go south. As Kerr remarked, “The point is that Washington, D.C., Democratic leaders, caught up in their immediate purpose of defeating the independent, non-establishment Joe Sestak, lost sight of what comes next.”