March 11, 2016

Pennsylvania Dems Go Full Hypocrite On Outside Spending

Katie McGinty and Joe Sestak, Democrats running Pennsylvania’s raucous senate primary, have called in the cavalry of outside special interest groups as their messy campaign enters the television ad stage.

Unfortunately for the double-talking Democrats, reporters have longer memories than um, one day. The Philadelphia Inquirer highlighted Sestak and McGinty’s about-face, noting that Sestak had decried outside spending as recently as Tuesday:

With help from the kind of big-money political groups they have forcefully decried, the leading Democrats in the Pennsylvania race for the U.S. Senate have launched an air war, opening a new phase in their battle for the nomination…

…Both Sestak and McGinty have railed against Citizens United and the influence of money in politics.

In a fund-raising email Tuesday, Sestak wrote, “How wrong that D.C. Super PACs will be used – in a Democratic primary – to try and undermine the will of the people.”

By Wednesday his language had changed: “We will need to respond with our own ads,” said a new email.

At a Democratic forum last month, McGinty said: “Dark money and money in politics really threatens our democracy more than just about anything else.”

But her campaign chairman, former Gov. Ed Rendell, has since said she needs outside funding to overcome Sestak’s fund-raising edge and win the race. Rendell has even specified the dollar amounts she needs to win: $3.5 to $4 million, both from traditional fund-raising and outside groups.

When asked about his bait-and-switch, it was crickets from Team Sestak, according to The Morning Call:

Sestak’s campaign had been critical in recent fundraising emails of the reports that McGinty would be receiving advertising help from groups like EMILY’s List, saying it would be inappropriate for D.C.-based groups to get involved in the primary. 

His campaign spokesman did not respond to questions about Sestak’s view of the super PAC getting in on his behalf.

McGinty’s campaign, on the other hand, proved they are unfamiliar with the phrase “those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” by trying to knock Sestak for the type of hypocrisy McGinty is clearly also guilty of in a report from National Journal:

In response to the pro-Sestak super-PAC ad buy, McGinty’s campaign noted a recent fundraising email from Sestak, which said it was wrong that “D.C. Super PACs will be used – in a Democratic primary” on McGinty’s behalf.

Polling shows that most Pennsylvania voters don’t know much about McGinty and Sestak, and those who do know them aren’t big fans – in a recent poll, only 29 percent of voters viewed McGinty favorably and just 34 percent were positive on Sestak.