ICYMI: Harrisburg Patriot- News: Did Katie McGinty set up her U.S. Senate run on state time?

“While Pennsylvania’s schools and social services were scrambling for funds during Tom Wolf and Katie McGinty’s budget crisis, McGinty was conducting political activities on taxpayer time. Wolf and McGinty have spent nearly sixteen months hiding her emails from the public, so it’s not surprising to find out her emails contain evidence of inappropriate political activity with her Democrat party bosses in Washington. Just like Hillary Clinton, Katie McGinty believes the rules don’t apply to her. It’s time for Tom Wolf and Katie McGinty to comply with the rulings of the Office of Open Records and the Commonwealth Court and immediately release her emails so that voters can make an informed decision on Election Day.” – PA GOP Communications Director Megan Sweeney


Did Katie McGinty set up her U.S. Senate run on state time?
Harrisburg Patriot-News
Wallace McKelvey
October 20, 2016

“On Wednesday evening, the state GOP filed an ethics complaint against Katie McGinty, alleging that Gov. Tom Wolf’s former chief of staff set up her Senate run on state time. The governor’s code of conduct bars any political activity during work hours.

“‘You’re on the clock 24/7,’ McGinty said, when asked about the complaint during a PennLive editorial board meeting Thursday.

“In a July 17, 2015, email with a 4:08 p.m. timestamp, McGinty asked for John Podesta’s advice on whether she should challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Toomey in his reelection bid. She cited pressure from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Emily’s List, a political action committee that promotes female Democratic candidates, to throw her name into the race.

“That message, sent from McGinty’s personal email account, was swept up in a cache of hacked emails released by WikiLeaks earlier this month. They came from the account of Podesta, who serves as chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Security officials, including Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, said they believe high-ranking Russian officials were responsible for the hack.

“Regardless of the source, state GOP officials said the email is evidence that McGinty violated the governor’s code of conduct.

“That code forbids executive staffers from ‘[engaging] in any political activity such as campaigning, fundraising, canvassing or poll watching during his or her specified working hours, or which is determined by the Secretary of Administration to conflict or interfere with the ability of the affected official or employee to effectively and efficiently carry out the duties and functions of his or her position.’

“‘Any violation could result in disciplinary action, including ‘reprimands, suspensions and termination.’

“The state GOP issued its complaint to the Pennsylvania Office of Administration, which oversees human relations and would have determined if McGinty violated the code of conduct.

“’In the middle of Tom Wolf’s budget crisis, Katie McGinty was clearly breaking the rules and working on her political future instead of her taxpayer-funded job,’ said Megan Sweeney, a state GOP spokeswoman, in a written statement.

“Given that McGinty resigned within a week of that July 2015 email, it’s not clear the office would have any power to retroactively discipline her if it determined that the code had been violated. A message left with a spokesman for the office was not immediately returned Thursday.”

“The GOP has also fought a long-simmering battle with the Wolf administration to access McGinty’s work emails and schedules. The Commonwealth Court recently ruled that the emails are public records that should be handed over. However, the 30 days the court gave the administration could potentially push the release past the Nov. 8 election.

“On Thursday, McGinty said she has nothing objectionable in her work emails and has not opposed their release. She has not, however, specifically asked the administration to cut short its legal battle with the GOP and voluntarily release them.”