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Tipsheet

Report Claims Dems in 'Panic' Mode Over State Party in Pennsylvania

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

With the general election a little over a year away, Democrats are reportedly panicking over the battleground state of Pennsylvania. The party’s apparatus in the state is said to be in “chaos” between financial woes, trust issues, and competency concerns.

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The Pennsylvania Democratic Party recently printed out thousands of cards telling voters to show up at the polls on the wrong date—just one example of how it’s “amateur hour” at the state party, according to a state committee member, reports Politico. A former state party staffer was more colorful, calling it “a f***ing disaster.” 

The state party underwent a round of layoffs in July, which have not been reported until now. One of its political action committees only had $7,500 in the bank as of early June, according to its most recent campaign finance filings. And questions are mounting among Democrats in the state about the competency of its leadership, including state party chair Sharif Street.

The prevailing fear is that the party will not be in the strongest shape possible ahead of the presidential election and a key Senate race next year. A state Supreme Court contest, where Democrats are making abortion front and center, is on the ballot this November. (Politico)

“Pennsylvania is the single biggest battleground state in the country in the presidential election, and we have a total incompetent, lazy guy who has no clue what he’s doing running the state party,” a senior Pennsylvania Democratic elected official told Politico.  

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Street, who acknowledged he should have carried out the layoffs much sooner, otherwise dismissed concerns about the state party’s fundraising and said the mishap with the incorrect date of the election was resolved before they reached voters. 

As for the disagreements the state party has had with national Democratic officials, Street explained it’s because his leadership style is different.  

As an example, Street said he has prioritized hiring organizers who are from Pennsylvania, which has led to clashes with some national Democrats.

“We’ve done things a little differently, and I know that may have ruffled some feathers with sort of the national chatterbox class,” he said. “They weren’t exactly excited about my candidacy for chair for a lot of reasons.”

But, he argued, his strategy of heading the party was proven successful last year when Democrats won the governor’s race and Senate contest in addition to flipping the state House. “Politics is like sports,” he said. “We had a good record last year. We’ve been winning.” (Politico)

Street does have his supporters though, with the head of the Philadelphia Building Trades and leader of the Laborers District Council Ryan Boyer telling Politico he has the "utmost respect" for Street and believes he "will steer the party in the right direction."

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Other Democrats also came to the state party's defense.

In 2022, Democrats in the state saw Josh Shapiro get elected as governor, John Fetterman defeat GOP opponent Dr. Mehmet Oz for a U.S. Senate seat, and control of the state House of Representatives flip.


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