The Pennsylvania Republican Party is entangled in immense chaos as now-former Chairman Val DiGiorgio abruptly resigned from his post amidst a sex scandal.
Originally reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, DiGiorgio sent explicit, sexual messages to a Philadelphia City Council candidate. Irina Goldstein, whom DiGiorgio corresponded with for months, originally sought the former chairman’s political counsel and advice for her candidacy.
Goldstein told the Inquirer that the messages escalated from advice to flirtation quickly, eventually turning into explicitly sexual photographic and text messages. She also told the Inquirer that she eventually began to feel uncomfortable, as DiGiorgio had the ‘upper-hand’ and labeled his messages as sexual harassment.
The messages indicate that this was a mutually-reciprocated, sexual messaging relationship, but Goldstein eventually felt threatened and intimidated, given DiGiorgio’s powerful position within the power.
Per the Inquirer, she was encouraged by a counselor to DiGiorgio, Michael Schwartz, to sign a non-disclosure agreement that would protect both parties:
via The Inquirer:
“He said my reputation would be ruined,” Goldstein told The Inquirer. “Like [DiGiorgio] was going to do me a favor by not talking about me.”*
In a statement via the state GOP’s email list, DiGiorgio casted these allegations as a mischaracterization:
DiGiorgio resigned early this afternoon, leaving vice-chair Bernadette Comfort as acting-chair; it is up to Comfort to schedule an election within 45 days of DiGiorgio’s resignation.
This departure is far from ideal, apart from the disgusting conduct committed by the former chairman; the road to victory in 2020 all but requires a win in Pennsylvania and this only piles on to the uphill battle faced by GOP leaders in the Keystone state.