Toomey and McGinty Stick to Their Scripts in First Debate

Katie McGinty, Pat Toomey

Left: Katie McGinty photo by Donald Derosa, used under a Creative Commons license. Right: Pat Toomey, Official Portrait

It usually isn’t very fun to watch political debates, mostly because of how predictable they are. Even in the most informal settings, you have two candidates who are dead set on conveying the message they want to convey — the same one that they’ve been repeating throughout their entire campaigns — no matter what the questions are. And you know that you’re going to spend an hour or two watching two human beings disagree with each other without hearing anything very revealing.

Monday’s debate in Pittsburgh between Republican Sen. Pat Toomey and Democratic challenger Katie McGinty was more or less predictable in those ways. Of course, compared to the overwhelming sense of dread and impending obscenity that characterized the last presidential debate, watching it felt like enjoying a light conversation over breakfast with friends. Read more »

McGinty Slams Toomey Again Over Wall Street Ties. Will It Win Her Swing Voters?

Katie McGinty, Pat Toomey

Left: Katie McGinty photo by Donald Derosa, used under a Creative Commons license. Right: Pat Toomey, Official Portrait

Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty held a conference call with reporters Friday morning to criticize incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, after Politico reported that he owned shares in a bank that engaged in an uncommon mortgage foreclosure practice while he served on the Senate’s banking committee.

Toomey co-founded the bank in question, Team Capital Bank, in 2005, and owned between $500,000 and $1,000,000 in shares while he was on the committee from 2010 to 2014, according to the report. In 2013, the bank was sold to Provident Bank, in which Toomey still owns shares. (The Politico story is behind a paywall, but McGinty’s campaign, well, de-paywalled it.)

The Web site reported that there doesn’t appear to be anything illegal about either Toomey’s ownership of shares or the said banking practice, which allowed the bank to foreclose on homes used as collateral by business owners with little notice to the owner. The actions also apparently don’t violate Senate ethics rules. So the report isn’t truly a bombshell. And yet McGinty’s campaign is looking to make hay.

“Today’s story really removes all doubt about where the senator’s loyalties and interests are,” McGinty said this morning. Also on Friday, the Democratic Senate Majority PAC released a TV ad attacking Toomey on financial policy and referring to the Politico story.

Going into the homestretch, will hammering on Toomey’s ties to the banking industry be a winning strategy? Read more »

Someone Made Incredible, Weird, Awful Songs About Pat Toomey and Bob Casey

Yesterday I came across a song by a group called Papa Razzi and the Photogs that had a curious title. “Song About Pat Toomey, Believer in American Values, Etc.” was a 1-minute-26 second-ditty that called him “good ol’ Pat Toomey” and vaguely touted his political qualifications. Papa Razzi, whose vocalist sounds like a country/folk bar singer and also kind of like Pee-wee Herman occasionally, doesn’t really go very deep on anything about Pat Toomey at all: He believes in the constitution, he believes in democracy, he represents Pennsylvania and he loves the country.

I figured it was an an attempt by a Pennsylvania singer-songwriter to help out the campaign he supported and get some attention, but it’s not. This song came out in 2014! What gives? Read more »

The (Too?) Careful Candidate: Inside Katie McGinty’s Senate Run

Photography by Will Figg

Photography by Will Figg

I have been getting some pretty weird emails from Senator Pat Toomey’s reelection campaign lately. There’s an anxious, almost desperate quality to them.

“Can’t sleep” was the subject of one from late June, which arrived a few hours shy of an important fund-raising deadline.

“Had to email you,” said another.

“Running out of time.”

“please … ” Read more »

Anti-Gun Violence Advocate Gabby Giffords Endorses Pat Toomey


Gabby Giffords (courtesy of her Facebook page), left, Pat Toomey (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP), right

An anti-gun violence PAC led by U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords announced its endorsement of Republican Senator Pat Toomey yesterday.

Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, wrote an op-ed published on CNN outlining why their PAC, Americans for Responsible Solutions, chose to endorse Toomey and fellow Republican Senator Mark Kirk, among other politicians.

Read more »

Poll: McGinty Gains Slight Lead in Senate Race as Clinton Pulls Ahead of Trump

Katie McGinty

A new Quinnipiac University poll says that Democrat Katie McGinty has gained a small lead on Republican incumbent Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania’s Senate race.

The poll, which was released today, puts support for McGinty at 47 percent of likely voters, ahead of Toomey’s 44 percent, but says the race remains a toss-up. Women and minorities in Pennsylvania who participated in the poll largely back McGinty, while white male participants prefer Toomey.

The Quinnipiac University survey is the most recent of three notable polls released shortly after the Democratic National Convention that place McGinty ahead of Toomey. There’s one thing the three polls have in common: They also place Hillary Clinton ahead of Donald Trump. Read more »

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