At last weekends democratic gubernatorial debate, the moderator asked the candidates if they would support campaign finance reforms. Former Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Katie McGinty said that she would support finance reforms, but then gave an odd explanation about how she never really saw the “stereotypical image of corruption in politics.” She explained that she never saw someone say “here’s 25 bucks, I want your vote,” and continues with “what I have seen was the corruption of time, effort and imagination and energy. It was corruption of peoples’ effort going so much to have keep paying the meter, and keep paying the meter.”
On Monday March 3rd, StateImpact NPR’s reporting about Katie McGinty taking $120,000 from a coal plant executive who she helped fast track a coal fired power plant permit in 2005 shows why her argument, posted above, might be complete bullshit.
Stateimpact NPR reports:
In 2005, as the head of the state Department of Environmental Protection, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie McGinty fast-tracked a permit for a controversial waste coal power plant in western Pennsylvania. In recent months, McGinty has accepted $120,000 in campaign contributions from a coal executive behind the project.
The Beech Hollow power plant was ultimately never built. But emails obtained by StateImpact Pennsylvania show an effort by McGinty to expedite the plant’s permit and approve it just before more stringent federal air quality regulations were going to be implemented.
The article reports that McGinty also received a $20,000 contribution from Cliff Forest, the man who brought Freedom Water to West Virginia, but returned the contribution after Freedom Industries wrecked the drinking water for some 300,000 people. Katie McGinty’s ties to the energy industry doesn’t stop there.
In August 2013, Steve Horn reported that Katie McGinty is tied into the Keystone XL Pipeline matrix. Steve Horn reported:
Pennsylvania Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate and former head of the PA Department of Environmental Protection, Kathleen “Katie” McGinty, has hired powerful PR firm SKDKnickerbocker for her campaign’s communications efforts.
SKDKnickerbocker – once known as Squier Knapp Dunn – is co-owned by President Barack Obama’s former Communications Director Anita Dunn and a member of Obama’s national media team for his 2008 run for President, Bill Knapp. Both Dunn and Knapp previously did PR for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2004 run for President, as well.
One of SKDKnickerbocker’s key clients is TransCanada, owner of the Keystone XL tar sands export pipeline.
McGinty’s largest, glaring connection to the fossil fuels industry starts with her campaign manager Mike Mikus. Mike Mikus is a veteran campaign manager and his ties in politics dates back to the 1992 Clinton campaign. More recently, Mikus was the Critz for Congress campaign manager in 2010, and after that, he took a job with EIS Solutions, which is an astroturfed public relations group for the natural gas industry. This is the same EIS Solutions that gave Mark Critz a cozy lobbying job as downtime between his removal from the US House to his bid for Lieutenant Governor.
As Katie McGinty stated…well maybe for a new power plant?