In a sharply worded letter sent to members of the Pennsylvania Republican Party, PA GOP Chairman Val DiGiorgio pushed back against what he called “nonsense and fake news in (a) misguided article” published in a recent City & State PA special report on finance and staffing woes inside the state committee.
In a series of numbered "talking points," DiGiorgio took exception to numerous findings in the article, including the PA GOP’s current financial status and its condition when he took office. DiGiorgio asserts that the committee’s forthcoming campaign finance report “will show that we are on a much better financial footing than the article characterizes,” and that he took over an operation that had “less money in the bank than was needed for one month of operating expenses, no staff and $160,000 in debt.”
DiGiorgio stressed in the letter that the dramatic reduction in staffing was a “conscious decision to operate with leaner staff and to put money directly into campaigns,” noting that PA GOP funnelled roughly $350,000 into get-out-the-vote efforts for judicial candidates. He added that the committee has “a large staff in the field doing the work of volunteer recruitment” and that he expects rising numbers of volunteers throughout the election cycle.
However, DiGiorgio did not provide exact details on the party's current or projected finances, or the number of employees or volunteers currently on staff.
Both DiGiorgio and a spokesman for the state committee declined to provide similar details or on record comments prior to the publication of the article in question.
The recent letter also obliquely references DiGiorgio’s disappointment over “the extent to which Republicans continue to fight one another – on social media, at events and in the media.” This appears to be a thinly veiled reference to the continuing battle for the Republican gubernatorial nomination between state Sen. Scott Wagner and rival Paul Mango, which has spilled across commercials, public forums and a litany of press coverage. A recent PoliticsPA article featured a letter from six state party members contesting DiGiorgio’s claim that committee members were aware of claims made by Mango about his opponant.
In that letter, the committee members “respectfully contest this statement that (DiGiorgio) made on behalf of the entire Republican Party of Pennsylvania” dismissing Mango’s claims about Wagner’s past issues “because we had no idea that State Senator Scott Wagner was involved in these disputes."
"(DiGiorgio) may have known about the issues Mr. Mango highlights in his advertisement, but none of these issues were ever disseminated to the State Committee,” reads the letter
The PA GOP did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.