Schwartz Calls McGinty’s Husband Asking for Money

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In what was possibly the most embarrassing moment of the 2014 gubernatorial primary, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz “inadvertently dialed” opponent Katie McGinty’s husband to seek a campaign contribution on Monday night.

Bob Vickers at The Patriot has the story:

Around 6 p.m. Schwartz rang Chester County public policy researcher Karl Hausker on his mobile phone, greeted him, and went into her spiel about her 2104 campaign for governor.

But just before she moved in to make the ask, Hausker stopped her.

Turns out, he’s the husband of Katie McGinty, one of three Schwartz primary rivals for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.


Schwartz spokesman Mark Bergman explained the snafu by saying “it was an inadvertent dial.”

What, like a pocket dial? Or a Siri screw up? Bob Vickers gives the most likely explanation of how this could happen to a candidate:

Typically, a staffer guides a candidate making calls through compiled lists of potential donors. For calls to people the candidate does not already know, donor histories and bios are standard practice, so it’s rare for rival spouses to land on call sheets.

But when they do, experienced staffers weed them out.

Unfortunately, no experienced staffers were present.

While it’s an embarrassing story for the Schwartz campaign, it’s also very telling.

Monday (March 31st) was the end of the first cycle for campaign finance reporting from 2014 primary candidates, and it is odd that Schwartz was spending time cold-calling new donors the night of the deadline.

Typically, a candidate will spend the last day before a deadline calling the people who have already made commitments to contribute but who have not yet sent in a check.

The fact that Schwartz spent the last hours making cold calls could indicate that she is having trouble raising money. Reports must be filed by April 8th, so we will have a better indication of this next week.

Aside from McGinty and Schwartz, State Treasurer Rob McCord and former Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf are also competing for the Democratic nomination.

About Jake Sternberger

Jake Sternberger was a contributing writer at Keystone Politics from 2011 to 2014.
This entry was posted in Elections, Governor.

7 Responses to Schwartz Calls McGinty’s Husband Asking for Money

  1. The fact that Schwartz spent the last hours making cold calls could indicate that she is having trouble raising money.

    Is this a surprise? Where has Schwartz’s campaign been? She was the one-time frontrunner. She’s like in 3rd or 4th place now. Who wants to contribute to a sinking ship?

  2. ppleb says:

    This is pretty funny. I’d caution against reading into it like this though – Sternberger draws a pretty weak inference here. The 8th is not “hours” away and yesterday was not the “last day” before the report is due, and while candidates do press committed donors in the run up to a filing, that doesn’t mean they abandon all efforts to woo other potential donors, particularly those with high-dollar donor histories. This is the sense of urgency that successful campaigns maintain; it doesn’t strike me as a sign of desperation. She will need all the money she can get to execute the surge she needs in the home stretch.

    • Jake Sternberger says:

      The deadline was March 31st, the reports are due on the 8th. 6PM on Monday (the 31st) would be “hours.”

    • YoungPhillyProgressive says:

      Indeed. Likely what happened is some intern put this name on a call list because he’s been supportive of SEPA Democrats, and just missed that he was McGinty’s husband. Then staffer put in to a list of calls like Democratic business people or double maxers to Obama from 2012, and didn’t notice it because of the name.

      More like a funny mixup from staff work, but I wouldn’t read too much into this regarding the state of the campaign.

      • It’s not weird at all that Schwartz herself is calling names from an un-vetted list? What would you say if she ended up calling someone like Ed Snider, or that turncoat Cohen(of Ed Rendell CoS and Comcast fame)?

        • YoungPhillyProgressive says:

          I don’t understand what your point is? What kind of ‘vetting’ do you think happens?

          I have no affiliation with Allyson or anyone in the governor race, but I can guarantee you how this name got on a list was that he is from SEPA and has donated to Democrats before. That’s it.

          Yes, a staffer should have found that he was Katie McGinty’s husband. That was clearly a fuck-up. But it’s not like Allyson was dialing random numbers. Someone just didn’t catch that Karl Hausker = Mr. McGinty. It’s nothing nefarious. Screwups like that happen *all the time* in any workplace, political campaigns included. It just so happened that this one was notable and made it to the press.

          That doesn’t make the error acceptable, and I’m sure some Schwartz staffer got reamed out after the call. But to argue that it represents some fatal flaw in the Schwartz campaign is nonsense.

          And if she called Ed Snider, I’d be surprised because he’s a Republican. And if she called David Cohen, I’d be surprised because he’s backing Corbett. Which would normally be caught in donor research.

          So yea. That’s how ‘call time’ works. Staffers research donors, and put sheets in front of candidates. Staffers say “These people are from X list and you should call them for Y reason.” And then candidate calls them. While it’s surprising that this happened, it’s simply an amusing coincidence. Nothing more.