Pennsylvania GOP Says Democratic Governor Stonewalling Open Records Requests

Party attempts to get Katie McGinty's emails are stonewalled

Katie McGinty
Katie McGinty / AP

Pennsylvania Republicans say that their attempts to get a hold of Democrat Katie McGinty's emails from her time as Gov. Tom Wolf's chief of staff are being stonewalled by the Wolf administration.

The Republican Party of Pennsylvania filed a request under the state's Right to Know law in July for all the emails McGinty sent from when she assumed the position of chief of staff to when she resigned to run for Senate. The governor's office said that the request produced 15,000 pages of emails but has thus far only given 71 pages to the state party.

"Right-to-Know requests normally take about five days," said party spokesman Megan Sweeney in a press release. "Governor Wolf’s office has repeatedly delayed the release of Katie McGinty’s emails for seven months."

The state party says that Pennsylvania transparency law "has been completely abused" by the Wolf administration.

The Republican party is insinuating that the reason it is having so much trouble getting information out of the governor's office is because McGinty used to work there.

"It is surprising that Katie McGinty’s old boss has spent seven months blocking the public from seeing 15,000 pages of her government emails," Sweeney told the Washington Free Beacon.

The governor's administration disputes that it is stonewalling the Republican request and contends that the problem was with the nature of the request.

"The Wolf administration has been more than transparent," a Wolf spokesman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He added that the request contained three pages worth of impossibly broad search terms.

The Post-Gazette reports that the Pennsylvania open records office ruled against the administration late last year, stating that the fact that the administration was able to conduct the search using the "broad terms" provided by the Republicans means that was "sufficiently specific."

The administration appealed that decision to the state's Commonwealth Court, and it is still pending.

A campaign spokesperson said that McGinty "believes in full transparency, but ultimately this decision is up to the Commonwealth Court."

The Pennsylvania Democratic Primary will be held on April 26, so it is entirely possible that there won't be a ruling until after it is known whether McGinty will be the party's candidate. Recent polling has her trailing former congressman Joe Sestak, who was the party's candidate in 2010.