Feuding over finances in the 13th Congressional race

Posted: September 20, 2013

FORMER U.S. Rep. Marjorie Margolies finally filed a financial disclosure statement on Wednesday for her bid to retake the 13th District seat she held for just one term from 1992 to 1995.

State Rep. Brendan Boyle, one of three opponents for Margolies in the 2014 Democratic primary election, was waiting to pounce on her financial details.

Boyle's reason: He wants to remind voters of a very messy financial situation Margolies, now the front-runner for her old seat after declaring her candidacy May 30, went through 12 years ago.

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge rejected a Chapter 7 filing from Margolies in 2001 because it conflicted with financial statements she filed in 1999 and 2000 for a brief run for the U.S. Senate.

In those statements, Margolies said she and her now ex-husband, Ed Mezvinsky, held assets worth at least $1.3 million.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Diane Weiss Sigmund, in a 33-page ruling, said Margolies was "an intelligent, highly educated and sophisticated person" who handled budgetary issues in the U.S. House.

She flatly rejected claims from Margolies that, "like many women of her generation," she let her husband handle money matters.

"Her deference to her husband on financial matters, especially with knowledge that he was not managing them well, is at best puzzling, and her attempts to justify her continued ignorance of her finances as gender-related are inconsistent with her clear competency to discover the surrounding facts," the judge wrote.

Margolies on June 19 sought a 60-day extension from the U.S. House's Committee on Ethics to file her financial disclosure form.

She missed her deadline to file the form on Aug. 30. Her campaign told Clout it meant to file for a 90-day extension.

"Marjorie Margolies has been dogged for the last 20 years with questions about finances, statements of financial interests and lawsuits," Boyle spokesman Ken Snyder said yesterday. "A court even rejected Margolies' claim of bankruptcy. We hope going forward Margolies will be more transparent with her finances."

Mezvinsky, a former U.S. House member from Iowa, served five years in federal prison for defrauding banks and investors out of $10.4 million. Margolies was never accused of wrongdoing but was caught up for a time in a series of lawsuits.

Margolies responded by questioning Boyle's courage, since he had a campaign staffer take his shots at her and would not be interviewed yesterday.

"My campaign is about asking voters of the 13th congressional district to send folks to Washington who have the courage to stand up for what they believe - no matter the political consequences," Margolies said via email. "I am confident the voters of the 13th understand the difference between courage and cowardice: a personal attack from a decade ago made from behind the trousers of a campaign spokesperson is no profile in courage."

Fitzpatrick: No to government shutdown

U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, a Bucks County Republican, is stuck today between tea party activists and the Democratic National Campaign Committee.

But the outcome for Fitzpatrick doesn't look very dire.

Tea Party activists in his district want him to vote for a government shutdown if that's what it takes to defund the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.

But they told the Bucks County Courier Times they won't run someone against Fitzpatrick in the 2014 primary election if they don't get their way on the issue.

The Democrats, using The House Majority PAC, have made Fitzpatrick a top target in 2014.

Fitzpatrick, who like his GOP colleagues in the U.S. House has repeatedly voted to defund ObamaCare, said this week that a government shutdown was "off the table" for him.

The Republican-controlled House, due to vote today on a continuing resolution to fund the government after Oct. 1, is expected to include defunding ObamaCare. The U.S. Senate, controlled by Democrats, is expected to reject that version of the resolution, and the White House yesterday vowed a veto if it ever passed.

Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach, of Chester County, continues to oppose ObamaCare, but said he would not support a government shutdown. Staffers for U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan, of Delaware County, ducked questions yesterday on how Meehan would vote.

Quotable Vs. Quotable

" Tom's been a strong governor."

- former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum last weekend, saying he intends to campaign for Gov. Corbett's re-election in 2014.

" He'll find the same results that Rick Santorum did when he violated his base, time and time again. Voters won't turn out and vote for you. Tom's going to find that out I think next year."

- State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a Butler County Republican, speaking on 1210-WHAT AM Tuesday after Corbett said he wants to use Medicaid expansion money to pay for new participants to get private insurance.

Email: brennac@phillynews.com

Phone: 215-854-5973

On Twitter: @ChrisBrennanDN

Blog: ph.ly/phillyclout

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