Senate Leaders Comment on Auditor General’s Audit of the 2016 Democratic National Convention

(HARRISBURG) – Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25), Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34) and Senate Appropriations Chairman Pat Browne (R-16) have issued the following statement regarding the Auditor General’s report on the Philadelphia Committees’ Spending on the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC), which the Senate leadership requested in May:

“The concerns we voiced in May about the legitimacy of spending by the DNC have merit as evidenced by the audit report released today by the Auditor General.

“It remains troubling that the DNC did not return excess dollars to the state at the conclusion of the convention.  It is clear from the report that former Governor Ed Rendell made decisions regarding disbursement of bonuses that he did not have the authority to make on his own.  Those decisions made by Governor Rendell to distribute bonuses remain, at best, problematic. 

“The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED’s) lack of a claw-back provision in contracts is something we call on the Wolf Administration to immediately correct. Had the DCED included such a provision, the $2.1 million that went to DNC bonuses would have been required to be returned to the Commonwealth.

“As we pointed out in May, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) should also be looking into this matter, given the Host Committee’s tax exempt status and limits placed on tax exempt organizations regarding ‘cash awards.’ It is imperative that the issue be further examined.  As the Auditor General has passed all information regarding the DNC audit on to the IRS, we now await their findings.”   

CONTACTS:

Kate Flessner – Senator Scarnati (717) 787-7084
Jenn Kocher – Senator Corman (717) 787-1377
Matt Moyer – Senator Browne (717) 787-1349