Debate continues over McGinty college flap

Katie Mc­Ginty, the Demo­crat­ic nom­in­ee for U.S. Sen­ate, is fa­cing cri­ti­cism for claim­ing on mul­tiple oc­ca­sions that she was the first per­son in her fam­ily to go to col­lege.

The in­ter­net me­dia com­pany BuzzFeed poin­ted to three past state­ments by her on the sub­ject.

In a Janu­ary As­so­ci­ated Press story, she was quoted as say­ing, “As the ninth of 10 kids and the first in my fam­ily to go to col­lege, I’ve been priv­ileged to live the Amer­ic­an dream.”

In a Feb. 25 Face­book post, she wrote, “I was the first in my fam­ily to go to col­lege, and I did so with the help of a schol­ar­ship.”

In an April 23 speech at an NAACP can­did­ates for­um, she said, “Even though I was num­ber nine, I was the very first one to go to col­lege in my fam­ily.”

BuzzFeed cited com­mence­ment re­cords that show her broth­er, John Mc­Ginty, gradu­ated from La Salle in 1973. John P. Mc­Ginty’s Linked­In ac­count lis­ted him as hav­ing at­ten­ded La Salle from 1970–73, after at­tend­ing Com­munity Col­lege of Phil­adelphia from 1968–70. His Face­book page also lists him as a mem­ber of the La Salle class of ’73 and as a mem­ber of the Temple Uni­versity class of 1978, where he got a mas­ter’s in edu­ca­tion.

Katie Mc­Ginty, a Rhawn­hurst nat­ive who at­ten­ded Re­sur­rec­tion of Our Lord and St. Hubert, entered St. Joseph’s Uni­versity in 1981.

Poli­ti­Fact Pennsylvania has rated her claim of be­ing the first mem­ber of her fam­ily to go to col­lege as “Pants on Fire.”

“Clearly Katie Mc­Ginty is will­ing to com­prom­ise any­thing – — in­clud­ing her fam­ily and her in­teg­rity – — if it makes for a good soundbite,” said Amelia Chasse, Amer­ica Rising polit­ic­al ac­tion com­mit­tee press sec­ret­ary.

The McGinty campaign issued the following statement from John McGinty:

“The way that Katie and our family have always talked about our experience is she was the first of the 10 McGinty kids to attend and graduate from a four-year college, straight out of high school. We were all really proud of that, just as we were proud that I earned my degree by completing a two-year program and then enrolling in La Salle. And we’re prouder still that Katie wants to actually do something about college costs and debt for families like ours — unlike our current senator, who voted to cut Pell grants and let interest on student debt double.”

Still, the state Republican Party continues to fault her.

“If she’s this com­fort­able ly­ing to Pennsylvani­ans as a can­did­ate, how could we trust her in elec­ted of­fice?” asked Pennsylvania GOP com­mu­nic­a­tions dir­ect­or Megan Sweeney.

Mc­Ginty is chal­len­ging Re­pub­lic­an Sen. Pat Toomey, whose cam­paign noted that Mc­Ginty also made her claim of be­ing the first in her fam­ily to go to col­lege to NBC 10 @ Is­sue and in in­ter­view with PA­Mat­ters and the Off Road Polit­ics Pod­cast of the Pitt­s­burgh Tribune-Re­view.

“If Katie Mc­Ginty can’t even tell the truth about her own life story, then how can Pennsylvania voters trust her on any­thing?” said Toomey spokes­man Ted Kwong. ••