inside sources print logo
Get up to date Delaware Valley news in your inbox

Kenyatta Attacks DeFoor, Ignores Pinsley in Auditor General Town Hall

Democratic candidates for auditor general, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, and Lehigh County Controller Mark Pinsley participated separately in a Zoom town hall sponsored by New Pennsylvania Project, a voting rights group.

Pinsley touted his qualifications to be the state auditor general and explained how he’s used his position as controller to discover problems and help people. He fired one salvo at Kenyatta, noting that he had refused to debate and “resorted to name calling,” referring to a video of Kenyatta telling a Philadelphia committeewoman that Pinsley “don’t like Black people.”

But Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia) didn’t bother to attack Pinsley. Instead, he pivoted to the general election and attacked Republican Auditor General Tim DeFoor.

Kenyatta roasted DeFoor, claiming he abolished the auditor’s bureau of education audits.

DeFoor said, “We have never stopped performing school audits. We have transformed and improved the way we do school audits. What we are doing is school performance audits based on making sure school administrators and school boards are accountable and transparent with taxpayer dollars. In fact, in 2023, we either completed or started 18 audits of school districts, which include both public and charter schools.”

Lehigh County Controller Mark Pinsley

DeFoor released a report explaining how school districts, including some in the Delaware Valley, moved funds around to avoid referendums where voters would decide whether they can raise taxes.

Kenyatta also complained that when Republicans were in charge of the House, they held committee hearings on the fairness of the 2020 election.

“Tim DeFoor, our current auditor general, came before our committee and I did not think it was the gotcha when I said to him, ‘Mr. Auditor General, you just won a statewide election. Please tell my colleagues and Pennsylvanians they should have trust in the election.’

“And he did the worst dodge that I’ve ever seen where he says, ‘Well, my election was fair, but I can’t comment on the other elections.’ Give me a fricken break. And they want to put that profile in courage in charge of saying whether or not Pennsylvanians should have trust in our future elections.

“We know why he didn’t tell the truth. Because he is afraid of one man, Donald Trump. And if Tim DeFoor is too afraid to say to his party’s leader, ‘Donald Trump, no sir, you were wrong. Here in Pennsylvania, we have free and fair elections’. If he does not have the courage to stand up to one man, he certainly does not have the courage to represent millions of Pennsylvanians. He doesn’t have the courage to take on big bureaucracy and get it to work better. He doesn’t have the courage to be our auditor general for another four years.”

Auditor General Timothy DeFoor

Asked to respond to Kenyatta’s remarks, DeFoor said, “This race is not about Donald Trump or Joe Biden. Nor is it a race about national politics. It is about the Pennsylvania Department of Auditor General and who is best to be auditor general. Something which I have said to both Republicans, Democrats and independents.”

As for the 2020 election, DeFoor said, “I have said numerous times to the media and to the press that there was no fraud altering the results of the 2020 election. Joe Biden was fairly elected president of the United States.”

“My record as auditor general speaks for itself,” said DeFoor. “Simply look at the work we’ve done and the over 3,500 audits the department has performed annually. There may be a desire to make this race about politics. I simply am not going to do that. As a career fraud investigator and auditor, my focus is on the Department of the Auditor General. The citizens of Pennsylvania deserve no less.”

Pinsley, who earned both an undergraduate degree and an MBA in finance, said he found $9 million in waste in the county’s healthcare system. He also audited the county jail’s phone system and found that the county was getting a 70-cent commission on every dollar for inmates’ phone calls.

“So last year, we made $750,000 off of the backs of prisoners. Actually, their families were the ones who were paying the bills,” Pinsley said. In another case, he audited a doctor about whom he had received complaints and found she was unnecessarily sending children into the foster care system.

“My goal is to use the position to help the people, not the powerful,” said Pinsley.

Kenyatta said he’s been involved in six state budgets, chairs the commerce committee, and serves on the banking, finance, and state government committees.

“I come into this with a deep understanding of how state government works and how it can work better,” said Kenyatta.

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or