“Swiftboat” Hit on Bill Peduto Totally Not Orchestrated By Ravenstahl Dead-enders

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If you like Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Mitt Romney and Mitch McConnell campaign videos, you’re gonna love this smarmy new ad from Jack Wagner’s shadow campaign, coming to you straight from Keegan Gibson’s iPhone:

This is one of those laundry list ads that I just don’t think are very effective. The narrator fires off a list of all this different stuff Bill Peduto allegedly did wrong, but doesn’t connect it back to any negative messages about Bill that voters are already familiar with.

What’s so sloppy about this ad is that they just throw all these random negative storylines on Bill out there. You have to prime the voters first, and connect these stories back to something voters already don’t like about Bill.

The Swiftboat folks went with a message that could tie all this unrelated oppo research together – that Bill’s politics are too parochial, I guess. But is that something voters actually think about Bill? Does that describe his actual record? No, it doesn’t. Bill’s got good attainable ideas for all the different neighborhoods. He cares about regional issues. Calling him a parochial politician just isn’t believable.

Here’s my prediction: the main thing Democratic voters will remember about this ad is that the “Swiftboat” people made it. The Jack Wagner shadow campaign hired a notorious Republican firm to do a nasty Republican-flavored ad hitting the guy that every progressive politician and advocacy group you like is supporting.  And one reason Democrats are going to remember that is because it feeds right into the negative message that the Peduto campaign has already developed about Wagner – that he’s too much aligned with the Republicans. Reading about the Swiftboat people’s ad in the news will reinforce Wagner’s negatives more than Peduto’s.

For reference I’ve pasted the Peduto campaign’s response after the break if you want to see their responses to the various claims.

Wagner’s Republican friends are lying about Bill Peduto to distract from his votes to raise his own pay and give himself a 50 percent pension boost. Peduto has always supported a living wage. This ad is made by the same Republicans who made the infamous “Swift Boat” ad for George W. Bush. Wagner is running away from his record with help from his Republican allies whose budget he supported.


This entry was posted in Miscellany.

3 Responses to “Swiftboat” Hit on Bill Peduto Totally Not Orchestrated By Ravenstahl Dead-enders

  1. Bram R says:

    This is stuff certain segments of the Ravenstahl brain trust have been saying about Peduto for years, gossiping with other politicos, scribbling as anonymous comments on my blog, and once in a very blue moon trotted it out at the Council table viciously and with venom — usually, just as Peduto is doing something really fantastic for the poor, like leading a third desperate and finally successful charge for prevailing wage jobs on subsidized developments.

    Does anybody else in Pittsburgh actually feel the way they do about Peduto? I don’t see it. They say his favorables are pretty high, right?

  2. Jon says:

    Yeah both Peduto and Wagner favorables were pretty high, around 65.

  3. Dan Sullivan says:

    I didn’t like the ad, but I have big problems with Peduto. I have a problem with him getting “blighted” status for a part of Shadyside so Giant Eagle could build a subsidized Market District and Condo complex, especially when those subsidies could go to genuinely blighted areas that have no supermarkets, often because Giant Eagle has been closing neighborhood stores in poor areas.

    I have a problem with the general strategy of subsidizing big-box chain stores that drive out local businesses. His subsidy of Home Depot was followed by the closing of every one of the 17 hardware stores within a 3-mile radius.

    I do credit Jack Wagner for following in the footsteps of Bill Coyne and shifting Pittsburgh’s property tax off of home owners and our most productive businesses, and increasing it on slumlords and idle land holders, and I give Wagner and Masloff credit for lowering wage taxes and reversing the outward migration of young working people.

    I do not have a serious problem with Peduto voting to end this reform, because the blame lies with the terrible land assessments from Sabre Systems, and with Onorato and Fitzgerald for perpetuating those bad assessments. I don’t even blame him for shrinking from the demand for honest assessments, since his own district was and is the most underassessed district in the city. However, I do blame him for jumping on the very regressive $52 tax on every employee in the city, and I fear that we will never get honest land assessments and intelligent taxation if he becomes mayor. Wagner has vowed to make the assessments honest, and has a track record of sound, progressive, green taxation.

    I worked with Wagner on these issues, as an unpaid advocate, and I found that he did his work quietly and professionally, letting others take credit that he deserved. Bill Coyne was the same way. I have worked with city council members all over Western Pennsylvania, and Coyne and Wagner were two of only three that exhibited such modest, focused professionalism.