New Wagner Ad Echoes Ravenstahl Attacks (With Video)
Jack Wagner doesn’t pull punches in his latest television ad. It slams City Councilman Bill Peduto on several fronts, using some attacks identical to those in an ad aired by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
“Bill Peduto’s Pittsburgh? Divided. Peduto put wealthy neighborhoods first, opposing redevelopment in Homewood and the Hill District,” says a narrator over footage from Peduto’s first television commercial.
“Bill Peduto’s Pittsbugh? Divided. Dysfunctional. Not what we want to be.”
It’s the first all-negative ad from Wagner’s campaign, and it began airing this week just as Peduto switch this his first all-positive ad in weeks.
Several of the charges of familiar: they use the same citations as an attack ad from a PAC chaired by longtime Peduto rival Ravenstahl.
Peduto’s campaign has said he opposed the projects referenced in both ads because of opposition from those communities.
The ad also reiterates an earlier charge by Wagner that Peduto has awful relationships with his colleagues on Council.
A new hit is this: “He proposed a 6% property tax increase.”
Update: Peduto’s campaign blasted Wagner for using a negative ad after criticizing Peduto for doing the same.
“With the most recent polls showing Jack Wagner falling behind Bill Peduto in the race for mayor, Wagner, despite saying he is opposed to negative campaign ads, has joined his Republican-allies in an assault on Councilman Peduto’s character,” said Peduto’s campaign in a statement.
Finally, Wagner’s campaign took aim at Peduto’s recent ads, challenging the Councilman’s claim that he took a pay cut to help pay for police officers.
“Payroll records indicate Mr. Peduto’s salary has increased 15% or $8,436 since 2004,” Wagner’s campaign charged. “These records indicate that the Councilman took a only slight reduction in pay for two years, a total of about $2,000. This is a small fraction of what even one Pittsburgh police officer makes.”
Update: Peduto spokeswoman Sonya Toler repsonded thusly to the pay charge:
Peduto voted for a bill that authorized the establishment of a program in which city employees could voluntarily cause a 2% percent reduction in their salaries for the pay periods for the remainder of 2003. [9/2/03, R 2003-2224, Passed 7-1] The resolution stipulated that funds “derived from the voluntary contribution shall only be used for regular salaries for employees that are threatened to be laid-off due to budgetary reasons.”
State Rep. Jake Wheatley and activist AJ Richardson are also running for the Democratic nomination for mayor.