This week, though, was characterized by the beginning of another campaign tradition, the charges of guilt by association.
When it comes to guilt by association, there is no more tried and tested tradition than invoking the President of the United States. Since nearly every midterm election in American history has been, at least in some respect, a repudiation of the party in charge of the White House, there is no more effective associative charge the Corbett camp can make than tying Wolf to President Obama.
That task was made a bit easier as the Commander-in-Chief is set to visit the Keystone State early next week. The Presidential appearance provided the perfect pretext for the Corbett-Cawley campaign to again hit Wolf on Pres. Obama’s new EPA rules concerning carbon emissions.
“If President Obama is coming to Pennsylvania to address the economy, we hope his discussion will include a reversal of his massive, recently announced new energy taxes that would jeopardize more than 62,000 jobs, and a way of life for many in our Commonwealth,” stated campaign manager Mike Barley. “As the country’s fourth-leading coal producer with unemployment the lowest it has been since 2008, it is alarming that both President Obama and Secretary Tom Wolf would support overreaching tax-and-spend policies that would send Pennsylvanians back to the unemployment line.”
“We will be looking to see if Secretary Tom Wolf will be standing with the President when he visits Pittsburgh next week,” Barley continued. “After all, Tom Wolf supports President Obama’s policies, like cap-and-trade and Obamacare, that are killing jobs and destroying our economy.”
The Governor’s campaign also hit Wolf for supposedly “flip-flopping” on joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, an effort by states in the Northeast to institute their own cap-and-trade system. Wolf has stated in the past he supports joining the RGGI. Yet in a speech to the Pennsylvania Environmental Council Wolf said the state would only join RGGI “under the right circumstances.”
“It certainly didn’t take millionaire Secretary Tom Wolf long to begin flip-flopping his positions for his general election campaign,” Barley said. “Just a few short months ago, Secretary Wolf was shouting from the mountain tops his desire to join the coal-killing liberal Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and now suddenly he is emphasizing new conditional support for the plan. This is just further proof that the people of Pennsylvania don’t know much about liberal millionaire Secretary Tom Wolf outside of his razor-thin campaign platform as told by his slick television commercials.”
Meanwhile, the Democrats launched their own attacks against Gov. Corbett. Interestingly, though, the PA Democratic Party took the lead on these missions instead of the Wolf campaign. Usually the incumbent allows their party to throw all the hard punches while the challenger takes more of the risk in directly attacking. The inverse has taken place so far in this race.
The Democrats first sought to highlight the $10,000 contribution Corbett received from the owner of Minuteman, a fracking waste hauling company that was recently indicted on 64 charges by the Attorney General.
“Today, we’re calling on Tom Corbett to return the dirty money. Will he do the right thing or keep money that was given to him by an alleged criminal and crony in the big oil and gas industry?,” asked Beth Melena, Press Secretary and Digital Director of the PA Democratic Party.
Later Melena portrayed this refusal, along with the nearly $1 million the RGA illegally yet mistakenly gave to the Corbett campaign as evidence that the Governor thinks he’s “above the law”.
“Corbett tries to convince Pennsylvania that he’s cleaned up Harrisburg,” she said. “But his repeated pattern of ethics failures and of accepting illegal and tainted money proves that he thinks he’s above the law. Corbett’s willing to accept money from any source in an attempt to hide his disastrous record.”
Finally, the Democrats hit Corbett for running from his constituents, citing a report from NBC10 that a “decoy location” was disseminated to the press to distract protesters from a Corbett-Christie fundraiser in Philly. They also noted that the campaign had apparently canceled a Market Square rally in another attempt to dodge protesters.
“Tom Corbett is so out of touch with Pennsylvanians that he has to schedule decoy fundraisers and cancel events at the last minute to hide from his destructive record,” Melena stated.