PA Gov: Wolf Blasts Wagner in 2 New Ads
It feels like the November campaign is in session.
Both Guv candidates have new ads in a school setting while targeting their opponent on education funding.
The issue is center stage in the race between Tom Wolf and Scott Wagner. Both candidates have accused the other of wanting to severely cut funds for public education. Both campaigns vehemently deny these claims.
Wolf has supported increased state funding for public education; Wagner has argued for various spending cuts. Wolf supports a revision to the current funding formula which Democrats have long argued disadvantages low-income districts; Wagner has characterized the approach as a threat to redistribute existing funding from rural districts to urban ones.
Wolf’s ad entitled, “Book”, is a direct response to Wagner’s ad attacking Wolf’s education plan named “drastic”.
“Governor restored the education cuts, reduced standardizing testing, and increased skills and apprenticeship training,” the ad claims after criticizing Wagner’s plan.
“Governor Wolf has always been a strong advocate for public education, which is why he has fully restored the Harrisburg Republicans’ one billion dollar cut from education, the majority of which came from rural and small-town schools,” said Beth Melena, Gov. Wolf’s campaign communications director. “Governor Wolf will continue to fight to increase funding for all schools throughout Pennsylvania.”
The Wagner campaign volleyed back the claim that Gov. Wolf doesn’t want to cut education spending.
“Scott has voted for more in education funding increases than Tom Wolf has ever signed into law, and now the Governor wants to cut $1.2 billion from 70 percent of school districts in Pennsylvania,” said Andrew Romeo, Wagner campaign spokesman, referencing the fact that Wolf has opted against affirmatively signing GOP-led state budgets, while allowing them to pass without his signature.
Wagner’s newest education ad takes place in a school hallway where the GOP candidate states his case that his plan would be different from Wolf’s.
“We must fully fund education and we need to expand job training and vocational schools so students learn skills that will lead to good paying jobs,” Wagner states in this ad.
Wolf’s campaign characterized the ad as a “false attack (that) has been called a ‘well-documented falsehood,’ a ‘nonsensical scare tactic’, and an ‘absurd accusation, with no basis in fact’ by independent sources throughout the commonwealth.”
“Not only did Scott Wagner support the Harrisburg Republicans’ one billion dollar cut to education, he also advocated for laying off 10% of Pennsylvania teachers, called schools ‘overfunded,’ and said that he would refuse to invest more money into public education if he were elected Governor,” Melena said. “It’s laughable that Scott Wagner would think anyone would believe that he supports public education.”
The Wolf campaign also released an additional attack ad this week highlighting Wagner’s view on senior citizens. The ad claims Wagner has called them the “greediest generation ever”.
“He wants to change the law and tax senior retirement income for the first time in Pennsylvania history,” the ad states about Wagner.
“Scott Wagner wants to roll back Pennsylvania’s Medicaid expansion which would result in seniors not being able to afford their nursing home care,” said Melena. “Wagner was also the only senator in the Pennsylvania Senate not to vote to reduce seniors’ prescription drug costs. Scott Wagner would be dangerous for Pennsylvania’s seniors.”
The Wolf campaign boasted about his efforts to keep seniors in their homes, stabilize the lottery fund and boosting Medicare Advantage.
Wagner’s campaign rebutted both ads.
“Tom Wolf is lying about Scott regarding education and seniors in order to cover up his own disastrous record on those issues,” Romeo said. “What’s worse is that the Wolf-Fetterman ticket recently announced they are no longer committed to property tax reform, which will result in seniors across the commonwealth being removed from their homes against their will. Scott Wagner will put more money into the classroom and eliminate school property taxes. He’s the true champion of seniors and public education in this race.”