Anti-Meehan Ad to Hit the Air (With Video)

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

Call it the first television ad of the 2012 cycle in Pennsylvania.

An independent group called Accountability PA will be airing a 30 second ad criticizing Pat Meehan’s vote in favor of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget this spring, saying the Congressman broke a promise not to mess with Medicare.

Spokesman Bob Finkelstein said the ad would air on broadcast and cable in Philadelphia and Delaware County during an initial week-long campaign, often enough to “get our point across.” He did not name a specific cost of the ad buy.

The ad focuses on several instances during the 2010 campaign during which Meehan said he would not support efforts to privatize Medicare, and asks viewers to call his D.C. office.

“That’s the agenda I’m not voting for,” Meehan said when asked about the Ryan plan during an October debate.

“Pat Meehan ran on a platform of independence and those who voted for him held the belief that he would stick to his word,” said Finkelstein. “At the first opportunity he was given, he broke his central campaign promise in order to support a misguided plan that would make health care much more expensive for Seniors.”

Meehan Chief of Staff Brian Schubert argued that the Congressman’s vote was being mischaracterized.

“This web video is more of the same false, negative attacks that have been discredited by nonpartisan watchdogs and news organizations. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Politifact watchdog gave a similar ad by other Democratic operatives a ‘Pants-on-Fire’ rating,” said Schubert. “The truth is Congressman Meehan voted to save Medicare from bankruptcy, and he will continue to work with members of both parties to protect Medicare for today’s seniors and ensure it is still there for his kids when they retire.”

“This web ad, which is from a group led by a Democratic campaign staffer, makes the false claim that Pat voted to ‘end Medicare’ and to ‘abolish Medicare.’ Both are flat-out false.”


Incorporated in June as a non-profit, Accountability PA is currently seeking 501(c)4 status.

Finkelstein rejected the suggestion the organization is partisan. He said that securing a severance tax on Marcellus shale, rather than defeating Meehan in 2012, was the group’s top priority.

“Accountability isn’t a Democratic thing or a Republican thing. Elected officials like Pat Meehan need to know that they can’t say one thing in Pennsylvania, and do the opposite in Washington DC. He has a record now.”

However, Finkelstein and collaborator Andrew Blum are both former staffers for Bryan Lentz, who Meehan defeated in last year’s election. A former Bloomberg News reporter, Finkelstein managed day-to-day operations in the latter stages of the Lentz campaign. He was communications director for Democrat Brian Grady’s 2009 campaign for Philadelphia District Attorney. In 2007 he worked for Matt Ruben, a Democratic candidate for one of Philadelphia’s at-large Council seats.

Blum initially highlighted the October 2010 debate footage this spring as part of an organization he started called “The Meehan Report.” He recently directed the field program of now State Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks). He was Lentz’s deputy field director, and previously worked for Meehan’s predecessor Joe Sestak.

The group’s Issues page focuses entirely on the Meehan Medicare dispute.

Here’s the ad:

9 Responses

  1. Angel says:
    August 15, 2011 at 11:22 am
    If folks under 55 stop paying the Medicare payroll tax pretty soon there will not be funds to cover the over 55 seniors. So Ryan ‘s plan would destroy what all of us over 55 have now
    All of my friends like me depend on Medicare. I will donate to whoever runs against Meehan in 2012

    I can’t believe what I’m reading! Not only from you Angel but some of you others on this post. This attack ad has nothing to do with Meehan. It probably has to do with getting another dem in Meehan’s seat. NOBODY was being thrown off the Ryan plan. How many of you people read the plan and is informed of what the plan says? Not many of you by your posts. The libs are banking that you’re stupid and believe what you hear over what is truly there in writing. Hence the Finklestein Attack ad. Dems want you to think their way and be scared that you’re gonna lose your checks/medicare/medicaid. It is called the Government giveth, the Govt. taketh. And mix in a little fear mongering for added measure. The Dems use fear tactics all the time to get their way all the while picking your pocket by taking away your Social Security cola raises for the last two years and possible this year too. But you are hollering not to take my Social Security away. They already have partially And that’s in the form of the Colas. And I believe in the form of taking the money out of SS, Medicare and Medicaid to the tune of $50b to place into the Obamacare watering hole. So could it be that SS and Medicare/caid is already gone? And the republicans were trying to get it back? Let’s ask Finklestein since he brought up the subject of an attack ad. Obama says, “your social security checks in August may not go out etc……” And that was the President Obama because he was kicking sand out of the sand box because he couldn’t get his way. Now, ole Finklestein here is using Meehan as a punching bag for you to get rid of the repubs to put a Dem back in our district so he/she can finish this country off and transform America into something we won’t recognize. Hey Finky, who do you have in mind to run against Meehan? And Angel, before I gave another red-cented dime to a democratic party, I would find another republican, a more conservative republican to primary Meehan. Remember how Sestak and Specter betrayed PA and District 7 with their votes. Currently Casey is making the sames votes with Obama, too. Anyway, make the person you want to primary Meehan, is true conservative not a lib plant. You put another dem in again, say good bye to everything that this country stands for. Freedom, Strength and pride for what our country truly stands for. Don’t give in to the likes like Fiddlestein and his attack ads. Do Your homework and ask questions and be informed.

  2. If folks under 55 stop paying the Medicare payroll tax pretty soon there will not be funds to cover the over 55 seniors. So Ryan ‘s plan would destroy what all of us over 55 have now
    All of my friends like me depend on Medicare. I will donate to whoever runs against Meehan in 2012

  3. i am so sick of the dishonesty! People who are already Seniors will not be affected. The rest of us better get a grip on reality, or there won’t be a world much less civilized health care.

  4. @Lik2011

    I will not respond to your vitriolic personal attack on my partner or myself, but I will give you a few facts about this campaign:

    People are fed up with the lies that Congressman Meehan made about Medicare. His intentions were clear that he would not vote to privatize the program. At least that’s what he said in the months and weeks leading up to the election.

    But at the first chance he got, he broke his promise and voted the party line to curry favor with his party, not to actually keep the promise he made to seniors regarding Medicare.

    He broke his promise (lying to many seniors who voted for him specifically because they thought he would protect this program, not disassemble it) and hasn’t mentioned it since.

    When you ask him, he said he “saved” the program and that it won’t change for people 55 and older. This is a cop out.

    Everyone knows that Medicare is insolvent, but that doesn’t mean the only solution is to do away with it and give people vouchers (premium support, whatever you want to call it.) This is not “saving” the program, this is completely ending what we’ve come to call Medicare.

    It will be replaced with something (premium support for private plans) which the non-partisan CBO said would cost more and provide fewer benefits than currently exist under Medicare.

    As for the ad buy…take a look for yourself…Sunday on Inside Story 11:30 A.M…

  5. The group is run by two ex-Lentz staffers? Haha!

    The job market must have been unkind to Mr. Finklestien and Mr. Blum after the 2010 elections.

    “He did not name a specific cost to the ad buy” Yeah, go figure! Anyone want to bet that the only time this “ad” airs is during the 2am-3am hour of the County Music Television Channel?

    Give me a break. These two washed-up and apparently unemployable Dem hacks are just trying to polish up their resumes in the desperate hope of getting jobs with whatever no-name Democratic candidate runs against Meehan next year.

  6. well, one thing is NOT in dispute.Meehan lied when he promised to protect medicare-Ryan’s plan does not save it, it turns it into a voucherized,corporatized private program.
    If Meehan cared about the deficit,debt and his constituents, he would be pushing Medicare for All and negotiated prices for drugs to both save money and improve care .

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