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“Hack Lawyer” – Shapiro Ad Slams Heidelbaugh

Josh Shapiro didn’t mince words. The incumbent Attorney General launched his first television ad this week, describing his challenger as “the insurance company’s candidate,” and a “hack lawyer.”

It was a response to Republican hopeful Heather Heidelbaugh, whose first ad included a thinly veiled jab at Shapiro for his rumored interest in running for governor in 2022, 

First reported by Philly Clout, the 30 second spot begins fending off the charges made by Heidelbaugh’s ad, then moves on to touting his record in the office. 

“Negative attack ads that distort the record of Josh Shapiro,” a voiceover says to begin the ad. “The ads are paid for by people backing the insurance company’s candidate: hack lawyer, Heather Heidelbaugh.” 

It pivots to positive. 

“But Attorney General Josh Shapiro has fought for us,” a narrator says. “Taking on opioid manufacturers that poisoned our communities, fighting big insurance companies to protect our healthcare, and holding Catholic Church officials accountable for covering up sexual abuse.”

Heidelbaugh’s campaign punched back by touting her decades long legal career and described Shapiro as a “career political with no real qualifications” for the statewide office. 

“Josh Shapiro’s callous attempt to undermine the successful, 35 year legal career of Heather Heidelbaugh with false attacks does nothing but prove his fear of defeat this November,” said Heidelbaugh Campaign Manager, Ashleigh Pisarcik. “It didn’t take long for Mr. Shapiro to resort to name calling—a tactic not surprising from a career politician with no real qualifications to hold the office of Attorney General.”

Philly Clout reports that “Heidelbaugh has spent almost $95,000 of the $162,000 in air time her campaign has booked, according to Advertising Analytics. Shapiro has spent almost $130,000 of the $309,000 he has booked.”

The Shapiro campaign said that this current ad is airing in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Harrisburg, Johnstown and Erie.

While this is just the first TV attack ads in the race, Heidelbaugh’s campaign delivered shots through digital ads over the past few months. 

In May, the Heidelbaugh campaign released a 60 second digital ad criticizing Shapiro over his response to COVID-19 in the state. Heidelbaugh’s campaign also released a digital ad in July that attempted to link Shapiro to Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and included images of Philadelphia police officers killed in the line of duty. FOP Lodge 5 President John McNesby blasted the ad for the use of those images of the fallen officers. That ad is no longer on the Heidelbaugh campaign’s Youtube channel.

Philly Clout also reports that the Commonwealth Leaders Fund is on television jabbing at Shapiro in a 30 second spot

Shapiro bested Republican John Rafferty by about 2.5 points for the open AG seat in 2016.

The Cook Political Report rates the race as Likely Democratic.

122 Responses

  1. You hear a lot today about Covid-19 and nursing homes. The PA Health Dept and AG Shapiro were not interested when my sister died in 2012 due to a severe brain injury that was caused by an RN at a Pittsburgh nursing home. I continued trying to get these government agencies and politicians to do their jobs and when Shapiro ran on bringing back integrity and ethics to that office, I contacted him. The response was that they were not interested because emergencies are treated differently and I responded that no call was made to 911 nor was the doctor’s order followed. Then they said that a crime would be hard to prove. No…the ACA has an Elder Justice Act and PA has Title 18, Sec 2713 relating to caregiver duties for a care-dependent person. What that nurse did was a crime but no one was interested. When I did call the PA AG’s office at one point, I was told that a lot of the attorneys were busy working on the clergy abuse cases so my sister died because of a nursing home RN refusing to give the care she needed and caused respiratory arrest and life support care for 3 months until her death. My sister was the victim of nursing home abuse and neglect and more but the AG (two of them over time) were only interested in their own agendas and my sister’s life didn’t matter. They now act as though nursing home abuse and neglect are important because of this virus and they want to be in the limelight. The laws only apply when these politicians and top govt officials can be in the media.

  2. I’m a conservative who supports strong enforcement of our borders, but I am appalled at the actions of Trump campaign officials and Trump associates like Steve Bannon. Stealing money from people who wanted to support conservative values.
    Just today, in a newly-discovered video clip from a 2019 We Build the Wall telethon, Steve Bannon jokingly brags about being on a “million dollar yacht” with Brian Kolfage, who Bannon quips paid for the yacht with “all that money” from donors.

    Both men were arrested yesterday – Bannon was actually on a yacht — and charged with fraud and money laundering.

    1. Just awful what the Trump people have done hard working conservatives with good values.

  3. In the year 2018, AG Shapiro prosecuted then Bedford County DA Bill Higgins for forcing female criminal defendants to engage in a variety of sexual acts with him under threat of long prison sentences if they refused. He also provided drug defendants information as to Pennsylvania State Police confidential informants, also in return for sexual acts.

    When Higgins realized he was the subject of a Grand Jury investigation, he was recorded on multiple occasions trying to persuade/threaten grand jury witnesses into committing perjury so he could avoid prosecution.

    Even though AG Shapiro had an iron clad case against Higgins for multiple felony counts, including rape and sexual assault, he cut a deal with Higgins attorney even before charges were filed, only charging Higgins with misdemeanor offenses, not asking for Higgins to post bail, and also agreeing to no jail time.

    If Attorney Heidelbaugh were AG when the years of Higgins criminal activity came to light, would she have agreed to a slap on the wrist for years of felony criminal activity as well as undermining the integrity of the criminal justice system and the legal system?

    Did Attorney Shapiro cut Higgins such a sweetheart deal because of the attorney’s old boy group, or because Shapiro’s mother and Higgins mother grew up together in Montgomery County PA?

    I would hope Attorney Heidelbaugh would have asked for justice for all of the victims of Higgins crimes, namely the victims of his sexual assault as well as the county as a whole, rather than make it look like those in power can do whatever they wish and if they get caught, they get a much different version of justice applied to them than the general public.

    Heather Heidelbaugh gets my vote for Attorney General as Pennsylvania needs someone who applies the law equally across the Commonwealth without regard for ones social status or position.

  4. First of all I’m a democrat. Secondly, I have had many questions about Shapiro since he has seemed much more interested in headlines than in justice. I saw both ads and I couldn’t figure out Shapiro’s claim since the woman’s ad wasn’t an attack ad at all. That’s par for the course for Shapiro. Up here in Luzerne County he screwed up the prosecution of 16 drug dealers who had to be let go. That’s a fact.
    Shapiro is the worst kind of political opportunist.

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