HD-36: Readshaw Releases Attack Ad on Molchany


State Rep. Harry Readshaw (D-Allegheny) is now on the offensive as he attempts to retain his 36th district seat.

The incumbent Readshaw, who is challenged by fellow state Rep. Erin Molchany (D-Allegheny), released an ad that attacks Molchany, citing her support for “Corbett’s crushing new gas taxes.”

The ad says that the “gas tax,” which is a feature of Governor Tom Corbett’s transportation bill, would add as much as 30 cents to each gallon of gas in Pennsylvania, the benefits of which would be concentrated in Philadelphia.

“So as you watch prices go way up at your next fill up, say no can do Molchany, you’ve cost my family enough already,” the ad says.

But, Molchany’s campaign isn’t buying the ad’s claims.

“This claim again ignores the facts of the transportation law,” said Molchany’s campaign manager Jacob Redfern. “In reality, millions of dollars will be spent in Allegheny County, helping repair our roads, bridges, and improve our public transportation services.”

They also source a Post Gazette article that stated consumers likely won’t be able to tell how much of a gas cost increase actually was caused by the transportation bill.

Readshaw received similar criticism for his first ad, which stated that he “fought Governor Corbett’s massive gas tax that funds Philadelphia’s mass transit.” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote an article describing how Readshaw was “distorting” the transit law, making it seem that only the city of Philadelphia was going to reap the benefits from the added revenue.

So although he has already received flack for using the transportation bill in his campaign, Readshaw is doubling down on his efforts in his latest ad. And as Readshaw tries to tie Molchany to Governor Corbett, her team is focused on Readshaw’s conservative leanings.

“This ad is just another example of Republican-style scare tactics from Harry Readshaw,” Redford said. “Even PoliticsPA said that his opposition to the transportation bill ‘falls directly in line with the conservative sentiment of the Republican House’. Our neighborhoods support the democratic values Rep. Molchany stands for and won’t fall for these misleading attacks.”

But the Readshaw campaign stands by their claims.

“Our ad sticks to real issues– it points out that Molchany voted for what will be the highest gas tax in the country,” said Bob Witmer, Readshaw’s campaign spokesperson in response. “If she doesn’t believe that what she voted for was a thirty cent gas tax and she truly thinks that multi-billion dollar big oil companies will not pass on the new costs to consumers out of the goodness of their hearts, she is deluding herself and the people of the 36th district. In fact, we are already feeling the effects of Molchany’s vote at the gas pump, which added ten cents per gallon in January.”

“Our ad also points out that Philadelphia mass transit is receiving a disproportionate amount of funding, and it is true: $10 to Allegheny County’s $1. It is tragic that Harry’s constituents will be paying to fund Philadelphia transit that they may never use, and Harry stands by his vote against the drastic increase in the gas tax to pay for it. Harry’s constituents call on him to represent them, and he is happy to answer that call.”

The hotly contested race between Molchany and Readshaw is the result of redistricting that moved Molchany’s HD-22 to Lehigh County and changed the borders of HD-36 to include just a small percent of her former district.

UPDATE – Watch the ad here:

10 Responses

  1. He mentions Philadelphia mass transit but doesn’t mention that if the gas tax bill had not passed, this county would have seen bus service cut by more than one-third. The gas tax will also help fund road and bridge repair all across the state.

    Apparently since Readshaw is never in his district office on Brownsville Road he hasn’t noticed the bus stop nearby and how often people in his district use buses to commute to work.

    In fact I live in his district and find myself snowed in during the winter months and unable to use my car. The buses are invaluable for that purpose.

    I guess he didn’t notice how many bridges we have that are in need of repair either.

    His ad has made me furious because it was like something from Karl Rove and was also obviously appealing to people who are self-involved and not intellectually curious. It was an insult especially once I did my research on this guy. His ideology is more Republican than Democrat. His voting record and his attack ad style prove it.

  2. Readshaw, I hope your office is reading this. I want to thank you for sending that attack ad to my home which compelled me to do some research on the way you vote. You vote like a Republican on immigration, women’s issues, and obviously also on the gas tax that funds mass transit projects. Well pardon us democrats for wanting to pay our fair share, you putz and see mass transit improved in this state. Thank you for making me aware of what a lousy Democrat you are and how often you have voted like the people I can’t stand, i.e., Republicans.

  3. I live in Readshaw’s district. Didn’t appreciate his attack ad, which referred to the funding of “wasteful mass transit projects” as the “worst of all” – I’m for a gas tax particularly if the revenues are going toward fixing the roads. Know why? I’m a Democrat. What a putz this guy is. I also noticed his “district” office is always closed and that he co-sponsored an anti-immigration bill similar to Arizona’s xenophobic garbage; AND Planned Parenthood hates this guy. His attack ad referring to a gas tax as terrible compelled me to do this research on him. Now I realize he deserves to be sh**-canned.

  4. Rachel– really, I assume the job of finding dirt on Molchany was pretty difficult, seeing as she has only been in the legislature for a year and really didn’t do anything notable before that…records of absolutely no success are hard to attack, as there is nothing there.

  5. Really, this is the best Readshaw can come up with? One vote on one bill that may or may not raise gas prices a little but will fund much needed transportation improvements that improve our region and put people to work? If that’s all the dirt Readshaw’s got, this ad should serve as a ringing endorsement for Molchaney.

  6. Headline should read: (First term) Molchany accused of being part of “old politics” in Harrisburg by (Ninth term) Readshaw.

  7. This advertisement made me laugh out loud. The idea that Representative Molchany is even remotely similar to Tom Corbett on any issue or is part of the “old politics” of Harrisburg is absurd. How many more terms is Harry planning on serving anyway? He should have just stepped down and allowed one of the most progressive members of our entire delegation to continue serving our state.

  8. This is a really, really clear choice. Readshaw is basically a Republican. To call his claims misleading is an understatement. Hopefully people keep calling him out on this.

  9. It’s sort of pathetic that this is almost the only district where the gas tax is an issue.

Comments are closed.

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