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Local Allegheny County Leaders Denounce Corbett’s False Ad

Local Allegheny County Leaders Denounce Corbett’s False Ad

Harrisburg, PA – Today, current and former elected officials and community leaders in Allegheny County held a press conference to denounce Tom Corbett’s ad that independent news sources have found to be misleading and to ask how well the Harrisburg Republican knows Allegheny County. Tom Corbett’s ad falsely ties Dan Onorato to the North Shore Connector project, while it was really one of Corbett’s top supporters, Jim Roddey, who began the project. By the time Dan Onorato was sworn into office as Allegheny County Executive in January 2004, he had only two choices: continue the North Shore Connector project that had been in motion for years or reject the federal funding and see that money – and the jobs it would bring – sent to another region of the country. It would have cost the taxpayers of Allegheny County far more to stop the project than to responsibly carry it out.

Today, local leaders and elected officials from both side of the aisle joined in denouncing Corbett’s ad.

“It shows how long Tom Corbett has been a Harrisburg insider that he is calling the North Side ‘nowhere,'” said Stanley Lowe with the Manchester Citizens Corporation. “Tom Corbett is out of touch if he thinks the area is not growing and full of economic development. Maybe he should visit and see the restaurants, hotels, stadiums and new amphitheater before he refers to my community as nowhere.”

“I served for years as the former Republican County Commissioner of Allegheny County and I remember when Jim Roddey, former county executive and now a Corbett friend and top political supporter, testified before Congress that expanding transportation services to the North Side of Pittsburgh was necessary for Pittsburgh to grow,” said former Republican County Commissione Bob Cranmer. “Roddey and former US Senator Rick Santorum praised the project and lobbied for federal funding from DC. So, I cannot understand how Corbett’s campaign can call this project ‘Onorato’s tunnel’, because Dan wasn’t in office when these decisions were made.”

“Dan didn’t create this issue, he inherited it from his predecessors,” said Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Council President. “Dan had only two choices — to stop the project, which would have cost Allegheny County taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in money owed to the federal government, or to continue it and make the best of it. It’s clear that Tom Corbett is a Harrisburg insider who is out of touch and doesn’t know the county he claims to call home.”

Local Newspapers Agree That Dan Onorato Had Few Options Available

“County Chief Executive Dan Onorato would prefer to extend the T light-rail system from Downtown to Oakland, but said he’s resigned to moving forward on the tunnel project he inherited. The federal government is preparing to pay $217 million toward the North Shore Connector project. Kill the tunnel, and the money goes away.” [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 8/16/2005]

“Records show $48.4 million has already been spent or authorized for various stages of planning, environmental clearance and engineering since 1999.” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 7/8/2006]

“The [federal] money would be lost if Port Authority switched directions to Oakland.” [Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 7/15/2006]

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