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Montco Republicans Debut TV Ad

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor

“It’s Brown-Castor… or politics as usual.”

One of the Pennsylvania’s premiere 2011 races is starting to heat up. Bruce Castor and Jenny Brown, Republican candidates for Montgomery County Commissioner, are prepared to launch the first television ad of the election.

The 30 second spot is split message. The first half consists of criticism of Democratic candidates State Rep. Josh Shapiro and Whitemarsh Township Supervisor Leslie Richards.

“Shapiro: higher income taxes, sales taxes, and more debt,” the announcer reads. “Richards: weaker ethics laws and triple-digit debt increases.”

The second half is a shot of incumbent Commissioner Castor and Lower Merion Commissioner  Brown finishing each others’ sentences about cutting county spending and holding the line on taxes.

It’s the work of veteran GOP media consultant Chris Mottola, who has worked with Castor for years.

As PA Water Cooler notes, it’s somewhat surprising that Castor and Brown will go on the air first, given the campaign meme that the Republican ticket has been significantly outraised by their Democratic opponents. The ad will begin to air either over the weekend or Monday. Per campaign norms, a spokesman declined to disclose details of the buy.

The Shapiro-Richards campaign harshly dismissed the ad as amateur.

“It’s a great ad for a high school mock election,” blasted campaign spokesman Frank Custer.  “It includes no proof points or footnotes because they can’t back up their claims.  For instance, the personal income tax hike that Josh supposedly rammed through took place before he got to the legislature.  Leslie actually put a stronger ethics bill in place and increased the township’s fiscal standing while saving 400 acres of open space and completing millions of dollars of storm water improvements all while not raising property taxes.”

Custer also declined to disclose details of any forthcoming Shapiro-Richards ad buys.

The campaign is likely to become increasingly heated over the coming weeks, as Castor and Shapiro compete to boost their ticket-mates. According to recent reports, Brown and Richards are believed to be competing with each other for the third spot on the board.

Here’s the full Castor-Brown press release:

First TV Ad of Campaign Ready for Broadcast

BLUE BELL – The Brown-Castor campaign’s first television advertisement is out of production and headed for the airwaves. The 30-second ad contrasts the tax-and-spend record of our opponents with the Brown-Castor record of having never raised taxes.

(The script of the ad and the fact-check citations are below. The YouTube link to the ad is: ; It was paid for by Brown-Castor ’11.)

Announcer: Who’s making tough times tougher? Politicians Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards.

Shapiro – higher income taxes, sales taxes, and more debt. (1)

Richards – weaker ethics laws and triple-digit debt increases. (2)

Are you kidding?

Bruce: I’m Bruce Castor.

Jenny: I’m Jenny Brown.

Bruce: We’ll hold the line on taxes and cut wasteful spending …

Jenny: … to make Montgomery County work for taxpayers.

Bruce: We’re the only candidates …

Jenny: … who’ve never raised taxes.

Announcer: It’s Brown and Castor … or politics as usual.

(Fact-check citations)

(1) Josh Shapiro supported increasing state debt by $600 million – HB 2289, 7.03.10. He supported raising taxes by more than $1 billion, including income and sales taxes – HB 1531, 10.02.09 and HB 1416, 10.07.09; supported a 21-percent increase in state spending – PA State Budget votes FY 2004-05 through FY 2010-11, HB 815, 7.06.05, HB 2499, 7.01.06, HB 1286, 7.16.07, SB 1389, 7.04.08, BH 1416, 10.07.09, HB 2279, 6.30.10.

(2) Leslie Richards voted to weaken ethics laws – Whitemarsh Township Supervisors Meeting Minutes, 1.07.08, voting to amend the Whitemarsh Code of Ethics. She supported raising the debt from $1.8 million to nearly $15 million, an increase of 730 percent – Whitemarsh Township Financial Statements, 2007 and 2009.


7 Responses

  1. Five days of Brown Castor TV so far.. None from the Dems. A card came in the mail just for Shapiro today. I don’t undersrand what that is. Have the Dems given u pon Leslie Richards, or are they just awaiting for their radio blitz? Or is Shapiro afraid he might come in fourth and is spending his wad only on himself? Can anyone enlighten us on what their strategy might be? The Brown Castor campaign is text book. The Shapiro Richards campaign is, well, like Monarch Notes with a few pages missing and the analysis ripped out. And no pictures for reasons set forth above. There must be a masterstroke planned with a huge, expensive media blitz coming, right?

  2. In response to Lenny, you are 100% correct! Jenny does well on TV. Leslie is better suited for radio.
    Same goes the men. Castor has that “all-american” look, whereas Shaprio comes off as the little geek no one likes.

  3. I have a couple questions for Shapiro/Richards campaign spokesman Frank Custer: aren’t all the citations right there in the press release above? That’s number one. Number two: is it a good tactic to say there are no citations when there are? It sort of tanks your believability and that of your candidates. I saw a video at the Reporter website. Josh comes off grumpy and the other three friendly. Is that the tactic? Who is in charge of your message?

  4. Meaning the Democratic candidates are too ugly to put on tv? That’s not very nice even if it is true.

  5. And I’ll just say what everyone’s thinking: Jenny Brown is a FOX. I know people say Castor is a good looking guy, I don’t really see that, but Jenny is HOT. Seriously, dudes. How are the Dems going to counter that? Radio, I guess.

  6. I’m having trouble with Shapiro/Richards saying there is no proof of the Republican claims and the string of citations/footnotes at the end of this story. What am I missing? That looks like proof to me.

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