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PA GOP Accused of Challenging the “Patriotism of Military Families” in Mailer

Commonwealth Court candidate Judge Ellen Ceisler’s Campaign Manager Daniel Ceisler accused the Republican Party of Pennsylvania of challenging the “patriotism of military families” in a recent mailer.  

The mailer, that depicts a person saluting with the Flag across the mailer.  The words “Vote for judges who share our values and stand for the flag” are next to the person, with “Vote Republican on Tuesday November 7th” below.  

Ceisler prefaces his issues with the mailer by saying that parties have the right to take “provocative stances to fire up their base” and has “never faulted the Republican Party for taking their best shots” at Democrats.  But he believes that the mailer crosses a line.  

“I am shocked that the Republican Party would co-opt the sacrifice of Americans who served in combat to protect our Constitutional Rights, just to score political points. I am even more disturbed that they would directly challenge the patriotism of military families,” Ceisler said in a comment.  

Ceisler, who served with the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan in 2016 and was awarded a Bronze Star, listed off the different familial connections between the Democratic judicial slate and the military, including Supreme Court candidate Judge Dwayne Woodruff’s Marine Officer son, and Superior Court candidate Judge Maria McLaughlin’s Army Veteran husband.  

“By using a Googled image of a soldier saluting a flag beneath the words “Vote For the Judges Who Stand For Our Flag,” the Republican Judicial Slate has deliberately chosen to demean the sacrifice of the Democratic Judges who have shared their children, parents, and spouses with us,” Ceisler said.  

Mailers of this nature are usually sent to voters who are likely to support the Republican candidates and are likely to be pushed to the polls by the message.  

As election day gets closer for the judicial elections, campaigns and parties will begin to push stories against the opponents that stay on message, but will generate earned media to engage voters and increase the profile of the races.  

Update: PA GOP Chairman Val DiGiorgio went on the offensive against the Democratic candidates, mainly Woodruff.  

“It’s now crystal clear that this isn’t your father’s Democrat Party. If there is an outrage here, it is the sad reality that Supreme Court candidate Woodruff and the Democrat machine will not stand against those who dishonor our flag and national anthem,” DiGiorgio said in a statement.

“No one questions the right of NFL players to exercise their free speech. We do, however, question their judgment, along with that of Supreme Court candidate Dwayne Woodruff. Our Republican judicial candidates stand to honor Americans of all races and ethnicities who put their lives on the lines everyday to protect our country.”

“We already know that Dwayne Woodruff lacks the courage to buck the far left wing of his party when it comes to the misguided and disrespectful act of highly paid athletes. We call on all Pennsylvanians to reject liberal judge candidates who will not defend our flag,” DiGiorgio concluded.

Disclosure: Ellen Ceisler was formerly married to Larry Ceisler, one of the owners of PoliticsPA.

Disclosure: The author formerly worked for the Pa. Republican Party.

20 Responses

  1. I am an Iraq Veteran and I think the mailer is very appropriate for today’s climate. We need judges who themselves would stand for our flag, when at the same time not legislating from the bench as so many liberal judges have done.

  2. I am retired army vet and a registered independant. I get so sick and tired of most of my Republican friends constantly talking about guns and wearing camo. On top of this preaching constantly about the flag and how they love it My grandfather, father, father-law and brother all served as well. If you like wearing all of the camo and firing all of the weapons, then I have a solution for all of you. Join one the branches of the services and they will let you wear camo all day everyday, 24/7 and fire any weapon you are trained to fire. Guess what. They will even pay you to do this. Show me how patriotic you by joining and both sides do use the flag to strengthen your position on being all Patriotic.

    1. Last massage DO NOT use the flag for political purposes. Last time I checked everyone I know seems to love this country Veteran or not

  3. Does the GOP realize Dwayne Woodruff was an All-Pro cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers? Their logic is so convoluted and they probably thought this would go under the radar to the faithful and not be called out. Even though PoliticsPA leans GOP, they brought this one out. Maybe PAGOP earns a down arrow for this one.

  4. What’s a disgrace is how the 1st Amendment is mis-interpreted in this entire NFL/anthem debate. It’s clear the majority of people do not understand what the 1st amendment actually says and means.

  5. This is enough to sway me from voting for that one Republican candidate for commonwealth court that I was thinking of doing.

  6. Pro athletes kneeling during the anthem? That’s going to be the central campaign issue?

    This is Exhibit A as to why judicial elections should be abolished. Get rid of the row office elections while you’re at it and adopt the federal model.

  7. How long are these phony Republicans going to try to wrap their asses in the flag? They crap on veterans EVERY DAY legislatively (today’s law that eliminates the right to class action law suits against banks was opposed by veterans groups yet it passed along party lines and Trump signed it into law is a perfect example). So Val, stick it where the sun doesn’t shine, your party is committing treason protecting Trump and you want to attack Judge Woodruff?

  8. There should be a call for the Democrat candidates to go on record….do they support players taking a knee during the national anthem or not?

    1. Well, as I’m a supporter of judges who support basic First Amendment rights, I would hope they would all say “Yes, non-violent protest harms no one.”

      1. First, he said “support players taking a knee,” not “recognize a right to take a knee.”

        In any event, what the players don’t have a right to do is to protest while wearing their employer’s uniforms and while literally at work. Very few people, if any, have such a right.

    2. I would certainly hope the Democrats AND Republicans would support protecting the First Amendment.

    3. What does taking a knee have to do with judges? Is it a crime to take a knee?this is what the GOP has been doing for years and it culminated with a president who dodged the draft but somehow is the leader of the patriotic party. This is so sad that this behavior has come to pa. My guess is the ceisler and woodruff kids could take out the GOP judicial slate pretty easily. Maybe that is how we should elect judges?

  9. Disgusting but this is how the GOP has effectively brainwashed their supporters and their base into braindead zombies.

    In GOP world, their goal is no dissidents allowed. Ultimately a dictatorship who must bow down on their knees to please their all powerful master.

    Go ahead conservatives. Do your name calling. It’s expected.

    Oh and this is not the PA GOP being accused of something. It is reporting the facts of what the GOP is doing with their flyers and what they have been doing since 2008. PA Politics bias is showing.

    1. LOL. You have brainwashed black people to believe demonstrable, provable lies (HANDS UP! DON’T SHOOT!) to serve as the basis of this controversy. You’re only squeaing because you pigs have gotten stuck.

  10. Vote for Judges who take away your rights.. Vote Republican. We do it best! Rap us in the flag, so we can lie cheat and steal. We do it best! Vote Republican. You fell for it in 16 please – fall for it in 17.

  11. Would like to see how Val responds to this one. And those judges on the mailer should be called to say whether they support it or repudiate it. They all want to be mini trumps and are afraid of their base.

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