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PA-Sen: Fetterman First to Hit the Air (VIDEO)

After a very impressive fundraising haul, John Fetterman is putting his money to good use.

Fetterman aired his first TV commercial on CNN just before the Democratic Party’s presidential primary began Tuesday night.

The 60-second spot centers on Fetterman’s “hands-on experience confronting profound economic inequality” over his decade as Mayor of Braddock.

“We’ve taken on a degree of challenges here unmatched in any community in Pennsylvania, bringing back basic amenities that most people in this country take for granted,” Fetterman says in the ad.

Braddock is a “road map” for building a stronger state, Fetterman says.

“If there’s a lesson to be taken from Braddock, it’s that no community deserves to be abandoned, no community deserves to be left behind,” Fetterman says.

The unconventional Democrat’s campaign for U.S. Senate pulled in nearly $170K during the third quarter of 2015, despite being a candidate for just two and a half weeks of the quarter.

Fetterman will face off against former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, and the Democratic Party’s “preferred candidate” for the nomination in the spring, Katie McGinty.

36 Responses

  1. @Ben – As a US Senator, he individually cannot do more from Braddock than he can as mayor. Sure, you could say in the abstract that he will be pushing an agenda in DC that could provide support, but as a local executive you can spearhead programs on the ground, like he has been doing. The sellout was partially hyperbole, but not without merit. It his his personality and his non-profit that now provide the additional resources to Braddock. As a Senator he won’t have the same time to commit to helping and fundraising there, and without his driving force in the community it could begin to slide back into desolation.

    @ Billy – Did you think Chief of Staff was the last job McGinty would ever pursue? If you had asked 1 year ago how long Fetterman would be Mayor of Braddock, many would have said forever. It’s the job he wanted to do and it was his life. McGinty may have had a short tenure in Harrisburg, but including the campaign, she worked for Wolf for 1 year. Chief of Staff is a position that turns over faster than most gigs in government. Her two predecessors in the position under Corbett each barely lasted a year. You make a false comparison.

  2. Wow Liberal Larry, you’re going to bust Fetterman’s chops for seeking higher office after 13 years in Braddock, yet you give McGinty a pass after bailing on Chief of Staff after 6 months on the job in the middle of the budget crisis? No double standard there.

  3. @Liberal Larry, Fetterman has made it clear that there is much to still do in Braddock and that he wants a larger platform to be able to accomplish more. Fetterman has been there for 13 years according to articles I’ve read. Implying that he’s some kind of sell out for seeking a bigger platform is absurd.

  4. David, rumor has it that Sestak actually under reports on these filings so his opponents will underestimate him. While that is one of the worst ideas he could have, it makes sense for someone that walks 500 miles without making sure first that people actually cared.

    Chris Hedges, thank you for making that point. The mayor’s work in Braddock has been good, but it isn’t even close to finished. And if all the improvements are thanks to the mayor (and his non-profit he runs that the city legislature cannot access), what happens if/when he leaves? Does the money dry up? Do the start-ups choose a new millennial oasis? If his love for Braddock is what makes him appealing, then his abandonment for national office should brand him a sellout and a traitor.

  5. Montco PA Dem

    It’s not likely an impressive number. He’s got to have twice Fetterman to look viable.

    Last quarter was big, but I wonder if Sestak front-loaded expected summer contribs to put up a bigger number to “look good”.

    He’s got no union endorsements :-/ which is going to kill long team fundraising and GOTV.

  6. So DD, if there was anything to crow about in Sestak’s 3Q financial report, don’t you think he’d be out in front crowing already if it’s in the mail? Just makes me surer that this may be a disastrous result for his campaign. Guess we’ll find out before too long.

  7. Lets not kid ourselves into thinking that Braddock is a rejuvenated paradise. It still hosts a disgusting relic of the past EJT steel plant, and residential blight for miles. Its anecdotal media bliss has come by the journey of the Brew Gentleman, Superior Motors (opening TBD), and a soft mix of corporate health service and insurance pop ups (to prey upon existing health starved Braddock residents).

    Braddock died by capitalism’s violent strain.. production at low cost. I find it perplexing that a mayor with a populist flavor, cannot take himself to raise the critique of the economic system that maimed Braddock.

    A ton of great work has been done, and its been in large part due to mayor Fetterman. He earned a ton of respect, however it would be optimistic to project equivalent partial completion efforts to the senate.

    Is he a modern Eugene Debbs? or is he a 2008 Barack Obama?

  8. FYI-

    So far, Sestak has never been “late” with an FEC report (and I would know). He snail-mails it in so it’s postmarked a day or so before it’s due. So, it went out probably yesterday or Tuesday. When the FEC gets it, it will get scanned in and posted online (including the postmarked envelope).

    Due to the extra load with Presidential campaign reports, it will probably take a bit longer that usual to appear online. My GUESS would be around the 25th before we can see it.

  9. Observer #2-

    You are correct. My regular day-job is completely outside of politics. My side-business of providing voter data does earn me money from campaigns, but it’s modest amounts spread over many different candidates.
    Currently, none of the three candidates are clients of mine.

    Obviously, Sestak will never be a client, and I don’t sell to non-PA residents. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sestak already paid $50,000 for the VAN/Voterbuilder system from the party in April.

    McGinty is the “establishment” candidate with tons of money and party support. She will obviously go with VAN.

    I don’t know what Fetterman’s plans are for data, but I’d happily take him on as a client. My system is oriented for underdog candidates and grassroots politics. I charge monthly (not a big $50,000 hit win/lose the primary), which is good for candidates starting out and facing a primary. Also, I offer my clients the option of dozens/hundreds of sub-accounts for their various regional operations and campaign staff. VAN doesn’t do that.

    This is good for me too, as it exposes more grassroots activists to my system, who may wind up choosing my services for future campaigns.

    Right now, my focus is on seeing that Sestak loses the primary and goes back to Virginia. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. FYI, I think you’re wrong about how far left Fetterman is. It’s true that Sanders supporters will be likely Fetterman supporters, but I think Fetterman is more a blue dog with a strong personal interest in social justice, but he’s far from being a socialist. I read something where is said he was hoping Biden would jump in.

    Everyone knows Sestak can’t beat Toomey and I don’t think McGinty can either. There is nothing compelling about her.

    I thought this was a good article that kind of won me over and shows Fetterman is the real deal:

    “[Jeremey] Bird became aware of Fetterman when the mayor was an early Obama endorser in the hard-fought 2008 Pennsylvania primary against Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    At the time Fetterman endorsed him, Obama was under fire for comments at a West Coast fund-raiser deriding small-town Pennsylvanians as “bitter” people who “cling to guns or religion” out of fear.

    “We were not on our biggest roll; he showed courage,” Bird said.”

    That’s a guy people can and will get behind. McGinty… not so much.

  11. I would say mcginty is the loser of this pool.she just ran for governor and was all over the airwaves.

  12. It’s going to be a busy news day… Toomey just released his Q3 numbers…

    Q3 Fundraising for US Senate:
    TOOMEY – $1.95 million (full quarter)
    McGINTY – $1 million (in just under 2 months)
    FETTERMAN – $170,000 (in just 17 days)
    SESTAK – ???????? (full quarters)

    PPP releases new general election and primary polls:

    Dem. Primary:
    UNDECIDED: 35%
    SESTAK: 29%
    McGINTY: 22%
    FETTERMAN: 14%

    Sestak is the biggest loser in this poll, bc most people in the poll said they know Sestak and he still only gets 29% of the vote. A lot of people still say they don’t know enough about McGinty or Fetterman which makes sense considering the campaign season hasn’t really kicked off yet. Sestak seems to have peaked leaving a lot of room for McGinty and Fetterman to overtake him. They’ll also have a lot more $$$$$ to get their message out in the primary than Sestak.

    Regardless it’s going to be very exciting to watch!

  13. To FYI:

    You have to be working for McG. No one posts as often and with so many words as you. David posts a lot, but I am pretty sure he is not on any politician’s payroll and is simply an interested citizen. Your boss cannot beat Toomey, that’s a problem for Dems.

  14. @DD

    If you think Bernie and Fetterman can win in the general than you’re drinking the kool-aid.

    As Dems we have to unite around candidates that can actually WIN elections. I’m proud to support Hillary Clinton and I agree with her, “I’m a progressive, but I also like to get things done.”

    While I agree with a lot of what the Bernie and Fetterman wing of the party say, we can’t nominate them. They’re the Liberal version of the GOP fringe like Ron Paul and the tea party. As Democrats we can NEVER go down that road.

    I’m genuinely surprised that you don’t see that.

    As Democrats we have a real opportunity to secure the WH for another 8 years, which translates to appointing Supreme Court nominees who would be on the court for a generation.

    As Democrats we have a real opportunity to take back the US Senate and women are leading the path to victory:
    Maggie Hassan in NH
    Katie McGinty in PA
    Donna Edwards in MD
    Tammy Duckworth in IL
    Kamala Harris in CA
    Ann Kirkpatrick in AZ
    Catherine Cortez Masto in NV
    Deborah Ross in NC
    Russ Feingold in WI
    Ted Strictland in OH

    At the end of the day, as Democrats we believe in smart and good governance. We believe that government can do good. That’s in stark contrast to Republicans who simply protest instead of govern. Republicans don’t know how to govern bc they’re elected as protest candidates.

    The DNC will be in Philadelphia next summer to chart our future. We must continue to build on a message of good governance for everyone. To that end, when candidates get up and make their speeches at the Wells Fargo Center, what sets us apart from the GOP, is our candidates don’t just give fiery protest speeches that divide, they lead.

    As much as I like Bernie and Fetterman, I don’t want them to be on the national stage at the DNC representing us on the ballot.

    I’m a Democrat, bc we’re not Republicans. We don’t nominate fringe candidates just bc we’re frustrated. We nominate leaders who can bring people together and can right the ship. Yes, capitalism has let a lot of people on the fringes of society, but this has happened before and thanks to FDR he helped to right the ship then, we can do it again.

    I’m proud to have a diverse party, with passionate voices on every issue.

    And next April, I’ll proudly cast my vote for our next Presideny Hillary Clinton and our next United States Senator Katie McGinty. Two progressive, pragmatic leaders who can govern and WIN!

  15. FYI-

    “I donโ€™t think staffers would even be allowed to post on this or anything blog for that matter.”

    LOL. Are you kidding? Of course staffers and shills are posting here.

    I’ll accept your assertion that you are not on McGinty staff. But, my second guess would have been that you were Mike Mikus (McGinty’s campaign manager).

    The move was smart because it was a one shot with the best demographic available for the next few months. Assuming the next round of polls include him, he got much needed exposure in western PA.

    Fetterman is going to get creamed in SEPA (Philly region), except for the hardcore progressives. But, outside of Philly, he’s going to do well with voters that vote regionally. Sestak and McGinty will spend a ton fighting it out in the expensive Philly market, and Fetterman will save his money for the rest of the state.

    BTW, the number of Dem primary voters will be about 1 million (unless Bernie is still in the race, then it will be between 1.5 and 2 million.

    Assuming 1 million = 100%
    Then 40%-30%-30% result means a 100,000 voter victory by the winner = 11 votes per precinct average

  16. I don’t know why Fetterman is wasting his money on Bill Hyers when he can get much better campaign advice right here for free from FYI.

  17. I wish their was a minimum IQ requirement to post on this blog. The conversations would be much more intelligent and much less frustrating.

    Ok, so when you want to air a campaign ad, you purchase air time from a set “media market.” You don’t just get to pick and choose which homes and towns see your ad, you choose a specific or multiple DMAs (or media markets) to air those ads in. For example, if you want to air a campaign ad throughout Pennsylvania you’d need to purchase air-time in multiple media markets that cover all of PA. According to Nielsen there are approx. 210 DMA’s (media markets) in the US.

    In this case, the Pittsburgh media market (it’s actually called that, the Pittsburgh Media Market) covers a variety of counties in Western PA, Maryland and West Virginia. (see the link above)

    “It makes sense to air it where he is known” Really?

    It wouldn’t make sense to air it where he isn’t known or less known, say Philadelphia? Like to say, introduce himself?

    At the end of the day, it’s a well produced ad, I just disagree that it was smart use of their campaigns limited resources for such limited exposure. But Fetterman and McGinty are much better than nominating Sestak. I’ll take Fetterman over Sestak any day, although McGinty is my first choice and the candidate I think can actually win especially with Hillary atop the ticket.

    I have headache. Goodnight.

  18. Ya, I over generalized the numbers, but I don’t know where you’re getting that it only aired in Pitt. The email I got from the campaign said western pa. This article doesn’t go into specifics, so I’m not sure. Would make sense to air it where he’s known.

  19. I actually believe that FYI is not a McGinty staffer, or if s/he is, it is at a very low level.

    The McGinty campaign is well aware that Bill Hyers is running Fetterman’s campaign. Hyers is highly regarded and knows what he is doing. It was clearly a great placement.

    It is my understanding that the ad ran twice all over western PA, not just Pittsburgh.

    Fetterman is a much more compelling candidate than McGinty or Sestak. All he needs to do is to get his story out there so that people can decide for themselves and the rest will take care of itself.

  20. Correction: 15.8 million people watched this debate nationwide.

    This one time ad by Fetterman only aired in the Pittsburgh market.

    You do the math.

  21. @PhillyDem- Do you even know what you’re talking about?! “Millions of people watching.” THIS AD AIRED ONE TIME IN A LIMITED TELEVISION MARKET << i.e. the Pittsburgh television market. NO DEMOCRAT IN PHILADELPHIA, CENTRAL PA, NEPA, DELAWARE VALLEY, PHILLY BURBS, ERIE would have seen this ad if they were watching the debate last night. Not even a million people saw this one time ad, considering only 11 million people watched the debate nationwide and obviously not all of them were Dems. LOL. Check your facts.

    And for everyone's information, just bc someone is smart and disagrees with you that doesn't make them a staffer. I've been posting on this blog long before McGinty ever ran for Senate.

  22. PhillyDem- Omg, What do I need to do to prove to you that I’m not and have never been a staffer ever for anyone. I’ve never worked in politics. I’m just a political junkie and I formerly served as a local Democratic committeeman. I don’t think staffers would even be allowed to post on this or anything blog for that matter. Just bc I may sound like I know what I’m talking about and I’m passionate about a candidate that doesn’t make me a staffer, it makes me opinionated and someone who studys politics. And when it comes to supporting Democratic candidates I think can actually WIN, I’m very passionate and very opinionated. I also can’t stand Joe Sestak. I strongly believe he is a phony and it’s up to people to expose him for the selfish man he is. He doesn’t help Democrats win. He doesn’t unite the party.

    Like Hillary Clinton said, I’m a progressive who likes to get things done. At the end of the day we need candidates who will support Democratic values and WIN! We don’t need fringe or fundamentally flawed candidates.

  23. What FYI doesn’t seem to get, is that this aired during a dem primary debate with millions of likely voters watching. It’s not like they just felt like running an ad on a random Tuesday.

    I actually agree with DD on something. Smart move. And when you compare this to that laughable web-ad Katie did that looks like it was made in a 1990s high school computer lab, it’s quite the contrast.

  24. Contrary to David Diano’s remarks, this was not a smart move. It was expensive move for a campaign with limited resources and only aired in a limited television market in Western PA. It aired so early, it was most likely forgotten by the end of the debate.

    Governor Wolf had a smart team who knew that you only spend money and air campaign ads after the holidays when people begin to pay attention and commit. There is a lot of time between now and the new year. Governor Wolf’s first ad was January 30th and ran statewide. Jan/Feb are typically ideal for a May primary, I’d say going into a late April primary, January would be the ideal target.

    My guess is Fetterman peaks early like Sanders then fizzles out. At the end of the day I think Democrats come home to McGinty and we see a Clinton/McGinty ticket heading into the general to defeat Toomey and the eventual GOP clown.

  25. “It must have felt like the end of the world” When McGinty and Sestak look back on things a year from now, that line will have special meaning.

    This appears to be a condensed version of the launch video that I like better and can be seen at

    Seems like a really genuine guy unlike some other folks I can think of.

  26. Much smaller warchest, but the lessons of Professor Wolf in PA Primaries 101 have not been lost.

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