A new group is taking aim at State Senator Scott Wagner over some past controversial comments.
“The unions are about power and control,” Wagner said on the Senate floor. “And there are two things that I continue to remember about power and control. There was a gentleman by the name of Hitler, he was about power and control. There’s a gentleman by the name of Putin, who’s across the ocean, that’s about power and control.”
Now, “Building a Better Pennsylvania Fund” a labor-backed PAC*, is launching an ad featuring WWII veterans denouncing Wagner’s analogy.
“I’m Henry Ball, I was a labor leader but before that I fought Hitler in World War II,” says one vet. “And I’m appalled that Scott Wagner had the gall to compare labor leaders with that maniac. Shame on him.”
John Vento, another ex-labor leader that fought in WWII, also criticized Wagner.
“I can’t believe that Scott Wagner’s that dumb, to compare me to Hitler.”
Finally, the one-minute spot finishes with Dick Boyd, another labor leader who served in the European theatre.
“I fought Adolf Hitler in Africa, Italy and at the Battle of the Bulge. I don’t know what’s wrong with Scott Wagner but he owes working people an apology,” the York native states. “I have the same conservative York County values that you have. But I’m urging you not to vote for Scott Wagner this year, he just doesn’t get it.”
While Wagner is still a strong favorite for re-election to the heavily Republican district, that didn’t stop his campaign from issuing a response.
“This is what happens when somebody challenges the status quo and seeks to change the system in order to protect taxpayers. The special interests, in this case the Philadelphia Democrat union bosses, spread lies on TV,” Senator Wagner said. “The voters of York County elected me to the Senate in a historic write-in campaign because they want a Senator that is tough-as-nails and will stand up to special interests like this group. I’m now even more motivated in my desire to serve a full 4 year term and work to reform this corrupt system that is working only for the special interests like the Philadelphia-union bosses, instead of taxpayers.”
*This article originally referred to the PAC as a part of the PA AFL-CIO. The two are independent from one another.
Update: Rick Bloomingdale, spokesman for Building A Better Pennsylvania Fund sent the following statement to PoliticsPA:
“Building A Better Pennsylvania Fund is an independent coalition of labor unions and concerned citizens from across Pennsylvania that supports candidates who value the interests of our state’s working class families.
Labor leaders fight every day to lift all workers into middle class prosperity. They fight for decent wages, good benefits, and retirement security for everyone—whether they carry a union card or not. Equating these dedicated men and women to tyrannical, violent dictators is disgraceful, and Scott Wagner should be ashamed of himself for doing so.
The voters of York County deserve to know what kind of person is representing them in Harrisburg and asking for their support on November 4th. There is no place for Scott Wagner’s offensive rhetoric in a civilized society, and he owes the people of Pennsylvania an apology.”