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SD37: Iovino Hits Raja On Business Background

Earlier this month was the time for positive ads. This week the candidates go on the attack.

Democrat Pam Iovino’s spot paints her GOP counterpart, Raja, as an untrustworthy businessman who didn’t have his workers best interest in mind.

“Instead of a paycheck, you’re served a lawsuit. Instead of a promotion, a pink slip,” the 30 second ad begins. “That’s D Raja’s way of doing business.”

The ad echoes attacks on Raja’s earlier bids, for Allegheny County Executive in 2011 and state Senate in 2012, when his counterparts labeled him as a heartless outsourcer.

The Iovino spot spotlights news reports from those campaigns. In one case it cites the Pittsburgh City Paper to quote Raja as saying outsourcing was “essential” for his business, although the CP’s Oct. 19 profile of the race available online doesn’t include that word. The ad knocks him for a Department of Labor fine for “refusing to pay minimum wage and overtime.” And it says his company sued 84 former employees. The CP’s 2011 fact check found a mixed verdict on those lawsuits, which ranged from reasonable, to excessive, to heartless in at least one case.

“D. Raja. He’s really not for you,” the ad finishes with.

You can view the video here. It has not been posted to Iovino’s website or social media accounts.  

Raja’s first attack ad attempted to tie in Iovino with a number of faces of the progressive movement including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Iovino’s campaign accused Raja’s campaign of “making things up” in that ad. 

Raja’s campaign stated Iovino’s ad is an “untruthful retread from past campaigns” and described it as an insult to the voters of the district.

“The decades-old false allegations made in the smear ad are clearly a desperate attempt to bring down a successful entrepreneur and job creator by someone who does not have that experience,” said Raja spokesman, Adam Brenneman. He continued to accuse the Iovino campaign of resorting to false personal attacks and stated that Raja’s policies will help create jobs in the district.

Raja’s campaign also sent out an email blast to supporters about the ad stating it as a “Fake News Alert” and accusing his opponent of being “desperate.”

“Liberal Extremist Pam Iovino is Lying,” the email from Raja’s campaign begins with. “Here’s the Truth.”

The GOP hopeful boasts about his business background in the Pittsburgh region, while stating the lawsuit claims from Iovino is “dishonest” and stated that a “small fraction” of his contract employees did not hold up their end up the bargain, thus resulting in legal action, which he stated was “a last resort.” He also stated that employees in his company have “always been paid above the minimum hourly wage.”

The special election date for this race is set for April 2.

This article was updated with comment from Raja’s campaign. 

4 Responses

  1. darmamurthy ‘d’ raja’s entire campaign against iovino is based on innuendo and sleazy namecalling. the fact that he’s too ashamed to use his real first name in any ad says it all. i hope voters are not stupid enough to believe that he personally can bring 100,000 new jobs to the region ? given his past track record of getting cheap overseas employee to staff his ‘companies’, and underpaying the ones he has here in america, there’s no way i’d vote for this character.

  2. Exact same ad three times in a row, but in a substantially different election than the ones in the past. Third time is a charm for the Raja-machine. Another commonsense vote against Wolf’s taxes on western PA jobs is the right call in the Special Election!

  3. The voters have not bought Raja in his past campaigns for County Executive or State Senate and aren’t likely to do so again as he has not demonstrated any substantial reason for them to change their minds.

  4. It’s a good ad that highlights possible weak points of the opposition. The downside of business is that like a record for a politician if you are in business you may do things that make sense to you but may have a different interpretation outside your circle. Although it is a completely different situation, Scott Wagner learned that lesson as well in terms of business decisions made were fine from his point of view but played differently beyond his boundaries. Special election is April 2nd so it would seem that it’s all hands on deck in terms of critical ads for both parties. It would appear that business criticisms can be as impactful as a political record.

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