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SD37: Strident New Raja Ad Targets Iovino on Abortion

A new ad from Raja brings the culture wars directly into the 37th district State Senate special election, with a broadside accusing Pam Iovino of siding with Democrats who are outside the mainstream.

“What’s so extreme about Pam Iovino?” the voiceover begins in the 30 second spot, Wrong. “She stands with extremists who celebrate and defend New York’s radical late-term abortion law and shockingly ending protections for infants who survive late-term abortions.”

“Radicals like Iovino even support taxpayer funded third trimester late term abortions.”

It reflects a common calculus in low-turnout special elections: the key to victory is to rally the party base.

Iovino has not been in the public eye as long as Raja and doesn’t have a years-long record of votes or policy issues. As she works to appeal to moderates, the GOP countereffort attempts to link her with national progressives.

The claims in the ad echo critiques by abortion opponents nationwide. New York enacted a law this year which, according to PolitiFact, permits third trimester abortions if health care professionals determine the fetus is not viable. Previously, they were permitted only if the pregnancy represented a threat to the life of the mother. Virginia lawmakers proposed a measure to expand abortion access, which was engulfed in controversy when Gov. Ralph Northam appeared to suggest the bill would permit an abortion even after birth. Finally, many Democrats believe that abortion access should be covered by Medicaid, a taxpayer-funded program, when currently it is not.

Iovino’s campaign called the ad desperate and did not say whether she would support similar legislation in Pennsylvania.

“This is absurd. We understand Raja is desperate to make this campaign about anything other than his track record of outsourcing job and suing his own employees. Voters have a clear choice between a decorated Navy veteran who has always but country first, or Raja who has always put himself first,” said Iovino spokeswoman Abigail Gardner.

Her campaign fired back with an ad of its own, continuing to hammer Raja’s business record. His company outsourced jobs and took former employees to court; Raja has said the charges do not reflect his overall record.

“This new commercial continues to blatantly lie about Raja’s proven record of creating Pittsburgh jobs, while Iovino has never created a job her entire life,” said Raja spokesman, Adam Breneman. “This is just a distraction from her extreme record of supporting late-term abortions, job-crushing taxes and higher energy costs for families based on her support of Green New Deal-type policies.”

Iovino is rallying supporters from all corners of the Democratic tent. She touts endorsements from various building trade unions. She spent the weekend knocking on doors with moderate Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny), with whom she shares a background in military service. Lamb is pro-choice in the historical sense of the term, in that he would not curtail abortion rights (although he did not emphasize the issue in his campaign and expressed personal opposition to abortion).

Iovino’s campaign on Friday shared an endorsement via press release from EMILY’s List, the national PAC that aims to help elect pro-choice Democratic women to office.

“We’re confident that she will continue standing up for working families, investing in education, and protecting and advocating for those in need. She will, no doubt, be the fighter in the state Senate that Pennsylvanians deserve, and we’re excited to stand with her in her campaign,” said EMILY’s List president Stephanie Schriock.

This story was updated with a comment from Raja’s campaign. 

23 Responses

  1. Where are Pam’s positive ads? What is her vision for South West PA? All she is doing is attacking Raja. That’s only something you do when you’re down and desperate.

      1. Raja has positive ads out. He’s laid out is policies and vision. Besides, Pam was the first to go negative anyway.

        1. BOTH candidates put out ads touting themselves and then criticizing their opponent. This is called “Politics 101”–an entry level course. It is fair game to criticize the business record of your opponent. This is again covered in the entry level “Politics 101” course.

          1. Thanks for the lesson, Mr. Washington. I didn’t know any of that. Are you a teacher? If not you should be. The youth of this country are truly missing out not listening to one of the greatest minds in politics. Additionally, with all that knowledge, I’m sure you’re an accomplished author and a go-to political operative for any campaign that wants to win.

  2. Man, that ad against Raja is deadly. Hopefully Ray “Scott Wagner’s genius strategist” Zaborney can do a nice counter ad while on vacation in the caymans. It may require him to get off the beach but hey, that’s why he bilks people.. I mean gets paid the big bucks.

    Glad Raja decided to hand over millions to this stellar team of Ray and Da Mavericks who ran Ed Gillespie and Wagner’s race so perfectly. Go get em Mavericks!

    1. Wow, jealousy seeps thru those words. Even from the basement of your parent’s house. Don’t worry, you’ll never be there to enjoy the good life with a negative attitude like noted above. We’ll all say a silent prayer for you that you won’t always be a looooooser. seeps thru those words. Even from the basement of your parent’s house. Don’t worry, you’ll never be there to enjoy the good life with a negative attitude like noted above. We’ll all say a silent prayer for you that you won’t always be a looooooser.

  3. Quote from the Pam Iovino at the Mt. Lebanon Indivisible meeting…”like the Gov. of NY signed, unborn babies are not human beings, so I’m for aborting them in the 23rd month up to birth. As long as you keep it comfortable, like my friend Ralph said, I support post-birth abortions. I’m one of you and with you in solidarity. A vote for me is a vote to expand late term abortion in PA like I promised to our real friends at PP and Emily’s List. These are Pittsburgh values!

  4. Pretty ridiculous to try to call a legal immigrant who’s lived the American dream a con man.

    1. What would you call a man who claims to create jobs but outsources most of them and the one’s he does here are foreign workers.He screwed his workers over pay, benefits and took em court when all they were asking for were basic rights…

      If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck….you got it…hes a CONMAN

      1. But what you’re saying is genuinely a lie. He’s created hundreds of jobs in the United States for US Citizens. The vast majority of his employees. He doesn’t “screw his workers over pay and benefits” and “take them to court over basic rights.”

        You’re genuinely just lying here.

  5. What a sad age we live in when politicians like Iovino have no record of her own to run on so she has to make up blatant lies about her opponent.

    1. What a sad age we live in when Republicans, who throw tantrums about atheletes kneeling, lie about their opponents and say that serving in the US Navy for 23 years is having no record.

      Not patriots, just typical hypocrites.

      1. Why do you keep bringing up kneeling during the national anthem? No one else is talking about that. That has nothing to do with either of these candidates.

        And as for Ms. Iovino, no one is questioning her military service. But what has she done for the region? What is her record as an elected official?

    1. So sorry Sally, but this is an act of desperation by Raja. Obviously, the polling has him way down.

    2. Sally, you need to step back and see things more objectively. You heard the phrase, “may you be cursed to be born in interesting times?”..Well, unfortunately, for Raja this is the deal. The times are that Trump with his well publicized business practices is making Republican business people running for office these days very unpopular. They are always on the defensive and constantly defending themselves which is bad politics. Raja’s criticisms of Iovino are boilerplate typical Republican comments that are expected. But in 2019 Iovino has got the winning hand with the Raja business criticisms because it is the Trump era. Game. Set. Match. Iovino.

      1. It’s clear you know nothing about this about this race. Pam has no name ID, no relevant background, and no record. She’s boring and stands for nothing. Voters will see right through her.

        1. It’s pretty clear that you could care less about our military or our country.

          Iovino has dedicated her life to this country, serving 23 years in the US Navy. She’s done more than Raja ever has. To you and Republicans, that is nothing.

          You probably throw a fit when athletes kneel yet here you are saying serving 23 years for our country is boring and standing for nothing. Nothing short of disgusting.

          1. No one is questioning her military service. She has no record of legislative achievement and she has never held elected office.

            Raja has created hundreds big jobs, proven record of cutting taxes, and has dedicated his life to serving the public and making the Pittsburgh region a better place to live.

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