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Shapiro and Zappala Get Into First Spat of the Campaign

Shapiro-ZappalaWell, that didn’t take long. Actually, it’s a bit of surprise this didn’t come sooner.

The campaigns of Josh Shapiro and Stephen Zappala, each seek seeking the Democratic nomination for Attorney General, got into their first tussle this week.

It began on Wednesday when former Governor Ed Rendell endorsed Shapiro and Zappala’s Campaign Manager Marty Marks shot back at the Montco Commissioner.

“No endorsements can obscure the fact that Josh Shapiro is fundamentally flawed for this particular office,” Marks responded. “He is a full time politician and a part time lawyer who has never tried either a criminal or civil case in court. That is a glaring deficit for someone running to be the top legal representative and law enforcement officer in the state and we look forward to that debate.”

Brad Bumsted and Aaron Aupperlee of the Tribune-Review then reached out to Zappala to ask about his courtroom experience.

“Reached by phone while campaigning in Scranton, Zappala acknowledged that he has not tried a criminal case during his 18 years as district attorney,” Bumsted and Aupperlee wrote. “He said he handled criminal cases as a defense attorney early in his career and worked civil cases before being appointed district attorney in 1998. He supervises 118 lawyers and directs their prosecutions.”

“I certainly know the criminal side of it, and I think I know the civil side, too,” Zappala told Bumsted and Aupperlee. “I have more than sufficient background to address any of the matters that come through the (attorney general’s) office.”

The Shapiro campaign jumped on the Allegheny County DA’s admission.

“I guess Stephen Zappala’s campaign forgot to check his own record,” Shapiro Campaign Manager Joe Radosevich stated. “Strikingly, Zappala launched this attack without mentioning that in 18 years as District Attorney he has never personally been in the courtroom to try a case.”

PoliticsPA reached out to Marks, who sent the following statement:

“District Attorney Stephen Zappala will bring unprecedented legal experience to the office of Attorney General, including thirty five years trying cases and leading prosecutions. Steve supervises more than a hundred frontline prosecutors working simultaneously in 16 courtrooms and 50 District Magistrate offices every day. He oversees hundreds of criminal and civil investigations each year and personally runs Allegheny County’s Grand Jury. Steve will use his experience to ensure that working and middle class families have an experienced legal voice who won’t be drowned out by corporate special interests who can afford to hire an army of lawyers.”

In response, the Shapiro campaign sent over their own rebuttal: “The fact is, in 1999 after he was appointed District Attorney and again this week Stephen has acknowledged that this is a management position. In 1999 The Post-Gazette wrote:  ‘By his own admission, Zappala’s court appearances were rare. However, Zappala said he brings to the job the skills of an administrator that are essential to an office with 210 employees and a budget of $9.4 million. He likens his job to that of a chief executive officer.’”

Other Democratic candidates for Attorney General include Northampton DA John Morganelli and possibly incumbent Kathleen Kane.

22 Responses

  1. bob – My problem with Morganelli is his position on the Special Prosecutor (finally) looking into Hate-gate. Until they are held accountable for laws they broke, the PA system is broken beyond repair. The cover-ups and smear campaigns have gone far enough. You don’t have to like Kane to see that she stumbled upon a plethora of corruption. And, as is usually the case, their cover-up efforts have been worse than their original crimes.

  2. Doesn’t John Morganelli have actual courtroom cases. As I recall, he has tried death penalty cases to verdict. He is more than a manager.

    In any event, Josh “A Politician, Not a Prosecutor” Shapiro has not had any experience managing a prosecutor’s office or any other office. Commissioner is not a management position. It is a policy position setting priorities for the managers of individual office and agencies.

  3. Observer- Zappala has not tried one case as a prosecutor. Not one.

    I am a retard troll.

  4. Chris-

    Marty seems to win more than he loses, so I don’t think he’s going to walk away after your comment.

  5. Oh! You mean Cash for Kids? Okay, Zappala says that was his brother, not him. He was wit’ his mudder. Yeah, that’s it. And his car wouldn’t start. He had a flat tire. Wait!Uncle Charlie says “shut up !” No comment. He just learned that one.

  6. Commit a crime + Do your time = Honor
    Commit a crime + Slim your way out = Family disgrace
    I look at this man and see nothing but the Blood of Children on his hands. Don’t pretend you didn’t know. You knew what was happening to those children to those families. You KNEW. Blood Money

  7. Shapiro may not have any experience in a courtroom or managing attorneys but he is a consummate politician and campaigner. Make no mistake. If Zappala allows Shapiro to outwork him, Josh will pull an upset.

  8. Marty Marks makes the statement ring true.
    Remain silent and let people wonder if you are fool or open your mouth and Prove you are a FOOL.
    Manager and Candidate match……… Both proven Fools.

  9. No, that’s not what that sentence means. It is, however, what they want it to mean.

  10. This is going to be a good one. but it seems as if Zappala and his team may have fumbled away one of their advantages. Reminds me of a certain 3rd string running back for the Steelers in the Broncos game

  11. Senator Rutherford B. Cattywampus-

    The sentence structure is fine. The sentence means that he had 35 years of experience that includes trying cases as well as leading prosecutions.

    If he spent 1 year trying, and 34 leading or 34 years trying and 1 year leading, those are all possibilities that fall within the statement.

    Josh has zero years trying cases and zero years leading prosecutions.

    Math is a bitch when you’ve got zero relevant experience in anyway connected to court cases.

  12. Shapiro has never seen the inside of a courtroom. True enough. Marty Marks’ statement is absurd. “35 years trying cases and leading prosecutions.” Nice sentence structure there, Marty. Only problem is, your sentence structure makes the statement false.

  13. Equating Shapiros experience with that of Zappala or Morganelli is laughable. Shapiro has much more experience at sucking up to the right people, which definitely counts for something as you see with Rendells endorsement. He’s the insider candidate going against much more qualified ones.

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