By Ali Carey, Contributing Writer
In the highly contested Montgomery County Commissioner race, associating your opponent with the Tea Party has become the barb de jour.
Democratic candidates State Rep. Josh Shapiro and Whitemarsh Township Supervisor Leslie Richards have been hammering one of their Republican opponents as “Tea Party Jenny Brown.” Earlier this week, their campaign aired a 50’s sitcom style thirty-second television ad featuring Brown, a Lower Merion Township Commissioner, and incumbent Montco Commissioner Bruce Castor. The ad specifically calls Brown, “the only candidate who met with the Tea Party.”
But that may not be true. As it turns out, Shapiro met with a local Tea Party Group during his 2010 re-election campaign.
According to Ed Boyd of the Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots of Eastern Montco, Shapiro attended the group’s monthly meeting on October 14, 2010, at the North Penn VFW in Glenside. Here is the facebook event from last October.
“Now that Josh Shapiro has finally admitted the statement is false, there is no other recourse than for his campaign to pull all of the blatantly disingenuous radio and TV ads, and to make sure the falsehood is not repeated in any future campaign mailings and statements,” said Brown in a statement.
The Shapiro/Richards campaign argues that the claims in their advertisements are accurate, because Shapiro was a candidate for State Rep. at the time, not County Commissioner.
“Long before he became a candidate for county commissioner, Josh met with constituents who belonged to a local Tea Party organization and challenged their viewpoints head-on,” said campaign spokesman Frank Custer.
He reiterated the campaign’s charge against Brown.
“Jenny Brown, as a candidate for county commissioner, went to see the Tea Party, embraced their partisan principles and sought their support.”
I think Mr. Guzzardi is right. The sin here was Shapiro lying about Brown being the only candidate who met with the Tea Party when he did so as well. And then further lying when he said they asked to meet with him, when it was the other way around. Meeting with people is what candidates are supposed to do. Nothing wrong in that. Lying is what Shapiro has resorted to doing. Plenty wrong in that.
The Tea Party polls badly in Montgomery County, hence, ShapiroRichards’ efforts to tie Jenny Brown and, by implication, BrownCastor to Tea Party.
Now that ShapiroRichards, themselves, are tied to Tea Party, the smear strategy is undermined.
All candidates need to be willing to talk to all voters. Had not ShapiroRichards attempted to smear Jenny Brown, whose fiscal common sense record is well known and preceded any Tea Party meeting, Shapiro’s meeting would have shown him as someone willing to talk to the opposition.
The talk around our shop of those who watched the Larry Kane debate is pretty much in line with my written observations last night. Nobody can believe that Shapiro was caught in the Tea Party lie. Really, lies plural, since he also said they initiated the meeting when it was actually he that did so. This in addition to the lie that Brown was the only one of the four to have ever met with the Tea party. The people at my work think this was a devastating exchange, cleverly planned and executed by the Brown/Castor people and delivered by a master. One can only imagine the TV ads being prepared right now to exploit this gaffe by Shapiro. Building their entire media strategy on this was just dumb.
Kathleen sums it up best – I am not a fan of Castor, but I would take 10 Castors over 1 Shapiro any day.
The laugh would be if “the girls” got more votes than the boys. In my opinion, Jenny Brown is far and away the most competent and least career oriented of the four of them. If Bruce’s ego would allow, Jenny would be and should be chair and would be if she gets most votes.
Can you imagine what those two egomaniacs would do to be outdone by the underlings. The best argument for voting Jenny and Leslie 🙂
Bruce Castor is an outstanding trial lawyer and has tried cases to the death penalty. You do not want to lie to Bruce. He is an expert in the surgical question to expose the lie.
I was surprised that Josh lied. I know him and found him reputable even if 180 degrees on policy. ShapiroRichards are attempting to present themselves as Fiscal Common Sense but their record is Big Government, Big Spending, Big Borrowing, Taxing and Unionizing. All learned from the master, Ed Rendell.
Shapiro’s and Richard’s negative campaigning leaves little to the imagination as to who is in the lead. Contrary to what the tax and spend/spread the wealth Shapiro would like us to believe, the majority of voters are more aligned with patriotic, law-abiding Tea Party members than they are with those who ascribe to a Socialist agenda.
I am not a fan of Bruce Castor; however, in a match up I would take 10 Bruce Castors to 1 Josh Shapiro. Shapiro and Richards are the 2011 clones of Matthews and Hoeffel. Voters, however, will no longer tolerate walking egos to occupy an office that requires dedicated public servants.
Well, whad’ya know. Shapiro is also a LYING scumbag.
I watched the Larry Kane debate this evening. First half was pretty exciting then it got a little mundane. The Tea Party stuff and Shapiro’s ducking and dancing made great theater with the lawyer Castor pinning him down while Larry egged Castor on. Clearly, Shapiro was caught off guard and was really hurt when he said he was asked by Tea Party people to speak to their group before Castor made him admit Josh actually requested the meeting. I thought that really made Shapiro look like a politician not telling the truth. Brown is very telegenic and spoke well. Shapiro and Richards we’re a little stiff. Castor is polished on TV. No tie and joking around. After the Tea Party dust up, it was as though the Democrats were off their game and the Republicans were protecting a lead.
Who are you Republicans kidding? If it wasn’t that you had Castor and his high name ID, you would have no chance. He’s all you got. After he goes, it’s over. We can wait. Maybe not this time, but next time. Because the GOP has no bench countywide and it eats its own.
If the Republicans win in Montco, I hope that the D who wins is Richards and not Shapiro. She is competent, intelligent, and has the right background for the job. She isn’t an egocentric, ambitious blowhard like Shapiro…or Castor for that matter.
Thanks for clearing that up. I see now. Bob, it seems your friend Jenny Brown is coming out looking pretty good in all this. She seems to be benefiting from her runningmate’s credibility with the press. Good move to pair them together. You guys in Montco certainly have your act together this time. Wish I could vote for them. I’m just across the line in Berks. I met Castor twice. Once when my nephew was murdered and he was in court. And once in 03, I think, where he spoke at our county dinner. A classy guy and his lady is how I remember him. Sharp in court too. A shame things in your county party are such a mess. Jenny Brown is such a great change. I hope you get her in. As someone above mentioned, it doesn’t hurt to have a courtroom strategist laying the groundwork for her. I see why you are so happy with your team.
Obviously, Josh Shapiro met with Tea Party with the idea of attempting to convince them that he was fiscally responsible despite his record. Apparently it did not work. I would think because the Tea Party knew Josh Shapiro’s record.
Obviously, Gary. Done to help Jenny Brown. Effectively, it seems.
Wonder how long Castor knew this? I doubt it was an accident he first brings it up on camera in front of Larry Kane on a live to tape show airing a week before the election. Castor is a skilled opponent, as Jim Matthews has learned. That was a courtroom tactic.
We can trust campaign spokesman Custer. Josh Shapiro has been a candidate, declared and undeclared, for years. All his constituent meetings had, among other things, the very ambitious Josh Shapiro’s career advancement.
Pretty funny to get caught in a lie like this. And who is this spokesman Frank Custer? Dude, stop ‘splain’. You got caught. The defense is only highlighting the enormity of the error. Change the conversation. Josh: hire some professionals, will you please? This is embarrassing.
Obviously, Mr. Custer wasn’t in attendance the night Josh met with my group. Josh didn’t “challenge” our viewpoints, it simply wasn’t that type of an event.
He gave us a brief introduction of who he was and why he deserved re-election. We asked him some pointed questions and he answered them. It was civil and not confrontational at all.
Perhaps Mr. Custer likes to mislead, make statements aimed to instigate, or perhaps he’s just frustrated. Either way, it’s yet another false statement.
I’m sensing a pattern here.
Josh Shapiro lies! Jenny Brown Tea Party? Josh Shapiro Socialist? Frankly, I am shocked at Josh’s lie. Even though I disagree with Josh on issues, I had thought his word was good. This is very upsetting. dr. bob and I are Tea Party and are active with Kitchen Table Patriots in Bucks County. While we, enthusiastically, support Jenny Brown, Jenny Brown is not what I would consider “Tea Party”.
Although Jenny Brown shares some of the ideas and policies of Tea Party, just as Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards share quite a few Corporatist – Socialist Redistribution of the Wealth ideas, does not make Jenny a Tea Party person or Josh a Socialist. Very bad logic; the fallacy of the undistributed middle is well known and frequently promoted in political campaign rhetoric.
Name calling obscures the serious fiscal issues facing Lower Merion and Montgomery County. While fiscal common sense is on of the Tea Party principles, it is not the only one. Just as Big Government Spending, Borrowing, Taxing and Unionizing is only only one piece of classical fascism-communism.
ShapriroRichards need to resort to name calling to distract from their records of Big Government, Big Spending, Big Borrowing and Big Unionizing. .