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Unorthodox TV Ad from Montco Republicans

By Ali Carey, Contributing WriterWith just one week left in the highly-contested Montgomery County Commissioner race, Republicans Bruce Castor and Jenny Brown have released an interested ad.

The spot features amateur footage of Democrat Josh Shapiro and running mate Leslie Richards during a meeting with the press on September 15, 2011. According to several people who have seen the commercial, it is airing on broadcast during the morning shows.

During the meeting, Shapiro was asked repeatedly to identify one specific program he would eliminate in order to to avoid raising taxes, but he did not do so.

Shapiro parried the question, repeating, “We’ve identified a new way of budgeting in Montgomery County that will enable us to meet the obligations to the people of Montgomery County without raising taxes.”

“You’ve been in the state House too long,” one questioner says cynically.

Shapiro was referring to the Dems’ zero-based budgeting platform, in which every item of County spending is evaluated each year, rather than carrying over resource allocation from the previous year. The policy has been supported by fiscal wonks across the political spectrum.

“The question was asked continually by someone who had no idea of what zero-based budgeting is.  It is not about one program, one department.  Zero-based budgeting takes a comprehensive look at the entire budgeting process.  The budgeting process over decades with one-party rule in Montgomery County has simply taken the previous year’s budget and added to it,” explained Dem spokesman Frank Custer.

Even though Shapiro’s answer is logically consistent, the footage is certainly unflattering.

That said, the decision to air the clip as an ad is an interesting one. Some media consultants PoliticsPA spoke with said it was a poor decision. That someone closely following the campaign politics might appreciate such footage, but that a regular audience wouldn’t notice. Furthermore, since Shapiro has high name ID and is practically guaranteed a seat, one producer said it would have made more sense to target Richards.

Others praised the ad, saying it was original, felt authentic, and could cut through the clutter of typical campaign commercials.

“This ad is brilliant,” said one Montco Democratic strategist.

Here is a longer clip of the press conference, posted by the Brown-Castor campaign.

5 Responses

  1. This is an anti-Richards spot. She stands there looking clueless, while Josh proves he is. That said. I saw this ad on TV twice, both on Sunday mornings. The rest of the Brown Castor ads that I saw were the ones with them sitting next to each other talking. They seem friendly. I saw a lot of Richards Shapiro ads too, but they were nasty and had nothing to do with the issue foremost in my mind which is government spending. I’d rather have commissioners who kept spending down and fought about it than commissioners serving tea and crumpets to each other while sending government spending through the roof. Substance over form is what I want.

  2. The Tea party reference made me feel the opposite of Kathleen….I do not want to put into power anyone who is associated with the Tea Party or their plan to wreck the middle class. To me the Tea Party reference was effective and made me view Brown as a candidate on the fringe. Remember the Tea Party endorses peole like Michele Bachmann…that is nothing to be proud of!

  3. Shapiro’s and Richards’ derogatory reference to the Tea Party was enough to turn me off. I am not a Tea Party member; however, I would much rather have a Commissioner who aligned themselves with the Tea Party agenda than one or two who aligned themselves with the Progressive Tax and Spend Agenda.

    Follow the money with Shapiro and you will quickly discover who owns him and what his agenda will be.

  4. Watch the full clip to see classic Josh “Mr. Slick” Shapiro’s slipping and sliding.

  5. The ShapiroRichards Record is crystal clear: Ever escalating spending and borrowing and unionizing.

    In the House the ShapiroRendell technique was to increase spending and borrowing, which kicked the tax can down the road.

    Zero based budget does not tell us whether ShapiroRichards will contain or reduce spending. It is simply a technique.

    Peg Gibbons asked the correct question. “What are you going to cut?” and anyone listening knows the answer “nothing”.

    The Forgotten Taxpayer, the Tax Makers, do not need a crystal ball to tell them what a ShapiroRichards future will be.

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