Recently, Democratic nominee Joe Torsella unveiled his “Pennsylvania Sunshine Checkbook”, a proposal which is also modeled on the Ohio website.
The Voit campaign believes Torsella stole their idea.
“It has come to our attention in recent days that our opponent Joe Torsella has adopted Otto’s plan and is promoting it on his website. We have to assume Mr. Torsella is endorsing our plan. The alternative can only mean he does not have any plans of his own and was forced to plagiarize Otto’s idea. We want to think the best of Joe so we’ll take it as an endorsement at this point,” said Vincent Galko, Senior Adviser to the Voit Campaign. “Imitation is the highest form of flattery, however, in the future if Mr. Torsella needs some ideas he should just pick up the phone and call Otto rather than cut and paste his ideas.”
The press release from the Voit team even goes so far as to include the Oxford University’s plagiarism guide.
The Torsella campaign, however, is having none of it.
“It’s hard to know how to respond to such a bizarre attack,” Jocelyn Steinberg, Campaign Manager for Joe Torsella told PoliticsPA. “When Joe called for Pennsylvania to create a site modeled on what Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel created, Joe credited Mandel with the idea. Otto Voit clearly knows this given that his own press release includes the language Joe used crediting Mandel with the idea. I guess Otto is desperate enough to get attention for his campaign that he’s following Donald Trump’s style of politics of hurling insults and hoping that something sticks. Weird.”
Steinberg provided a number of examples of Torsella advocating for openness in government to PoliticsPA. The most relevant of which were remarks the Democrat made to a fundraiser last September.
“These aren’t partisan ideas,” Torsella says at one point. “In fact, I’ve based a lot of my plans for making state government more transparent on great work that the Republican treasurer of Ohio has done.”