Wagner Pivots Positive, Peduto Keeps Up Attack in New Ads (With Videos)

Jack Wagner sought to get distance from Ravenstahl-Peduto bickering in his latest ad. It’s part of his ongoing effort to cast himself as the adult in the room.

With Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s PAC doing the heavy lifting in attacking Bill Peduto, former Auditor General Wagner is free to stay positive.

“There’s a lot of noise out there right now, but which candidate is talking about what they will do for Pittsburgh? Only Democrat Jack Wagner,” says a narrator over b-roll of ads aired by City Councilman Bill Peduto as well a PAC chaired by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

Among other policy objectives the narrators lists, Wagner would bring “a City Hall with civility and diversity. Jack Wagner. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it?”

The ad is crammed with information, much more than a typical 30 second spot. Its aim appears to be to give the impression of a candidate who can say, “We don’t need to run negative ads or pick fights, because look at all our ideas!”

Thus far in the campaign, Peduto has actually been the ideas candidate. That was the theme of his first TV ad. But his tactical need to deflate Wagner’s numbers mean he can’t afford much to spend much TV time defining himself.

Peduto ad wrong ways wagnerPeduto’s latest ad (below) reiterates his criticism that Wagner supported the Harrisburg GOP during budget discussions. However, the ad rephrases earlier claims that went afoul of fact-checks.

“He says he supports senior programs. But Wagner sided with the GOP on the budget,” says the narrator. “The Post-Gazette says, ‘that position logically means that fewer dollars would have available to spend on all kinds of programs, including Meals on Wheels.’”

Peduto’s newly phrased attack is accurate. But his tactical position in the race isn’t much improved.

Peduto is spending about $90,000 per week on ads. Wagner is spending $63,000 on his own ads, while Ravenstahl’s PAC the Committee for a Better Pittsburgh is spending $75,000 per Jon Delano.

Lest critics cry foul, Ravenstahl said in a facebook comment that he would use his $900K warchest to beat up Peduto. Since that’s public information, it’s fair game for Wagner’s campaign to incorporate that knowledge into its ad plans.

State Rep. Jake Wheatley and activist AJ Richardson are also running in the Democratic primary.

Here’s the Peduto ad:

3 Responses

  1. Peduto’s leftist tactics of attack attack attack belie the perception he try’s to sell of himself as being a decent guy. His cadre of Ocuupy Wall Street, SEIU, and “anonymous” supporters vow to turn Pittsburgh unto a new leftist Mecca fashioned after Van Jones’ Oakland CA. Pittsburgh is a center right town. We had our fill of OWS. VOTE WAGNER

  2. pedutos ground game is way to much for wagner.with over 1800 volunteers going door to door.wagner seems to be running just on his name again and being tied to ravenstahl and his supporters has hurt him.brookline in the south hills looks more like peduto is from the south hills wagner will win the south hills and west end but not by as much as he needs to all peduto needs to do is cut into wagners base and with the support peduto has from elected officials and volunteers from this area its happening plus peduto is winning in south side also.there is nowhere else for wagner to get votes thats why latest poll has peduto up his campaign is simply much more organized than wagners so when wagner loses on may 21 he can thank boy luke ravenstahl and his republican friends like the tribune review and that swift boat company.poor luke wanted anybody to be mayor but peduto.but knowing peduto who has class he will thank the mayor for throwing his support behind wagner.

  3. Peduto’s supporters trumpet his extensive list of policy papers, but with them only being online, I wonder if they’re only well-known among younger circles, a demographic that he already has a solid grip on. To get that info out to the middle-aged and older voters, I would think Peduto would need to rely on TV and mail. Instead, he seems to be almost exclusively using those mediums to attack Wagner on peripheral issues like the PA general fund balance.

    It’s accepted by pretty much everybody that, for Peduto to win, he can’t rely alone on strong support from the East End and younger voters. He needs to make inroads with older North Side/South Hills voters that aren’t too familiar with him and otherwise would tend to support Wagner.

    Whether going after Wagner is the best way to make those inroads? I guess we’ll find out in 3 weeks.

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