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Zappala Ally Trashes Harper Poll

Shapiro-ZappalaIt’s getting heated in the Democratic primary for Attorney General.

Yesterday, the latest Harper Poll showed Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro leading Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala by a 33% to 17%.

IBEW 98 spokesman Frank Keel sent the following unprompted statement to PoliticsPA in response to the survey.

‎”The Harper Poll results you published yesterday are highly questionable. The poll, showing a healthy lead for Josh Shapiro in the A.G.’s race, was clearly commissioned by Shapiro. The poll also shows Hillary Clinton with a commanding 30 point lead in PA, which flies in the face of every other poll we’ve seen. Likewise, Shapiro’s poll shows Governor Wolf with a 79% approval rating. The National Champion Villanova Wildcats don’t enjoy a 79% approval rating right now. The reason why Philadelphia Democratic City Committee, IBEW Local 98 and so many other unions are supporting Steve Zappala for Attorney General is that he’s a proven prosecutor with nearly two decades of experience as a District Attorney. Pennsylvania needs a prosecutor in the Attorney General’s office, not a calculating, career politician who views the office as no more than a stepping stone to the Governor’s mansion.”

IBEW 98 Business Manager John Dougherty has been helping out Zappala’s campaign behind the scenes. Earlier today, the state IBEW endorsed Zappala.

PoliticsPA reached out to Brock McCleary, President of Harper Polling who sent the following response:

First, as the methodology states, the poll was commissioned, paid for and conducted by Harper Polling.

Next, we would call your attention to the results of the 2014 Democratic primary and general elections for Governor in Pennsylvania. As the attached graphics sourced from Real Clear Politics demonstrate, we were the only Pennsylvania pollster to predict Tom Wolf’s landslide Democratic primary win and the only pollster to precisely predict Tom Wolf’s 10% margin of victory in 2014.

Here is a link to the available public polls on the Pennsylvania Democratic Presidential Primary according to the Real Clear Politics tracker. As you can see, the average lead for Clinton is 18%. Our poll had a 22% lead for Clinton, not a 30% lead as they claim.

As far as Governor Wolf’s favorability, the poll is among likely Democratic primary voters, who generally hold positive opinions about the Democratic Governor. We have his favorability at 75% favorable/22% unfavorable with likely Democratic primary voters. This is also in line with the trend of our January poll (78%/20%).

And finally, the Zappala campaign is free to release their own poll results at any time that present a different outlook on the race.

We also reached out to the Shapiro and Zappala campaigns.

“Seems the closer we get to the election, the more paranoid they are getting in Zappaland,” Shapiro Campaign Manager Joe Radosevich said. “They are taking the art of ‘spinning’ to a new level over this poll, but our campaign remains focused on letting Pennsylvanians know, as President Obama said, that Josh Shapiro represents a new generation of progressive leadership who will always stand up for them.”

“We are not commenting on polls until 10 pm April 26,” Zappala Campaign Manager responded. “I will say that we are proud to have won the support today of the IBEW Third District which includes all of the IBEW locals in Pennsylvania and represents thousands of skilled electrical workers throughout the Commonwealth. We believe it is a big boost to our campaign and provides further evidence that Steve Zappala’s is a the only candidate in the Attorney General race with true statewide appeal and support.”  

Shapiro and Zappala are running against Northampton DA John Morganelli in the AG Democratic primary. The election is set for April 26th.

35 Responses

  1. Regarding the NEPA Dem post – it is nonsense. Josh grew up in the Philly suburbs and went to high school here. He is an honest and ethical person, and absolutely committed to PA. I hope he wins.

  2. Aaron – No one will hire Fina!! Plus – he is now Seth Williams’ only friend left. Do you think it is just a coincidence that, right as the Feds tighten their noose and Seth runs out of money, he just so happens to stumble upon a Corbett Republican in Harrisburg to be his campaign manager? It’s laughable. But, it’s also easy to follow. Frank Fina is also a Corbett guy. Seth, on the ropes, is desperate for friends and desperate for money. Fina hooks him up with his pal, Mike Barley and a Harrisburg bartender (LMAO). Seth starts hanging out at Union League, demoting hard-working female Deputies, getting fat and wearing bow-ties, sleeping with women he hired (and vise versa) …… and his transformation to Corbett Repervlican is complete. It’s hard to decide who is more pathetic – Seth Williams or Frank Fina.

  3. PA Voter — He isn’t going to answer. He is on the other article pretending not to be a Zappala shill. LOL.

  4. NEPA Dem – Since you are clearly a shill working for Zappala, perhaps you can answer these questions:

    – is Zappala from the Zappale family that was involved in the “Cash for Kids” scandal? The one that destroyed the lives of countless children?

    – is Connor Stevens Mr. Zappala’s Godson? If so – when is he recusing himself from the murder case where Stevens is a suspect?

    – why did Zappala ignore Court Orders to turn over exculpatory evidence to the Pittsburgh kid the cops paralyzed?

    Thank you. I look forward to your reply.

  5. Josh is a career politician right from graduating college until present. He knows everyone at every polling company. Shapiro (born in Kansas City) goes to college in upstate NY. Right after graduation he goes to D.C and becomes an assistant to a U.S Senator. After which he works for several other U.S Senators/Reps. What do you think these people do? Their jobs are to skew polls etc.. not be the top cop of a state. The guy is a career politician not a prosecutor. He leaves in 2002 when he graduated with his J.D, then moved to PA. DA Stephen Zappala is the only one with the proper experience to actually be Attorney General. It was funny watching the debate the other night (knowing Shapiro wants to run for governor) when being asked yes or no questions the candidates were asked “Are you planning on running for a higher office if you win?” Both of the DA’s said no. And Mr. Shapiro said “I don’t have plans to.” A career politician who never really practiced law running for the highest prosecutors position in the state? When people use office’s like this for stepping stones it drives me crazy. You’ve got my vote DA Zappala. You’ve handled over 300,000 indictments , took over 15,000 illegal guns off of the streets of Allegheny county, and you’re trying to do the right thing by using treatment not incarceration for the addicted non violent drug/alcohol addicted citizens (got all of this info from your website). Studies have shown this reduces the recidivism rate of people in the criminal justice system, which also leads to; we the people paying less to incarcerate people who can be productive members of society if they just get the help they need. It sure would be refreshing to see someone elected to do the job they dreamt of doing and then to actually make a difference in the state of PA. Of course this poll is nonsense… Jesus Christ doesn’t have an 80% approval rating on Christmas. I am waiting for a real poll to be released. Which should be soon. One thing is for sure. A DA is getting my vote for ATTORNEY GENERAL, not a politician looking to run for governor.

  6. Eagleswing: There is a long history of DA’s in Allegheny County not giving up evidence helpful to defense. Not just Zappala. Goes back to at least Laura Ditka under Bob Colville. He got to be a Judge and she moved on to Corbett AG office. So crime does pay.

  7. Jim J: Yes, the Leon Ford case was terrible. But the Codi Joyce homicide is even more despicable because a suspect Connor Stevens is reputedly the godson of Zappala. NOBODY HAS BEEN ARRESTED. Not sure anybody is even investigating. FBI needs to get on this.

  8. Zappala boys just cant add… Again they think 2+2=64. Pretty hard to blackmail a poll……
    A Republican based polling isn’t controlled by the MOB.

  9. Incorrect. It is, in fact, presently known that the decision went up to Zappala. Before the Report was given to Mr. Ford’s attorneys, Zappala gave an interview where it was clear that he knew that the Judge in the Ford criminal case had threatened to throw out the charges against Mr. Ford if the Report was not produced to Mr. Ford’s attorneys. Zappala’s quotes in that interview included something like this: “Well – Judges have bad days sometimes. We don’t think the Report is relevant.” Said Report is public information. It is very relevant. The authors, high ranking Police officials, refer to Zappala by name. Their findings were that the Officers involved in stopping and shooting Mr. Ford committed multiple violations of Police Policy. The Report also found that the Officer who shot Mr. Ford said things that the video and the physical evidence proved were not true. The Officer claimed that he was being dragged by Mr. Ford’s vehicle when he shot Mr. Ford. The video shows that is totally false. The Officer said he saw a bulge the shape of a gun in Mr. Ford’s pocket. There was nothing there but money. And no gun was recovered at the scene – because Mr. Ford did not have a gun. Two of the Officers were supposed to be wearing microphones. Both conveniently left them in their police cars. Consider also that Zappala’s Office charged Mr. Ford long before a thorough investigation could be completed. Zappala charged Mr Ford while he had tubes in his chest and bullets lodged in his spine. Zappala charged Mr. Ford to paint him as some kind of criminal when he was really the victim. Zappala is worse than Rahm Emanuel in Chicago.

  10. re: the claim that zap never prosecuted a case as DA: that is true and easily provable by examination of criminal court dockets which bear the name of the prosecuting assistant DA. however, Allegheny County dockets are NOT searchable by attorneys or the public by attorney name. (perhaps this practice is in response to claims by a certain successful GOP federal judicial appointee who claimed to have tried far many more trials than he actually did. ) so the system was set up in order to make it difficult for the public to see whether those running for judge or DA actually tried the number of cases they claim to have. ) In any event, DAs themselves rarely try cases . however Za and his former law firm Zap Bruckman and Porter were premier criminal defense attorneys. so we assume he did some criminal defense before his dad the Supreme Court justice landed him the DA job. And as to the Leon Ford issue– a prosecutor wants to s tay in f favor with the police. the assistant DA assigned to Leon Ford’s case would obviously try to please the cops by keeping a report critical of the cops out of the hands of the jury. but after the judge ordered the report released, it is indefensible for the prosecutor to have not complied with the court’s order. whether this decision went all the way up to Zap as DA, so that he can properly be blamed for it, is presently not known.

  11. I don’t have any problem with Mr. Zappala coming from a rich, privileged family. He cat help that he was born with a Silver Spoon in his mouth. I just don’t like it when people like that pretend to be “one of us.”

    I also am disheartened by the news that Mr. Zappala and Mr. Morganelli are working together and that Mr. Morganelli’s campaign is a fraud designed to help Mr. Zappala.

  12. Earlier, we wrote to PoliticsPA claiming that this poll was commissioned by Shapiro. That was a lie and we got caught. Just ignore that. We are dishonest. What do you want us to say?!?

    Also – just ignore Little Stevie’s association with that criminal, Johnny Doc. Ignore the fact that Morganelli is on the payroll. Just ignore all those things. And, when we argue that Shapiro has never tried a case as a prosecutor, just ignore the fact that Little Stevie has never tried a case as a prosecutor.

  13. I am just a regular voter stumbling in off the street, posting here in an completely unpaid effort to make it look like Josh has more support than he actually does. Josh is the best! I am voting for him in every single election.

  14. We will vote for Shapiro. In the Primary and in the General.

    Zappala is lying again if he is pretending he is one of us. Zappala is the Son of a Supreme Court Justice and the Grandson of a Legislator. A far cry from one of us.

  15. Shapiro has no relevant union support. Why? He is not the union mold and doesn’t represent them or their workers. He is an upper class liberal elite from philly. The working class will vote republican if Shapiro wins. He isn’t one of us.

  16. The last time the tiny-fingered Republicans pounded something for 6 months … they still couldn’t satisfy her …

    Anyone who wants to know the state of Zappala’s campaign — just re-read the article. He has a Johnny Doc henchman whine to PPA about a poll, lie about the Poll and otherwise embarrass themselves. PPA steps up and POUNDS their ridiculous claims … and all the whir Shapiro did not have to lift a finger.

    Th unholy affiliation between Morganelli and Zappala was bad enough. The Leon Ford story (if true) is terrible for Zappala. And now we have his people (who are also Johnny Doc’s goonish crew) getting caught in lies. Shapiro looks better and better every day.

  17. The Harper poll looks legit. But it simply shows that the vast majority of Pa Dems have no clue about any of the candidates. Do you really believe that any voter in his right mind would prefer Shapiro for AG if they knew he had never practiced law of any kind and has zero experience. I expect morganelli and Zappala to ramp up the voter education ads in the coming weeks. Otherwise people may really believe he’s qualified which the Republicans will pound for the next 6 months.

  18. Observant – Rafferty was a DA for a cup of coffee. He is a pro-Life Dinosaur with no shot at beating Shapiro in the General.

    That said – Rafferty is hoping he can face off against Zappala — a regional candidate that isn’t even well-liked in his region – and a guy with a ton of baggage.

  19. This AG race is getting nasty. Zappla says Shapiro has no experience as a prosecutor. I have been told since Zappla became DA he has never prosecuted a case directly himself. Shapiro is a good administrator. Zappla has Johnny Doc’s endorsement. Shapiro has President Obama and Governor Wolf’s endorsements. I believe Steve Zappla a nice man, but a man carrying a lot of baggage in rumors . Kane has brought discredit to the AG office. It will take a man like Josh Shapiro with an impeccable reputation to restore the dignity and effectiveness of the AG office again.

  20. The shady cases are starting to add up: Leon Ford and now the death of Codi Joyce (perhaps at the hands of a Zappala godson, Connor Stevens). Immediate investigation by all media to inform voters before primary election is high priority for justice.

  21. My understanding is that DA Stephen Zappala has NEVER tried a case side becoming DA. Is that true, Observant?

    Also – what about the question below re: Connor Stevens? Are you going to answer it? Is that DA Zappala’s Godson?

  22. Josh Pal – please don’t misinterpret my shorthand…my point (which is indisputable) is that there is plenty of room for either of the two elected Prosecutors, DA John Morganelli or DA Steve Zappala, to grow in this race because Chief Administrator Josh Shapiro has peaked too early.

    I am sure that the Rafferty for Attorney General campaign hope that its hand-picked pollster, Harper Polling and the NRCCC’s Brock Cleary, does better than a C+ this time around and Montco’s Chief Administrator Shapiro is the Democratic candidate so Republican Senator Rafferty is not the least qualified candidate on the ballot to be the State’s Top Prosecutor, thereby giving the Republicans the best chance at retaking the Commonwealth’s Top Law Enforcement post.

  23. This is not good for a Democratic candidate is to trash the Harper polls for the Attorney General Election and next time accept the poll of what it was given.

  24. TYPO — They used screen-name “Observant” below. One need only look at other articles here to see what “Observant” has had to say previously.

  25. At least the Zappala team is now admitting what the Philadelphia Inquirer reported recently. They say below (using “Observer” – one of their screen-names here) that there is “a lot of room left for Morganelli/Zappala to grow.”

    Makes sense that they talk that way considering this:

    PA residents are not falling for it, though.

  26. Harper Poll rates a C+ according to 538. Also, not sure of its record on Democratic Primaries, since it is owned and operated by republicans that previously were the pollster for the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee and also polls for Senator John Rafferty Republican for Attorney General. Also, with 34% undecided, and the poll taken after the Obama/Biden, Casey, and Darrel Clarke endorsements, and the Shapiro ad barage, there is a lot of room left for Morganelli/Zappala to grow…Josh appears to have plateaued…remember, undecideds usually break for the underdog. Will also be interesting to see the model used for “likely voter” as well.

  27. Below is Jim J’s comment from the other article on the PA AG race. Perhaps Keel, John Dougherty, Marty Marks, or someone else from the Zappala campaign would like to respond? I have seen an article that corroborates Jim’s account about Zappala trying to bury the report critical of the cops. I will find it again and post it later.

    “What Zappala did in the Leon Ford case is reprehensible. He helped the Police cover-up after they shot an innocent, unarmed kid in Pittsburgh. Ford – an unarmed 19YO – was shot after Police mistook him for someone else, cursed him, called him a liar, and told him they would “get his Black ass out of his car when [they] wanted his Black ass out of the car.” Despite the fact that Ford did nothing wrong (he had valid license, insurance and registration), Zappalla charged Ford. Ford had no record of criminal convictions and was laying in a hospital bed when Zappala charged him – paralyzed by the Police bullets that ripped through his spine. Zappala’s Office lost the case in Court when a jury exonerated Mr. Ford. Before the trial, Zappala and the D.A.’s Office tried to conceal an official Report that criticized the Police involved and questioned the credibility of the officer that shot Mr. Ford. The Judge had to threaten to toss the case and three times order the DA’s Office to release the Report before Zappala finally gave it to Mr. Ford’s attorneys. In short – Zappala charged a kid that should never have been charged and then tried to bury a Report that the kid needed to defend himself from the false charges. Zappala is worse than Rahm Emanuel in Chicago.”

    Zappala? What say you?

  28. This is somewhat of a low information race. Outside of Allegheny or Montgomery Counties, the only way most Democrats know these two is from TV commercials. Its clear to see why Josh Shapiro is ahead. His commercials are much more frequent and much better than Zappala’s. The regional breakdown also makes sense for each candidate. Looks like the Zappala camp is nervous and is willing to throw anything hoping it sticks.

  29. Oh my God. This is CLASSIC. Local 98’s henchman says the poll “was clearly commissioned by Shapiro.”

    But PoliticsPA smartly reaches out to Harper. Brock McCleary, President of Harper Polling, replied: “The poll was commissioned, paid for and conducted by Harper Polling.”

    The article states that “IBEW 98 Business Manager John Dougherty has been helping out Zappala’s campaign behind the scenes.” Wonder why Little Stevie wants Johnny Doc “behind the scenes.” Zappala is coming unglued.

    The last time this Frank Keel spoke publicly, he was explaining that an attack by Dougherty and three union thugs on a non-union worker who ended up hospitalized was really self defense.

    Zappala better get on the phone with Morganelli and have him step up his attacks on Shapiro.

  • Who are you voting for in the PA Supreme Court race?

    • Dan McCaffery (61%)
    • Carolyn Carluccio (37%)
    • Still undecided (2%)

    Total Voters: 344

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