Zappala Touts Experience in Closing Ad (VIDEO)

Stephen Zappala is making his closing argument.

The Allegheny County DA sets his final commercial in a courtroom and argues why he should be the Democratic nominee for Attorney General.

“For eighteen years I’ve worked in this courthouse,” Zappala begins. “To stand up for victims of crimes, for more fairness in our criminal justice system and to hold big corporations and politicians accountable when they break the law.”

“As your Attorney General, the Harrisburg crowd will know exactly where the line is because I’ll go after taxpayer rip-offs and crack down on consumer fraud,” he continues. “And I’ll also create an Office of Civil Rights, to protect every citizen.”

“As your Attorney General, I’ll answer to you, and only to you,” Zappala concludes.

The thirty-second spot also touts the candidate’s endorsements from several newspapers, including the Philadelphia Daily News, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Harrisburg Patriot-News.

Zappala is running against Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro and Northampton County DA John Morganelli in the April 26th Democratic primary.

18 Responses

  1. Someone in the Zappala camp needs rot explain to me why I should vote for Zappala over Morganelli. If this is truly about “experience in a DA’s Office” – Morganelli has more than Zappala. Morganelli hasn’t been forced to give $$$ back to corrupt contributors. Morganelli is not alleged to have family members involved in Kids 4 Cash scandal. Morganelli did not take it easy on a White guy who threw a Black guy onto train tracks.

    Why Zappala again?

  2. Oh look!! What a surprise.

    The Black Councilman that Zappala gave a break to (and refused to charge) is now supporting Zappala:

    Shocker!!!! Guess it doesn’t matter to Burgess that Zappala took it easy on a White guy who pummeled a Black guy and threw him onto train tracks.

  3. Jim – Maybe you have posted a link before. But can you provide direction on where this “Report” is available? First off – is it available somewhere?

    I would like to see what this “report” says. When was it written? Who wrote it?

  4. There is no such thing as a Zappala fan. He is a didhonest scumbag. Born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

    Look no further than his “friends.” In Pittsburgh – he doesn’t really have any. And in Philly, he is in bed with John Dougherty.

  5. Aaron: please. Give it a break. You are becoming almost as annoying as me. Stay quiet for awhile so us heavy thinkers can decide the fate of our crumbling world.

  6. I’m no Zappala fan, but the “no courtroom experience” argument against him in this instance is stupid. The State Attorney General won’t be in the courtroom trying cases – his deputies and assistants will. The AG will run the office in a managerial capacity, which has been the extent of his experience in Allegheny County for the past however many number of years.

    In any event, Zappala and Shapiro have gone the route of then-candidate Kane by injecting partisan political issues into a race for an office in which the policy preferences of the holder and other peripheral items shouldn’t be relevant. Zappala will “hold big corporations and politicians accountable” … Shapiro “represents the next generation of progressive leadership” … blah, blah, blah. All political candy thrown out to voters who don’t necessarily appreciate the difference in roles between the different branches of government.

    I don’t hold myself as an expert on him, but the Morganelli guy is at least emphasizing contrasts that are relevant to the office being sought (e.g., managerial experience in a prosecutorial setting). He and I probably don’t cast identical votes for President, Governor, etc., but that shouldn’t matter in a race for Attorney General or Treasurer.

    More so now than ever, PA needs to move closer to the federal model. Directly elect the executive and legislators. Let the Governor nominate his AG, his Treasurer and the state court judges (with the advice and consent of the legislature). I would grant that the Auditor General should remain an elected office since in many ways it’s an institutional adversary to the Governor.

  7. Zappala says of Shapiro: “He has no idea how the criminal justice system works or the myriad different agencies you work with every day,”

    Yet – when his father helped him get the job he has now., Stephen Zappala had “no idea how the criminal justice system worked.”

    Is Zappala admitting that he was clueless when he became D.A.? Why would he accept the job? Why did he even seek the job?

    This guy seems to say whatever it takes. His affiliation with Johnny Doc is enough for me to vote for Shapiro.

  8. Zappala family ties to Kids for Cash. Coincidence or lack of ethics??

    Kids for Cash where $millions (from Brother Zappala’s juvenile detention cenert) in kickbacks were paid to two judges now convicted and serving 35 years for jailing thousands of children? Or how about Zappala senior with convicted felon Vincent Fumo running attempting to run down a fellow justice in front of the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia. Or how about the millions of dollars the Zappala’s get from the casinos for doing absolutely nothing! Or how about the endorsement by Johnny “Doc” Dougherty who is responsible for beating a non union man for not paying dues.

  9. What Zappala did in the Leon Ford case is reprehensible. And now he is talking about a “Civil Rights Unit.” Zappala helped the Pittsburgh Police cover-up after they shot an innocent, unarmed kid in Pittsburgh. Leon Ford – an unarmed 19YO African American – was shot after Police mistook him for someone else, cursed him, called him a liar. The White Officers told Mr. ford 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 with felonies. Ford had no record of criminal convictions and was laying in a hospital bed when Zappala charged him. Mr. Ford was 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 an innocent 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.

  10. Someone had to print out directions to the Courthouse for Zappala. He has not tried ONE CASE as District Attorney. Not one.

  11. Who says Johnny is working’ for Little Stevie Zappala? Prove it!! Yeah — That’s what I thought!

  12. He needs to change the ending:

    It should say — “As Attorney General, I’ll answer to you, and only to you … and Johnny Doc”

  13. Zappala hides behind women’s skirts in closing. After the worm tried to carry both pro life and prochoice sympathies on his one shoulder, he ran to a make believe woman’s group to protect himself after he got caught. Like his phony play toward Black voters last month, he is now trying to ignore his 20 year long war on women by hiring a few actresses to buttress his (manhood). The big sissy never could fight his own battles.

  14. Cyril Wecht has been the president of both the American Academy of Forensic Science and the American College of Legal Medicine. He currently heads the Board of Trustees of the American Board of Legal Medicine. He served as County Commissioner and Allegheny County Coroner & Medical Examiner serving metro Pittsburgh. Here is the well-respected Cyril Wecht on Stephen Zappala and the AG race:

    “The pursuit of lawbreaking frackers, gun traffickers and drug dealers, re-establishing a strong ethics code, diversifying law enforcement, ensuring education equity, protecting the rights of women and minority groups — these are noble endeavors that need attention from the attorney general and require us to elect someone who is intelligent, sensitive, progressive, articulate and intellectually dynamic. Josh Shapiro possesses all of these qualities.

    I know from long personal experience that Mr. Zappala does not have those attributes. During the second 10-year period that I was coroner (1996-2006), Mr. Zappala was appointed district attorney — to fill a vacancy — by a vote of the Allegheny County Common Pleas judges, even though he had virtually no experience as a criminal trial lawyer. It was no coincidence that his father was a state Supreme Court justice at the time (and soon to become chief justice). Most relevantly, in 18 years as district attorney, Mr. Zappala has never tried a single case.

    In all those overlapping years, when I repeatedly spoke out about drug-related deaths, conducted open inquests on all police-related deaths and addressed other tragic scenarios involving possible criminal violations, I do not recall a single instance in which Mr. Zappala ever expressed similar concerns. Indeed, it is well-known that he engineered a federal prosecution of me — all charges eventually were dropped — because he was infuriated by the inquests I conducted involving police-related deaths.

    It is unfortunate that the Post-Gazette passively accepted Mr. Zappala’s rewriting of history and published his retrospective embellishment and blatant distortion of documented facts as the basis of its endorsement. Such a whitewash is a disservice to the citizens of our Commonwealth.”

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