Peduto ad goes negative on Wagner votes

Published by Tim McNulty on .

The Bill Peduto mayoral campaign is going negative on Jack Wagner, attempting to define him for voters a month away from the May 21 primary.

The second spot from the Peduto camp largely targets votes Wagner made in his decade in the state Senate and comments he made about Gov. Tom Corbett's 2011 budget -- their backup for the claims is after the jump. Wagner's second spot, centering on his Vietnam experience, began airing Saturday.

Statement from J.J. Abbott, Wagner for Mayor spokesman:

"It is unfortunate for the people of Pittsburgh that Bill Peduto has dragged this campaign into the mud. But it's really no surprise given Bill Peduto's past. Bill began his career running a dirty campaign and clearly nothing about him has changed. This is a desperate attempt by the Councilman to distract from his own negative, divisive record that has created a culture of dysfunction in City Hall. City Government desperately needs a change, but all we've seen from Bill Peduto is more of the same."

From the Peduto campaign:

1. Wagner supported Harrisburg Republicans in $400 million in cuts in 2011 [1] that affected programs such as the Meals on Wheels [2] for senior citizens. Wagner said, "I think Gov. Corbett is right" in keeping unanticipated revenue and so-called welfare savings in reserve. Democrats criticized Wagner's position of proceeding with the cuts in light of a surplus of unanticipated revenue.

2. Wagner supported revisions that purged 113,000 Medicaid cases in 2011, negatively impacting many children. About the cuts from Corbett's purge of the Medicaid roles, Wagner said "We've been saying this for years that there's some serious problems here." [3]

3. Wagner voted for automatic pay increases [4] that raised his salary more than $17,000 in 1995 [5]. He later voted to increase his pension by 50 percent in 2001. [6,7] Wagner acknowledged he voted for automatic pay increases as a way to avoid voting on big pay increases.

On City Council, Bill Peduto voluntarily cut his own pay in 2004. Bill Peduto was the first elected official to call for Pittsburgh to enter Act 47, and said that he could not ask others to make tough sacrifices without making some himself.


[1] "Wagner sides with GOP on budget," Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 6/3/11,

[2] PBPC Report, 7/13/11,

[3] "State reports purging 113,000 Medicaid cases since July," Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 10/27/11,

[4] "Freeze state pay raises, watchdog urges," Tribune-Review, 12/1/10

[5] Temple University Study, 2/28/11, pg 68,

[6] "Plentiful pensions: Pennsylvania's next battle," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 6/18/12,

[7] HB26, Concur in House amendments, 5/8/01

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