The Bill Peduto mayoral camp is out with its fourth TV ad of the spring, this one pivoting in a positive direction . . . as much as one can pivot while driving a street-sweeper.
The campaign among Peduto, Jack Wagner and Jake Wheatley has long been about who best can wipe away the messes of the Ravenstahl era and in this spot the councilman wheels around city neighborhoods while talking about ethics legislation, making UPMC pay more in taxes and his oft-cited claim about giving back a 2003 salary increase in a bid to save police jobs.
UPDATE: Regarding the police jobs, the Wagner camp responds:
For three weeks in a row, Bill Peduto has made a dubious claim the centerpiece of his campaign. A recent campaign mailer attacking Jack Wagner suggested Councilman Peduto "cut his own salary ... saving police jobs". This has been repeated in Peduto's most recent ad, an attack ad on Jack Wagner, and two negative direct mail advertisements. Today, the Wagner for Mayor campaign calls on Mr. Peduto to answer two simple questions: "Who are the officers whose jobs you saved?" and "Why are you trying to have it both ways on your salary increases?"
"We call on Councilman Peduto to immediately take down his deceptive advertisements making this false claim and apologize for misleading Pittsburgh," said Wagner Campaign Manager Henry de Koninck. "This claim is a lie. Mr. Peduto's stunt may make for a good campaign sound byte but the facts suggests a much more troubling record on bolstering public safety for Bill Peduto."
UPDATE 2: The Peduto camp defended its statements on his salary waiver and struck back at Wagner (as it has in the past) by noting he took a salary and pension increases while a state Senator. From spokeswoman Sonya Toler:
In contrast, Jack Wagner voted for automatic pay increases, raising his own salary by more than $17,000. He later voted to boost his own pension by 50%. How many jobs did this save? Zero.
Our challenge to Wagner remains: Give it back, Jack.