Brabender behind Ravenstahl ads?

Published by Tim McNulty on .


Is BrabenderCox -- the Republican media firm for Rick Santorum, Tom Corbett and Tim Murphy -- producing Democrat Luke Ravenstahl's attack ads on foe Bill Peduto? It sure looks like it.

The fuzzy image above of a worried senior (who's maybe wondering in what world Boston is "exotic") is from the latest ad from Ravenstahl's "Committee for a Better Pittsburgh" in the city mayor's race. Little is known publicly about the PAC, other than Ravenstahl's stagnant reelection committee is funding it. (It looks like the PAC didn't have to file financial docs Friday like everybody else because it is not representing -- or giving directly to -- a candidate on the May 21 ballot. Ravenstahl stopped being a candidate March 1.) The treasurer for Ravenstahl's PAC, John Morgan, a public employee on the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority payroll, hasn't been returning phone messages either.

But somebody is producing the ads. One clue that is the firm placing the media buys also did them for the SuperPAC behind Santorum's presidential run last year. (Brabender is a close Santorum advisor as well as media/advertising guy.) But there's another, better one:


The woman in the footage above is also in a spot BrabenderCox did in October 2012 in Murphy's congressional campaign against Democratic challenger Larry Maggi. Her clothes, pictures, vase, everything, are the same. Murphy's October FEC report lists the Pittsburgh company as its media firm too. It's stock footage, yes, but what are the chances that two different firms would pick the same footage just months apart and in the same media market? (Brabender hasn't returned phone messages.)

The attacks in the latest Ravenstahl spot, by the way, are spurring jokes among Peduto supporters on Twitter (using #wagnerstahlattacks) on other attack pitches passed over in the commercial:


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