The Tom Corbett campaign was up with a new attack ad over the weekend making tough -- and at times unfair -- comparisons between Dan Onorato and (the unpopular) Ed Rendell.
We knew these ads were coming, as both gubernatorial candidates faced off over the last month of the race to win over undecided voters. Onorato launched a two aggressive spots last week and Corbett -- despite doing some softer ads lately -- ran two negative ads about Onorato/Democrats earlier this fall.
The spot-- which the Corbett camp wouldn't share with us, but we taped off TV -- is a hodgepodge of questionable claims.
Right at the front it quotes a WashPost story and says "Dan Onorato calls Ed Rendell his role model." Nope. Post columnist David Broder said that -- in a column we dismissed as "sloppy" last month -- not Onorato, even if the Democrats' storylines (economic turnarounds in big cities) or campaign strategies (turn out the vote in Philly) do compare.
Next the ad says "Onorato loves raising taxes," and the source there is the ultra-conservative Americans For Tax Reform. (Corbett's no-tax pledge to them has come up before.) Not exactly objective.
It next says "Onorato handed Allegheny County families their largest tax increase in history," over shots of people sweating over tax returns -- except the ad is referring to the alcohol tax, and the source is a columnist for the Tribune-Review. (Why is it the biggest ever? Because the county went from zero taxes on booze to a 10 percent tax in 2008, which was lowered to 7 percent a year later.) A side note: if families are indeed sitting at home using calculators to tally their alcohol taxes, that's kind of a red flag. Might want to see a doctor, or take the minivan to AA.
Then it hits Onorato for supporting energy taxes, which it says will hurt job-creation. Okay. That is a genuine difference with Corbett (who does not support taxing Marcellus Shale at all -- which puts him at odds with legislative leaders of his own party.) And that the job side/utility costs side of the energy debate has been going on in lots of races, including the Senate race.
It ends with "If you want four more years of Rendell's higher taxes and job losses, then Dan Onorato is your guy."
Here's the Republican's new spot: