The GOV race “entered an aggressive new phase” 9/29 “as a pair of campaign commercials” by Allegheny Co. Exec Dan Onorato (D) began airing, “assailing” AG Tom Corbett (R) “as a budget-buster, a property-tax-raiser, and a fleet-car abuser, not to mention a candidate who had insulted laid-off workers.” These “first negative ads of the” cycle “came 34 days” or “just under five weeks” before the 11/2 election.
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Muhlenberg College prof. Christopher Borick: “I would be shocked if this wasn’t the beginning of many more (negative) ads”
The “conventional political wisdom suggested that Onorato had to fire first” as he is “trailing in polls” and “must break the status quo in order to catch up.”
Corbett mgr Brian Nutt: “In his desperation to mislead Pennsylvania voters, Dan Onorato attacks Tom Corbett’s actions as attorney general to protect and defend Pennsylvania families” (Infield, Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/1).
Stumpty Stump Stump
On the stump in Montgomery Co, Onorato spoke to reporters.
Onorato: “You get to see the state in a way you’d never probably see the state before. I love Philadelphia and the region here. It’s been great. It’s been good to me in the primary and I’m looking forward to Election Day and coming back as governor”
Onorato, on Corbett: “He’s been a prosecutor; I’ve been an elected executive running the second largest county. I’ve cut government, balanced budgets without raising property taxes for seven years in a row, downsized the number of elected officials, downsized 911, cleaned up brownfields, got the economy moving again. That’s exactly what the next governor is going to do for the state, so that experience is going to serve me well going into the governor’s house.”
Onorato on his agenda: “We’ve got to create an environment for the public sector to want to be here,” he said. “We have the second highest corporate tax structure. We’ve got to lower that” (Celona, Montgomery Times Herald, 10/1).
A Really Taxing Debate
Onorato said Corbett already “backpedaled on his pledge not to raise taxes if elected,” charging Corbett “said he’d consider increasing workers’ payroll deductions to shore up the state’s unemployment fund.” Corbett’s camp called the deductions a “contribution” but “Onorato says it’s a tax.”
“Analysts say” that voters “don’t see a difference between calling something a contribution instead of a tax. They just care that it would come out of their paychecks” (Andren, Harrisburg Patriot News, 10/1).
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After spending a few minutes re-litigating the Democratic primary, Donald Trump turned his focus to Obamacare. “I inherited a mess, believe me. We also inherited a failed healthcare law that threatens our medical system with absolute and total catastrophe” he said. “I’ve been watching and nobody says it, but Obamacare doesn’t work.” He finished, "so we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare."
Donald Trump lobbed his first attack at the “dishonest media” about a minute into his speech, saying that the media would not appropriately cover the standing ovation that he received. “We are fighting the fake news,” he said, before doubling down on his previous claim that the press is “the enemy of the people." However, he made a distinction, saying that he doesn't think all media is the enemy, just the "fake news."
"The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN. But a White House official said late Thursday that the request was only made after the FBI indicated to the White House it did not believe the reporting to be accurate."