Good Wednesday Morning, Fellow Seeker.
Normally, when a political candidate launches his or her first television ad of a new campaign cycle, it’s a soft-touch ad that tries to humanize them. Usually there’s gauzy language about the importance of hearth, home and family. Sometimes, there are dogs. Often, there are adorable tow-headed children, as the candidate spools out a story of a hardscrabble youth.
Not so Scott Perry.
In his first television ad of the fall campaign, dubbed “Plain Crazy,” the Republican incumbent from central Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District rips a page from the Donald Trump playbook, painting his Democratic rival, two-term Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, as an adjunct of The Squad who might well commute from campaign to campaign event on Antifa Air.
“Socialized Medicine takes away your private insurance and leads to long waits to see a doctor. The Green New Deal kills Pennsylvania’s energy industry while giving China a huge competitive advantage,” Perry says in a voice over, as various scenes of dystopian woe unfold on the screen. “Defunding our police? That’s just plain crazy.Yet AOC and Eugene DePasquale support all these plans. When I fought for our country, it was to protect American values and freedom, not turn us into a socialist nation, and you better believe I’ll never stop fighting. I’m Scott Perry, working for you, and I approve this message.”
In a statement, Perry’s campaign said the spot, which began airing Tuesday, is part of a seven-figure buy that will run across the 10th District, which includes Cumberland, Dauphin and York counties, until Election Day, or the Earth plunges into the sun — whichever comes first.
DePasquale has already launched his own on-air campaign, channeling his son-of-a-bar owner roots, and noted propensity for picking up very heavy things and putting them back down again.
The two York Countians are competing in one of the most closely watched congressional races in the country. And Perry, a former state representative, is among the most vulnerable incumbents in the nation this campaign season.
Thus, DePasquale’s campaign, as you might expect, was … ahhh … a tad exercised about the new Perry ad, arguing in a statement that DePasquale has never called for defunding the police, doesn’t support the Green New Deal, and wants to build on the Affordable Care Act.
“Literally everything Scott Perry says about Eugene in his attack ad is a bald-faced lie,” DePasquale spokesman Kunal Atit said in an email. “Perry can’t defend his record of putting his corporate special interest donors ahead of the people he’s supposed to represent, so he’s resorted to making things up completely … The fact that Scott Perry has resorted to such blatant lies so early, shows he’s desperate.”
Strong stuff. How does that stack up to the facts on the ground? Our independent analysis found Perry took some liberties with the facts.
1. Defunding the Police: In a June 24 statement posted to his website, DePasquale said “Defunding our police departments is not the answer, but it is clear reform is necessary.” And though it’s not part of his official duties, DePasquale, as auditor general, rolled out his own police reform plan in June, the PA Post reported at the time. It called for, among other things, “[focusing] on the events that occur to a person following an arrest and charges are filed.” DePasquale has also voiced his support for a police reform bill approved by the U.S. House that would, among other things, ban police chokeholds and reform qualified immunity, which shields police officers from prosecution. Perry was a “no” vote on the bill.
2. Medicare for Some: On his campaign website, DePasquale called for “a public option that builds on and expands the Affordable Care Act. It would allow those with private insurance to keep it, and provides the option to buy into Medicare at an affordable rate. Eugene also supports automatic enrollment into Medicaid for those who cannot afford insurance.” Which is a far cry from the kind of single-payer plan envisioned by Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives. In 2017, Perry called the law a failure. He’s voted to repeal it. Some 42,000 people in Perry’s district would lose coverage if the law were overturned, a Capital-Star analysis found.
3. No deal on the Green New Deal: And in a July 2019 interview with the York Dispatch, DePasquale said he does not support the Green New Deal. DePasquale told the newspaper that, instead, he’d “address climate change by fighting for legislation similar to what Pennsylvania signed into law in 2008, known as the Alternative Energy Investment Act, which provides grants and loans for clean and alternative energy projects such as wind and solar power.”
Gov. Tom Wolf’s expired evictions ban now faces a challenge in Commonwealth Court, Elizabeth Hardison reports.
Cumberland County’s district attorney, Skip Ebert, is facing calls for his resignation over a Kenosha-related social media post, your humble newsletter author reports.
With Pa. on the line, Vice President Mike Pence talked tough during a campaign stop in Luzerne County on Tuesday, your humble newsletter author also reports.
On our Commentary Page this morning, new opinion contributor Tom Brier (Yes, that Tom Brier) muses on the common ground between all authoritarian regimes. And an advocate for people living with autism argues that the state’s one-size-fits-all approach during the pandemic is the wrong way to go.
With two months to go, fixes to Pennsylvania’s election laws are still up in the air, the Inquirer reports.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto says protest issues in the Steel City have eased. Protesters see it another way, the Tribune-Review reports.
Gov, Tom Wolf has renewed the state’s COVID-19 disaster declaration for 90 more days, PennLive reports.
With a month to go before the deadline, Lehigh Valley cities are lagging on their Census forms, the Morning Call reports.
The Citizens-Voice has more about the Pence visit to Luzerne County.
Here’s your #Philadelphia Instagram of the Day:
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Residents of a West Philadelphia neighborhood, along with city police, are decrying the vandalism committed against a mural honoring a fallen Black police officer, WHYY-FM reports.
The Republican-controlled state House has advanced an election reform bill banning drop boxes, Spotlight PA reports.
Stateline.org explains how the pandemic is shredding the health care safety net.
U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., fended off a primary challenge from U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., on Tuesday night, Politico reports.
What Goes On.
The House comes in at 10 a.m.
9 a.m., G50 Irvis: House Health Committee
Call of the Chair: House Appropriations Committee
Call of the Chair: House Finance Committee
What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition).
State Sen. Robert M. ‘Tommy’ Tomlinson, R-Bucks, holds a 10 a.m. golf outing at the Union League Gold Club at Torresdale, in Philadelphia. Admission runs from a mere $500 all the way up to a truly preposterous $10,000.
You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Best wishes go out this morning to veteran Harrisburg civil rights activist Reggie Guy, and to LancasterOnline reporter Sean Sauro, both of whom celebrate today. Congratulations and enjoy the day, gents.
Here’s one from groove merchants Khruangbin and Leon Bridges, it’s ‘Texas Sun.’
Wednesday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
Vancouver beat Vegas 2-1 on Tuesday night, keeping their Western Conference playoff hopes alive. The Canucks are the last Canadian team left standing in this truncated playoff season.
And now you’re up to date.
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