Truth Test: Attack Ads For Pa. Governor Race

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The gloves are off in the race to be the next governor of Pennsylvania. Both candidates, Tom Corbett (R) and Dan Onorato (D), are airing television commercials attacking each other on jobs and the economy, but an Eyewitness News “Truth Test” found not everything they say is perfectly true.

Take Dan Onorato’s claim that “Tom Corbett supported economic policies that cost thousands of jobs.” This is misleading because the commercial makes it sound like Corbett himself instituted those economic policies. Instead, this is based on the fact that Corbett supported George W. Bush’s reelection campaign in 2004, and the country lost jobs during the Bush presidency.

The bottom line is that Corbett’s job as Pennsylvania Attorney General – and before that U.S. Attorney in Pittsburgh – has nothing to do with the economy or creating jobs.

So, while Onorato’s claim that Corbett has created no jobs is technically true, it’s also misleading because he doesn’t have that power as a prosecutor.

Then, there is Tom Corbett’s ad attacking Dan Onorato. Corbett claims that as Allegheny County Executive, “Onorato broke his promise to cut property taxes. Now they’re among the highest in the U.S.” This is also misleading because the commercial makes it sound like Onorato increased property taxes. He has not. Instead, he simply has not cut them.

Plus, it’s worth pointing out that homeowners in Pennsylvania pay most of their property taxes to their local school district – something Dan Onorato has no control over as a county executive.

Tom Corbett also says that “Onorato’s excessive tax increases forced small businesses to close.” This claim refers to a new tax in Allegheny County on poured alcoholic drinks that Onorato supported. The money is going toward mass transit in the Pittsburgh area. After the tax was implemented, news reports indicate that some bars did shut down, but the vast majority, 95 percent, paid the tax without a problem.

Finally, Tom Corbett’s commercial says this about Dan Onorato: “Under Onorato’s leadership, a tragic 21,000 people were added to the unemployment line.”

Strictly by the numbers, this is true. But it’s largely the fault of the national recession. The real question here is: can local officials like Onorato be held accountable for the recession?

It fairness to Onorato, Allegheny County is faring better than most of the country when it comes to the number of workers unemployed. Allegheny County’s 8 percent unemployment rate is lower than both the Pennsylvania average (9.2 percent) and the national unemployment rate (9.6 percent).

Reported By: Ben Simmoneau, CBS 3


One Comment

  1. Chris says:

    The Republicans in PA are running a negative ad that shows a person digging a hole in the ground and stating that to continue digging is insane. Actually, the Republican is digging the FOUNDATION for the NEW DEMOCRAT AMERICA that will be building new and better Light, Public, and long-distance High Speed Rail Systems in American, and building NEW and IMPROVED Energy generation and distribution services, and building a NEW and IMPROVED Financial System where the workers actually have a choice and can understand the ‘fine print’ of Mortgages, Credit, Credit cards, atc., and building a NEW and IMPROVED Medical system that helps eliminate waste and duplication and its errors, and protects the young and the old and everyone inbetween from the harm done by greedy insurance companies, and corrupt or fraudlent clinics and so-called medical professionals. Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Republican, please show us the Foundation hole being dug, we ARE BUILDING UPON IT.. Thanks

  2. Chris says:

    Would it not be nice if everyone stopped the lies and told us what they and their people are going to do to solve our problems? Yelling at each other is not getting the jobs completed, and people should just vote NO to both parties.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Philly

Getaway Guide: Best Of The Jersey Cape Clams

Watch & Listen LIVE