Thursday, September 23, 2010
WHERE ARE ONORATO'S "SWIFT BOAT" ADS?
In a stroke of tactical genius, the Republicans in 2004 kept John Kerry out of the White House using campaign judo that turned a Kerry strength into a controversial liability. We're referring, of course, to the infamous "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" ads that called into question Kerry's Vientam War combat record.
Kerry's war record should have been an unassailable positive for the Democratic nominee, yet the Republican establishment funded a series of ads that recounted a different - and false - narrative of Kerry's service that muddied the waters just enough to cost Kerry in closely-fought states like Ohio.
Why aren't the Pennsylvania Democrats and the Dan Onorato campaign doing the same to Attorney General Tom Corbett and his seemingly unassailable strength - his "Bonusgate" investigation? Unlike the Swift Boat Veterans, Pennsylvania Democrats actually have the truth on their side.
Make no mistake: "Bonusgate" is one of the top two campaign issues for Corbett - otherwise he would not have emphasized it over jobs in his very first campaign ad. Polling on the issue was overwhelming enough that he blatantly broke a campaign promise never to mention it.
Given all the well-documented ammunition Onorato has to attack Corbett, it's a mystery why he hasn't.
Imagine, if you will, a Democratic Attorney General running for Governor. Imagine that his campaign centerpiece were a "corruption" investigation.
Imagine that he concluded a two-year reign of investigative intimidation by arresting Republican Senators Robert Jubelirer and David Brigthbill, along with "campaign guru" Mike Long, while leaving Mike Veon, Bill DeWeese and Mike Manzo off the hook.
Imagine that in the immediate wake of these arrests, Democratic campaign operatives used the scandal to unseat five incumbent Republican legislators.
Imagine that the Democratic Attorney General only began even to create the impression of investigating Democrats after prominent editorials accused him of partisanship.
Imagine that former Rep. Matt Wright had been arrested (only after the a newspaper revealed that Democratic A.G. had ignored the evidence against him, of course) while former Rep. Steven Stetler remained unindicted.
Imagine that a whistleblower had approached the Democratic Attorney General to report Democratic malfeasance, but was turned away, leaving a Republican District attorney to make the stunning arrest of a Democratic lawmaker.
Imagine that Republican Rep. Mauree Gingrich had been indicted for forging her nominating petitions, while Democratic Rep. Linda Bebko-Jones got off scot-free.
Imagine that overwhelming evidence of malfeasance against a Democratic legislative leader had been thoroughly documented by the media, yet that leader remained unidicted on that particular malfeasance (oh, wait; that already happened).
Imagine that the Democratic Attorney General had sent law enforcement agents to intimidate a Republican legislator who dared to criticize him publicly.
Finally, imagine that evidence revealed that this Democratic Attorney General and his taxpayer-funded staff were had used state resources for political purposes, all while prosecuting others for the same type of behavior.
Oh, and imagine that a major supporter and chair of the Democratic Attorney General's exploratory committee were a convicted felon.
You can bet that the Republican establishment in Pennsylvania would be peeing its collective pants in its rush to attack. You wouldn't see a campaign ad without the words "partisan hypocrite" delivered in a tone of voice reserved for biblical disasters. And convicted felon Bob Asher's millions would be bankrolling the effort.
In fact, we're sure that's why Corbett was so hell-bent on unmasking the merry pranksters here at CasablancaPA. He and his campaign staff surely saw the politically-damaging potential of the boneheadedness, hypocrisy and underhandedness we so happily document here.