Tuesday, May 13, 2014

There's liberal, there's extreme liberal, then there's Allison Schwartz

Thank you Governor Tom Corbett for explaining the political spectrum to us and who sets tax rates in the Commonwealth.  We were not aware that if you keep going left on the political spectrum that you end up at Congresswoman Allison Schwartz.  We also were oblivious to the fact that Pennsylvania's Secretary of Revenue sets tax policy and rates and is responsible for job creation.

In a series of negative advertisements in Corbett's re-election campaign, Corbett has decided to play fancy and loose with the truth.  We sort of expect this with politicians, especially when it comes to negative advertising.

In a quote generally attributed to the late Senator Hiram Johnson (CA-1917-1945,) Johnson said the truth is the first casualty of war.  Buzz and I believe that the truth is the first casualty of negative advertising.

The comments about the Schwartz are obviously political hyperbole aimed at ginning up the conservative base.  Conservatives hate liberals, and the more liberal someone is the more reason to vote against them, give money, and tell all your friends that a real God-hating, high taxing, criminal coddling, over regulating, Obama loving socialist is out to destroy the country again.  The problem with the Tom Wolf characterizations are they are a little more than political hyperbole.  They are at the very least incredibly misleading, if not outright lies.

The realclearpolitics average has Tom Wolf leading the Democratic pack by about 27 points, at just under 40 percent, with Allison Schwartz a distant second, just over 10 percent.  The other two Democrats, Rob McCord, is in the high single digits, and Katie McGinty, is close to the margin of error.  Although the November match-up polling is a bit dated, Corbett is losing badly to all four Democrats in hypothetical match-ups.

We have to give Corbett credit.  Even though Schwartz has little chance of winning the primary, starting off his radio ad with the word "liberal" gets the conservative GOP base buzzing.  If you can, it's always good to start off your ads with something that's going to get the listener listening.

The radio ad then hits the other conservative hot button --- taxes.  Although the Department of Revenue's own web site states the department's purpose as  "The department’s mission is to fairly, efficiently and accurately administer the tax laws and other revenue programs of the commonwealth to fund necessary government services," that doesn't stop Corbett from implying that the Department of Revenue sets and lobbies for tax rates.

 "Our taxes went through the roof" when Wolf was the "state's top tax collector," says the ominous voice on the radio.  Not actually true.  No broad-based taxes were raised during Wolf's 18 months in office.

Corbett doesn't stop there.  He then explains that Tom Wolf, as Secretary of Revenue killed jobs in Pennsylvania with his "high" taxes.  Wolf was Secretary of Revenue from April, 2007 until November, 2008, a time when the national economy was in a free fall as a result of the collapse of the home mortgage industry. Corbett then takes credit for creating jobs (at least in the television ad) during his term in office, a time when the entire national economy began to climb out of the recession.

Politifact rates the ad Mostly False.  USA Today says this about the ad.  "Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett compares his record on taxes and jobs with that of Democratic challenger Tom Wolf in a new TV ad called "Toy Story." It should be called "Tall Story" for its multiple deceptions."

Can we expect more?  To quote Bachman Turner Overdrive, "You ain't seen nothing yet."

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