Home » Discussion, Race for PGH 2013 » Jeanne Clark goes negative… against Peduto?

Jeanne Clark goes negative… against Peduto?

The race for the open seat on Pittsburgh City Council that’s being vacated by Bill Peduto has stayed largely positive, before a couple of mailings from the Jeanne Clark campaign in the past couple of weeks.

In the most recent one, she delivers Jack Wagner’s talking points against Peduto into his own district.  Wagner has long been making the argument that Bill Peduto does not get along with others on council, based on statements made by Darlene Harris and Ricky Burgess.

It’s an odd argument for Wagner to make.  Peduto was part of a coalition on council that passed some of the most progressive legislation that the city has seen in most of our lifetimes:  prevailing wage, clean air and clean water, to name a few.  And it also doesn’t line up with the long list of elected officials who have endorsed Peduto.  On Council:  Patrick Dowd, Bruce Kraus, Natalia Rudiak.  In the County: Rich Fitzgerald, Chuck Martoni, Bill Robinson, John DeFazio.  In the State:  Wayne Fontana, Jay Costa, Ed Gainey, Erin Molchany, Dan Frankel, Paul Costa.  Our friends at p2pac were part of a press conference with over 40 elected officials & organizations that support Peduto and are excited to be a part of a new governing coalition in Pittsburgh.

But back to Jeanne Clark’s mailer.  Here it is:

Without listing Peduto or Dan Gilman (who is also running for the seat) by name, she takes a swipe by repeating the Wagner talking points.  And this in a district that’s likely to vote 3-to-1 or more for Peduto in the mayor’s race.

Is Jeanne Clark really trying to help Life PAC-endorsed Wagner chip away at Peduto’s base vote?  The timing of the mailing came the same day that Wagner released an ad featuring his daughter claiming that he has “evolved on social issues” and tops it off with an awkward fist bump.  With Ravenstahl putting a couple of hundred thousand dollars into attack ads against Bill and giving $10,000 to Wheatly to prop up Wagner, while Wagner plays dumb, stranger alliances-of-convenience have happened.

Will it help Clark?  I don’t see how it does.  It doesn’t make a clear argument either for voting for Clark or against Gilman.  Will this hurt Peduto?  Probably not.  At this point, everyone has heard the Wagner attacks against Peduto, and—if you believe the latest polls—people either aren’t buying it or don’t care.

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  • Third Way

    There is a third candidate in the race PP–Sam Hens-Greco, and Clark’s misguided mailer seems to make the case for electing him. Sam’s approach on council will be deliberative and non-confrontational (as anyone who knows Jeanne knows, her MO is to stir up conflict), and unlike Dan, Sam will not bring 10+ years of council baggage to the table.

    • doug shields

      baggage? or did you mean to say, “ten years of experience, proven ability and commitment to good government.” That would be Mr. Gilman.

  • Doug Shields

    The 2013 campaign narrative of “getting along” in Council is a bit much.

    As an advocate, Ms. Clark and others of the progressive wing of the Democrat Party have enlisted the aide of Council Members (Mr. Peduto and myself included) to fight for their causes – we did and we often times won despite rigorous opposition.

    Ms. Clark, who has a life-long record of embracing political conflict (nothing wrong with that in my book), seems to be signing a different tune in this campaign.

    The Council, as with any legislative body, is where ideas are debated and advocated. There will be differing opinions on matters and outright opposition. It isn’t always pretty or nice. They day you don’t hear passionate debate and determined advocacy in the Council is the day we should all be concerned.

    I note that Ms Clark has not sent apologies to the likes of Senators Toomey, Santorum, et al., or reprimands to those “divisive” Democrats who had the gall to take them to task in public forums. Early in her campaign, Ms. Clark’s campaign lit stated she would work with Mayor Ravenstahl, when only last year she and the Mayor had a well publicized dust up at a charity event receiving line.

    I have no problem with any Member of Council who is determined, prepared and willing to fight for the issues that matter. I do have a problem with someone who says they will do all of these things and, at the same time, say they will “get along” with the opposition. It just does’t work that way.