What Fresh Hell Is This?

May 15, 2013

Latest Jack Wagner Ad

There's a new Jack Wagner ad out (you can see it here) that tries to undercut Bill Peduto's support among the younger electorate.

The ad is narrated by Wagner's daughter Sara and begins like this:
I’m Sara Wagner. My dad’s Jack Wagner and he’s running for Mayor. He knows what’s important to young people like me. He’s evolved a lot on social issues and I’m really proud of him.
However, the ad itself never says anything about how he's "evolved" on social issues.  I am guessing the campaign is hoping the electorate (READ: the young-uns already leaning towards Peduto) will just fill in the blanks.

So what does that "evolution" look like?

Chris Potter points out that:
As we've noted here previously, on LGBT issues especially, Wagner has come a long way since his city council days. And at debates, he routinely makes a point of emphasizing the importance of sensitivity to the "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community." (I don't think I've ever heard him use the acronym, now that I think of it.)

It's a cute spot, ending with a self-consciously dorky father-daughter fist-bump. But I can't help but feel it speaks to a certain unease about younger voters within Wagnerland: Polls consistently show Wagner lagging with that portion of the electorate.
That link on "previously" takes you to this piece by Lauren Daley where she writes:
Wagner's position on LGBT equality has evolved over the course of his political career. As a city councilor, he opposed a 1990 ordinance to include gays and lesbians in the city's anti-discrimination law. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that while Wagner acknowledged "incidents" of discrimination, "I don't believe that [Pittsburghers] discriminate in any systematic manner against homosexuals."

But during a 10-year stint in the state Senate, Wagner championed numerous pro-LGBT bills, including measures to bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and to punish attacks on gays and lesbians as hate crimes. In this year's mayoral race, he told the Steel City Stonewall Democrats that he backed "full equality under the law for members of the LGBT community," including "the right to marry."
Which of course is a good thing - it should be noted, however, that that same Daley piece points out that even though Wagner backed marriage equality, the Stonewall Democrats endorsed Bill Peduto anyway.

Then there's this is an odd bit of social issues dissonance.  While Daley writes:
During his failed 2010 gubernatorial campaign, some anti-choice groups touted Wagner as an ally, but while Wagner described himself as a "pro-life Democrat," he also said he "support[ed] the current state law" — which permits abortion. In any case, Wagner's campaign told City Paper that he pledged to "enforce [clinic-access] laws appropriately."
LifePAC (which touts itself as "oldest pro-life PAC in southwestern Pennsylvania") writes that:
There can be no legitimate diversity of opinion with regard to abortion and euthanasia. The truth is that human rights begin when human lives begin.

As a member of the Catholic Church we cannot support candidates or legislation that sustains keeping abortion legal. We cannot serve two masters. We must eliminate from consideration candidates who endorse policies that cannot be reconciled with moral norms that are held by all Christians.
And LifePAC has endorsed Jack Wagner

On the one hand Wagner couldn't possibly have any control over who endorses him but on the other, as Molly Ivins once wrote, "You got to dance with them that brung you."

So while Wagner's evolved on some LGBT issues (though not enough to warrant an endorsement by the Stonewall Democrats) he's still anti-abortion (or pro-life or anti-choice - you pick the label).

We report, you decide.

1 comment:

EdHeath said...

During the campaign, Mr Wagner appears to be all things to all people.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain (who still, after being revealed, still told people mostly what they wanted to hear.