What Fresh Hell Is This?

May 14, 2013

More Peduto Swiftboating From Luke Ravenstahl

As disappointing and yet unsurprising as this is, Jack Wagner's de facto political ally, Luke Ravenstahl is at it again with another Swiftboat ad targeting Bill Peduto.

You remember the last one, right?  Bought and paid for by Ravenstahl's "Committee for a Better Pittsburgh" and produced by every Republican's favorite Swiftboating firm, SRCP Media.

From McNulty at the P-G, we learn that the ad:
...containing a hodge-podge of opposition material on the Democratic contender in the May 21 primary. FCC records show he'll be on air through primary day next week.
The FCC link confirms that this ad is also produced by SRCP Media.

I wonder how many of the City's democrats know that at least part of the cash they shoveled into Luke's campaign coffers has since been reshoveled into the PR firm that smeared John Kerry in 2004?

But I digress.  Back to the Luke's swiftboating.

The last charge of the ad has this text:
And Peduto supported raising seniors property taxes but using others people's money, including tax dollars to take exotic trips.
Ominously intoned over photos of concerned seniors while the showing us these dates as "evidence" to support that assertion:
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 12/18/03
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 6/5/08
But this being a swiftboat ad, what can we expect about the "facts" underlying the smear?   You won't be disappointed to learn the unsurprising relationship between what the ad says the P-G said and what the P-G actually said.

I want to take a look at that "exotic trip" Peduto took, here's what Rich Lord actually wrote in the piece SRCP is using to swiftboat Peduto:
Mr. Peduto's travels start with a trip Monday to Harvard University for a national conference on the use of pension funds to revitalize neighborhoods. He said the city will pay about $600 for airfare and one night in a hotel -- the only part of his travel plans he expects taxpayers to cover.

Shortly after that, he'll take an 11-day trip to Turkey, courtesy of the Pittsburgh Dialogue Foundation, which fosters communication between cultures. That trip, which will take him from urban Istanbul to the cave warrens of Cappadocia, is about "tolerance and understanding," he said. "We'll be studying the cultural interaction between Christians, Muslims and Jews in five cities." [Emphasis added.]
A paragraph later Lord writes:
Mr. Peduto got a letter from the city's Ethics Hearing Board approving the trip, noting that the foundation has no business dealings with the city.
So that's it?  $600 for a trip to Hah-Vahd, a trip OK-ed by the Ethics Hearing Board?

See how that works?  This is the swiftboating that Ravenstahl's paying for.

Don't fall for it.

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