7 Ridiculous Political Ads From the Pennsylvania Governor’s Race

Election Day is almost here! Tuesday is Pennsylvania primary day, so politicians will be ceding television commercial breaks back to their usual occupants (ads for drugs, beer, cars, etc.) for a few months — until general election commercials start.

For the past month, seemingly every commercial break has been clogged with ads that are ridiculous in one way or another. (Another possibility: I just happen to watch a lot of TV that’s generally aimed at old people.) I guess I’m tired of them, but I’m going to miss the ridiculousness of a lot of the spots. Maybe it’s because they all use the same cliches, but there’s something about political commercials that is just hilarious. Here’s a roundup of some of the more notable ones from this election season.

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The Phillymag.com 5-Minute Guide to the Democratic Gubernatorial Primary

MC Hammer Explains Tom Wolf’s Giant Poll Lead

We’re now at the stage of things where the only appropriate thing to do is jokingly reference M.C. Hammer album titles. Because the latest poll centered on next Tuesday’s  Democratic primary election shows that frontrunner Tom Wolf is, uh, still running up front: Harper Polling says he commands the support of 50 percent of likely voters.

The other candidates … can’t touch this.

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WATCH: Anti-Fracking Protesters Interrupt Pennsylvania Democratic Governor’s Debate at Drexel

About halfway into last night’s Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial primary debate at Drexel University, a protester jumped on stage to criticize the four candidates — Rob McCord, Kathleen McGinty, Allyson Schwartz, and Tom Wolf — for failing to support a moratorium on fracking, the controversial mining technique.

The protester was Liz Arnold, who has been working with Pennsylvania Voters Against Fracking. The group held a rally against the process outside the gubernatorial debate at Drexel — but were rebuffed from entering the debate, says Food & Water Watch Fund Senior Pennsylvania organizer Sam Bernhardt. FWW Fund is the political arm of the D.C.-based Food & Water Watch, and is coordinating Pennsylvania Voters Against Fracking’s advocacy this election season. The group supports a moratorium on fracking in the state. Read more »

Surprising Winners and Losers in the Pennsylvania Governor’s Race So Far

Corbet photo, Jeff Fusco |  Wolf photo, AP/Chris Knight | Others, AP/Matt Slocum

Corbett photo, Jeff Fusco | Wolf photo, AP/Chris Knight | Others, AP/Matt Slocum

As things stand now, the race for Pennsylvania governor this fall should be extremely anti-climatic, a foregone conclusion as predictable as the 76ers missing the playoffs.

That said, several developments in the Democratic primary could significantly affect what will be a nationally watched U.S. senate election in 2016.

Here are the winners and losers so far:

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Tom Wolf’s Record on Racial Politics Is Clear

York businessman Tom Wolf during a Democratic gubernatorial candidates forum Tuesday Feb. 4, 2014  in Philadelphia.  AP Photo | Jacqueline Larma

York businessman Tom Wolf during a Democratic gubernatorial candidates forum Tuesday Feb. 4, 2014 in Philadelphia. AP Photo | Jacqueline Larma

Let’s get real. If Treasurer Rob McCord were actually interested in initiating a serious discussion about racism in Pennsylvania, he probably would have chosen a more appropriate format and timing than a 30-second scare ad two weeks before election day.

Still, the random last-ditch attempt to impugn the character of Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Tom Wolf has succeeded in getting people talking about race, and it’s an important discussion for Pennsylvania to have with itself. It is, after all, the most prejudiced state outside the South.

But so far the conversation has fixated on the narrow and not especially productive issue of a racist guy, and the appropriate distance for a political candidate to have from him, when the real conversation Pennsylvania needs is about policy.

The biggest problem with white racism isn’t white people mistreating people of color on a personal level — it’s how those prejudices ultimately manifest themselves in state and local laws and policies that directly or indirectly favor white supremacy, and unfairly ration opportunities and public resources to people of color.

And as it happens, Mr. Wolf actually does have a very clear policy record on racial politics, and broadening the discussion to include that record reveals a very different picture of his time in York than the one portrayed in Mr. McCord’s scare ad.

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When Did Ed Rendell Become
Such a Wuss?

Ed Rendell

When did Ed Rendell become such a wuss?

Ed’s pretty much been sitting out the race to be the Democratic nominee for governor in 2016, but he popped up over the weekend to decry an ad — from Rob McCord’s campaign, aimed at frontrunner Tom Wolf — as just too much negativity.

“I know the feeling of desperation when you’re losing, because you believe in yourself,” Rendell told a press conference, presumably in the act of clutching his pearls. “And I believe that Rob McCord believes in himself and believes that as governor he could do good things for the people of Pennsylvania. But that desire, that knowledge, should not overcome basic decency.”

Oh my!

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McCord Loved by Inky, Bashed by Rendell

What a weekend for State Treasurer Rob McCord, eh? On the one hand, he was endorsed by the Inquirer in his bid to become the Democratic nominee for governor:

While few major policy differences separate the four rivals for the Democratic nomination, McCord’s emphasis on robust education funding and natural-gas taxation shows an understanding of what’s important and achievable in Pennsylvania. He may not get the 10 percent drilling tax he has advocated, but his history shows he has the skills to get something out of what will likely remain a Republican legislature.

More than five years as Pennsylvania’s treasurer has given McCord highly relevant experience as an elected statewide official and government executive. He leads a department of nearly 400 employees with a budget of $36 million following significant reductions during his tenure. Moreover, the department’s role in managing more than $120 billion in public funds through the recession means the treasurer has deep knowledge of state finances, which should be one of the most urgent concerns of the next governor.

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Tom Wolf Will Be the Democratic Nominee. Here’s Why.

Tom Wolf. AP Photo | Chris Knight, Intelligencer Journal

Tom Wolf. AP Photo | Chris Knight, Intelligencer Journal

The increasingly shrill tenor of the Allyson Schwartz and Rob McCord campaigns’ hits on Tom Wolf heading into the last two and a half weeks of the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania Governor may lead some to believe the race is really about to heat up. Those people would be wrong.

The truth is that the race has been over for weeks, and Tom Wolf is going to be the nominee.

How do we know? Just look at the recent polling:

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Want to Be Governor of Pennsylvania? Steal This Idea from Alaska.

AP Photo | Ron Sachs

AP Photo | Ron Sachs

Hey Allyson Schwartz, if you want to break through and guarantee that you win the Democratic nomination to run for governor, have I got an idea for you. It’s loosely based on the philosophy of Sarah Palin, but don’t let that stop you.

You ready? Here goes. Pennsylvania is sitting on a mother lode of cash, right? The natural gas in the Marcellus Shale reserve is worth at least $2 trillion dollars.

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