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Onorato goes up with TV ads (Updated)

Onorato goes up with TV ads (Updated)

With the clock ticking down to primary day, Democratic gubernatorial front-runner Dan Onorato appears to be the first statewide candidate in Pennsylvania with campaign ads on television.

Onorato’s campaign bought its first TV airtime for Tuesday, according to a person close to the campaign. Though the source didn’t indicate the precise size of the purchase, it was described as a “heavy” ad buy, expected to include prime-time lead-in shows Tuesday evening. Reporters from have yet to personally see any campaign ads, but will be on the lookout throughout the day Tuesday.

Onorato’s TV launch date had become a subject of intense speculation by political insiders in recent weeks. By starting to run TV ads 48 days before the primary, Onorato is taking advantage of a significant fundraising edge over his Democratic opponents; with well over $6 million in the bank, he has more than the three other candidates in the race put together.

The campaign is expected to stay on the air with TV ads from now until primary day, a dynamic that will almost certainly lead to a significant jump in name recognition for the Allegheny County Executive, who has been holding narrow leads in what most polls have shown to be a wide open race.

Onorato likely waited until Tuesday because Monday night saw the close of the latest campaign finance reporting period. When campaign finance reports are published in April, Onorato will be able to able to claim a cash-on-hand number that includes money since spent on advertising. The campaign also won’t have to detail exactly how much it spent on its first round of TV time.

An Onorato campaign spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment Tuesday morning.

UPDATE: In an e-mail to supporters Tuesday evening, the campaign spotlighted three ads it said are now running on TV. All three can be seen here; saw the one embedded below air during CBS Evening News.

March 30, 2010 at 8:00 pm

--Dan Hirschhorn



comments [31] | post a comment

  1. […] gubernatorial campaign won’t really start until candidates are running ads on television. According to PA1010, that phase starts […]

  2. Where are you?

    Mar 30th, 2010

    So it starts. I’m excited. This could be a game changer and put Onorato out of reach.

  3. steelersfan

    Mar 30th, 2010

    All those contributions collected from all those donors who got no bid contracts to build the tunnel to nowhere are finally going to pay off!

  4. TB

    Mar 30th, 2010

    Go Dan Go!

  5. David Diano

    Mar 30th, 2010

    If Dan appears in commercials and discussed his positions, look for his numbers to drop. :-)

  6. Trevor

    Mar 30th, 2010

    Here are all 3 ads on Onorato’s YouTube page:

    They look like the standard Campaign Group ads, even including a Rendell lapel pin look-a-like logo at the end.

  7. Dan Hirschhorn

    Mar 30th, 2010

    Hey Trevor,

    Thanks for pointing these out to the readers.

    What I’m waiting for is confirmation, with my own eyes, that any of these are actually running on TV.

    I don’t want to give them credit for TV ads which aren’t actually TV ads. It’s not a TV ad unless it’s on TV.

    That being said, if you see any of these, let me know when and on what channel (and in what media market) you saw them.

    And thanks for reading!

    Dan Hirschhorn

  8. homer

    Mar 30th, 2010

    The fact checks on these ads will be brutal. Dan O the Beer Taxer likes to fib his way through life.
    On jobs, Allegheny County lost 20,000 jobs from 08 to 09 alone and that job loss was second only to Philadelphia in the entire state. There are fewer overall jobs in the county at this very moment than when he took over six years ago.
    On taxes, he instituted the largest single tax increase in County history which was the package containing the infamous Drink Tax which crushed small businesses and cost jobs and working hours for tens of thousands of working people women.
    On reform, his GOP predecessor pushed the elective row office repeal as one of his major initiatives.

  9. reality

    Mar 30th, 2010

    Homer….silly response and all easily explained.
    1) The entire nation is in a recession (thanks, George W. Bush!) and every single state has lost jobs because of it. As the ad clearly says, Allegheny County has had a lower unemployment rate than the state and nation….which means it’s better.
    2) Since you talk about fact checks, what basis do you have to say the by-the-drink tax “crushed small businesses and cost jobs”? None I’ve ever seen. And since the other option was…wait for it, RAISING THE PROPERTY TAX, does that mean you support raising the property tax? Remember what the issue was: the Port Authority was horribly managed for years before Onorato took over and he was cleaning up …wait for it…a mess left by his GOP predecessor (although not really caused by him, it was left by him).
    3) Yes, true, but Dan got it done and his GOP predecessor didn’t.
    The ads look good though. Can’t wait to see “Never helped create a single job” Tom Corbett’s.

  10. steelersfan

    Mar 30th, 2010

    Dan chose to tax small business to fund the Port Authority which then built a one mile tunnel under the river with those funds at a cost of six hundred million and counting and it is still not done. So all the working people of Allegheny County paid the Beer Tax so that Dan’s buddies at the Duquesne Club ccould get no bid contracts to build the tunnel to nowehere so that they could donate to his campaign so he can run TV ads saying that while Allegheny County was losing jobs that they were lost at a slower rate than the state as a whole which had gained jobs at a faster rate than Allegheny County prior to the recession. Funny, that is not what the ad says.

  11. leftylucie

    Mar 30th, 2010

    Onorato is a corporate tool. He was so afraid of Joe the true progressive that he tried to knock him off the ballot.

  12. Trande

    Mar 30th, 2010

    western pa residents are some of the biggest idiots on the planet. take a freaking civics class you morons. I think the same 2 crosby fans post on here pissed they have a 30 cent tax on their PBR. Of course if I lived in western PA I’d need to drink my sorrows away too, and probably couldn’t afford the 30 cents because my life was my useless 20 year ago when the steel mills left and the morons couldn’t get into college or figure out what else to do….

  13. Jeff

    Mar 30th, 2010

    Hey idiots he is going to win the primary so shut up! And all of you who oppose the drink tax, Philly has had one for decades, just because you live in Western PA and there is nothing better to do than make out with your sister and get drunk welcome to the real world dummies. Try to get a job and maybe you’ll eventually succeed.

  14. aajane

    Mar 31st, 2010

    I saw an Onorato ad this evening, can’t remember the exact time or channel. I think it was during “The Good Wife” (rerun), Philly media market.

  15. TB

    Mar 31st, 2010

    The ‘drink tax’ is a consumption tax. If you don’t drink then you don’t pay it. If you pay for your beer with quarters like I did in college I can see this being a problem. If you are a full grown adult then maybe you should reconsider your level of consumption if the tax is truly having an impact on your wallet.In my opinion the drink tax was a creative way for Dan Onorato to address the fiscal problems of Alleghany County without a property tax reassessment.

  16. Enough

    Mar 31st, 2010

    Without a property tax reassessment which has been ordered by the courts over and over again. Property taxes in Dan-land overtax the poor and undertax the rich (so the rich can write campaign checks to Danny). The state Supreme Court ruled the system unconstitutional yet Dan continues to ignore the courts.

    He has no respect for the law or the courts.

    Oh, imagine the laws he could ignore as governor!!!

  17. Sticks and Stones, But Still ...

    Mar 31st, 2010

    Mr. Hirschorn, do you think you could take down the rude, name-calling posts here–that would be “Trande” and “Jeff”–so that we can maintain some civility and adult-level discussion?

    Thank you.

  18. Frank

    Mar 31st, 2010

    Disco Dan is a jerk. Why didn’t he mention his booze tax? What is his position on Mayor Luke’s pop tax? What has he done to lower property taxes in Allegheny County?

  19. Wake up, Democrats

    Mar 31st, 2010

    Dan Onorato’s ad is completely predictable and safe, just like his career. He will win the primary b/c of his money alone and lose to Corbett by 8 in the general before fading into oblivion. Remember his name, though…it may win you $20 in a PA political trivia game in 2025.


    Mar 31st, 2010

    Effective strategy for Onorato… just blatantly lie. Dan standing up to special interests…. what a joke!

  21. Jeff

    Mar 31st, 2010

    It’s sad reading all these comments of ill-educated Western PA citizens. Dan is going to win and unfortunately sitting at your computer writing nonsense is not going to change anything. If you really care get of your asses understand policy and you might actually accomplish something in your lives.

    And you can ask that these comments be taken down, unfortunately your comments are dumber then mine. When you can comment and actually sound like you know what your talking about we can have an “adult” conversation.

  22. ill-educated

    Mar 31st, 2010

    Jeff, please enlighten us.
    Explain Dan’s handling of property tax reassessments. Tell us the history of the North Shore Connector. Tell us why row-office reform wasn’t simply a political power-grab. And please, most importantly, I am dying to know why us “dummies” should accept new taxes simply because “they do it in Philly.”


    Mar 31st, 2010


    If we are ill-educated, its because we’ve grown accustomed to the vile nonsense of politicans like Dan Onorato, who say one thing and do another.

    You could say… we’ve been ill-educated by Dan, Luke Ravenstahl and their like. Its our duty to inform other Pennsylvanians so that they arent fooled.

  24. Wake up, Democrats

    Mar 31st, 2010

    From Jeff’s post, which knocked us poorly-educated Western Pennsylvanians:


    When you learn to write (and read?), we’ll allow you to have a conversation with us. Onorato will get slaughtered in the General because he’s a phony asshole.

  25. Wake up, Democrats

    Mar 31st, 2010

    Error with my prior post…

    From Jeff’s post, which knocked us poorly-educated Western Pennsylvanians:

    Dan is going to win (COMPOUND SENTENCE: NEEDS A COMMA BEFORE “AND”) and unfortunately sitting at your computer writing nonsense is not going to change anything. If you really care (THIS INTRO CONDITIONAL CLAUSE SHOULD BE FOLLOWED BY A COMMA) get of (SIC: OFF) your asses (INSERT: COMMA) understand policy (INSERT: COMMA) and you might actually accomplish something in your lives.

    And you can ask that these comments be taken down, (INSERT: BUT) unfortunately your comments are dumber then (“THAN”) mine. When you can comment and actually sound like you know what your (“YOU’RE”) talking about (INSERT: COMMA) we can have an “adult” conversation.

    When you learn to write (and read?), we’ll allow you to have a conversation with us. Onorato will get slaughtered in the General because he’s a phony asshole.

  26. BB

    Mar 31st, 2010

    This is the most shallow and non-meaning political TV ad in history. Did they really pay money for it? If this campaign thinks people are THAT stupid, than he ought to get out of the race IMMEDIATELY. Please stop this nonsense now, Onorato campaign, it’s insulting to everyone in Pa.

  27. Frank

    Mar 31st, 2010

    Jeff – a Western PA guy is going to be your next governor so get used to it. But, it won’t be Onorato. It will be Corbett. Sorry, but Joe Hoeffel is insane. I’ve been to philadelphia many times. There’s a lot of trash there. Not much else to say about the place.

  28. flynnbw

    Mar 31st, 2010

    Wow, the East vs. West rift is really heating up on this thread.

    This divides us more than party affiliation at times.

  29. $$$

    Apr 1st, 2010

    there were two on Harrisburg’s WGAL 8 news at 11 last night

  30. BB

    Apr 1st, 2010

    Please stop with the east vs. west disputes in these comments. ALL 67 counties matter in this Commonwealth. I can’t stand when people start labeling whose better, east vs. west, rural vs. urban, country vs. city. ALL 67 counties are important. We are all Pa. residents/taxpayers. Enough already. If you don’t have a smart opinion or actual facts to share, then see you later, or better yet, move to another state.

  31. NorthPADem

    Apr 6th, 2010

    Onorato is a tool his commercials wont and should not mean anything in this race all he is using them for is to make people think that he is a change agent which he is not just take a look at this record rather than phony tv commercials which have been talked about for months other than anything he has done for Pennsylvania………. if this election is swayed by these fake ads then i must question our Government. Its simply to important of an election we need someone who doesn’t need tv ads to sway us That is why Jack Wagner is the man we need.

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