City police union takes issue with Peduto's campaign ad featuring actors wearing officer uniforms
An image of Pittsburgh mayoral candidate Bill Peduto walking with men who appear to be city police officers in his latest TV ad is “deceitful,” the Pittsburgh police union said on Friday.
“He's going to great lengths to try to show he's working with Pittsburgh police officers,” said Sgt. Michael LaPorte, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1. “I think it was a deceitful thing to do. They weren't police officers.”
The ad shows Peduto, a city councilman, walking with actors wearing uniforms similar to the ones city officers wear as a voice-over explains that Peduto voluntarily cut his own salary to save police jobs.
Peduto campaign spokeswoman Sonya Toler said a city regulation prohibits the use of city employees for campaign purposes and there are regulations on the use of the city seal.
“The only way around that is to use actors,” Toler said. “The voice-over is stating that Bill Peduto took a pay cut to save the jobs of police officers, so the visual is going with that.”
The FOP met with both Peduto, 48, and former state Auditor General Jack Wagner, 65 before endorsing Wagner.
Other mayoral candidates are state Rep. Jake Wheatley, 41, of the Hill District and A.J. Richardson, 36, a community activist from Sheraden.
“We want the public to know,” LaPorte said. “This is indicative of why he didn't get our endorsement.”
Peduto did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Toler does not think the ad is deceitful.
“That's their perception,” she said. “Nowhere does it say the police are endorsing Bill Peduto.”
Jerry Shuster, University of Pittsburgh professor of political communication and presidential rhetoric, said the FOP has a legitimate complaint and the ad could have sent the same message without the imagery used.
“He did not have to be walking down the street with two pseudo policemen,” he said.
The ad could backfire on Peduto, Shuster said.
“The real issue is it's just going to highlight, one more time, and at no cost to Wagner, that he does have the FOP's support.”
Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Nurse who survived Ebola virus says Dallas hospital failed her
- Power play shines in Penguins’ home victory over Blue Jackets
- Penguins notebook: Pouliot dazzles in victory over Blue Jackets
- Steelers not limiting themselves in free agency
- Icy roads causing multiple accidents Sunday evening
- Pirates pitcher Worley is in right place, right time with team
- Pitt drops lead late, loses to Wake Forest
- Duquesne University football player died by suicide
- ALICE program aims to protect students from active shooter in school
- MLB notebook: Rockies select contract of former Pirates reliever Axford
- Antiques show at Oakmont Country Club keeps Kerr Memorial Museum going