Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Senator, Challenger Exchange Similar Accusations

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Senator, Challenger Exchange Similar Accusations

Article excerpt

It was the classic he said, she said. But in this case, it was a he said, he said. And he said it again.

That's the way it works, most times, in the world of political campaigning. One side believes it has an edge in messaging. The other side hits back with the exact opposite message. Rinse and repeat.

But it's unusual when that paradox plays out the way it did Monday morning in the battle for Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey's seat. During a span of five hours, the teams of Mr. Casey and Republican U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta traded nearly identical accusations over perceived ethics violations. Here's the timeline:

10:09 a.m.: The Pennsylvania Democratic Party releases a statement saying it filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics against Mr. Barletta for using official footage from the floor of the House chambers in a Senate campaign advertisement. The Democrats allege the Hazleton Republican ran ads with the footage and uploaded it to the campaign's YouTube page, a violation of House rules that state floor footage - including broadcast coverage of floor proceedings - cannot be used for political campaign purposes. In a statement, Sincere Harris, executive director of the state Democratic Party, blasts Mr. Barletta for his "unethical campaign tactics," and asserts that the congressman is "not ready for prime time."

10:33 a.m.: The state Democratic Party tweets the announcement.

We filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics for Barletta's use of official floor footage from the U.S. House in a Senate campaign ad. House Rules clearly state floor footage may not be used for any partisan political campaign purpose. - PA Democrats (@PADems) June 4, 2018

11:23 a.m.: Jason Gottesman, communications director for the Pennsylvania Republican Party, fires back with a tweet of his own.

Looks like Bob Casey has unclean hands and some explaining to do. …

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