GOP County Councilor responds to Flaherty campaign attack over support of Wagner for controller | Blogh

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

GOP County Councilor responds to Flaherty campaign attack over support of Wagner for controller

Posted By on Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 1:21 PM

GOP County Councilor responds to Flaherty campaign attack over support of Wagner for controller
Mark Patrick Flaherty and Chelsa Wagner

On Friday we reported on a press release from the campaign of Mark Patrick Flaherty who is running to try and regain his seat as Allegheny County Controller against current controller Chelsa Wagner. In the release Flaherty's camp took Wagner to task for an upcoming fundraiser that features GOP County Councilor Heather Heidelbaugh as a co-host.

“Chelsa Wagner teaming up with a Tea Party Republican who is a leading national advocate for Voter ID laws and who called President Obama a Socialist is a slap in the face of every member of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee whose endorsement she seeks,” Mark Patrick Flaherty’s campaign manager Abby Murphy said last week.

We never got a response back from Wagner's campaign, but on Tuesday afternoon Heidelbaugh wrote a letter to Flaherty, which she so graciously copied to the media. Here are some highlights:

The letter is broken up into five sections with titles like: "Don't let your campaign staff lead you in a direction that is beneath your dignity," "Stick to the Issues," and "Be your own man" — a reference to the fact that everyone believes that Flaherty is being supported by Fitzgerald, even if no one will officially admit it.  

"The press release your campaign issued had no useful information for the voter and was only meant to cast aspersions on Chelsa because she and I are friends and I support her in her bid for re-election," Heidelbaugh wrote. "I guess the point of the press release is to say Democrats shouldn't vote for someone who is a friend with a Conservative or maybe more particularly me.

"And if the point is the latter, why did your campaign fail to indicate we are friends? It's hard for me to beleive that you personally prescribe to these precepts."

In closing Heidelbaugh wrote: "In conclusion Mark, this press release is benath you. Don't let your ambition to hold elective office get the best of you." You can read the entire letter after the jump:

UPDATE: Flaherty released a statement in response to Heidelbaugh's letter urging Wagner to cancel the fundraiser or forgo seeking the party's endorsement.

According to Flaherty's release: 

Flaherty said that Wagner’s alliance with the sole countywide elected Republican is hypocritical while seeking the Democratic endorsement.

“It is beyond hypocritical for Chelsa Wagner to be seeking the endorsement of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee while aligning herself with the top Republican elected official in the county who’s an avowed supporter of restrictive Voter ID laws that disenfranchise, voters,” Flaherty said.

Pointing to Heidelbaugh’s support of an agenda that the Democratic Party has long opposed, Flaherty called on Wagner to cancel her fundraiser or withdraw from the consideration of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee.

“The Democratic Party has fought too hard to combat the anti-voter, anti-worker agenda that Heather Heidelbaugh strongly supports,” Flaherty said. “Chelsa Wagner should do the right thing and cancel her fundraiser with Councilwoman Heidelbaugh or she should withdraw from seeking the Democratic Committee endorsement.”

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