Truitt cries foul over false claims on Snyder mailer

Democrats acknowledge error on claims that State Rep. voted for gas tax hike

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times


The mailer in question that went out to voters in the 156th District from Democrat Sandra Snyder incorrectly claims State Rep. Dan Truit voted for the 2013 transportation bill and its resulting gasoline tax increase. Truitt voted four times against the measure.

WEST CHESTER — A State Representative’s reelection campaign is crying foul over a mailer sent out by his challenger that incorrectly claims he voted for the 2013 transportation bill and related tax increase on gasoline.

State Representative Dan Truitt (R-156) expressed frustration that his voting record was misrepresented on a mailer from Democrat Sandra Snyder that went out last week, blasting Truitt and tying him to unpopular Gov. Tom Corbett, bashing him over schools funding and the lack of an extraction tax on natural gas.

Truitt voted against the bill a total of four times, including procedural votes, during the week of Nov. 18, 2013.

Both the Snyder campaign as well as the House Democratic Campaign Committee admitted the error — and both continued the attack on Truitt, suggesting despite his “no” vote, he still bears responsibility for the tax hike.

“While I regret that small inaccuracy in the recent mailer, the fact remains that the $.28 per gallon gas tax imposed on Pennsylvanians is a direct result of the actions my opponent has taken as a member of the PA House,” Snyder said in an email response asking for comment on the matter. “My opponent’s priority is giving away our tax money to gas drillers and other special interests.  If he had supported a severance tax on gas drillers, like those in place in all other gas producing states, Pennsylvania taxpayers would not have to bear such a high burden for roads and bridges that are safe, or quality public education.”

Truitt expressed frustration at what he said he sees as the Democrats’ misrepresenting his record in office — and seeming not to care even when, he said, his voting record is clear.

“While admitting her lies, Ms. Snyder goes on to further cast mis-truths. In actuality, I am a co-sponsor of legislation to impose a severance tax on natural gas drilling,” Truitt said. “If my opponent bothered to look into my voting record, she would have found that I frequently vote against my party on legislation creating tax breaks for special interests.

“If Ms. Snyder’s logic is that because I am of a party, that I agree with everything they do, then she must fully support a proposed doubling of the income tax on middle class families and seniors like those in the 156th District, and she must oppose any common sense pension reform to save property taxpayers billions — because that is exactly the agenda of the FreshStart organization whose endorsement she proudly accepts.”

It appears that the error came from an HDCC staffer or outside contractor, which errantly identified Truitt as having voted for the transportation bill. The mail piece uses a template created for a number of Democratic campaigns across the state, sources acknowledged.

An HDCC spokesperson, Matt Goldfine, offered an apology, but also continued to take Truitt to task for his support of Corbett.

“While Dan Truitt has voted with Corbett 95% of the time it does appear that this particular citation was an administrative error made by a researcher,” said Goldfine, issued by the organization. “We apologize for this error, but do believe that Mr. Truitt owes voters an explanation for why he has voted 95% of the time with Corbett.”

The 156th District includes much of the West Chester Area School District and Birmingham in the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District.

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  1. Barb McIlvaine Smith says:

    So Truitt actually voted AGAINST the Transportation bill? He obviously doesn’t care about fixing our crumbling roads and bridges. And for someone who calls himself an “outsider” he sure is learning how to play the game. Check this out – he voted against the budget but voted for the fiscal code. Hmmmm…

  2. Judy says:

    This sounds just stupid and careless. And the Dem obviously can’t take the responsibility for the error.
    I’m more concerned about the Walker investigation and the fact that probably nothing will happen until after election day. That’s when we’ll find out How much, if anything that Chris Ross knew about the situation. He was on the board of the Upland School and into the equestrian circle so I can’t imagine he didn’t know what was going on. Just an opinion Mr. Mike. No proof, just questions.

  3. steve says:

    We’ve seen this type of “say it often enough, and it becomes acceptable” (not the truth, but it puts the opponent on the defense). Have them deny, and put the notion in people’s heads anyway. We now see many instances of this filtering down from the national spotlight, to our local representatives. With the invention by Al Gore of the internet (ok, ok), there is NO excuse for putting out falshoods out there. We all get the stretching, or selective interprtation of stances that goes on…but the inept research by these staffs just baffles me. I wonder if there are really inept people doing these things, or just those blind with the “power” of working on a campaign, and pleasing the candidate and wants to give his candidate the edge??

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