Campaign Mailer Causing Controversy In County Council Race
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Dan McClain describes himself as a hard-working local man.
The 35-year-old Democratic County Council District 1 candidate was out campaigning on his grandparents’ street Friday.
“I’m the only candidate with a real vision for property tax reform to ensure fairness to homeowners,” said McClain.
Hanging over his campaign though is a mailer that was sent to thousands of homes in the district.
It accurately points out his drunken driving arrest in April, and points out that his alcohol level was twice the legal limit.
A picture also shows McClain holding a liquor bottle to his mouth with a drink in his other hand. He says the picture is from eight years ago and that the liquor bottle was empty.
He agreed to speak to KDKA’s Marty Griffin about the mailer.
Griffin: “The flyer, how does it strike you in terms of campaigning and message?”
McClain: “This race isn’t about me; it’s about the people of Allegheny County and who has the best vision to move the region forward.”
We tried to ask him about the flyer again.
Griffin: “How does it strike you, this flyer?”
McClain: “Once again, this race isn’t about me.”
We tried again.
Griffin: “Can you talk about when the photo was taken?”
McClain: “This race is about the people of Allegheny County, it’s not about me.”
Griffin: “Can you talk at all about the arrest?”
McClain: “This race, once again, is about the people of Allegheny County, not myself.”
We tried again, asking about negative campaigning.
McClain: “This race is not about me.”
Griffin: “I’m not asking about you. You’re getting on my nerves now. You want to be a politician, and you can’t answer any questions?”
McClain: “I want to talk about what we can do with this region.”
Griffin: “I get that, but I’m asking you about negative campaigning. Do you approve or disapprove of it?”
McClain: “I disapprove of negative campaigning.”
His opponent, Republican Tom Baker, did not put together the flyer. The state Republican Party did. Still, he’s fine with it.
“I mean, it states the truth,” said Baker.
Baker, who had a stepfather hit by a drunk driver, calls it a character issue, not dirty politics.
“It’s truthful that it happened. It happened in our district, it happened during this year and it happened in West View,” Baker said. “If we want to influence law and pass laws as County Council members, then we also follow the law.”
One of these two men will take over the city council seat. In doing so, they will represent about 64,000 people.