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McCord airs contrast ad on fracking tax

State Treasurer Rob McCord is running a new TV advertisement, entitled "Sucker," that is the first to take on an opponent by name in Pennsylvania's Democratic primary race for governor.

In it, McCord says that he is the only one who would put a 10 percent tax on natural-gas fracking, with the proceeds going to protect the environment and fully fund schools.

"Tom Wolf and the others would leave hundreds of millions in the drillers' pocket," McCord says in a direct-to-camera shot.

That is a reference to the front-runner, a businessman and former state revenue secretary from York, in the race for the Democratic nomination. McCord and the others need to bring his poll numbers down to earth in order to have a chance in the May 20 primary.

A casual viewer may think that Wolf and the other Democrats favor keeping Pennsylvania the only state in the nation that doesn't tax production of natural gas. That's not true, it's just that they have proposed taxes in the 5 percent range. McCord believes that is too timid.

"I'm tired of being played for a sucker," he says in the ad. "If you are too, join us."

His opponents, Wolf, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz and former DEP secretary Katie McGinty, say that their proposals have a more realistic chance of gaining legislative approval.

"Tom believes it's time the oil and gas companies finally pay up in order to fund our schools, and we have a choice -- play politics on this issue or actually get it done," said Mark Nicastre, spokesman for the Wolf campaign.