Attack ad charging candidate with pollution taken off the air

Ad targeted company run by opponent of Pennsylvania Rep. Susan Wild

An ad launched by an environmental group attacking the opponent of Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., was pulled off the air after the opponent said it made false charges about her business causing pollution.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
An ad launched by an environmental group attacking the opponent of Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., was pulled off the air after the opponent said it made false charges about her business causing pollution. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted August 31, 2022 at 9:01pm

An ad from the environmental advocacy group LCV Victory Fund targeting Lisa Scheller, the Republican running in Pennsylvania’s 7th District, was taken off the air Wednesday after her campaign said it contained false allegations about Scheller’s company causing pollution.

Scheller is the chairman and president of Silberline, a global manufacturer started by her grandfather that specializes in aluminum pigments. She is trying to oust Democratic Rep. Susan Wild in a race rated Toss-up by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales.  

“My company has always prioritized health and safety, and I won’t tolerate dishonest attempts to smear the strong record of our employees who have spent decades building this safe and sustainable business that responsibly serves customers across the state and beyond,” Scheller said in a statement. 

The ad said that Scheller’s company “broke environmental safeguards dozens of times in Pennsylvania,” “paid more than $300,000 in penalties,” and broke the state’s environmental codes at least 64 times, including for releasing pollutants into the state’s water.

Scheller’s campaign argued that the ad misled viewers, and that the citations LCV Victory Fund included to show water pollution were from the company’s effort to remediate a site after it was purchased. 

“Pennsylvanians are fed up with political stunts and mistruths coming from Washington, and I am disappointed that Susan Wild and her allies continue to perpetuate misinformation not only about me but about hundreds of manufacturing employees,” Scheller added.

LCV Victory Fund announced the $2 million television ad campaign last week, focused on Republican Yvette Herrell of New Mexico and Democrats Mike Levin of California, Jahana Hayes of Connecticut, Sharice Davids of Kansas, Kim Schrier of Washington, and Wild.

David Willett, a spokesperson for LCV Victory Fund, said in an email that an additional ad is forthcoming. 

“LCV Victory Fund stands by the ad and remains concerned about the history of environmental violations and enforcement actions documented against Lisa Scheller’s company, but rather than engage in a time-consuming back-and-forth with Lisa Scheller’s lawyers, we’re going to focus our energy and funds on talking to the voters about why Lisa Scheller is out of step with Pennsylvania’s 7th District,” he said.