Chris Crossing York: For Scott Wagner, any attention is welcome attention


The image of York County's Sen. Scott Wagner and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker tweaking each other's nipples would've been better left to my imagination, but the headline on Wagner's periodic newsletter misled me.

"PA AFL-CIO recognizes Scott Wagner," it read.

Hmm, I thought. Maybe it's a charm offensive, because that sounds like a pretty nice thing to do given that Wagner rails against unions and has compared them to Hitler.

Then I opened the newsletter.


There it was, a Photoshopped image (made in America, by union members!) of the Wisconsin governor and Wagner, who share a first name and a thirst for union tears.

Parody poster: The Scotts were the subject of a parody "Dumb and Dumber" movie poster which, according to Wagner's letter, hangs in the front entrance window of the AFL-CIO's downtown Harrisburg headquarters.

Nicely done, bosses.

"Oh, I bet he must be steaming," I thought of Wagner, imagining a scenario in which the millionaire Republican (who I've been told by a reliable source pays for lobbyists' dinners when they try to woo him) walked past the union office on his way to lunch and gasped at the poster.

But that's not right. Anyone who has ever shared enough time with Wagner to soak in his personality knows this is just the sort of attention he loves.

There's a reason he can shoot out his opinion like the verbal version of Yosemite Sam. He's doing a bit better than union wages, you could say, and can afford to disregard the chunks of shot-out ceiling that fall around him.

Smiling: Later in the newsletter is an image of a smiling Wagner posing in front of the poster, which he has taped by the front door of his downtown York office.

"Honestly — for me to be on the poster along with Gov. Scott Walker is flattering," Wagner wrote.

I believe you, Scott.

So consider this an open letter: The only way to get to Scott Wagner is to simply ignore him. That's what the local GOP did for years, marginalizing him and defeating the candidates he funded across York County.

It wasn't until Wagner announced a run for Senate that the local and state GOP finally started to pay attention, running tons of negative ads that included one shaming him for suing an elderly woman.

Go ahead and ask the local GOP how that ended. Actually, you can't. Because that old gang has been replaced with Wagnerians.

— Christina Kauffman writes Chris Crossing York, an occasional column, and is the project coach at The York Dispatch. She was too paranoid to take out her trash during the last Senate election. Reach her at, @shewritesitdown on Twitter, or 505-5436.