Democratic "Super PAC" dropping $400K hit on Andy Harris
Spending in Maryland's hot First District House race continues to escalate, with a new Democratic "Super PAC" disclosing today that is spending $400,000 to attack Republican Andy Harris, the challenger to Democratic Rep. Frank Kratovil.
The new group, America's Families First Action Fund, is financed by wealthy Democrats, who have chipped in at least $1.225 million, and the International Association of Firefighters, which gave a half-million.
The Democratic group is active in more than a dozen key House races across the country. It was organized under the new rules of campaign finance that allowed the creation of so-called "Super PACs."
Rulings by the Supreme Court and other federal judges have wiped out limits on campaign money, allowing wealthy individuals, corporations and labor unions to spend as much as they want, so long as they don't give directly to candidates or coordinate their activities with candidates or their campaigns.
A Republican "Super PAC" recently entered the First District campaign in Maryland, putting at least $149,000 behind attack ads against incumbent Kratovil. Most of the financing for the effort came from Baltimore area industrialist Danny Schuster, whose Owings Mills-based concrete company donated $300,000.
In a statement to The Baltimore Sun today, and in a subsequent interview, Schuster said he is supporting Harris because Kratovil supports "spending policies that are devaluing the savings of each and every American. Dr. Harris’ monetary positions are sound and in the best interest of the American people."
Schuster indicated that he's reached a stage in life in which he wants to give back more to the community. Earlier this year, the Reisterstown resident and father of seven children educated in the parochial school system offered the Baltimore archdiocese $700,000 to transport pupils displaced by the closing of Catholic schools.
Through his efforts, 350 children were able to continue attending the parochial system, Schuster said.