DCCC Ad Slams Rothfus Over Tenuous China Link (Watch Video)

A new attack ad from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee highlights a 1993 business decision made by an employer of congressional hopeful Keith Rothfus.

“Keith Rothfus worked for a law firm that had a ‘strategic alliance’ with a Chinese firm,” charges the ad’s announcer. “Maybe that’s why he signed a pledge that protects tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.”

The thirty second spot features several snippets of angry man-on-the-street style remarks from people about Rothfus. The Allegheny County attorney faces Rep. Mark Critz (D-Cambria) in what is expected to be the top congressional contest in PA this year.

The DCCC’s ad cites a August 1993 report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which included just two sentences on the matter: “The law firm of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott has formed a strategic alliance with Beijing No. 6 Law Office of the People’s Republic of China. The two firms will refer clients to each other and exchange visits and legal materials.”

Rothfus, who had recently graduated from law school, was an associate at the firm from 1990 to 1993. He left within weeks of the announcement of the “strategic alliance”.

“The Critz campaign and his liberal colleagues in Washington would have you believe that because Rothfus worked for a law firm that partnered with another law firm overseas, 20 years ago, when he was a young 28-year-old associate straight out of law school, that means he wants to harm the middle class,” said Rothfus Campaign Manager Jon Raso. He called the ad a “desperate” attempt to change the subject from Friday’s jobs report, which showed unemployment at 8.1 percent.

The National Republican Congressional Committee also quickly criticized the law firm connection.

“Talk about absurd and outrageous, Mark Critz is the Congressman and jobs are being outsourced on his watch,” said NRCC spokesman Nat Sillin. “Facts are facts and Mark Critz is the only candidate in this race who voted for big-government spending that results in trillion dollar deficits and America borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars from China.”

While the law firm angle isn’t particularly strong, the underlying basis for the China criticism is more solid. The Americans for Tax Reform Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which Rothfus signed, is a promise to oppose any tax increases, even on companies that “ship jobs overseas.”

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said he applauds Rothfus for signing the pledge and that it mirrors taxpayers’ feelings over “tax-and-spend” policies – policies the DCCC throws their weight behind.

“The most recent false claims by this group further demonstrates the difficult time national Democrats are going to have defending the Democrat ‘plan’ for economic recovery: higher taxes and more government spending.”

This praise could help Rothfus with fundraising, too.

That part of the ad echoes part of a similar spot released earlier this week by SEIU. That 30 second spot targeted Rothfus on the overseas job claim, too.

Critz has been a vocal critic of Chinese monetary policy, as well as U.S. trade policies, which he says hurt the manufacturing sector in the 12th district and elsewhere.

32 Responses

  1. Why do free marketeers like Keith-the-Candidate run a perpetual campaign to get a job in the government they despise?

  2. This ad is disgusting. Mr. Critz continues to throw as much mud as possible at Mr. Rothfus and just hope something sticks. I think the people of the PA 12 would be much better served by Mr. Critz offering some ideas on how he thinks he can cure the area’s 9.3 % unemployment rate (a problem he and other big government democrats have created). Let’s talk about issues, Mr. Critz.

  3. What the hell is unreasonable about fifteen weeks of paid vacation? What do you think the CEO get…try 30!!! You have no idea how hard the working man works!You try shoveling slag for thirty minutes at a clip straight I guarantee you’d want a good hour for rest. You corporate Republicans really piss me off.

  4. How about you answer my question? What is Critz doing about unemployment and the fact that we have the least competitive corporate tax rate in the world (other than attacking Keith’s old law firm, which any thinking person will admit is stupid)? You can’t be both pro-jobs and anti-business. That’s internally inconsistent and it doesn’t work.

  5. My goodness people, this as sure woke up the political classes in PA, the Beltway, and most likely in China too! What about KEITH THE CANDIDATE’S SUPPORT FOR chinese currency manipulation? Why does keith the candidate rothfus want our great nation to become CHINA’s BITCH? Please see this video! http://youtu.be/DN2SNTI4ISY

  6. No one is more responsible for jobs going over seas than Big Labor and the Democrat Party. My father worked at Beth Steel. Do you know the Labor Unions demanded and were awarded fifteen weeks paid vacation a year! A friend of mine in college worked at a different steel plant and slept for 2 hours per shift. This is not fiction, this is fact. Unions had their place decades ago but have gone to an extreme that has RUINED America.

  7. 1) I’m talking about corporate taxes, not capital gains taxes. Corporations ship jobs overseas largely b/c if they kept them here, their prices would be so high they would go out of business. You can’t have both a) companies that employ solely American labor and b) companies that continue to deliver products at the same price. And if they raise prices, they’ll likely be driven out of the market by their competitors, who sell the same (or a very similar) product at lower prices. Tons of corporate money and jobs would be repatriated if we at least had a globally competitive rate. As for capital gains taxes, those affect everyone’s portfolio, not just the 1%. I don’t know how I’d retire securely if the gov’t raised that rate.

  8. General store-

    The wealthy 1 percent of the GOP should be paying the same tax rate as a secretary. The bush tax cuts ran up the biggest part of the national debt. I’d start tomorrow w Clinton rates.

  9. This is disgusting. Keith’s ovaries? What is wrong with you. I don’t agree with him about everything, but at least Keith has kept it positive and talked about real issues instead of this bullshit. I don’t see him trying to attack Critz for something he was associated with 20 years ago. Personally, I’d like to hear what Critz plans to do about our region’s 9.3% unemployment. As a Democrat, I’m discouraged that he’s left this topic untouched and instead is attacking Keith as a person. Let’s discuss real issues, people. Law firms doing a joint venture isn’t losing any American jobs. If we want more jobs here, lets talk about how we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. You don’t have to be a Romney fan to understand that if you have the highest taxes in the world, corporations will ship jobs overseas or face going out of business. The more my business grows, the harder it is for me to serve my customers b/c I get slammed with higher taxes. Why should I expand or hire more people when I know I’m just going to have the money taken away from me? In short, I won’t and I’m not. We need a globally competitive tax rate to bring jobs back to the U.S.

  10. I’m a Democrat and supported Critz over Altmire, but this sleazy ad demoralizes me. Is it too much to hope that Critz will distance himself from the DCCC’s tactics?

  11. Seriously folks??? You want to rip Critz for an ad the DNCC ran about Rothfus signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge? You REALLY need to think about the ads running now that feature your puppet candidate being a “Super Dad” & minature golfer- talk about pathetic!!!!

  12. When Is Keith the Cancer Survivor going to do the honorable thing and apologize for his vulgar use of cancer as a political wedge?

  13. Dr. Raso is so tongue-tied by his own shoddy talking points he can’t even spit out a quick retort. “Mark Critz…liberal…law firm and another law firm…someone else…jobs.” Allow me to translate for everyone: “My campaign is falling apart.”

  14. Look – the issue is whether Keith the Candidate supports policies that place the interests of international corporations before American workers. As a stooge of the Club for China Growth, Keith will always choose the side of globo-corp regardless of the social destruction it causes to our communities. If you bow before the altar of free trade with Communist China (or faith healer Pat Robertson), vote for Keith the Candidate.

  15. The ad is poor. However, these are the same people who outsource jobs to save a buck. These people “pillage” the middle class and as Obama and Biden eluded to… Have no moral conscience outside of their personal greed.

  16. But this ad is really shaky grounds for criticism. How can you yell at Keith for something his firm did 20 years ago, and when he was an associate with no power whatsoever? And it’s that kind of “Keith the Candidate” crap that has me really pissed of at the Democratic party. What happened to “Ask not what your country can do for you.” Where’s the positivity gone? Must we resort to namecalling? What are we, third graders?

  17. You are right, Susan, not thin. LIES.
    “The DCCC suggests that as a Pledge signer, Keith Rothfus has promised to “protect tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.” Unfortunately, when the same claim was levied against Pledge signers in 2010, the Associated Press labeled the attack as “one of the wildest claims of the 2010 campaign.” Adding insult to the DCCC injury, the non-partisan FactCheck.org rated the attacks against the Pledge as “blatantly false.””

  18. But you have to admit, this ad is pretty shaky ground for an accusation. A law firm at which he was an associate (no power whatsoever) made a deal with a law firm in china? What does that have to do with him?

  19. What is the issue? KEITH THE CANDIDATE ROTHFUS, is endorsed by the US CHAMBERS, America’s #1 adovocate for outsourcing American jobs and de-industrialising our nation! So of course Rothfus, this former Bush Beltway official supports shipping jobs out of the nation! http://youtu.be/NEfyz8ikp_w

  20. An aside-
    I would have liked to see some entertaining 3rd party candidates enter the field with the critzer and doofus so we could liven this one up a bit from an entertainment standpoint. Maybe a cowboy, a nun, and a stripper or something like some of the other states.

  21. I’m a Democrat and was planning on voting for Critz, but now I’m reconsidering. I own a small business, and I’d never criticize one of my employees for something I did, much less a new hire. I want to know what Critz is doing about jobs in the region, not what some company Keith worked for did 20 years ago.

  22. Doofus is lousy candidate but this is quite a stretch involving alot of imagination and little in terms of substance. This race wins the sucky ad war so far.

  23. This is sad. Almost makes me laugh at how desperate Critz is.

    The man worked for a firm 20 years ago for 4 years and now he is a job outsourcer. I am pretty sure Obama is the biggest job outsourcer to China….

    Critz’s own County had a 9.5% unemployment in July and our nation is still at 8% unemployment. I am pretty sure Critz and Obama are the problem when it comes to jobs and outsourcing.

  24. Wow, unemployment is still over 8% and Critz releases this distraction.

    Did they really just base an entire attack ad on two sentences from a newspaper 20 years ago? Wow, I wonder what Critz was doing when he was 28? Does he really want to go there?

    Honestly, I’m not surprised the Critz campaign would stoop this low. They can’t run on any record. Not when his district is suffering from his failed economic policies.

  25. This is just the sign of a desperate Critz campaign. The Obama-Critz economic policies have only made us more beholden to China through trillions in new debt. And what do we have to show for it? Unemployment in Cambria County is 9.2% (as of July), way above the national average.

  26. This is pure ridiculousness. I eat Chinese food so I’m connected to China? This is absolutely absurd. Some loose affiliation his former firm had? He didn’t even work in that department. Is this ALL Critz has? I like the black woman at the end, this district has less than 1 percent African American voters. Good call DCCC. Critz is a good guy, but this makes him look really bad and desperate.

  27. Keith is not ashamed that he supports shipping jobs overseas to China. He is out of the closet about his support for a tax bonus if companies like Apple and GE do it. Keith is proud of the fact that he supports the imposition of a national sales tax. And he is loud about continuing tax breaks that allow companies to take billions from the taxpayers and pay no tax themselves. He’s here. he’s got no fear. Get used to it,

  28. Not thin. Fiction. A Republican candidate or committee that ran a comparable ad would be being denounced 24/7 by the media and the legal profession.

  29. Why did he pledge to protect the tax break for corporations which ship jobs overseas? Because he is sitting in the country club bar, smoking a cigar with the other millionaires, laughing at you losers who are just dim enough to vote for him. He wears a plaid shirt and cuts his own grass. Don’t expect him to fight for you in DC. You are not paying for his campaign.

  • Who Will Be Speaker of the PA House on February 28?

    • Joanna McClinton (68%)
    • Mark Rozzi (27%)
    • A Republican TBD (5%)

    Total Voters: 315

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