A new Super PAC promises to support pro-business candidates, especially Bill Shuster.
Last month, Pittsburgh lawyer Ronald L. Francis filed paperwork to the Federal Election Commission to start Freedom and Opportunity PAC, with the intent to make “unlimited independent expenditures.”
“Freedom and Opportunity PAC is proud to support conservative, pro-growth candidates like Congressman Shuster,” Francis, the organization’s treasurer, told PoliticsPA.
Shuster faces GOP challenger Art Halvorson in the 9th congressional district in southwestern Pa. Last week, Shuster’s campaign launched a Halvorson fact-checker.
The super PAC is a clear response to similar efforts by national conservative groups to boost Halvorson. The Madison Project has endorsed Halvorson and labeled Shuster as “the embodiment of big government.”
It’s also an avenue for donors to support Shuster, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, without campaign spending limits.
Cold Spark Media, a political firm founded by Senator Toomey’s campaign consultants, represents the PAC.
Although the FEC forbids independent expenditure-only committees, which observers colloquially know as Super PACs, to work with a candidate, these political organizations can campaign for or against someone autonomously.
Freedom and Opportunity’s assistant treasurer is Eric Lycan, a lawyer from Kentucky. Lycan is a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association and was the Kentucky chairman of Lawyers for Romney.
In a phone interview, Halvorson said he found it “ironic that the name of the Super PAC is Freedom and Opportunity in light of the Shuster’s obstacles to freedom and opportunity.”
He cited Shuster’s refusal to defund Obamacare as a budget demand, his support for the National Security Agency, his failure to vote in favor of Justin Amash’s bill which would have forbidden surveillance of private citizens without a warrant and an “unconscionable” debt that has increased by ten trillion dollars during Shuster’s time in office.
“That’s not freedom and opportunity. That’s slavery… bondage. You can’t grow when you are spending like a madman.”