Local TV stations have stopped running a National Republican Congressional Committee ad attacking Democrat Randy Perkins after Perkins’ lawyers called the ad “false, misleading and deceptive” and threatened to sue if the stations continued running the 30-second spot.
The original GOP ad accused Perkins, who heads the disaster-relief giant Ashbritt Inc., of “scamming a school district.” Perkins’ attorneys said the claim was a false characterization of a dispute between Ashbritt Inc. and the Broward County School District.
The NRCC this afternoon was working on modifying the ad.
Perkins is running against Republican Brian Mast in nationally watched Palm Beach-Treasure Coast congressional District 18.
Broward school district auditors in 2009 said the district overpaid Ashbritt $765,608 for repairs to portable classrooms damaged by Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Ashbritt filed a 2010 lawsuit disputing the claim and reached a settlement in 2014 in which it paid the district $200,000 and the school board stated that Ashbritt “committed no wrong doing.” The settlement states that language in the Wilma contract was “ambiguous and there is a good faith disagreement over its interpretation.”
NRCC spokesman Chris Pack accused Perkins and his legal team of “bullying” the TV stations.
“Multi-millionaire Randy Perkins is bullying WPEC, WTVX and WTCN of Sinclair Broadcast Group by threatening to use money he made by scamming taxpayers to sue over our factually correct TV ads,” Pack said.
“It’s shameful of Perkins and extremely unprecedented for these TV stations to side with multi-millionaires in hiding the truth by censoring political speech. The voters in this district deserve to know the truth about Randy Perkins’ record of scamming taxpayers and his sleazy business practice. It is unethical that WPEC, WTVX and WTCN of Sinclair Broadcast Group would let themselves be bullied into covering up his past.”