A Republican super PAC is launching a $2.1 million TV ad blitz against Democratic congressional candidate Randy Perkins with a 30-second spot that slams his disaster-relief business.
Perkins is running against Republican Brian Mast for the nationally watched Palm Beach-Treasure Coast District 18 seat that Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy is leaving to run for Senate.
The ad by the Congressional Leadership Fund says Ashbritt Inc. CEO Perkins “made a fortune” after Hurricane Katrina, was accused of overcharging and “refused to divulge his profit margin” in a congressional hearing. (Click here for a transcript of the 2006 House Committee on Government Reform hearing in which Perkins appeared.)
At the hearing and afterward, Perkins has said his company’s profit and overhead were approved and closely scrutinized by the federal government.
The new ad also highlights — as did a previous ad by the National Republican Congressional Committee — a billing dispute with the Broward County school district that began after an audit said Ashbritt overcharged by $765,608 for services after Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Ashbritt filed a lawsuit disputing the claim, eventually agreeing to return $200,000 as part of a settlement that said Ashbritt “committed no wrong doing.”
While outside groups have been attacking Perkins, Perkins’ campaign has been running attack ads for weeks that call Mast the “heir apparent” to Allen West, the former Republican congressman and conservative firebrand who was voted out by District 18 voters in 2012.