Last week a shadowy organization known as House Majority Forward began a $40,000 advertising blitz to boost freshman, Democrat Congressman Harley Rouda’s popularity in his coastal Orange County district.
The group is technically a nonprofit affiliate of the House Majority PAC, which is Congressional Democrats’ primary super PAC focused on winning House races. There is however one key distinction with the Super PAC in that it will not have to disclose any of its donors. In addition to Rouda, the group is spending large sums of money in hopes of winning next Tuesday’s Special Election to fill North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District vacancy.
However, the advertisement’s message in support of Harley Rouda may be far more defensive than meets the eye. Last month, we uncovered an often underreported episode from Rep. Harley Rouda’s past that these ads may have been crafted to counter.
As a former CEO and Chairman of an Ohio real estate company, Harley Rouda was successfully sued for discrimination by an elderly employee that had been battling cancer. The plaintiff, Lee-Ann Spacek argued that Rouda terminated her because she was in her late 50s and had taken multiple leaves to receive cancer treatment. Spacek’s case further stated that Rouda described elderly employee’s health care costs as a financial “death spiral” for his bottom line and that Rouda subsequently began terminating elderly employees and hiring younger employees as a result.
Spacek was awarded $1.85 million dollars by the Ohio Court prompting Rouda’s company to issue a statement that Spacek “won out of sympathy, rather than facts.”
[Click HERE to read Spacek’s entire complaint.]
Healthcare is one of the top issues that Congressional Democrats hope to run on in 2020 and it would appear that the Democrat’s campaign arm is beginning to spend big to defend the incumbents it thinks are most vulnerable.