Political ads are designed to attract attention. But a new ad by the candidate challenging an Orange County Congressman is shining a light on the political action committee that paid for the TV spot.
The ad for Democrat Jay Chen looks like a 1960’s black-and-white horror movie, complete with monsters and a screaming blonde. The announcer says it's a "creature from Washington: Ed Royce. His votes are real, but we can stop him."
Royce, the ten-term Republican Congressman from Fullerton, objects to the political action committee that financed the ad: America Shining. Filings with the Federal Election Commission show the entire 565-thousand dollars in America Shining’s account come from one person: Shaw Chen, the candidate’s brother.
Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, says it's unusual for a relative to organize a super PAC, but "not unheard of." She says it’s perfectly legal as long as there’s no coordination with the candidate, which Jay Chen has said is true in this case.
The Royce campaign says a lack of coordination between the two brothers is “not credible.”
Congressman Royce has raised more than 900 thousand dollars — nearly two thirds of his campaign cash — from various PACs.