Congressional candidate's mom funds attack ad targeting rival



Posted on July 16, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 16 at 8:19 PM

Mailers attacking Suzan Del Bene started showing up 10 days ago. The Democrat is running for an open seat in the First District.

"Oh my goodness, yeah, this is a little hard.  Suzan Del Romney.  Brutal, brutal," said Ron Dotzauer, who's not involved in any of the First District campaigns, but has years of experience running Democratic campaigns.

The mailer tries to link Del Bene, a Democrat, with Mitt Romney, a Republican, saying they're both millionaires.

Margaret Rothschild paid for the ads. She's the mother of Laura Ruderman, and while she wouldn't appear on our camera, she's doing commercials and online videos for her daughter, one of the Democrats running against Del Bene.

Ruderman's told KING 5, simply "I love my daughter and I love my country."

In Ruderman's new commercial, Rothschild is featured telling her story about battling cancer.  But Rothschild insists she never told her daughter about the mailers attacking Del Bene, and followed federal law by setting up a separate super PAC.

Dotzauer says if the mailer brings down Del Bene's numbers, it could be one of the other better-known candidates, like Darcy Burner or Steve Hobbs, who stand to benefit.

"People have to know who you are, to benefit from attack ads,” he said. "They may not know who Ruderman is."

"I still think it's incredibly disappointing and hypocritical to say you're against this style of campaigning and yet you're not willing to denounce it when it supports your campaign independent of who's funding it?" said Del Bene.

When asked if she would expect to denounce her own mother, she replied, "Well, I would expect her to say that she disagrees with the way this is being done."

Ruderman's mother said the reason she targeted Del Bene was her frustration that a wealthy candidate has an advantage in a campaign.

But it's not clear from a strategic standpoint why she singled out Del Bene.

Laura Ruderman is not commenting and neither is her campaign.