A Boca Raton family will wade into the divisive world of election year politics on Saturday when it is featured in a political advertisement commissioned by The House Majority Political Action Committee, a Democratic super PAC.
The television spot, called "Turn," features Judy Susser and her son Adam, a quadriplegic who has cerebral palsy.
In the advertisement, Susser says she approached U.S. Rep. Allen West (R-FL) to ask about his support for embryonic stem cell research.
"When we asked Allen West if he'd support this research, he just turned his back on all of us," Judy Susser said in the advertisement.
Part of a $1.5 million ad buy by the super PAC in West Palm Beach, it is the sixth ad from the political action committee.
"Embryonic stem cell research is going to be the best hope for Adam and other people with disabilities," Judy Susser said in an interview. "As a mother, I had to do it and I had to tell people the story of what happened."
A 2010 United States Supreme Court decision that did away with campaign spending limits have given rise to political action committees such as the one that produced the ad that will air in South Florida.
A breakdown of super PAC spending in Florida found the U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV (R-FL) race for U.S. Senate and the West and Patrick Murphy race for the U.S. House of Representatives were among the ones super PACs had spent the most on this year.
Combined, super PACs had spent nearly $7.7 million in ads on the two races.
"Those super PAC ads are designed to really focus in on the undecided," said Timothy Gilbert, a professor at Northwood University in West Palm Beach. "As the election gets closer, the number of undecideds gets smaller and smaller. So, you're really spending a lot of money to reach a fairly small percentage of undecided voters that are left."
Judy Susser, the Boca Raton mother, said her involvement in the political advertisement was to drive awareness to an important issue.
"It is about my son and embryonic stem cell research and asking someone for their support and being shunned," she said. "That's it. Not politics."
In a statement, West campaign manager Tim Edson called the spot a desperate and false attack from Murphy and his supporters.
"Congressman West has great compassion for the Susser family, for their son and the disabilities he faces," Edson said. "The Sussers' allegations that they were ignored by Congressman West simply aren't true.
Edson said West had corresponded with the Sussers and invited them to attend two town hall meetings.
"The Sussers are Democratic activists and have contributed $26,000 to Democrat candidates including Allen West's 2010 opponent," Edson said. "It is truly despicable that Patrick Murphy and his allies at House Majority PAC would exploit a disabled child for their own political gain."
Super PACs were expected to spend $1 billion in ads by Election Day.