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Andy Kim. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

MacArthur: Kim broke PAC pledge

Democrats call claim ‘laughable’

By Nikita Biryukov, October 09 2018 12:51 pm

Rep. Tom MacArthur’s campaign is taking aim at Andy Kim over his pledge to not accept cash from corporate political action committees, a pledge the incumbent’s camp says the Democratic challenger is breaking by accepting coordinated expenditures from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which accepts contributions from such PACs.

“It is absolutely absurd for Andy Kim to claim that he is not accepting money from corporate PACs, when he is in the midst of spending nearly one million dollars in coordination with the DCCC. I am calling on Andy Kim to admit his ‘no corporate money’ pledge is now officially bogus – just one more lie to add to a growing list about his candidacy,” MacArthur said. “Andy needs to answer for telling yet another blatant lie to voters in South Jersey and he needs to reject further assistance from the DCCC, which accepts corporate PAC contributions.”

The DCCC has spent roughly $900,000 on coordinated expenditures backing Kim’s candidacy in addition to about $2 million in independent expenditures by the House Majority PAC.

Kim’s campaign, which has been endorsed by End Citizens United, a group aiming to overturn the landmark Supreme Court decision that effectively legalized limitless contributions to super PACs for which it is named, attempted to shrug off the issue without directly addressing MacArthur’s charges.

“It’s laughable for former insurance CEO and current insurance-Congressman Tom MacArthur to try and pick a fight on this topic, after taking $400,000 from prescription drug and insurance companies and writing a health care bill that puts an ‘age tax’ on older Americans, forcing them to pay insurance premiums up to five times what younger Americans pay,” said Kim spokesman Forrest Rilling. “The majority of MacArthur’s campaign is bankrolled by corporate PACs and personal wealth. Rather than pick losing fights, MacArthur should come clean about why he wanted to impose an Age Tax on New Jersey families.”

MacArthur had received about $960,000 at the end of the second quarter, according to FEC filings. That number will likely rise once filings to the recently-concluded third quarter become available.

The “age tax” attack refers to the amendment MacArthur drafted to the American Health Care act, which died in the Senate after passing the House last year.

The act would have allowed insurers in some states to charge certain elderly people higher premiums, though it would not apply to people on Medicare or those receiving insurance from large employers. Calling the possible increases a tax is a misleading claim, as the increase in cost would come from a hike in premiums and not a government surcharge.

The attack is one that the House Majority PAC has leveled in ads airing in the district.

Those ads also overstates the degree to which prices for older consumers could have changed. The ad restates a claim made by the AARP that the AHCA could hike prices for older Americans by up to 500%.

In New Jersey, insurers cannot charge anyone more than 350% of the value charged to the lowest-risk individuals.

Editor’s Note: This article as updated at 2:51 p.m.


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