EDITORIAL: Losing PAC money just deserts for Perry, Smucker

York Dispatch Editorial Board
Republican incumbent candidates Scott Perry, left, and Lloyd Smucker greet each other during an appearance by Vice President Mike Pence who rallied at the Lancaster Airport in Lititz Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. Bill Kalina photo

Reps. Scott Perry and Lloyd Smucker could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations over last week's debacle on electoral votes. 

It couldn't happen to two more deserving guys.

Perry, R-Carroll Township, and Smucker, R-Lancaster, will feel the fallback from their choice to back President Donald Trump's delusions that he won November's election by voting to contest Pennsylvania's Electoral College votes.

President-elect Joe Biden won the state, by the way. Just ask any of the many judges who tossed out lawsuits brought in by Trump's campaign and others. Biden won the free and fair elections.

Perry and Smucker didn't let that fact get in the way on Jan. 6, after they both spent hours in a secure location hiding from the mob that Trump sent to ravage the Capitol building. Perry stood on the floor of the House chamber, where police and Secret Service members with guns drawn had held back rioters only hours before, and put forth the motion that Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes be disqualified. 

Had his motion gone through, he would have disenfranchised all of the voters in the state, including his own constituents and even himself. The fact that 146 other Republican members of Congress, including Smucker and six the seven other Republican representatives from Pennsylvania, voted to allow this travesty shows just how far down the Trump rabbit hole the GOP has gone.

For the record, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., voted against the motion to object to the Pennsylvania votes, as did Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick and all Democrats representing the state.

With the electoral votes counted and the rioters cleared from the Capitol, the 147 might have thought they were on safe ground. They wouldn't incur the wrath of Trump, and with two years to go before the next election, they had plenty of time to make their constituents forget about this one act. 

Not so fast.

By Monday, companies were looking at the names of the politicians they donate to and making some changes. By Tuesday, there was a long list of corporate-funded PACs that had announced they were suspending contributions to the 147 Republicans, some for six months or more and others permanently.

It was a hard hit to the war chest for the two congressmen representing parts of York County.

Perry's campaign has received nearly $130,000 from PACs that have now cut him off during his five congressional campaigns, according to OpenSecrets,org, which catalogs campaign contributions reported through the Federal Election Commission. Those include the PACs associated with AT&T and Comcast, which contributed a combined $20,000 to his 2020 campaign.

Smucker is a little behind, but he's only on his third term. He's received about $70,000 from those corporate PACs, including $10,000 from Comcast and $7,000 from AT&T for the most recent election, according to OpenSecrets. 

No one from either congressman's office returned calls from reporter Logan Hullinger seeking comment. Not a shock.

Corporate PACs have had an outsized effect on political campaigns since the Citizens United decision from the Supreme Court in 2010. But what is given can be taken away, as Perry and Smucker are finding out. 

Maybe it's time to pay more attention to your constituents, gentlemen. You know, the ones whose votes you wanted to throw out. Let's see how that works out for you.