WASHINGTON — Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., on Wednesday dismissed as “hypocritical” the latest ad launched by a conservative super PAC criticizing his support for the 2009 Affordable Care Act.
Senate Conservatives Action on Wednesday released the second of three television ads it is using as part of a $320,000 advertising campaign urging voters to reject Pryor in the 2014 mid-term elections. The ad campaign began last week and is running on television stations in Little Rock and Fort Smith.
The latest ad focuses on Pryor’s support for President Obama’s signature health care reform legislation that cleared the Senate in 2009 with no vote to spare.
North Little Rock business owner Bill Shroyer is featured in the 30-second spot expressing his disappointment in Pryor’s vote for Obamacare.
“Washington just doesn’t get it. They don’t understand the consequences of their laws, they feel good when they do them, and they’re all catastrophes,” Shroyer said in the ad. “Look around, Senator Pryor, we used to have about 100 people working here. Now we have 25.”
Asked about the advertisement, Pryor said that Shroyer has no credibility.
“The person that they have on the ad, from my standpoint, doesn’t have any credibility. He’s a well known Republican supporter and turns out he also took $300,000 or more in stimulus funding,” Pryor said.
Splash Superpools in North Little Rock, which is owned by Shroyer, received $287,561 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly referred to as the stimulus fund, according to federal records.
“I just think that he is being hypocritical,” Pryor said, noting that he badmouths government but takes stimulus money. “That just doesn’t have a lot of credibility with me.”
Shroyer responded Wednesday that Pryor is trying to shift the focus away from his voting record.
“I am a small business owner trying to stay alive in a very uncertain future that Sen. Pryor has helped to create. It is not about me, it is about him and his voting record and his deciding vote for ObamaCare,” Shroyer wrote in an email.
Shroyer acknowledged that he is a long-time Republican and that he accepted “stimulus” money that created some new jobs and a growing company. He noted that about 10 percent was returned because his company came under budget in launching the new energy-related business.
Shroyer’s Ecomembrane U.S. manufactures bio-gas domes and holders for waste management plants, sewage facilities and food processing plants, according to a 2011 news report. He turned to that business after sales of Splash Superpools began to fall due to the economic decline in California, its biggest market, according to a 2011 article in the DeWitt Era-Enterprise.
Pryor announced in March that he would run for a third six-year term in 2014. No Republican has announced to run for Pryor’s seat next year, though U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Dardanelle, is seen as a likely candidate to challenge the incumbent.
Senate Conservative Action is the political arm of the Senate Conservatives Fund, a group launched by former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., who now heads the Heritage Foundation.