New super PAC ad features Steve Grossman’s mother

Treasurer Steve Grossman has trumpeted endorsements of his gubernatorial effort from officials across Massachusetts, from the mayor of Pittsfield to Boston city councilors.

Now, a week before the state primary, a pro-Grossman super PAC is letting voters know another major figure, closer to home, is backing the Democrat’s candidacy: Grossman’s mom.

Mass Forward Independent Expenditure Political Action Committee is set to begin airing a TV ad Wednesday featuring Shirley Grossman, one of the PAC’s top donors.


“At 92, I can’t do much to help my son run for governor — except make this ad,” she says.

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“He should smile more,” the elder Grossman says, watching a television with the treasurer on it. “But he’s the best Democrat in the race. I should know: I’ve voted that way since FDR.”

The 30-second spot goes on to show a photo of Steve Grossman with President Bill Clinton, as Shirley runs through some highlights of her son’s biography: working with Clinton, turning the family’s printing and marketing business “green,” the work he’s done as state treasurer.

“Vote for Steve,” Shirley Grossman says as the ad ends. “And while you’re at it, tell him to call his mother.”

The super PAC earlier aired an ad taking aim at Martha Coakley, one of Grossman’s two Democratic rivals, for not supporting a gun control measure, but coverage of the spot in the news media was overshadowed by the fact that Grossman’s mother was a major contributor. That was revealed by the ad itself: A new Massachusetts law requires state super PACs to disclose top donors in their TV spots.


Super PACs, which can’t legally coordinate with candidates or their campaigns, can raise unlimited amounts of money from people, corporations and labor unions.

Another contributor to Mass Forward besides Shirley Grossman, according to its most recent filing with the state’s campaign finance agency: Suffolk Construction Co. The massive and influential business gave the PAC $10,000 on Aug. 8, the filing showed.

A spokesman for the super PAC, Karl Frisch, said the new ad would air Wednesday through Sept. 9, the state primary. He said it is being backed by a “significant six-figure cable buy and will increase to include broadcast [television] at the end of the week.”

Also running for the Democratic nomination for governor is former Medicare and Medicaid chief Don Berwick, who is airing an ad of his own starting today.

Also running to succeed Governor Deval Patrick, who is not seeking re-election, are two Republicans and three independent candidates.

Joshua Miller can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos.