By Gintautas Dumcius

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

After criticizing Attorney General Martha Coakley in its first ad, a super PAC supporting Treasurer Steve Grossman in the Democratic primary for governor is changing tack and focusing on one of the PAC's top donors: Grossman's 92-year-old mother.

Mass Forward PAC's new 30-second ad, set to start airing statewide Wednesday and with a six-figure ad buy behind it, features Shirley Grossman watching footage of her son on television.

"At 92, I can't do much to help my son run for governor, except make this ad," says Shirley Grossman, who donated $100,000 to the super PAC. "He should smile more, but he's the best Democrat in the race. I should know, I've voted that way since FDR."

The ad, produced by Putnam Partners, shows a picture of Steve Grossman, former chair of the Democratic National Committee, embracing former President Bill Clinton, and notes that he was endorsed by the Boston Globe. The ad ends with Shirley Grossman saying, "Vote for Steve, and while you're at it, tell him to call his mother."

The super PAC's first ad, which aired in late July and early August, targeted Coakley for not supporting Gov. Deval Patrick's proposal to limit gun purchases to one a month, while highlighting four mothers who lost their sons to gun violence.

Coakley's camp has slammed super PACs and called on Grossman to sign a pledge to stem the influence of the outside groups.


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The three-way Democratic primary for governor, which also includes pediatrician Don Berwick, is set for Sept. 9.

The super PAC's most recent finance filing, covering the month of August, shows the group taking in $96,350, including a $10,000 donation from Suffolk Construction Company, and spending $26,500, with $19,000 going to the Benenson Strategy Group for polling.