Many states are deluged with negative third party ads attacking candidates this election year, but not in Massachusetts where a pledge by incumbent Republican Sen. Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren has kept them at bay.
The two agreed early on in what the Boston Globe
described Monday as a "groundbreaking" campaign pact not to allow pro-Republican or pro-Democratic super PACs to put up ads in their race.
The fact that there agreement has held up to this point, the Globe reported Monday, has surprised political observes of both parties because the Massachusetts Senate race is considered one of the most important and competitive this year.
According to the Globe, at least $90 million has been spent so far this campaign season by third party groups on Senate races in 16 states. But almost none of that money has touched the Brown-Warren race since January, when the two agreed to what the Globe described as a "voluntary enforcement system to keep interest groups from running ads aimed at influencing the election."
The penalty formula for violations of the agreement have apparently kept the ads at bay. For example, the newspaper noted, if an outside group runs an ad that's critical of Brown and benefits Warren, then Warren must donate up to half of the cost of the ad to a charity of Brown's choosing.
Brown, for example, actually did write out a check to the Autism Consortium in March when two groups actually spent a small amount in the campaign on Brown's behalf. He donated $1,000 in connection with one ad and $34,545 in the case of the other.
Brown calls the pact between himself and Warren a promise of "two good people" who believe voters deserve better than a negative campaign.
"I'm going to continue to tell people not to get involved," the Republican said.
For her part, Warren said she's proud of the agreement with Brown.
"The people of Massachusetts are entitled to hear from the candidates themselves. That's how elections ought to work," the Democrat said.
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