Senate contender Scott Brown’s campaign in New Hampshire has blasted a Harvard professor who claims the former Massachusetts senator was once a Washington lobbyist.
In a "cease and desist" letter to Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard ethics professor, Brown’s campaign manager, Colin Reed, attacked a mailer sent out by a political action committee headed by Lessig, The Daily Caller
"Your MAYDAY super PAC has issued a piece of mail to New Hampshire voters falsely calling Scott Brown a ‘Washington lobbyist,’" Reed wrote. "This is a flat-out lie."
Although Lessig has claimed that he launched MAYDAY to limit money in politics, the group is supporting Jim Rubens against Brown in Tuesday’s Republican primary.
Lessig’s PAC has promoted Rubens as the only Republican in the United States "committed to fixing the corrupt campaign finance system."
In the mailer, the group labeled Brown a "Washington insider" and a "former Washington lobbyist" while noting that last year he became the counsel for Nixon Peabody, a "law and lobby firm."
In his letter, Reed said, "Scott Brown is not nor has he ever been a lobbyist. Ever. We call on you to immediately cease and desist with the mailer in question, and to use one of your various media appearances as a purported authority on ethics to retract your falsehood."
While warning that the campaign’s "legal options were on the table," Reed also said that Lessig was a "hypocrite" in light of his position as an ethics professor and considering the alleged goals of his super PAC.
"Using the veneer of Harvard University and your position as the faculty director of Harvard’s Center for Ethics to lend you credibility, you have turned your super PAC – which you publicly stated was formed to fight the existence of super PACs – into just one more negative message machine that exists to launch unethical and untrue attacks," Reed wrote.
On his blog, Lessig reacted to the "nastygram" from Brown’s campaign by conceding that although the GOP candidate was not technically a lobbyist, to all extent and purposes he had functioned like a lobbyist.
"So yes, according to the Senate, Scott Brown isn’t a ‘lobbyist,’" Lessig wrote. "But I submit to anyone else in the world, a former senator joining a 'law and lobbying firm' to help with Wall Street’s 'business and governmental affairs' is to make him a lobbyist."
Brown is expected to win the GOP primary, and if he does he will face off against Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen in November.
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