Scott Brown Must Reaffirm His Commitment to Outside Spending Agreement

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Washington, D.C.—Campaign finance watchdog Public Campaign Action Fund called on Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) to renew his commitment to the outside spending agreement he made with Democratic opponent Elizabeth Warren after reports of Brown meeting with Karl Rove who showed ads aimed at the Massachusetts Senate race during a recent fundraiser for his independent political group.

“Scott Brown should reaffirm his commitment to the outside spending agreement with Elizabeth Warren, following his Florida convention meeting with Karl Rove, the most important Republican architect of big money campaign spending this election,” said Nick Nyhart, president and CEO of Public Campaign Action Fund. “He should also clarify how his meeting with Rove was not a violation of rules barring coordination between candidates and independent groups."

Businessweek reported today that during a fundraiser for American Crossroads during the Republican National Convention, Rove showed “a collection of television ads aimed at such Senate battleground states as Massachusetts.” In addition, the Boston Globe reported that Brown had a meeting with Rove during the convention.

By law, candidates are not allowed to coordinate or discuss campaign strategy with independent groups who are spending money in elections.

“Brown and Warren together showed bold leadership with their decision to reduce the influence of outside special interest cash in their race, and Brown should reassert his commitment to the agreement,” said Nyhart. “Keeping your word to the people of Massachusetts is more important than big cash from billionaires.”

In January, in an effort to keep outside money from swamping the Senate race this year, Brown and Warren made an agreement that assesses a penalty on the candidate who benefits from outside advertising, equal to 50 percent of the advertising expenditure. The penalty is paid to the charity of the opposing candidate’s choice.


Public Campaign Action Fund and its Campaign Money Watch project work to hold politicians who are against comprehensive campaign finance reform accountable for where they get their political donations. Learn more at