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Citizen groups push for U.S. Senate money pledge from N.H. candidates

Two nonpartisan citizen advocacy groups are urging U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and her potential Republican rival Scott Brown to negotiate a pledge to reduce the outside money spent on their race in New Hampshire.

Common Cause and Public Citizen recently asked the two to agree by April 15 to a so-called “People’s Pledge” like the one Brown signed before losing his Massachusetts Senate seat to Democrat Elizabeth Warren in 2012.

“A campaign dominated by outside money will almost certainly distort your record and your opponent’s and will leave the winner beholden to a cadre of secret six- and seven-figure donors,” the groups wrote. “A serious effort to adopt a People’s Pledge for New Hampshire will make a major difference in the quality of the campaign, be a service to all voters of New Hampshire, and be a model for the rest of the nation.”

Shaheen, a first-term senator and former three-term governor, said her campaign will meet anytime, anywhere with Brown’s campaign to reach an agreement.

“Scott Brown said Massachusetts voters deserved better than the outside third-party attack ads,” she wrote the presidents of the advocacy groups. “I would hope he believes New Hampshire voters deserve better, too.”

Shaheen did not respond to the groups’ request that she stop airing a radio ad criticizing Brown about the pledge. Her spokesman said yesterday that would be part of any discussion between the two campaigns.

Asked for its response, Brown’s campaign pointed to a comment he made last week when he visited Frisbie Memorial Hospital, which is challenging its exclusion from the network available to individuals buying insurance through President Obama’s health care overhaul law.

“The only pledge I’m taking is a pledge to get rid of Obamacare,” Brown said.

Brown is expected to formally announce his campaign soon. He would face several primary opponents, including former U.S. senator Bob Smith, former state senator Jim Rubens and conservative activist Karen Testerman. Both Smith and Rubens’s campaigns said yesterday that Shaheen has not asked them to take the pledge. Rubens would decline, but has outlined detailed proposals for reducing the influence of outside money on campaigns, his spokesman said.

Smith has not taken a position, his campaign manager said. Testerman’s spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Legacy Comments6

So much mis-information leads to the liberals being terribly biased. Maybe readers should read Koch's own words as published in the WSJ. Charles Koch: I'm Fighting to Restore a Free Society ... .... Charles Koch writes that instead of welcoming free debate, collectivists engage in character assassination.

Constantly you bring up the Koch Brothers, seldom if ever do you bring up Soros or the Sandlers. There are two views of what is good for the country, the Soros collectivist view where everyone chips in more and more and more and others become dependent on that government check; that will soon exceed 50% of the population. Then there is the Soros side where they look to really open up free enterprise and that provides solid jobs, real jobs that give workers dignity, self respect and increases tax revenue with low unemployment. Hence, the government has less influence on peoples lives because people are less dependent on that "special interest" money. In a perfect world, I would choose the latter, any self respecting, ambitious person would.

Correction on that post it should read "Then there is the Koch side" bad

Boy you really have drunk the political kool-aid. The Koch's couldn't care any less about the average workers dignity. There are looking out for #1, just packaging it in such a way that suckers fall for it. Bottom line is people donate to political parties because they have an agenda, that agenda is what is best for them. Not you or I. You speak of free enterprise like it's a gift from God. Look back to the golden age of free enterprise the time of the Robber Barons, Coal mines with their company towns and company stores where you had no options to escape. It took unions to fight for the American workers so they had dignity and self respect. It wasn't until laws were written to protect not only workers but the environment and the courts then stepped in and broke up monopolies to allow competition and price options. This all cost businesses and stockholders money - it's no surprise they would fight to get it back. Free Market and Free Enterprise look good on paper but without regulations and limits it's a license to steal. To that end I give you "price gouging" and "sweat shops" the free market at it's ugliest. This is really what you want, it's not about jobs - it's about profits, regardless what their marketing guru's have sold you.

Pretty sure the Koch's employ almost 100,000 average workers...

While I applaud the principal here, any pledge who be a hollow victory. Due to the political landscape outside monies would still be spent in either candidates name by PACs or individuals. Americans for Prosperity(Koch brothers) or Bloomberg could and surely would pump just as much money into campaigns, only at arms length. Sorry, but too much money is at stake in politics. No longer is it about representation of their constituents, today it's all about what is best for special interest groups not what is good for the people or the Country. Before you condemn me as a pessimist - I am just being a realist.

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