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Campaign Monitor

Mayday PAC backs Rubens in Republican U.S Senate primary

Former state Sen. Jim Rubens speaks at the Carroll County Lobster Bake, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, in Wolfeboro, N.H. Rubens told the Republican group he plans to run against incumbent U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Former state Sen. Jim Rubens speaks at the Carroll County Lobster Bake, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, in Wolfeboro, N.H. Rubens told the Republican group he plans to run against incumbent U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

A national PAC aimed at curbing the influence of money in politics announced yesterday it will throw its support behind Jim Rubens in the Republican primary race for U.S. Senate.

The bipartisan Mayday PAC said it would spend an estimated $2 million on media buys in support of Rubens – over challengers Scott Brown and Bob Smith – because he is pledging to reform the way elections are funded.

“We can’t find any other Republican who has been open about it,” said PAC co-founder and Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig. “Rubens has earned a special place as a leader.”

The PAC announced it will target the New Hampshire race and an Iowa congressional race, where it is backing a Democrat, as its first expenditures. In early August, the PAC plans to support candidates in three more races.

Lessig is hopeful the PAC’s focus on New Hampshire will make campaign finance reform a central issue in the Senate primary and push other candidates to support it.

“The race is for Scott Brown to lose. We want to make sure this is an issue so there is reason for him to get back on the right side,” Lessig said.

The Brown campaign had no comment on whether Brown supports campaign finance reform or would address the issue if elected.

Mayday PAC backs Rubens as an alternative and points to his nine-point Political Reform Agenda that, according to his website, aims to “stop political corruption and increase congressional accountability.”

Rubens’s plan includes the enactment of a public elections financing system and the creation of an easily searchable public database of campaign contributions, among other actions.

“Voters from across the spectrum are fed up with career politicians who go to work collecting campaign cash rather than solving the nation’s problems,” Rubens said. “I am offering a bold solution.”

Mayday has budgeted $2 million for the primary race, but that number could rise or fall, Lessig said. The ads will be respectful and to the point, he said. “It’s not about trashing anybody,” he said. We “are trying to rally fellow citizens to this cause, get them to do something about it by expressing concern . . . or by voting in a way that selects candidates who are on the right side of the issue.”

Mayday PAC was formed earlier this year by Lessig and Republican strategist Mark McKinnon as a way to show campaign finance reform is an important issue to voters nationwide.

“This is an issue we believe New Hampshire cares about,” Lessig said. “We are happy to be in a state where we think people understand the issue . . . and we’ll try to do the work to deliver pressure on the candidates.”

(Allie Morris can be reached at 369-3307 or at amorris@cmonitor.com.)

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