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MayDay, Stark360 form unlikely partnership to back Rubens

Last modified: 9/9/2014 12:19:04 AM
What do a Harvard professor who wants to get big money out of politics and a New Hampshire super PAC that backs some of the state’s most conservative candidates have in common?

They really don’t like Scott Brown, and they’ve formed a partnership aimed at defeating him in today’s primary election. Instead, they’re both backing Jim Rubens, albeit for very different reasons.

MayDay is a super PAC started by professor and activist Lawrence Lessig, with the goal of getting money out of politics. It’s backing Rubens because he supports a system for publicly financing campaigns. Stark360, by contrast, is a PAC that promotes pro-liberty and conservative candidates, all of whom have been supported by the Republican Liberty Caucus. That group endorsed Rubens earlier this year for his “pro-liberty” agenda. The two groups are strange bedfellows, as Rubens is the only Republican MayDay is backing and Stark360 does not support campaign finance reform. (The Republican Liberty Caucus, which has close ties to Stark360, does not disclose its donors.)

“We literally are only collaborating on this particular area of overlapping interest, which is Scott Brown and Jim Rubens,” Stark360 Chairman Aaron Day said. “While we may not agree with where (MayDay) is on campaign finance, we agree that cronyism and corruption is a problem that, frankly, people of all political views are deeply concerned about.”

The partnership has taken off during the week leading up to the primary. MayDay has spent at least $1.6 million on behalf of Rubens, and gave Stark360 about $100,000, which is going toward anti-Brown literature. More than 100 volunteers have handed out 50,000 pieces of anti-Brown literature in the past week, including giant red stop signs that say “Stop Scott,” Day said.

But not everyone working for Stark360 to hand out the MayDay-funded material is a Rubens supporter. William Kostric, a self-identified member of the Free State Project, posted a listing telling people they could get paid to hand out the materials on an Occupy New Hampshire Facebook page. But even though he’s against Brown, Kostric said he’s not planning on voting for Rubens or any federal candidate.

“I wouldn’t support any candidate on the federal level. I don’t even really support Rand Paul or any of those guys,” he said. “Federal politics are lost and it’s a waste of our meager resources.”

MayDay called the alliance with Stark360 “cross-partisan.”

“We have partnered on the ground with people who have common objectives seeking the common ground of electing Jim Rubens,” spokeswoman Allison Bryan said in a statement.

None of Stark360’s literature mentions Rubens, but Day said he is confident the “anti-Brown” vote will go to Rubens.

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or kronayne@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @kronayne.)


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