Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Scott Brown have reached agreement on an attempt to ban paid advertisements by outside groups in their campaign for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts:
The candidates in the Massachusetts Senate tentatively reached a first-of-its-kind agreement to limit outside ads after Republican Sen. Scott Brown agreed to a counteroffer made by Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren Monday just days after talks hit an impasse.The basic idea involves a pledge by the campaigns to make charitable donations when outside groups run paid advertisements:
Brown said his campaign would have to donate 50 percent of the value of any spending on his behalf to a charity of Warren’s choice, and she would have to do the same to a charity of his choosing if he was targeted with an outside ad benefitting her.The pledge is the first of its kind in the post-Citizens United world of campaign spending, although what impact it will actually have on the campaign remains to be seen. Outside groups, including Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS, had already spent millions of dollars on paid media attacking both candidates. One of the ads from Rove's group can be seen at the top of this post.
Warren responded with her own letter suggesting that the candidates sign a joint letter “explicitly notifying known third party groups – and new groups as they emerge – of the agreement.”
She also suggested notifying broadcasters in hopes of getting their help, and “ensuring that the agreement not only cover express advocacy ads, but all paid public advertisements that seek to promote or attack either candidate or campaign.”
The nearly final text of the agreement, with Elizabeth Warren's signature, can be read here (PDF). The Warren campaign has also provided Daily Kos with PDFs of the proposed letters to broadcasters and third-party groups notifying them of the agreement.