First on CNN: Battle over pledge in Brown-Shaheen Senate fight
March 17th, 2014
12:34 PM ET
7 months ago

First on CNN: Battle over pledge in Brown-Shaheen Senate fight

(CNN) - A war of words is erupting in New Hampshire over a pledge from Massachusetts.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Monday criticized former Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who's now taking steps to launch a Republican challenge against Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of neighboring New Hampshire, for not signing a pledge to keep outside money out of the race.


"Scott Brown needs to explain to New Hampshire voters why he chose to honor the People's Pledge in Massachusetts but doesn't think New Hampshire voters deserve the same respect," DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil said in a statement.

"Brown should follow Shaheen's lead because the decision of who will be the next Senator doesn't belong in the hands of the Koch Brothers who are pushing an agenda that's good for billionaires and bad for New Hampshire.  The DSCC will abide by the rules of the People's Pledge if the third party groups supporting Scott Brown do the same," Cecil added.

On Saturday, one day after Brown announced he formed an exploratory committee, an important move which allows Brown to begin raising money and putting together a campaign team in advance of a formal Senate run in New Hampshire, Shaheen sent him a letter concerning the pledge, similar to the one that then-Sen. Brown of Massachusetts signed with Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren. Brown ended up losing his 2012 bid for re-election.

"I very much admired the People's Pledge that you and Elizabeth Warren signed in your 2012 Massachusetts Senate race.  I believe it limited the influence of outside groups and allowed the people's voices to be heard," Shaheen wrote.

"I have signed and attached two copies of an agreement with the exact same terms for the New Hampshire 2014 Senate race.  I hope you will join me in once again committing to the same People's Pledge you signed in Massachusetts and limiting the influence of outside groups in New Hampshire this year."

While not commenting on whether he would sign the pledge, Brown responded later Saturday, calling Shaheen's move "self-serving and hypocritical."

"Before I even thought of becoming a candidate, Jeanne Shaheen's allies in Washington were running negative ads against me for months. And right now, while I'm meeting with the people of New Hampshire, she is on the West Coast raising money so third-party groups in DC will have money to run even more outside negative ads against me. It's hard to view Jeanne Shaheen's actions as anything other than hypocritical and self-serving," Brown wrote.

And New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn wrote that Shaheen's "stunt today represents D.C. politics at its very worst. New Hampshire voters are smart enough to see through Jeanne Shaheen's hypocrisy and double standards."

Shaheen meets with voters across New Hampshire starting Tuesday for three straight days. She spent the weekend fundraising in Washington State and California.

New polls give Shaheen double-digit lead

Brown joins three other Republicans who are running for their party's Senate nomination in New Hampshire: former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith, former state Sen. Jim Rubens, and conservative activist Karen Testerman.

If Brown ends up winning the party's September primary, it could expand the map for Republicans. Democrats hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party), but are defending 21 of the 36 seats up in November, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states, like New Hampshire.

But a second straight public opinion poll indicates Shaheen has a double digit lead over Brown. According to an American Research Group survey released Monday, 50% of Granite State registered voters say they would support Shaheen, with 38% backing Brown and 12% undecided. The survey indicates Shaheen has a 49%-34% advantage among independent voters.

The poll is similar to a recent Suffolk University/Boston Herald survey that indicated Shaheen has a 52%-39% lead among New Hampshire voters.

From state house to Senate

In January 2010, the then little-known Republican state senator in Massachusetts pulled an upset in a special election to serve the final three years of the late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy's term. But Brown's time in the Senate was cut short when Warren defeated him in 2012.

Last year, Scott passed on running in a special election in Massachusetts to fill the term of John Kerry, who left the Senate to become secretary of state. And at the time, Brown also announced that he wouldn't make a 2014 bid for an open governor's seat in the Bay State.

Brown last year made a number of speaking appearances at GOP events in the Granite State, where he spent much of his childhood and where he owned a vacation home. Last fall, in another hint about a possible run, he dropped the 'MA' from his Twitter handle.

A few months later, he sold his home in Massachusetts and moved his residency north to New Hampshire.


Filed under: 2014 • Jeanne Shaheen • Massachusetts • New Hampshire • Scott Brown • Senate
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    Pryor, D-AR. Hagen, D-NC. Begich, D-AK. Shaheen, D-NH. Udall, D-CO. Landrieu, D-LA. Markey, D-MA. All gone.

    Dem "retirements" in ND and IA. So long.

    GOP House and GOP Senate? Hillary doesn't run. Bank on it.

    March 17, 2014 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. Dean

    A hypocritical liberal...no way!

    March 17, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  3. just asking

    what a bunch of nonsense from the democrats. funny they had no problem when hundreds of millions of union money was flowing into the democrat campaigns and none was going into the republicans campaign even though many union members support republicans. where is the fairness there?

    stop whining shaheen and justify your vote for obamacare. tell all of nh how you'd do it all again. enough with the bs smoke and mirror campaign balony. seems that is all the democrats got these days.

    March 17, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. truth hurts but reality bites

    What we have heya is desperation. Every now and then people do get desperate and when they get desperate they do desperate things. Shaheen is clearly getting desperate and wants to change the topic from her support of Obamacare to anything else, even if she has to manufacture that topic.

    March 17, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  5. salty dog

    Scott Brown came to Washington to promote his cause, Scott Brown.

    March 17, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. much thunder...little rain

    she sounds like she scared...

    March 17, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. salty dog

    He's loyal Massachusetts man, I mean new Hampshire.

    March 17, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  8. TommyK

    Brown took up residency in NH for one reason and one reason only . . . to run for office. He didn't come here because of the lack of sales/income tax, he didn't come he because of the beautiful environment, he didn't come here because of NH's long history and independence. He came here to run for office. Now many other people have moved to a state to run for office, but at least there lives there for a while unlike Brown who just took up residency in the Granite State and now is running for office. Regardless of your party affiliation . . . he is not what NH is all about and doesn't deserve anyone's vote!

    March 17, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. Chris-E...al

    Vote dems 0ut if ur tired 0f get n lied 2 and blameing others al the time !

    March 17, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. just saying

    salty dog
    He's loyal Massachusetts man, I mean new Hampshire.
    -–

    at least he was born in nh and has a residence there. hilllary clinton? born in chicago and never lived in ny. i'm sure you were totally outraged by that right?

    March 17, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. Gurgyl

    If he can not sell in Mass how can he sell in NH? Some thing wrong with Scot Brown.

    March 17, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  12. salty dog

    As a matter of fact I was. We could do better than Hillary, just not from the clown car gop is pushing.

    March 17, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    Just remind her, that HER money comes from Soros.

    March 17, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. Pat

    The Koch brothers will buy him and NH.

    *****NH for sale******

    March 17, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  15. ja

    He floats with whale manure, bottom line

    March 17, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Brown will put his foot in his mouth and help Jeanne into the seat like he did with Liz Warren. Guns Over People tea potty wingnuts can't stop talking.

    March 17, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. just saying

    salty dog
    As a matter of fact I was. We could do better than Hillary, just not from the clown car gop is pushing.
    -–
    democrat clown car has a totally incompetent senile gaff-o-matic and and old incompetent accessory to murder and russian reset creator. failure and incompetence galore. got anybody under 70 that isn't half brain dead?

    March 17, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    truth hurts but reality bites

    What we have heya is desperation. Every now and then people do get desperate and when they get desperate they do desperate things. Shaheen is clearly getting desperate and wants to change the topic from her support of Obamacare to anything else, even if she has to manufacture that topic.
    -------------------------
    Uh, dude. You're projecting again. The article is all about Brown making an issue over campaign money from outside groups. It would appear that you are the desperado changing the topic. You're the one changing it from outside campaign money to Obamacare. Obviously, you don't want to discuss political money from outside groups. Yup, you're projecting again. It's quite noticeable.

    March 17, 2014 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. Fair is Fair

    just saying

    salty dog
    As a matter of fact I was. We could do better than Hillary, just not from the clown car gop is pushing.
    -–
    democrat clown car has a totally incompetent senile gaff-o-matic and and old incompetent accessory to murder and russian reset creator. failure and incompetence galore. got anybody under 70 that isn't half brain dead?
    --------
    Lots of rumbling about Bernie Sanders, Socialist-VT, running for the dem nomination. How appropos.

    March 17, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  20. O'drama ya Mama

    Dean

    A hypocritical liberal...no way!
    March 17, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    How does that make her the hypocrite. She is offering to run the same kind of campaign that Brown ran in 2012 and now he is refusing. That makes him the hypocrite. Why does he need Koch money to win?

    March 17, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    All I know is this, you cannot control what other people do. You sign something like that, and the next thing you know some outside group is running an ad that makes it look like you broke the agreement. Where they get their money from is a secret.

    March 17, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  22. salty dog

    Your pathetic, Omalley, Cuomo, what does age have to do with it, if you can handle the campaign, you can't be to old. Your party has 30% of the population, see ya!

    March 17, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  23. just asking

    is shaheen refusing to accept union money? especially from public sector unions. this is corruption pure and simple.

    but who cares, stop whining democrats. obama said he was going to take public financing then said he wouldn't, the first of one of many lies. he then went on to raise and spend record amounts. all you fools do is whine when you can't keep up, but when you are raking it in in record amounts, silence.

    March 17, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. salty dog

    Bernie sanders would be better than what the gop has, common sense, you can't buy it, you can't borrow it, and the gop is fresh out of it.

    March 17, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  25. salty dog

    That failure and incompetence fixed the gawd awful mess your boy w left, and did it completely without the gop, go figure.

    March 17, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
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