First on CNN: Battle over pledge in Brown-Shaheen Senate fight
March 17th, 2014
12:34 PM ET
6 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. sonny chapman

    .Outside Money !!! They won't want anything in exchange!!!

    March 17, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. Wake up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    He's not signing any pledge this time. He signed last time and LOST. 1 2 = 3. The GOP knows they have to lie, cheat, and steal to win. Between changing voting laws, millions spent on misleading ads, gerrymandering and voter suppression, they could pull it off.

    Especially with half of their base being uneducated bigots and the other half wealthy traitors, they could do it.

    People better get off their behinds and VOTE! If the 2014 turnout is anything like the 2010, there's going to be a lot of PWT in trouble, even though they don't believe it.

    March 17, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  3. jrm03063

    The fact that Scott Brown is running in NH isn't a tribute to his strength. It's more a tribute to the fact that the NH GOP is headed, literally and figuratively, south. They don't have anyone with a prayer of beating someone who was already a very popular governor for several terms. Brown starts 10% down on Shaheen – and that's after weeks of AFP adds which Shaheen has responded to with exactly zilch. When the negatives against Brown start to come out – he's going to drop more. At best, this is the GOP trying to make the National Democratic party invest resources in a race that was otherwise assured. Shaheen will be our senator again – the only question is how much extra it's going to cost.

    March 17, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. Arun

    Can this idiot figure out which state he supposedly call home!!

    March 17, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. salty dog

    When you hire actors to act in a campaign ad, they are lying, where are all the victims of the horrible obamacare, with millions being cancelled, and going bankrupt, there should be no shortage of real stories, with real people, so far all actors, huh.

    March 17, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. salty dog

    Well the couple on hannity were real, real big liars, when approached, and asked, they admitted they never even tried to get so much as a quote, typical gop BS. All lies, all the time, getting very old.

    March 17, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    @smith
    @yolanda
    @tom

    Not one of you three are of the Independent spirit you cloak around yourselves as being.

    March 17, 2014 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz aka Take Back The House

    We all know Scott Brown is Wall St's favorite manchurian candidate. I dont think he should be eligible to run. If hr wants to get back in the Senate, he should run in Massachusetts.

    March 17, 2014 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    You know, the GOP in NY tried that a few years back when they tried to get William Weld to run in NY. There is a complete dearth of talent among the GOP in the Northeast, coupled with the fact that the odd one that does get in ends up being a complete whack job, like Lapage in ME. What's amusing is watching people just saying, and fair is fair spin their fantasies about how all these Senate seats are going to go red in November. Plenty of time for the GOP to shoot themselves in teh foot, espcially since 2 years ago the GOP was already decorating the living quaters for President Romney.

    March 17, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair

    Dutch/Bad Newz aka Take Back The House

    We all know Scott Brown is Wall St's favorite manchurian candidate. I dont think he should be eligible to run. If hr wants to get back in the Senate, he should run in Massachusetts.
    -------
    Why? Clinton did it. Bobby Kennedy did. Jay Rockefeller did.

    March 17, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. Ol' Yeller

    "salty dog

    When you hire actors to act in a campaign ad, they are lying, where are all the victims of the horrible obamacare, with millions being cancelled, and going bankrupt, there should be no shortage of real stories, with real people, so far all actors, huh."

    Actually there biggest success so far was a real woman with real cancer. Poor thing bought into all the right wing lies and propaganda... they used her and trotted her out on all their little rwnj shows until it was proven she not only got to keep her own doctor, but she actually saved a lot of money on the ACA and got better coverage. Then of course they dropped her like a hot potato and got the next rube prepped for for their 24 hour propaganda machine.
    It was really sad, but the saddest part was the poor lady was so indoctrinated into the cult of Obama hatred that she couldn't even believe it when the facts were laid out in front of here eyes.
    Like so many of the seemingly halfway intelligent people on here... they just cannot accept reality becuse that brings their whole little world of lies and fear crashing down upon them.
    So instead, they perpetuate these lies on to their children... but in this day and age it is getting much harder to lie to our youth- case in point- gay marriage and marijuana. Both issues making more headway in the last two years than they made in my entire life.
    I suspect this is just the beginning of the Revolution.

    March 17, 2014 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the majority repub/tea bag members

    @just asking: "is shaheen refusing to accept union money? especially from public sector unions. this is corruption pure and simple."

    Go to the opensecrets website and you'll see that her top 5 contributors are:

    EMILY's List (total=$73,650, indiv=$68,650, PAC=$5,000)
    Votesane PAC (total=$33,750, indiv=$33,750, PAC=$0)
    Thornton & Naumes (total=$27,700, indiv=$27,700, PAC=$0)
    Liberty Mutual (total=$27,000, indiv=$17,000, PAC=$10,000)

    These represent Lawyers/Law Firms, Retired, Leadership PACs, Real Estate and Women's Issues.

    BTW, unions have to disclose their contributors and their amounts; no rule applies to 401(c)3 groups like the Koch's Americans for Prosperity.

    If you don't get the difference, you're hopeless.

    March 17, 2014 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. Ol' Yeller

    @Anonymous

    @smith
    @yolanda
    @tom

    Not one of you three are of the Independent spirit you cloak around yourselves as being.

    Amen, Anonymous.... no truer words have ever been posted on here....

    March 17, 2014 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the majority repub/tea bag members

    @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?"

    Nope – wrong again, just. Here are the facts:

    Of all contributions, Business made 76.9% and Labor made 11.3%.
    Business contributions went mostly to repubs (59%) and 41% went to dems.
    Labor contributions went mostly to dems (88%) and 12$ went to repubs. (Maybe if the repubs weren't so anti-labor, they'd get more contributions ...?)

    Grand totals contributed:
    Business = $509,659,303
    Labor = $38,756,961

    So quit your bellyaching, just, and while you're at it, quit lying.

    March 17, 2014 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz aka Take Back The House

    Fair, I don't ever recall Hillary Clinton being a U.S. Senator in Arkansas. Don't conflate the two.

    March 17, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the majority repub/tea bag members

    @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."

    Nope, she's just calling Brown out for the Koch wh*re he is.

    Regarding Obamacare, contrary to the lie Boehner recently spouted about enrollment, nearly 9 million people have been added to the insurance rolls:

    3.4 million — healthcare.gov sign-ups, assuming 80% paid, though February
    2.4 million — lowest estimate for new Medicaid enrollment through January
    2.2 million — young adults added to parents’ plans (2010 average to first two quarters of 2013)
    500,000 — off-exchange enrollments

    State-by-state numbers tabulated at the ACAsingups site, including known off-exchange enrollments, calculate the actual current figure though mid-March at nearly 14 million.

    No need to distance oneself, none at all.

    March 17, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    Fair, Jay Rockefeller worked in West Virginai for several years prior to running. Hillary met the residency requirements, and she immersed herself in our state, learning everything there was to know about NY, and she kept learning over the 8 years she served. Bobby Kennedy, you've got a case, but since the NY GOP tried to recruit William Weld for governor of NY in 2006, there are more than enough examples of the GOp attempting to recruit out-of-state talent when they lack it on their own.

    March 17, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
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