Brown, Warren Make Pact to Boot Super PACs

But will it work?
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2012 7:34 AM CST
Elizabeth Warren speaks in Lowell, Mass. Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011 during a debate between six Massachusetts Democratic candidates for the US Senate seat held by Republican Scott Brown.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
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(Newser) – Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren are rivals in a sure-to-be-bitterly-contested race for Ted Kennedy's old Senate seat, but they both want super PACs to stay out of it: The rivals yesterday entered into a pact discouraging outside groups from airing ads on their behalf; both Brown and Warren agreed to pay 50% of the ads' cost to a charity chosen by their rival if any such ads do air, CBS News reports.

In a statement, Brown called the pact "a great victory for the people of Massachusetts, and a bold statement that puts super PACs and other third parties on notice that their interference in this race will not be tolerated." But Time notes that the agreement may not work, particularly because super PACs may be able to skirt it by airing "issue ads" rather than "candidate ads." The line between the two types is blurry, since issue ads still target candidates on their policy positions. It's also possible that super PACs will simply spend more on other types of campaigning, including phone banking and direct mail. (Read more Scott Brown stories.)

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