With the special election to fill the Massachusetts Senate just a week away and the race gaining national attention because of its possible impact on the health care debate in Washington, Republican Scott Brown's campaign said today he had raised more than $1.3 million in the past 24 hours.
Brown's campaign said he had raised the money from more than 16,000 donors across the country using a Web-based fund-raising tool called a "MoneyBomb."
"I am truly grateful for the incredible outpouring of support we have seen in the past 24 hours," Brown said in a statement. "It is clear that my message of restoring checks and balances in Washington as an independent voice for Massachusetts is resonating with people who are concerned about the direction of our country."
The campaign of Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley, Brown's opponent, said the figures were "the latest example of the national right wing money that is being funneled into his campaign."
"Extremist right wing groups associated with his campaign have already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on misleading, negative attacks against Martha Coakley," the campaign said in a statement, calling Brown a "lockstep Republican vote to return us back to the same failed policies of George Bush and Dick Cheney.”
Brown, a state senator from Wrentham who had never run a statewide race but whose campaign is gaining national attention, also fired back today at Coakley's first negative ad of the campaign, releasing his own television spot blasting her for ducking issues and going on the attack.
"By now, you've probably seen the negative ads launched by Martha Coakley and her supporters," Brown says as he stands in a kitchen during the 30-second ad. "Instead of discussing issues like health care and jobs, they decided the best way to stop me is to tear me down."
On Monday Coakley released a spot that says Brown is in "lockstep with Washington Republicans." The narrator accuses Brown of resisting tougher Wall Street oversight, favoring Bush-era tax cuts that tilted toward the wealthy, and supporting a measure in the state Legislature to allow hospital personnel to deny emergency contraception to rape victims.
In Brown's ad, the camera lingers on a photograph of Coakley with two fellow Democrats: Governor Deval Patrick, who has struggled in recent public opinion polls; and former House speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi, who is fighting federal corruptions charges.
"The old way of doing things won’t work anymore," Brown says in the ad. "Their attack ads are wrong and go too far."
Brown looks into the camera and says, "I'm running in the name of every independent-thinking voter to take on the political machine and their candidate. And with your help, I intend to win."
The special election is on Jan. 19. The seat came open after the death of legendary liberal Edward M. Kennedy, who had held the position for 47 years. A third candidate, Joseph L. Kennedy, who is not related to the legendary Kennedy political family, is running as an independent in the race.
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