Democrats in Washington are criticizing a pair of new ads supporting Republican Scott Brown in the US Senate race, saying that the spots are illegal because a fellow Republican US Senate candidate is behind them.
The $200,000 campaign, launched today in the Boston media market and featuring two different TV ads (see them here and here), is sponsored by an independent group calling itself Americans for Responsible Health Care. A spokesman for the group, Jeff Cohen, said it was formed and funded by Parker Collier of Naples, Fla.
But Democrats point to a story in the Union Leader in which William Binnie, who is running for Senate this year in New Hampshire, is quoted as saying that he was involved with forming the group. Democrats point to federal law prohibiting Senate candidates from forming such advocacy groups.
Both of the ads focus on health care, backing Brown's position that the proposal Democrats are pushing in Washington should be rejected.
"We need Scott Brown's vote in Washington," Binnie says in the ad. "Together, let's stop the politicians' takeover of our health care. I'm Bill Binnie. Vote Scott Brown, US Senate."
Brown has previously said he doesn't want help from such national groups. "Scott Brown has called on outside groups to stay out of this election," said campaign spokesman Felix Browne. "This race is going to be decided by the very real differences between the candidates and not by outsiders jumping in."
Democrats are trying to pin the ads on him anyway.
"We knew it was strange for a New Hampshire Republican to plaster himself on the Massachusetts airwaves for Scott Brown, but now we know it's illegal," said Deirdre Murphy, press secretary for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "Will Scott Brown continue to let his Republican buddy run illegal ads for him on the air, or will he denounce the ads and their message?"
On the beat
Columnist Shirley Leung says Boston mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh should focus on middle-class housing. Read more