GOFFSTOWN, N.H. — Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire on Tuesday reiterated her call for Scott Brown, a former Republican senator from Massachusetts who is expected to challenge her this year, to agree to a pact designed to limit campaign spending by outside groups.
“I certainly hope that he will agree to his own People’s Pledge. This is something that he offered in the race against Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, and I think it did reduce the outside money that came into the state in a way that was very good for the debate,” Shaheen told reporters after speaking to a group of high school students visiting the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.
“And I think that that’s what we need in New Hampshire. As he said, he thought it was important for the citizens of Massachusetts. Well, if it was important for them, it’s certainly important for the citizens of New Hampshire,” Shaheen added.
The so-called People’s Pledge — which Brown and Warren pioneered in the 2012 race when the Democrat ultimately unseated him — curbs political spending by groups ungoverned by traditional campaign finance regulations. Under the version proposed by Shaheen, if an outside group purchases campaign ads, the candidate who stands to benefit would contribute 50 percent of the cost to a charity of the opponent’s choosing.
Brown has criticized Shaheen’s pledge gambit, calling it “self-serving” and pointing out that Democrats have been airing ads attacking him during the months’ long runup to his announcement last Friday that he was forming an exploratory committee.
“He is rejecting it,” a Brown adviser said on Tuesday.
Outside groups have also bought ads attacking Shaheen.
At the political institute at St. Anselm College Tuesday morning, Shaheen discussed her work as a three-term Granite State governor and first-term senator. Her deep roots in New Hampshire politics were on literal display. As she spoke with high school students, she referenced a blown-up photograph of her and her husband with President Jimmy Carter, and another showing her work on Gary Hart’s presidential campaign.
Early Democratic attacks on Brown have focused on saddling the longtime Massachusetts resident, who sold his Wrentham home last year, with the “carpetbagger” label. Another line of attack seeks to paint him in the lap of wealthy Republicans like the political financier Koch brothers, whom Shaheen referenced on Tuesday.
Polls have showed Shaheen with a lead over Brown. But Democrats are clearly worried about Brown’s potential to stun another Northeastern Democrat with his regular-guy appeal and upbeat campaign style.
Asked Tuesday if Brown’s famous ardor for the campaign trail would prompt a shift in her style, Shaheen replied, “I’ve been frenetically going around New Hampshire for the last five and a half years, working on the issues that matter to the people of this state, and I don’t intend to change that. I intend to continue that.”Joshua Miller can reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jim O’Sullivan can be reached at email@example.com.