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Mass. Senate race: This time, outside money is funding negative ad blitz

In 2012, Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown swore off negative ads paid for by groups outside Massachusetts. But in the Gomez-Markey Senate battle, the money is pouring in.

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This photo provided by WGBH shows U.S. Senate candidates, Republican Gabriel Gomez, left, and Democratic U.S. Rep. Edward Markey, right before a debate moderated by R.D. Sahl, center, Tuesday, June 18, 2013, at WGBH studios in Boston. (AP Photo/WGBH, )

Meredith Nierman/WGBH/AP

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During the fiercely competitive 2012 Senate race in Massachusetts, the two candidates made an unusual promise: neither would allow outside groups to fund attack ads on their behalf. If either Democrat Elizabeth Warren or Republican Scott Brown broke this so-called “People’s Pledge,” they agreed they would pay half the cost of the ad in question to a charity of their opponent’s choice.

“We’re saying that we want to be able to run our own campaigns,” Ms. Warren, now senator, told Boston radio station WBUR at the time. 

Neither side backed down. When two outside groups ran ads on Mr. Brown's behalf several months before the election, he dutifully cut checks to Warren's charities. After that, the outside ad spending dried up.

 
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