An outfit called Coalition of Americans for Political Equality (CAPE) PAC launched an online advertising campaign supporting Brown, in spite of both candidates’ request that no independent groups advertise either for them or against their opponent. There are, of course, critics of the Pledge – some on free speech grounds; some on the grounds that it violates the prohibition against candidates’ coordinating with independent political groups; some on the grounds that it’s just a sham and will fall apart like Rick Perry at a debate.
Not so fast, my friends! Here’s what CAPE PAC said in the wake of protests from the Brown camp (after his people were told about the group’s ad campaign):
As a result of requests from our supporters, we have elected to suspend our campaign in support of Senator Brown effective immediately. Our campaign in support of Scott was a purely positive campaign, with no negative ads, and was very modest in scope. We regret the candidates in this race are asking for groups like ours to suspend our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms to campaign in support of whatever candidates we choose.
However, we respect the wishes of our supporters and as such will honor their requests to suspend our advertising campaign in support of Senator Brown. The website, www.vote4brown.org, is now offline and our ads have been paused since early in the afternoon of March 6th 2012. It has been asked of us how much was spent in support of Scott Brown and I feel it necessary to reiterate just how modest and short this campaign was. To date, we have spent a total of $673.99 in advertising in support of Scott.
And here’s how Brown’s campaign responded (via MassLive):
“After learning a third-party group was running Internet ads on behalf of Scott Brown, the Brown campaign agreed to honor the terms of the pledge with a donation to a charity of Professor Warren’s choosing,” said Colin Reed, a spokesman for the Brown campaign. “Today, Scott Brown’s People’s Pledge worked exactly as intended.”
Yes, to the tune of $337. Let’s see what happens when the real money starts flying around.