An Illegal Ad for Brown?
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is hitting Massachusetts GOP Senate candidate Scott Brown over an ad launched yesterday by a 527 called Americans for Responsible Health Care. The problem? ARHC is a front for Bill Binnie, a wealthy New Hampshire businessman who’s running for Senate in that state.
Marc Elias, a Democratic lawyer who’s now at Perkins Coie LLP, explains the problem:
The law is clear: federal candidates cannot raise or spend soft money. By establishing a section 527 organization that does not report to the FEC while also running for Senate, Binnie is violating a central tenet of recent federal campaign finance reform.
The full DSCC release (which is also notable for displaying how hard the committee is focusing on the bumbling Coakley campaign) is here:
As a New Hampshire Republican runs illegal ads for Scott Brown in Massachusetts, will Brown stand by his friend or denounce the ad for being illegal?
By forming a “527” issues advocacy group called Americans for Responsible Health Care to run ads for Scott Brown in Massachusetts, the New Hampshire Republican Senate candidate is breaking the law. Senate candidates are, by law, not allowed to form a “527” Issues Advocacy Group and run television advertisements for other candidates. The illegality of the ads begs the question: What will Scott Brown do? Will he stand by his Republican buddy who is illegally spending over $200,000 or will he reject the ads?
“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 DSCC National Press Secretary Deirdre Murphy. “With friends like these, it’s no wonder the people of Massachusetts don’t trust Scott Brown. 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?”
“The law is clear: federal candidates cannot raise or spend soft money,” said Marc Elias, chair of the Political Law Group at Perkins Coie LLP. “By establishing a section 527 organization that does not report to the FEC while also running for Senate, Binnie is violating a central tenet of recent federal campaign finance reform.”