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Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown announced Monday they’ve hammered out a deal they hope will limit the influence of super PACs and other third-party groups in what is expected to be one of—if not the—most hotly-contested Senate campaigns of 2012.
Under the agreement, both camps have agreed to donate half the cost of any third-party ad run in their favor to charity. The move is intended, in part, to dissuade outside groups from launching attack ads against their favored candidate’s rival, something that has been on full display during the current Republican presidential nominating contest.
Politico's Manu Raju provides the analysis:
The agreement could become a model for other campaigns grappling with the influx of third-party groups and super PACs that have grown more dominant since the 2010 Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court loosened campaign finance rules.
But it also could become inconsequential. The plan does not include get-out-the-vote activities often bankrolled by third-party groups, a carveout that [Karl Rove-led super PAC American] Crossroads officials said that the "Teamsters could drive a truck through."
In addition to super PACs, the pledge also includes more traditional third-party groups, like the Democratic and Republican Senate campaign committees, which traditionally play large roles in high-profile matchups they see as crucial to their control of Congress’ upper chamber. Both groups have yet to weigh in on the deal, and neither have a handful of super PACs that have already spent heavily in the race.
Those groups that have pledged to honor the candidates’ wishes, meanwhile, have made it clear that it will be an uneasy ceasefire at best. "While we cannot take directions from any candidate on our independent activities, we are inclined to respect the People’s Pledge agreed to by Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown," Navin Nayak, VP of the liberal League of Conservation Voters, explained to Politico. "And we hope that Scott Brown will honor his end of the deal when Crossroads and the Koch Brothers inevitably break it."