BOSTON — The government watchdog group Common Cause Massachusetts is calling on U.S. Senate candidates Gabriel Gomez and Edward Markey to agree on a plan to limit the influence of outside spending in the campaign.
The group said a similar “People’s Pledge” between Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Republican Scott Brown in last year’s U.S. Senate race greatly reduced the amount of undisclosed cash spent on the campaign and the number of negative ads that would otherwise have been seen.
Gomez, a Republican, has rejected a call by Democrat Markey to sign a new pledge on outside spending.
“The stakes are very high in this race,” Common Cause Massachusetts Executive Director Pam Wilmot said in a statement. “Without another agreement, Massachusetts will likely see a deluge of negative advertising without accountability, vastly more secret money in the election, and a much larger role for billionaires and special interests. That’s not good for Massachusetts or the nation.”
Common Cause released a report on Thursday that showed spending on outside groups totaled only 9 percent in the Warren-Brown race, while outside groups outspent candidates by an average 34 percent in three other competitive races studied in Virginia, Wisconsin and Ohio.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom