Gubernatorial Candidates Decline To Call For An End To Super PAC Ads

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With less than a month until the November elections, the contest between Martha Coakley and Charlie Baker has turned, well, spirited.

Wednesday, at their second debate in 12 hours, sparks flew on a variety of points, including a round of harshly critical super PAC ads which have targeted both candidates.

Baker said the ads raised important questions about Coakley's child protection credentials, and declined to call for an end to them.

"I think the issue is worthy of discussion," said Baker. "I don't like the tone of any of these super PAC ads, including that one. but the issue that's raised by that is worth conversation."

And when pressed by WBUR's Bob Oakes, who moderated Wednesday morning's debate, Coakley also said she wouldn't call for a halt to ads hitting Baker's salary as head of Harvard Pilgrim.

"I'm not going to unilaterally disarm, Bob," said Coakley. "This will be a battle for governor of Massachusetts."

Safe to say that voters can expect to see a lot more of those outside ads as the race moves along.


Susan Tracy, Democratic strategist and president of The Strategy Group.

Jeff Stinson, Republican strategist and president of Stinson Strategies. He tweets @jeff_stinson.


WBUR: Baker, Coakley Spar In Boston Chamber Forum

  • "Barely 12 hours after a televised gubernatorial debate, Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley debated a range of issues in front of Boston business leaders Wednesday, this time squaring off head to head without the three independent candidates."

WBUR: Video: Baker, Coakley Debate At Boston Chamber Of Commerce

  • "The debate was between Republican nominee Charlie Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley, and was moderated by WBUR’s Bob Oakes."

The Boston Globe: Coakley, Baker Spar In High-Octane Morning Forum

  • "In an hour-long exchange, the most potent back-and-forth came over the issues that super PACs have aired TV ads about — Coakley’s child protection credentials and Baker’s compensation when he was chief executive of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care."

This segment aired on October 8, 2014.


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