Senator Markey Proposes 2020 People’s Pledge
Monday, December 9, 2019
BOSTON – Senator Ed Markey today proposed a 2020 People’s Pledge to combat the influence of outside negative advertising and dark money from undisclosed donors during the Massachusetts Senate primary race. The 2020 Pledge would go into effect upon signing by all three Democratic primary candidates.
“Voters are fed up with negative advertising and dark money in politics. We need an updated People’s Pledge for the 2020 Senate primary to end the influence of negative third-party advertising and undisclosed money that is polluting American elections,” said Senator Markey. “We also need to make sure progressive organizations have the right to make their voices heard in this critical election with positive campaign advertising, and the 2020 People’s Pledge recognizes that our democracy is made healthier and more inclusive when these voices are heard. It is my hope that all candidates in the primary will agree to take part in a positive issue-focused campaign by signing on to the 2020 People’s Pledge.”
The full text of Senator Markey’s 2020 People’s Pledge is below.
People’s Pledge 2020
Because outside third-party organizations – including, but not limited to individuals, corporations, 527 organizations, 501(c) organizations, SuperPACs, and national and state party committees – may air, and may continue to air, and/or direct mail negative advertisements and issue negative advertisements attacking Senator Ed Markey, Congressman Joe Kennedy III, Shannon Liss-Riordan, or any other candidates signed below (individually the “Candidate” and collectively the “Candidates”); and
Because too often these negative ads are funded by organizations that do not disclose the donors funding these negative attack ads; and
Because the Candidates agree that they do not approve of such negative outside advertisements and/or direct mail, and want those negative outside advertisements and/or negative outside direct mail to immediately cease and desist for the duration of the 2020 primary election cycle; and
Because the Candidates recognize that the political landscape has changed since the original People’s Pledge was agreed to in 2012; and
Because the candidates recognize that in order to continue to make Massachusetts a national example, and provide the residents of Massachusetts with an election free of negative third-party independent expenditure advertisements and/or direct mail:
The Candidates on behalf of their respective campaigns hereby agree to the following:
We say NO to all outside negative advertising in the 2020 U.S. Senate primary campaign.
But we do not want to stifle or silence the positive voices that have a right to discuss the issues that matter most to residents of Massachusetts – the reproductive health community, labor unions, environmental and climate advocates, the LGBTQI+ community, among many others.
And these positive voices must disclose their donors so that they are transparent.
We need these positive, engaged, and active voices in our political debate in 2020.
Penalties for Breach
In the event of any such negative outside advertising expenditure, a determination agreed upon jointly by all three campaigns, the Candidates will hold a joint, public press conference within three (3) days of the discovery of the negative advertisement or the buy’s cost, duration and source of funding, condemning the spending and calling for an immediate cessation of activities as well as post their statements condemning and calling for a cessation of such negative advertising on their respective campaign’s social media platforms.
The Candidates and their campaigns agree to continue to work together to limit the influence of negative third-party advertisements and to close any loopholes (including coverage of sham ads) that arise in this agreement during the course of the campaign.
This agreement goes into effect upon the signature of all three candidates.
Senator Ed Markey
Congressman Joseph Kennedy III
Liz Vlock, Press Secretary