News and Press

Markey Challenges GOP Senate Candidates to Sign the People’s Pledge Immediately

Warns Outside GOP Groups Could Attack Now if Candidates Don’t Take Pledge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 19, 2013

Contact: Giselle Barry, 781-960-5338,

Medford, MA – Rep. Ed Markey (D-Malden) today urged the four possible Republican candidates in the Massachusetts Senate special election to take the people’s pledge – an agreement to keep outside special interests and billionaires from spending millions attacking candidates.

“The silence from the potential GOP candidates on the people’s pledge is deafening and a warning that outside dollars could soon spill into this race,” said Markey. “Massachusetts does not need Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and other special interests polluting our airwaves with outside negative advertising.”

A week has passed since Reps. Markey and Lynch signed the people’s pledge to keep outside money out of the Massachusetts Senate special election. Yet, all but one of the Republican hopefuls has been silent on their commitment to keep outside negative attack ads from dominating the Senate race. The only GOP candidate to address the people’s pledge is State Representative Dan Winslow, who refused to commit to the pledge. Earlier this week, Professor Robert Boatright, of Clark University commented that “the only chance” the GOP has to “actually win this race is if American Crossroads, Americans for Prosperity, or some other such group decides to dump massive amounts of money into advertising in this race.”

Support for the people’s pledge is overwhelming. During the 2012 Senate race, even Republican Scott Brown aired a radio ad praising his Democratic opponent Elizabeth Warren on their agreement to stop outside spending: “No Gimmicks. No fine print. I want to commend my likely opponent, Elizabeth Warren, for joining me in this People’s Pledge. We both believe voters deserve a campaign where the candidates themselves make their case to the voters.”

At the end of the 2012 Senate race, the Boston Globe editorialized: “As expensive and tense as it was, this year’s Senate contest in Massachusetts provided a national model for how other high-profile campaigns can keep outside interest groups from hijacking a campaign. But because of the ‘people’s pledge’ that Brown and Warren signed at the outset of the campaign, super PACs and other outside spending entities stayed off TV airwaves — and the two Massachusetts rivals kept control over their own messages.”

Just today, the Supreme Court of the United States announced it has agreed to review the campaign finance laws that limit individual donations, possibly easing the way for billionaires to buy America’s election process.

“There is no question that Karl Rove and outside special interests want to buy this Senate seat, and that is completely and totally wrong,” said Markey. “The voters don’t want outside money polluting this race and detracting from the real focus of this election – the issues.”