Senate Candidates Shut Off Outside Groups — Could Presidential Candidates Do The Same?

Something completely different has occurred in the Massachusetts Senate race.

The PACs have been silenced.

When Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren and Republican incumbent Scott Brown agreed to attempt an outside spending ceasefire, most pundits and politicos were fairly skeptical.  In the age of Citizens United, could two candidates really convince all the 501c4s, PACs, campaign committees and industry advocates to stay out of the race and not provide outside ads and other forms of campaigning?

Yet, a few months in, the shutdown appears to be working.  According to the Washington Post, “An ambitious attempt to effectively bar attack ads by outside groups in the contentious U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts is showing signs of working, at least so far….Advertising by outside groups in the Massachusetts Senate race has nearly disappeared since the deal was reached, data show.”

As part of the so called “People’s Pact,” if either candidate benefits from outside advertising, then the candidate must donate half of the cost of the ad to a charity.  It’s worked fairly well so far at shutting down the environmental, advocacy and political groups who had early on taken an interest in the race and promised to make it one of the biggest financial expenditures in the country.

Now, just imagine if the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees took the same “People’s Pact?”  The multiple super PACs would be virtually silenced, and the unlimited money being pledged would go no where.  Corporations, various interest groups and industries would have no ability to try and influence the election.  The television would go mostly silent.  And when a campaign ad attacks a candidate with no truth behind its claims, we would know exactly who to blame for the incident, cutting down the likelyhood of negative attacks.

Can we get the presidential candidates to agree to a “People’s pact,” too?

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Evelyn M.
Evelyn M.3 years ago

William K, best comment I've ever heard! Now if we could only implement it.

Marsha M.
Marsha M.3 years ago

Let's get a People's Pledge re: campaigning started and signed. Do away with the permanent campaigns!

Lynn C.
Lynn c.3 years ago

Interesting, don't you think, that Elizabeth Warren was a part of this?

Deborah W.
Deborah W.3 years ago

Imagine all that money going toward education, food, infrastructure updates ... and candidates being required to stand on their own voting records and achievements? How about using some of that money to help reduce the debt?

So many places, so little money after the grubbers get through further gouging the masses to offset their payouts.

James D.
James D.3 years ago


They may also be used in Bio sense, but will be fact checked for truth and accuracy. 3) Make all the public appearances you like, and there you can do the above plus Lie about your opponent all you wish...but, all public speeches will be recorded, fact checked post-speech, and absurdities will be pointed out by all Media outlets (see #2).

This system would practically eliminate the need for campaign donations in Primaries and the Elections themselves. Any further funds needed would be allowed to come from individual donations to candidates limited to $100, and once the Elections themselves are underway from the respective Political Parties. The government's funding would come under the "making the Media give air time and print and internet space, etc." and setting up the debates and possibly establishing central internet sites upon which all candidates can post all of their own information, history, policy statements, etc. (The no-lying rule still applies).

This would create a sober atmosphere free of lies and obfuscation and allow for informed, not a confused and agitated, voting public.

And when we get there, remember:

Like Freedom? Vote Progressive!

James D.
James D.3 years ago

"I again recommend a law prohibiting all corporations from contributing to the campaign of any party ... Let individuals contribute as they desire; but let us prohibit in effective fashion all corporations from making contributions for any political purpose, directly or indirectly." - Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt

Just off the top of my head:

Undo the Citizens United decision however we have to do so. Also, we will vacate the SCOTUS decision that stated We have no expectation of being told the truth from candidates during elections, or at any other time when politics is concerned (That's what started this avalanche of lying outrageously in the first place). Mandate a set period time, say three months, for Primary season. End Political ads of any kinds and replace with the following: 1) Real debates in which Real questions are asked candidates, questions they must answer without seeing them before hand and which are germane to the issues of interest to the American People. 2) TV, radio, print and internet Position Statements which will be run free of charge by all Media outlets for the Privilege of maintaining access to the airwaves, etc. (Anyone else old enough to remember this one?) These statements must Not be used to bash other candidates and only to say where a candidate stands, what they think are viable solutions and policies and what they Promise the American People they will do when in office. They may also be used in Bio sense, but will be fact checked for

Vicky Pitchford
Vicky P.3 years ago


Christopher L.
Christopher L.3 years ago

How will Bill Mahr and George Soros get our Glorious Comrade Obama re-elected if he can't get his $1,000,000,000.00 that he wants to tell us more lies?

John B.
John B.3 years ago

What a great idea!!

Nancy Crouse
Nancy Crouse3 years ago

What a novel idea! Maybe we could benefit from the same in Canada. Way to go!