Republican Jim Rubens, insisting that his U.S. Senate campaign is “surging’ Iin on front-runner Scott Brown in the final day before tomorrow’s primary, is reveling in the fact a super PAC supporting him, the Mayday PAC, appears to have rattled the Browns camp.
After a poll during the weekend showed potentially good news for Rubens, and after a major Brown supporter put out a mailer calling Brown a “Washington lobbyist,” Brown campaign manager Colin Reed fired off a letter to Mayday PAC co-founder Lawrence Lessig charging that Lessig, in the mailer, had committed “a flat-out lie.”
“Your willingness to trample the truth for you own partisan political agenda has added to the coarseness of our politics,” Reed wrote. He wrote that Lessig has turned his super PAC “into just one more negative message machine that exists to launch unethical and untrue attacks.”
“Your hypocrisy is stunning,” Reed wrote, adding, “Scott Brown is not now nor has he ever been a lobbyist.”
Reed added, “If you fail to immediately cease the mailer in question, we are leaving all our legal options on the table.”
Lessig, in his own blog, acknowledged that while Brown may not fit the Senate’s formal definition of a lobbyist, “I submit to anyone else in the world, a former Senator joining a ‘law and lobbying firm’ (Nixon Peabody) to help with Wall St’s ‘business and governmental affairs’ is to make him a lobbyist. Because to anyone else in the world, when you sell your influence to affect ‘business and governmental affairs,’ you are a lobbyist.”
In an email responding to Reed, questioning precisely “what your complaint is,” Lessig sent copies to several other people, including Democratic strategist and former adviser to President Barack Obama, Bill Burton.
The Brown campaign pointed out that a story in The Hill, from March of 2013, cited by Lessig in his blog, does not call Brown a lobbyist.
“And finally,” wrote Lessig, “as for those ‘legal options’ that Mr. Reed says he’s “leaving on the table,” let me offer the words of Harry Callahan: “Go ahead. Make my day.”
Rubens and the Mayday PAC separately touted a poll by Public Policy Polling for the Mayday PAC that showed Brown leading him 53 to 24 percent, with former Sen. Bob Smith at 15 percent.
But, the Rubens campaign pointed out, 73 percent of those polled said that a candidate for the U.S. Senate “was committed to fighting crony capitalism in Washington,” they would consider it a strong reason to vote for him.
And 71 percent of those polled said if a candidate for was “strongly committed to reducing the amount of money in politics,” they would consider that a strong reason to vote for him. Also 64 percent of those polled call it “important” to “reduce the influence of money in politics.”
“As the law requires, we can’t get involved with the discussion of whether or not Scott Brown working for a ‘Law and Lobbying Firm’ after leaving the Senate qualifies technically as a lobbyist,” the Rubens campaign said in an email entitled, “Brown Campaign Worried as Rubens Surges.”
“However, this much is clear: Scott Brown’s too cozy relationship with special interests is a problem for voters. This hostile reaction from Brown’s campaign show he’s clearly worried about Tuesday’s primary election,” the Rubens campaign said. “Jim Rubens has pledged not to become a lobbyist after leaving office and raised this as an issue since the beginning of his campaign.”
Meanwhile, former U.S. Sen. Gordon Humphrey, who has backed Rubens since the beginning of his campaign, taped a television ad for the Mayday PAC, which was released last Friday.
In the ad, Humphrey calls Rubens “real,” and says, “Massachusetts doesn’t need a third senator.”
Today, a Rubens supporter wondered why Reed was paying attention to Lessig, suggesting it was a sign of “nervousness” by the Brown campaign.