Pledge would be similar to the 'People's Pledge' in Massachusetts' Brown vs. Warren Race
Today, 5th district Republican candidate Mark Greenberg called on his Democrat opponent Elizabeth Esty to join him in a pledge to discourage outside money from entering the race for Congress.
Greenberg's campaign believes the pledge is needed given the ugly tone that his opponent and supporters have already engaged in over the past few weeks. On August 15, 2014 a DCCC 'Opposition Research book' was exposed by the Hartford Courant as a guide for attack ads by shadowy outside groups who are not allowed by law to coordinate with a campaign, including the offensive line that Mark "identifies as Jewish."
This was followed by a story in the Hartford Courant yesterday that included what appear to be coordinated quotes between the DCCC and the Esty campaign, including the phrase 'shady landlord' in referring to Greenberg's business.
Groups who are not allowed by law to coordinate with campaigns are the same type of groups that Congresswoman Esty claimed to be against on election night in 2012 when she declared "Connecticut cannot be bought," referring to outside money spent in that race. (Watch here at the 7 minute mark)
Ms. Esty has a long history of trying to have it both ways since 2012. Before starring in an ad for the House Majority PAC in early 2013, she railed against this very type of group in her election night speech. FEC records show that Ms. Esty outspent her opponent, Andrew Roraback by a more than 2-1 ratio in that race.
Ms. Esty has also sent email after email to her supporters about Mark being wealthy, yet in her 2012 Democrat primary race against Chris Donovan, she 'self-funded' with over $600,000 of her personal funds. And that was just in the Democrat primary!
The Greenberg campaign is offering to reach agreement with the Esty campaign on a mutually agreeable Transparency Pledge for the remainder of the 2014 race. The Greenberg campaign asks that each campaign call on all third party groups - super PACs, PACs, NRCC, DCCC, and others to stay out of the 5th District race. If a group does spend money on behalf or in support of either campaign, the campaign receiving the support will donate dollar for dollar to their opponent's charity of choice.
The Greenberg campaign is open to any and all suggestions from the Esty campaign that would provide a level playing field for both campaigns over the next two months and would elevate the level of dialogue. Rather than a campaign of 30-second attack ads, we call on Ms. Esty to focus on solutions to the many problems facing our country.
We hope this will encourage each campaign to take ownership of any attack ad and not blame outside groups for these attacks. Using these groups, which by law cannot coordinate with each other, to fund attack ads would, to use a word that both the DCCC and the Esty campaign both used yesterday, be shady.