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Scott Brown in his pickup, giving a thumbs up.
Scott Brown, then a Massachusetts Everyman, in his pickup truck. In Massachusetts.
Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown has apparently learned his lesson about outside money in politics: He needs it. As a Massachusetts incumbent in 2012, he agreed to a "People's Pledge" with now-Sen. Elizabeth Warren to reduce outside expenditures on the race. As a New Hampshire challenger in 2014, he's declaring himself open for business in typically weaselly fashion. Responding to an offer by New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen to sign onto exactly the same pledge he signed in 2012:
Brown made clear he thought the offer was a stunt.

"It's hard to view Jeanne Shaheen's actions as anything other than hypocritical and self-serving,” he said in a statement. “The people of New Hampshire can see through the Washington-style game she is playing.”

Yes, the "Washington-style game" of doing exactly what Scott Brown did in Massachusetts in 2012. Brown's claim is that it's too late to sign the pledge because some outside groups have already spent money running "negative, untruthful ads against me." This is, frankly, excrement of the large farm animal of your choosing, be it horse or bull. As Shaheen's campaign points out, groups like the League of Conservation Voters had also spent money opposing Brown in Massachusetts in 2011 and early 2012, before he signed the pledge in that election. Yet he apparently didn't think that "the horse has kinda left the barn" back then. Additionally, while it's true that Democratic or progressive groups have spent $360,000 in New Hampshire in recent months, during the same time, groups like Karl Rove's Crossroads and the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity have been bombarding Shaheen with more than $1.5 million in attacks.

It's all too obvious that Brown knows that third-party spending is his only route back to the Senate. Hilariously, he's peppering his refusal to reject Koch money with self-righteousness not just about the lopsided outside spending that's already happened but about New Hampshire authenticity. He keeps insisting that Jeanne Shaheen is "Washington-style"—Scott Brown, a guy who's running for Senate for the third time in four years and from a second state—and highlighting Shaheen's travel outside of New Hampshire. Seriously, the former Massachusetts state and U.S. senator who sold his home in Massachusetts to move to New Hampshire, the state where he had a vacation house, is trying to out-New Hampshire a woman who has lived in New Hampshire since 1973 and served in the state Senate and as governor. The fact that she occasionally leaves the state doesn't make her less New Hampshire than Mr. Vacation House, any more than the outside money that's already been spent in this race is Brown's reason for rejecting the People's Pledge. No, he knows that lots and lots of Koch money is his only chance to win.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 10:40 AM PDT.

Also republished by Take New Hampshire Forward! and Daily Kos.

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