Months ago, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich declined to sign an agreement which was proposed by Republican challenger Dan Sullivan which would have gone a long way to snuff out super-PAC and other independent expenditure money in the Senate race. The agreement would have required both candidates to publicly tell third-party spending groups, including super-PACS, to cease all television and radio ads which “clearly identifies either of us and supports or attacks our campaigns.”
If the groups didn’t obey, Sullivan wanted Begich to agree to donate 50 percent of an individual ad buy to the charity of the opposing candidate’s choice. A similar agreement worked to stem the flow of campaign spending from outside groups elsewhere.
Begich’s campaign called it a “political machination.”
Now, 26 days before the election, Begich is calling on Sullivan to sign an agreement that would require a similar allotment to charity if a group that doesn’t disclose its donors runs ads supporting or opposing candidates.
Some groups that aren’t explicitly telling the public how to vote aren’t required to list their donors. Those aren’t the so called super-PACS. Both candidates have such groups advocating for them.
The pledge was pushed by the Alaska Public Interest Research Group.
“Mark Begich agrees with Alaskans that all voters deserve to know where campaign dollars and attack ads are coming from. Alaska requires contributions to be public and for any group to disclose their top three donors in their commercials, that’s Alaska common sense and it should be adopted nationally,” Begich’s spokesperson said in a statement.
Begich has also sponsored legislation that would require groups involved in political campaigns to disclose their funding sources.
Sullivan isn’t planning on signing the agreement. His campaign spokesperson called it “disingenuous,” not the least of which because it is being proposed so soon before the election.
“This new proposal would not stop outside ad spending, and we continue waiting for Mark Begich to join Dan in ending all outside spending in Alaska. The Alaska Agreement worked before, and it can work again; all it takes is Mark Begich’s signature,” the campaign said, referring to that earlier agreement proposed by Sullivan.
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