Reid Pumps More Dark Money Into Hassan’s Race

Ayotte slams campaign finance hypocrisy

Maggie Hassan
Gov. Maggie Hassan / AP
• March 15, 2016 4:22 pm


A Super PAC affiliated with Sen. Harry Reid (D., Nev.) will spend another $200,000 on an attack ad aimed at Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, according to a report.

NH1 News reported that Reid’s Senate Majority PAC, the biggest dark money spender in the 2014 campaign, has purchased another week of commercial time to help Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan’s close campaign against the freshman senator. The influx of money will maintain its attack on Senate Republicans for refusing to confirm President Barack Obama’s potential Supreme Court choices.

"Donald Trump wants the Senate to delay filling the Supreme Court vacancy so he can choose the nominee next year," the ad says. "Senator Kelly Ayotte is right there to help and Ayotte joined Trump and party bosses in refusing to consider any nominee."

The Super PAC released the ad on March 9 and aired it statewide for one week at an estimated cost of $200,000. That expenditure came one month after Hassan balked at Ayotte’s attempt to cut down on the influence of third party dark money groups on the race.

The Republican asked the governor to join her in signing the People’s Pledge, an agreement used by liberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren in her 2012 election. If Hassan had signed the agreement her campaign would have been forced to donate $200,000—half of the ad buy’s value—to a charity of the Republicans choice from her campaign funds.

Reid’s Super PAC, which does not disclose its donors, will have spent nearly $1 million on the race after this most recent ad buy. Hassan has publicly stated that she opposes the Citizens United decision that overturned stringent campaign finance laws and allowed for the creation of Super PACs. The Ayotte campaign said that Hassan’s actions demonstrate her hypocrisy when it comes to campaign finance issues.

"Governor Hassan’s refusal to sign the People’s Pledge gave the green light to Harry Reid and her Washington special interest allies to flood the airwaves with negative ads," campaign manager Jon Kohan said in a release. "Hassan could have ended all of this with a stroke of her pen, but she refused and now the voices of New Hampshire citizens will continue to be drowned out by third party special interest money."

The commercial is expected to air across the state until March 23.