One of the greatest surprises of last year’s Senate election was the dog that didn’t bark. The two candidates, Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren, reached an optimistic agreement early in the race designed to keep super PAC money out of the election. Such vows have failed in the past, and many observers expected the so-called “people’s pledge” to collapse in the heat of a close campaign. Shockingly, it worked.
Now, with another election coming to replace John Kerry, the shadowboxing has already begun between Brown, the presumptive Republican candidate, and the early Democratic front-runner, Edward J. Markey. As the race gains steam, the candidates should build on last year’s precedent by renewing the people’s pledge, with an eye toward making the pledge an accepted — and expected — part of Massachusetts politics.