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Rob Consalvo targets outside spending in Boston mayor’s race

Councilor Rob Consalvo called on other candidates running for mayor Wednesday to form a pact limiting outside money and third-party advertisements in the race to succeed Mayor Thomas M. ­Menino.

Consalvo proposed what he dubbed the Boston Pledge to discourage political action committees, advo­cacy organizations, labor unions, and other outside groups from spending money on behalf of candidates. The pledge would include advertisements on television, radio, online, and telephone solicitations.

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A candidate who benefits from spending by an outside group would agree to give campaign money to charity. The campaign would make a donation equal to 50 percent of the cost of the advertisement to the One Fund Boston, the charity for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

The pact is modeled on the People’s Pledge made in 2012 by Senator Elizabeth Warren and former senator Scott Brown in their US Senate race. A study released this week by a nonpartisan government watchdog found that the pledge significantly reduced outside spending in the race and thus increased transparency in campaign funding.

“Our elections should be decided by the hard work and new ideas demonstrated by the candidates and reflect the will of the voters,” Consalvo said in a statement. “They should not be overwhelmed by outside interests. In Massachusetts, we’ve already shown we can set a higher standard to keep that from happening.”

The agreement would cover all outside groups, from political action committees to labor unions, accord­ing to Consalvo spokesman David Di Martino. A statement from Consalvo’s campaign said the proposed pledge targeted advertisements on television, radio, online, and telephone solicitations.

Consalvo’s proposal did not specifically address campaign mailers, which were a loophole in the 2012 agreement between Brown and Warren. Outside groups spent money on mailers, which may play a more significant role in the mayor’s race. Consalvo was open to including mailers in the pledge if the other candidates agree, Di Martino said.

“We’re not interested in loopholes,” Di Martino said. “We just want to keep special interest money out of the election.”

Consalvo is one of 24 candidates running for mayor.

Andrew Ryan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @globeandrewryan.
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