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Scott Brown objects to mailer calling him a ‘former Washington lobbyist’

Scott Brown is running to unseat US Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.

REUTERS

Scott Brown is running to unseat US Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.

Scott Brown’s campaign dispatched a tart epistle Sunday to a super PAC attacking the US Senate candidate as a “former Washington lobbyist” in a political mailer.

Brown campaign manager Colin Reed sent the angry letter — noting Brown is not and has not been a lobbyist — to Harvard University Professor Lawrence Lessig, co-founder of a group that is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars attacking Brown and boosting the candidacy of one of his New Hampshire US Senate GOP opponents.

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In the letter, Reed demands that Lessig retract the claim and writes he is leaving all legal options on the table.

“Your actions are not clever, Professor Lessig; they are dishonest,” Reed writes.

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Lessig’s Mayday PAC, a super PAC aimed at ending super PACs and reducing the influence of money in politics, sent out a direct mail piece that juxtaposes Brown and former state senator Jim Rubens, whom the PAC is supporting for the GOP nomination. It paints Brown as a “Washington insider” and Rubens as “ ... committed to fixing the corrupt campaign finance system ...”

A search of federal lobbying databases found no matches for Brown.

In a telephone interview, Lessig acknowledged that Brown hadn’t been a registered federal lobbyist, but he said the PAC was not going to be controlled by Congress’s definition of lobbyist.

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“The point that we’re being critical about is someone selling his influence,” Lessig said. He said Brown had done just that when he went to work at a law firm, Nixon Peabody LLP, after he lost his 2012 Massachusetts US Senate re-election bid.

In the firm’s announcement about Brown joining Nixon Peabody, it said “... Brown will focus his practice on business and governmental affairs as they relate to the financial services industry as well as on commercial real estate matters.”

Reed’s letter also accuses Lessig, the director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, of hypocrisy.

Brown faces Rubens, former US senator Bob Smith, and a number of other candidates in Tuesday’s Sept. 9 primary that he is widely expected to win. If he gets his party’s nod, he will face US Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, in November.

Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos.
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