The National Right to Life Committee has spent about $45,000 sending out mailers backing Senator Scott Brown, even as he supports legalized abortion.
Federal election law prohibits Brown from having any say over mailings sent by a political action committee. The latest expenditure figures were reported over the last few days.
Brown has received endorsements from several groups that oppose legalized abortion, in part because of his opposition to President Obama’s health care law and his support for a measure that would have allowed employers and churches to restrict health coverage for treatments or procedures they find morally objectionable. His vote against Obama’s health care law was unrelated to the abortion issue.
A handful of groups that favor abortion rights support Elizabeth Warren, Brown’s Democratic challenger.
Brown has repeatedly said that he is prochoice and believes Roe v. Wade should not be overturned. The issue has emerged several times in the campaign, both in debates and in advertisements, as the candidates fight for women’s votes.
“I have votes from everybody,” Brown said at an event on Thursday.
“I’m going after every single vote, and there are good people on all sides of every issue.”
The new flier shows a picture of a fetus, a baby, and an older woman and reads: “It’s time to take America back . . . for LIFE!”
On the other side of the flier, it lists a comparison between the candidates on issues, including Brown’s opposition to the procedure that opponents call partial-birth abortion, and Warren’s support from Emily’s list, which the mailing characterizes as a “radical proabortion group.”
David O’Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life Committee, said the group occasionally supports candidates who favor legalized abortion, including Brown in his 2010 election.
“He is prochoice,” O’Steen said. “But if you look at the two candidates, Elizabeth Warren’s position is very extreme. She can only be characterized as proabortion.”
Emily’s List, a political action committee that supports Democratic women candidates who support abortion rights, is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to support Warren. The group put out a release Thursday afternoon drawing attention to the new flier from the National Right to Life Committee, asserting in a headline that “evidence of Scott Brown’s lies arrives in voters’ mailbox[es].”
FactCheck.org said last month that Emily’s List was wrong to dispute Brown’s assertion that he supports legalized abortion. Warren has said that she would be a more reliable supporter on women’s reproductive health issues than Brown.
Brown and Warren have signed a pledge designed to prevent outside groups from placing ads on television, radio, and online. But the ad does not cover direct mail, which has flooded voters’ mailboxes in recent days.
NOAH BIERMAN AND STEPHANIE EBBERT
“Locally, Tea Parties have been a good thing,” the ad begins, as it flashes images of the Boston Tea Party in 1773. “But in Washington, Richard Tisei called the Washington Tea Party a Godsend.”
The 30-second spot goes on to tie Tisei to plans to cut Medicare: “No surprise, there is a Tea Party plan that ends Medicare as we know it in exchange for giving millionaires a tax cut.”
Tisei, the ad declares, “called it a good starting point.”
The spot concludes with the line: “Richard Tisei, we can’t afford to let him get started.”
Tisei has pointed to his legislative record and his positions on same-sex marriage, abortion, and other social issues as evidence that he is a moderate. In a debate Thursday, he called the Democrats’ attempts to link him to the Tea Party ridiculous.
The new ad, part of a $320,000, one-week ad buy in the Boston market, is funded by the House Majority PAC, the political action committee aimed at winning back a majority for Democrats in the US House of Representatives.
The group has also rolled out new television ads in New York and Illinois.
A month ago, the same committee pulled approximately $630,000 worth of ads in Boston, some of which were expected to benefit Tierney in his reelection fight against Tisei. At the time, spokesman Andy Stone said the money would be used for other congressional races around the country.
On Thursday, Stone did not say what changed the group’s mind or whether it will continue to run anti-Tisei ads through Election Day.
“At this point,” he said, “we are keeping our options open.”