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December 2, 2019


Boston, MA — Two of the three candidates running for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, Shannon Liss-Riordan and Congressman Joe Kennedy III, jointly signed the People’s Pledge today, in an effort to restrict outside money in the 2020 primary race. In order to become effective, the pledge requires the signature of all three declared candidates. Senator Ed Markey has thus far declined to sign.

The People's Pledge first originated in the 2012 Senate race between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown and was credited with successfully limiting the infiltration of both outside interest money and personal attack ads.

"Since 2012, the People’s Pledge has been an important and effective tool to keep outside money out of our elections, and it remains an important tool today," said Liss-Riordan. "I am running to give a voice to the working people of Massachusetts, a voice that is too often silenced by powerful special interests who spend millions to swing elections their way."

"It is the voices of Massachusetts -- and those alone-- that should decide this race," said Kennedy. "For too long a deluge of outside money has infiltrated and influenced our elections, leaving people across our Commonwealth and country feeling like our political process does not speak for them. I thank Shannon Liss-Riordan for joining me in this commitment to center the people of Massachusetts in this race and hope Senator Markey will join us in the days ahead."

In September, Kennedy called on all Democratic candidates in the race to take the People's Pledge, and subsequently reached out to his opponents' campaigns to set the terms of a cooperative pledge and initiate the signing. Liss-Riordan immediately agreed and, after no response from Senator Markey’s campaign, an early November 7th date was set. After Senator Markey’s campaign came forward to say it would review the provisions of the pledge late on November 6th, the Kennedy and Liss-Riordan campaigns decided to delay the signing ceremony in the hopes that all three campaigns would participate at a later date. After multiple attempts to include the Markey campaign in a signing ceremony, including a last minute cancellation of an event early last month, the two campaigns decided to move forward and put the onus on the Markey campaign to sign the pledge in the coming days.

The agreement signed by Liss-Riordan and Kennedy today includes similar terms laid out in the pledges in the 2012 U.S. Senate race and the 2013 Democratic Senate primary between Senator Markey and Congressman Stephen Lynch. It stipulates that if an outside group runs an independent expenditure on television, radio, digital or direct mail, the candidate who benefits will donate half of the ad's cost to a charity of the other two opponents' choosing. The pledge requires the signature of all three declared candidates to become effective.

Posted on December 2, 2019 in Press Releases.