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Politics
0000017a-15d9-d736-a57f-17ff8d390000Race: U.S SenateParty: RepublicanPolitical Experience: 2010-2012 - U.S Senate from Massachusetts2004-2010 – Massachusetts State Senate1998-2004 – Massachusetts House of RepresentativesPersonal: Married; lives in RyeEducation: Bachelor’s, Tufts University; J.D., Boston College Law SchoolCampaign WebsiteIssuesBrown says one of the main reasons he is seeking the seat held by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is the need to repeal the Affordable Care Act and encourage states to craft their own legislative solutions.A supporter of “Romneycare,” the Massachusetts health care program that includes many of the same components of the ACA, Brown voted to repeal so-called Obamacare in 2010. Yet he acknowledges that benefits offered by the ACA, such as requiring coverage for pre-existing conditions, are important enough to be part of a New Hampshire plan.“We need to repeal Obamacare and we need to put in place something that works for us…. There’s no reason why we can’t do it and also respecting our rights and freedoms and also doing it more competitively.”In late July, Brown began running television ads blaming Shaheen and President Obama for the “immigration crisis on our hands.” He criticized Shaheen for supporting immigration reforms that include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already living in the U.S., which Brown characterizes as “amnesty.”Brown told NHPR’s Brady Carlson that the U.S. needs to “secure our border once and for all.” But he supports allowing foreign students with visas to obtain green cards instead of automatically returning to their country of origin, and he says some workers ought to be allowed to remain in the U.S. if there is a need.“I look at it in different pillars. The first pillar is if we have kids who are here from out of country and they’re going to school, they should get a diploma and the ability to stay here and live and work if they want. That’s a no brainer.If we have people who need seasonal help because we have a service industry in our state, tourism, etc., and there’s needs to be filled, we should allow that to happen…. If you’re looking at executives and other engineers, doctors, etc., and there’s a need and we can’t fill that need in order to keep our businesses vibrant and in our state, we should allow that to happen, no problem.”Brown supports an "all of the above" energy plan that includes federal tax subsidies to encourage the development of solar, geothermal and nuclear energy technologies. A one-time supporter of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program for New England states, Brown now opposes cap and trade or a "national energy tax," saying it would increase costs to consumers.

Ads In Brown, Shaheen Senate Race More Than 90 Percent Negative

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As Election Day draws near we’re checking in each week on political ads and ad spending with Dave Levinthal, Senior Political Reporter for the Center for Public Integrity.

Over the past week Levinthal says political ads have turned negative – really negative.

The idea that the ads have now turned negative is interesting – I imagine a lot of people assumed they were already negative up to this point. Did they actually get more negative than before?

Believe it or not, they have gotten more negative, not only in New Hampshire but across the country. The week before last they were pretty darn negative – about seven out of 10 ads that were up in various US Senate races had at least some sort of negative content.

Some were overtly negative; others were kind of contrast-y and perhaps said something nice about the candidates sponsoring them or about the candidate that was being supported, then something about the candidate that was being supported, and something nasty about the opposing candidate. But very few were positive.

Well, it got even worse this week. If you’re talking about the negativity of Senate races in general, it’s about as bad as it’s gotten all year. And in a state like New Hampshire, things are just getting as ugly, almost as they can possibly get.

New Hampshire is fast becoming the snake pit of Senate races: only about eight percent of the television ads that were up on television this week had a positive tone to them. Everything else that was up on WMUR and the Boston stations, it was all very, very negative.

This was coming from outside political organizations, groups that are either supporting or opposing Jeanne Shaheen or Scott Brown, but mainly from the candidates themselves.

New Hampshire is fast becoming the snake pit of Senate races: only about eight percent of the television ads that were up on television this week had a positive tone to them.

And that’s interesting, because you could imagine a scenario where the outside groups play the role of the “bad cop,” doing all the negative attacks, while the candidates position themselves as above the fray and say, I’m just going to talk about my ideas and stay positive. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Both of them were getting ugly, both the candidates and the outside groups. There were a couple of exceptions, the most notable one being a group called the Council of American Job Growth; it’s supporting Scott Brown.

It had several dozen ads that went up on TV that were positive, putting Scott Brown in a positive light and focusing on why they think he’s a good candidate as opposed to focusing on why Jeanne Shaheen is a bad candidate. But that really is the exception to the rule. Overall there were about 1,600 ads that were up on TV in the past week in the New Hampshire Senate race, and effectively nine out of 10 had some sort of negative message to them.

Politico reports today that Democratic US Senator Jeanne Shaheen has stopped running an ad attacking Republican challenger Scott Brown on women’s issues and is now playing a positive one. Can we read into that decision, especially given that the GOP had called on Shaheen to pull that ad entirely?

It is possible that you can get too negative, and particularly in a close race – and this still remains a fairly close race – you have the possibility if you get too negative, or if your ads cross a perceived line of appropriateness, of turning people off, of angering not only people who may be undecided in who to vote for, but even turning off some of the people who are your own supporters, who may be scratching their heads wondering, why is the candidate who I like getting so mean, so nasty, so negative?

That is the risk you run when you play in the mud as much as candidates have been playing in the mud in New Hampshire and elsewhere.

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Screenshots of recent ads aired by the Brown and Shaheen campaigns in N.H.

But that doesn’t mean we should expect all ads will get positive as we get close to Election Day.

Absolutely not. Negativity is used because negativity often works. Do not expect, as a New Hampshire voter, that things are going to get sunny and cheery and happy anytime soon.

We are running out of time here; there are only a couple weeks left before Election Day. Many of the ads are already booked. Of course, candidates and outside groups have the ability and the potential to pull them down or change their buys, but what is locked and loaded right now is pretty much locked and loaded.

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