In the News

Progressive voting rights-campaign finance group launches another big pro-Hassan ad buy in NH

Oct 05, 2021

John DiStaso

October 5, 2021

(WMUR) – End Citizens United/Let America Vote Action Fund, a progressive advocacy group focused on campaign finance reform and expanded voting access, is launching a major advertising buy in New Hampshire on Tuesday praising U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan for supporting the compromise Freedom to Vote Act.

WMUR has a first look at the ad and details of the buy.

ECU/LAV says the buy will total $900,000 on local broadcast and cable stations as well as streaming television and digital platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Google.

The group says the buy pushes the total it has spent since April on New Hampshire advertising to nearly $2.5 million.

Featured in the new buy is a 30-second ad, which can be viewed here and below. Produced in black-and-white, it includes a narrator saying:

“This is our country. We built it, protected it, defended it.

“And our senator knows it. That’s why Maggie Hassan is working to put us back in charge.

“The Freedom to Vote Act secures our elections, puts families ahead of special interests and ends dark money, so we decide elections, not the billionaires who want to buy them.

“Because Senator Hassan knows we deserve the freedom to vote.”

ECU/LAV President Tiffany Muller said: “Voters in both parties believe we should protect the freedom to vote, end dark money, stop partisan gerrymandering and protect our elections from sabotage so that the people choose their elected officials, not the other way around.

“We applaud Senator Hassan for supporting this common-sense compromise that will restore faith in our elections and urge the Senate to do whatever it takes to pass this bill as quickly as possible.”

The Freedom to Vote Act emerged from the U.S. Senate in mid-September after the broader For the People Act – also known as H.R. 1 and S. 1 – failed to pass the Senate in June.

As ABC News reported, it was crafted by a group of Democratic senators that included moderate U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who opposed the earlier For the People Act.

While many provisions of the For the People Act are contained in the Freedom to Vote Act, the revised bill excludes public financing of presidential and congressional elections, the automatic mailing of ballots and includes more precise qualifying language addressing the purging of voter rolls, which would continue.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, chair of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, which oversees election and campaign finance, was among those who introduced the bill and issued a detailed explanation from the Democratic perspective.

Despite the compromise among Democrats, the bill does not yet have enough Republican support to reach the 60-vote threshold to overcome a filibuster.

Hassan, who is seeking a second term next year, supported the For the People Act and backs the Freedom to Vote Act.

She said in a statement to WMUR: “The Freedom to Vote Act will help stop billionaires from buying our elections and protect the fundamental right to vote. I will keep pushing to move this bill forward so we can strengthen our democracy and enact commonsense campaign finance reform.”

End Citizens United/Let America Vote Action Fund is a 501c4 issues advocacy group, which, like the “dark money” groups it criticizes and wants to end, is not required to disclose its donors. But the group says it voluntarily does so.

ECU/LAV endorsed Hassan in May for the second time in as many U.S. Senate elections. In 2016, ECU, prior to its merger with Let America Vote, named Hassan as its first-ever U.S. Senate endorsement.

ECU/LAV: NH buys total nearly $2.5 million

The $900,000 buy is part of a $5.8 million campaign announced in late September in support of Democratic Sens. Mark Kelly of Arizona, Raphael Warnock of Georgia, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Manchin and Hassan.

Previously this year, ECU/LAV spent $94,000 in April on digital ads praising Hassan and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s support for the For the People Act.

In May and June, the group spent nearly $1 million on a television ad focusing on Hassan and Shaheen’s support for the For the People Act. It also spent nearly $350,000 on digital ads at this time.

In late July, the group spent about $45,000 on digital ads, and in mid-August to early September, spent about $41,000 on another digital buy.

According to ECU/LAV those buys totaled nearly $1.6 million – and the new $900,000 buy pushes the total up to nearly $2.5 million.