Brown had also been targeted by big buys from outside groups, including the Democratic-aligned League of Conservation Voters. Warren, who has already been targeted by Crossroads, initially rejected a Brown proposal, drawing attention charging loopholes that could be exploited by Brown allies. If the influence of outside group advertising was eliminated completely in the race (something that, because of laws restricting coordination between certain groups and campaigns, can't be enforced by the candidates), the money chase is not as one-sided as it once seemed, giving Warren incentive to come to an agreement with Brown. Brown has a big initial cash on hand advantage, but Warren's fundraising pace signals that she could reach near parity in a couple of quarters. Finally, the most prominent opponent of the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision that paved the way for the unprecedented influence outside groups have this cycle recently did an about face. President Obama's campaign announced last week that it plans to publicly support fundraising for Priorities USA, an aligned-outside group. It's no coincidence that the timing of the announcement followed a period in which fundraising lagged for the group: Priorities USA raised only $4.1 million last year while American Crossroads and its sister organization, Crossroads GPS, raised a combined $51 million. The debate over the post-Citizens United world of campaign finance has attracted arguments from proponents and the opposition about principle, free speech, and the lasting impact on the way campaigns are contested. But as the game is playing out on the field of political campaigns, there is only as much room to advance the debate as there is for personal gain.
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