Matt Brown’s campaign sends cease and desist letter to Raimondo

By: Chloe Leshner

cleshner@abc6.com

@ChloeLeshner

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — One of Governor Raimondo’s opponents in next week’s primary is now issuing a cease and desist letter over an attack ad. It reminds voters of the controversy surrounding Matt Brown’s failed 2006 U.S. Senate bid.

Those ads put out by Governor Raimondo’s campaign say Matt Brown should not be trusted with taxpayer money. They are basing that on Brown’s short run for U.S. Senate well over a decade ago. A political analyst tells ABC 6 News while this particular race has gone negative, a cease and desist order is not politics as usual.

Matt Brown, a democrat running against Governor Raimondo in the upcoming primary, says enough is enough. He’s sending a cease and desist letter to Raimondo over a negative ad he doesn’t like or thinks is accurate.

"Telling the truth is important and I think people value it. When somebody says something that’s not true I think it’s important that we get out there and tell people the truth," says Brown.

It started with an ad accusing Brown of running his 2006 senate run with laundered money while stiffing his campaign staff. It’s not the first time this has come up for Brown. This controversy ended his senate bid 12 years ago.

"These were republican attacks from a senate campaign that were dismissed by the FEC as having no basis," he says.

Through a statement, Governor Raimondo’s campaign is standing by the ad saying it is factual and this is a "last-gasp stunt by a failed candidate."

Negative ads are nothing new in politics but a political science professor at Roger Williams University tells ABC 6 this is out of the ordinary.

"They do make false statements about each other all the time. It is unusual for one campaign to respond with a cease and desist letter," says June Speakman.

Brown believes the attack ad reflects how nervous and desperate the Raimondo campaign has become because the race is closer than public polls show.

"We are now in a statistical tie that leaked from Governor Raimondo’s own campaign last week. That’s why she’s spending millions to launch these false absurd attacks against me," says Brown.

They are asking Governor Raimondo’s campaign to issue a retraction and stop running the ads but cease and desist letters don’t carry much legal weight.

The primary is next Wednesday the 12th.

(C) WLNE/ABC 6 2018