RALEIGH, N.C. — For more than a week, U.S. Senate candidates Richard Burr and Erskine Bowles have been going back and forth, hurling accusations at one another over a television commercial.
A television ad supports Richard Burr, who is running for U.S. Senate, but the congressman did not pay for the ad. A group called Americans for Job Security paid for it.
According to Erskine Bowles, Burr's opponent, the group is a shadowy organization with close ties to special interest groups.
"Well, you don't know who's paying for them. You know, it looks like a bunch of HMOs are coming down here trying to buy this election for Richard Burr," Bowles said.
Last week, Bowles wrote to Burr and proposed banning those types of ads.
"We'll be happy to enter into an agreement that bans all third-party ads," Burr said.
Burr said he would agree to the ban, "provided that Erskine agrees not to dump millions of his own dollars into the race."
In response, Bowles said, "I'm willing to put not another nickel in this campaign, not one penny, if he'll stop the third-party money coming in here."
Burr responded by saying, "His answer sounds a lot like John Kerry's 'I voted for it before I voted against it' except that Bowles is now saying I support your agreement, even though I have already broken it.'"
Bowles has spent more than $500,000 of his own money and plans to keep spending unless Burr agrees to the ban.