Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who is running to return to the Senate from the Granite State, urged hedge fund executives at a Las Vegas conference on Friday to get involved in his bid to unseat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).
Brown and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) were the sole current or former elected officials speaking at the gathering, hosted by the hedge fund firm SkyBridge Capital. The annual conference brings some of the financial industry's most powerful members to Las Vegas. While it is technically a nonpartisan meeting, the host, Anthony Scaramucci, is a prominent Republican donor.
Brown seemed unconcerned about the optics of appearing at the event, and even encouraged those in attendance to directly plug in to his race. As the AP reports:
[Brown] referred hedge fund executives to his campaign website and urged them to get involved "right now."
"You have a role to play," said Brown, who was paid to speak, "whether it's in the think tanks, whether it's in public policy issues, whether it's drawing a line in the sand and supporting people that you feel will bring forth your agenda and your concerns."
Brown's Wall Street ties were consistently touched upon by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) before she defeated him in 2012. Warren has made the disclosure of politically-oriented contributions from financial institutions a signature issue of hers.
After Brown spoke at the Las Vegas conference, Warren pitched in for Shaheen, hitting Brown for not disclosing how much he was paid in speaking fees.
Shaheen's campaign also criticized Brown for speaking at the conference, saying in a Friday fundraising email to her supporters that Brown's Wall Street backing would result in super PAC advertisements in the race.
"What happens in Vegas this week won't stay in Vegas -- it'll follow Brown right back to New Hampshire in the form of more nasty and deceptive Super PAC attacks on Jeanne," the email read.
Brown must first win New Hampshire's Republican primary on Sept. 9 before he can challenge Shaheen in November.