SEEKONK, Mass. (WPRI) — A top Massachusetts lawmaker is condemning one of the Democratic Party’s most influential outside groups for its continued onslaught of advertising attacking 4th Congressional District candidate Jake Auchincloss.

MassWomenVote!, a super PAC affiliated with Emily’s List, on Thursday disclosed spending another $93,000 on ads criticizing Auchincloss, bringing its total spending on the 4th District race to $718,000, according to a ProPublica analysis of Federal Election Commission filings. Most of that money has targeted Auchincloss, though some has also attacked his rival Alan Khazei.

Many of the ads have suggested Auchincloss, a Newton city councilor who supports abortion rights, is nevertheless an unreliable ally on the issue because he was a registered Republican in 2013 and 2014 when he worked to elect GOP Gov. Charlie Baker, whose party platform does not share his own support for abortion rights.

Massachusetts House Speaker Pro Tempore Pat Haddad — a Somerset Democrat with strong abortion-rights credentials as lead sponsor of the Roe Act — on Saturday denounced the spending by MassWomenVote! against Auchincloss, whom she has endorsed. The group has now spent more than any other outside group active in the 4th District, slightly edging out a pro-Auchincloss super PAC.

“I’m disgusted to see so much money spent on false, negative attacks towards Jake,” Haddad said in a statement. “Jake is 100% pro-choice — always has been, and always will be. I’ve endorsed him because I know he’ll stand strong on these issues. These ads are shameful, and cannot be trusted.”

A spokesperson for Emily’s List did not immediately respond on Saturday night, but the group has previously defended its blitz of attack ads despite criticism from the Boston Globe editorial page, former Congressman Barney Frank and former Gov. Mike Dukakis, among others.

Emily’s List has not endorsed in the 4th District primary, which features four women candidates: Jesse Mermell, a former Brookline Select Board member and Deval Patrick adviser; Becky Grossman, a Newton city councilor; Ihssane Leckey, a former financial regulator running on a left-wing platform; and Dr. Natalia Linos, an epidemiologist. But analysts say the attacks on Auchincloss and Khazei are a clear effort to ensure a woman wins, in keeping with the mission of Emily’s List.

The outrage from Auchincloss’s camp comes as outside spending in the crowded 4th District primary tops $2 million, led by MassWomenVote! and Experienced Leadership Matters, the pro-Auchincloss PAC. Khazei has gotten $411,000 in support from a super PAC called Unite to Win, while three other groups have spent about $165,000 supporting Mermell.

The primary election is Tuesday.

Ted Nesi ( is WPRI 12’s politics and business editor and a Target 12 investigative reporter. He is a weekly panelist on Newsmakers and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook