Last week was one in which Republican Scott Brown did himself no favors, and no favors were done for him.
First off, be sure to visit www.WhoIsScottBrown.com to play the new web game “Who Is Scott Brown?” and uncover Republican Scott Brown’s real record of support for Wall Street, Big Oil, and a right-wing social agenda. (And be sure to Share the link on Facebook and re-tweet the link on Twitter!)
One can tell the Republican Scott Brown is not where he wants to be when the big story of last week was Brown joining the Republican War on Voting by railing against people registering to vote. Brown conjured up a conspiracy theory that Massachusetts complying with the 1993 National Voter Registration Act was really a secret plot against him.
At issue was Massachusetts mailing voter registration forms to recipients of welfare assistance to make up for not fully complying with the 1993 law’s standard of providing voter registration services at public aid offices. This particular provision of the 1993 law is one that even the Bush Administration’s Justice Department reportedly supported. The public interest organization Demos was integral to the lawsuit in Massachusetts that led to the state mailing out the voter registration forms, just as Demos has worked to protect voting rights in several other states. But the Chair of Demos’ Board of Trustees happens to be the daughter of Brown’s Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren, so there you have Brown’s conspiracy theory.
Never mind that the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance made it very clear that the office is simply complying with the 1993 law. Never mind that Demos’ effort began its effort to protect voting rights in the states back in 2004, two years before Warren’s daughter joined their board, and more than half a decade before Republican Scott Brown entered the U.S. Senate. Never mind that Warren’s daughter “played no role in the lawsuit.” Never mind that Brown has spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on controversial mailings to Massachusetts residents. (Further, never mind how odd it is that Brown would vilify those who benefit from welfare assistance when he also benefited from welfare assistance when he was younger!) Brown sees a conspiracy, so that’s that.
But, as Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone tweeted of Brown’s attack on voting rights, “When you’re complaining about people registering to vote, it’s probably time to get out of politics.” MetroWest Daily News columnist Tom Driscoll offered: “Brown’s implication, frankly, is that the fact that “these people” are allowed – let alone encouraged – to vote at all is just a bit galling.” Boston Globe columnist Adrian Walker was dismayed by Brown’s “cynical level of politics.” Watchdog group Public Campaign slammed Brown’s “attack on voting rights.”
If all of that didn’t reflect poorly enough on Republican Scott Brown, he managed to double down on his conspiracy theory by calling on Elizabeth Warren’s campaign to reimburse the state for the cost of the voter registration mailings because, in Brown’s fevered imagination (where he holds “secret meetings” with Kings and Queens), this is all a plot about his political downfall. Brown’s demand was roundly deemed laughable. It would be like calling on Brown’s campaign to reimburse municipal police departments for security detail in every community in which Ayla Brown performs because, of course, anybody who would attend an Ayla Brown concert must support Republican Scott Brown’s re-election.
The whole episode boils down to one truth: Republican Scott Brown is awfully worried about Massachusetts being unhappy with his brand of representation in the U.S. Senate that is far to the right of Middle Class Massachusetts. Of course, this isn’t the only indication that the Commonwealth’s grassroots are not leaning Brown’s way. Last week, an Associated Press review of small-dollar donors resulted in the same findings as a similar analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics last month. Small dollar donors overwhelmingly support Brown’s Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren, over Brown.
Elsewhere, Republican Scott Brown’s efforts to hide his Republican affiliation from voters will grow increasingly difficult as the Presidential campaign rolls on, not only tying Brown to unpopular Republican nominee-in-waiting Mitt Romney, but also Romney’s newly selected running mate, far-right-wing Congressman Paul Ryan. One might recall that Brown said he would vote for Ryan’s Medicare-killing budget, and even uttered “thank God” for Ryan’s budget, before flip-flopping on the issue.
The bottom line is that Brown has made it clear over and over again that he implicitly trusts Mitt Romney on economic issues (despite Mitt Romney’s tax plan that would raise taxes on 95% of Americans, while cutting taxes for only the richest 5%). As such, Republican Scott Brown embracing Mitt Romney, and Mitt Romney embracing Paul Ryan, equates to Brown embracing the far-right-wing Ryan budget. How far-right-wing is Ryan’s budget, by the way? It’s so far-right-wing that even Newt Gingrich famously called the budget “right-wing social engineering!”
The policy front also recently featured another source of ignominy for Republican Scott Brown. To fully get on the same anti-environment page as his Republican Congressional colleagues, Brown recently said that he “regrets supporting the region’s effort to cut greenhouse gases” despite the effort’s clear record of success, as “the program has saved money for consumers, stimulated job growth and kept money in local economies in the states that signed up.” Republican Scott Brown isn’t satisfied with his record of partisan obstruction in the U.S. Senate; he’s retroactively right-winging his record in the state legislature!
Finally, as per usual, numerous Massachusetts residents from all corners of the state took to the pages of their local newspapers to take issue with various aspects of Republican Scott Brown’s record.
· A Wayland resident in the MetroWest Daily News offered the perspective of an independent voter who is disappointed with Republican Scott Brown.
· A Somerville resident in the Somerville Journal argued that Brown is wrong on health care reform.
· A Westford resident in the Lowell Sun pointed out that “Brown won’t fight for all women.”
· A Franklin resident in the MetroWest Daily News noted that Brown is campaigning on “fluff” instead of talking about his voting record.
· An Eastham resident in the Boston Globe questioned why Brown opposes investing in American infrastructure since it’s integral to business success.
· A Dartmouth resident in the New Bedford Standard-Times highlighted how Brown is “deliberately distorting” his opponent’s message.
· A Sudbury resident in the MetroWest Daily News reminded that Brown hides from his Republican affiliation amid a “fantasy” of bipartisanship.
· ProgressMass also added two letters to the editor to the public discourse last week. Our letter to the editor of the Newburyport Daily News put the spotlight on Republican Scott Brown’s ties to Wall Street and Big Oil. Also, our letter to the editor of the MetroWest Daily News recounted Brown’s record of voting against tens of thousands of jobs for Massachusetts, as well as voting against funding for summer jobs for teens.
How will Republican Scott Brown stumble over himself this week? Stay tuned for the next “Weekly Scott Brown-d Up” to find out!