Mathew Helman: Scott Brown’s Misleading Rhetoric and Actual Record
Friday, October 12, 2012
You may have heard Republican Scott Brown refer to himself as a “jobs crusader.” Unfortunately for Massachusetts, the nickname is not deserved. Brown joined his right-wing Republican colleagues to filibuster and kill the American Jobs Act, the Rebuild America Jobs Act, and the Teachers & First Responders Back to Work Act. Those three bills that Brown voted to kill amounted to an estimated 33,000 jobs for Massachusetts. Put another way, the number of jobs for Massachusetts that Brown voted to kill could almost fill Fenway Park.
You also might have heard Republican Scott Brown refer to himself as “pro-choice.” Once again, Brown’s overwhelmingly anti-choice voting record tells another story. Massachusetts Citizens for Life calls Brown “a senator who votes pro-life.” Further, the National Right to Life Committee gave Brown an 80 percent anti-choice approval rating. Brown may disingenuously call himself pro-choice out of cynical political convenience, but his voting record is very clearly anti-choice.
While on the campaign trail, Republican Scott Brown actually claimed, “Oil companies don’t get subsidies.” I wonder how he squares that statement with the March 29, 2012 Springfield Republican headline reading: “Scott Brown votes with Republicans against ending tax subsidies for oil industry.” Brown voting to protect $24 billion in tax giveaways for Big Oil is incredibly unpopular. No wonder he thinks it’s easier to just deny that it happened rather than try to defend his vote, along with the hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions that he’s taken from oil & gas company sources.
In a weak attempt to appear tough on Wall Street, Republican Scott Brown has uttered on occasion, “Banks should not act like casinos with our money.” Indeed, Wall Street's recklessness led to our recent economic crisis. Unfortunately for Brown’s credibility, he has worked very hard behind the scenes to score backroom deals for the big banks to allow them to keep acting like casinos with our money! Before the financial reform bill was passed, Brown worked to water down a key regulation that would limit high-risk investing by banks. Then, even after the financial reform bill was passed, Brown worked to further loosen the rules for big banks. There’s a reason Forbes Magazine named Brown one of Wall Street’s favorite Senators; and, there’s a reason that securities and investment industry sources have given Brown over $2.4 million in campaign contributions.
Republican Scott Brown has claimed that he believes “strongly” in fair pay – ensuring that a woman will earn the same as a man for doing the same work. However, Brown voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill whose purpose was to further ensure the value of Equal Pay for Equal Work. Adding insult to injury, Brown called the equal pay measure a “burden.” Do you think paying a woman the same as a man for doing the same work is a “burden” or do you think it is basic fairness?
Republican Scott Brown claims that he doesn’t want to see taxes raised on the Middle Class. However, he had the chance to vote on a bill that would protect middle class tax cuts. In fact, the bill would have protected tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses, only raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Brown voted against that bill, holding middle class tax cuts hostage in order to score extended tax cuts for the highest income earners. On top of that, Brown has repeatedly said that Mitt Romney is the person he trusts most on economic issues. What does Mitt Romney’s tax plan call for? Another tax cut for the wealthiest 5 percent and tax hikes on the remaining 95 percent. In other words, the rest of us!
Republican Scott Brown claims to be a bipartisan voice but, once again, his voting record tells a very different story. In situations where a measure has 50 or more votes to pass, but the right-wing Republican minority filibustered to block the measure, Brown voted with his right-wing colleagues over 75% of the time, according to our analysis from May. Basically, Brown chose partisan obstruction three times more often than bipartisan problem-solving.
One such measure that faced partisan Republican obstruction was the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, a bill whose purpose was to improve health services for 9/11 first responders. On the campaign trail, Republican Scott Brown has claimed to “work very hard to make sure we provide you guys [emergency first responders] with the tools you need to be safe and do your jobs.” However, on December 9, 2010, Republican Scott Brown voted against the bill to provide 9/11 first responders with critical health services.
On issue after issue, Republican Scott Brown talks one way while he’s courting your vote on the campaign trail, and then Brown votes the exact opposite way when he’s back in Washington. Brown needs to be held accountable for misleading Massachusetts. Visit http://www.progressmass.org/bothwaysbrown/" target="_blank">BothWaysBrown.com for the full rundown on Brown trying to have it both ways on numerous issues.
Mathew Helman currently serves as Communications Director of ProgressMass. Mathew, a proud product of the Framingham public schools, has spent the last ten years working in Massachusetts government and politics.
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