NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

October 31, 2012

Our view: Brown for US Senate


Newburyport Daily News

---- — If there is any consistent message that we see emanate from Washington, it is that Democrats and Republicans need to work together for the good of our nation. Their polar bipartisanship is tearing this nation apart.

We need to look for political leaders who understand that one party does not hold all the answers, people who have the courage to buck their party’s leadership and suffer the political consequences for not toeing the line.

Our scorecard shows that Senator Scott Brown has heeded all of those calls, and in some cases, taken them a step or two beyond what anyone could have hoped. Despite the questionable claims about his positions by his challenger, Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, it is clear he has fought for Massachusetts workers and taxpayers alike — and that he will continue to do so. That’s why Scott Brown is our clear choice to be re-elected to his U.S. Senate seat when voters go to the polls Nov. 6.

There are numerous reasons why voters should question many of Warren’s claims and credibility. But there’s no need to dwell on her occasional claims of Native American heritage on job applications without documented proof of that ancestry — or her claim of fighting for workers in asbestos litigation when she was actually working for insurance giant Travelers. And there should be no need to even acknowledge Warren’s false advertising claims that suggest Brown is against women’s reproductive choice, or against bringing in jobs for Massachusetts residents. He’s none of those things. Simply put, a vote for Warren would be a vote in support of the ultraliberal tax-and-spend crowd in the Senate.

Voters should indeed return Brown to the Senate because of what he has done, and for what he is still striving to do over the next six years.

Brown wasn’t in Washington long before he realized politicians rake in a lot of money trading in stocks and other financial instruments whose value is influenced by the legislation they enact. (Funny how that happens despite the blind trusts and conflict of interest laws that are supposed to inhibit legislators from growing wealthy during their time in office.)

Brown took action, crafting legislation to end insider trading by members and employees of Congress. President Obama signed the bill into law in April.

And it is worth repeating that Brown has been consistently supportive of legislation supporting women and protecting their rights. Brown broke with most Republicans to support the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act and to oppose the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Brown is pro-choice and has called on Republican leaders to be more inclusive on abortion rights.

Locally, Brown has been a strong supporter of the fishing industry, working to get both justice and accountability for fishermen, who represents a struggling small business.

Brown has also shown strong opposition to the 2.3 percent excise tax on the sale of medical devices meant to help pay for Obamacare, a tax that threatens to cripple growth at the state’s 400 medical device manufacturers.

We differ with Brown on his stand regarding taxes -- we feel that the wealthiest Americans can afford to get by without the Bush era tax cuts.

Have some Brown votes raised questions? Of course. Sixteen times, Brown voted against a measure that would have extended unemployment benefits for jobless workers. But that’s because -- like many Senate and other legislative tricks -- the proposal was tacked onto a federal jobs bill that would have funneled money to states, cities and towns to boost their own public sector work forces, not invest in the kind of private jobs expansion that’s still needed.

Brown has been an effective, bipartisan senator in his short time in office. Let’s send his independent voice back to Washington to serve Massachusetts for a full term.