by Michael Maynard
April 9, 2014

I was having a discussion with my friend, the Republican, recently. This is the same fellow who changed his views about gay marriage after I pointed out that three households in our neighborhood have married gay couples. He also found out that Dr. Rachel Maddow was gay, but he likes her anyways.

“It’s too bad that Scott Brown had to move to New Hampshire to run for Senate. He was an excellent senator for Massachusetts. Unlike Elizabeth Warren who won’t compromise, Brown frequently reached across the aisle to get bipartisan support.”

Uh-oh. Them’s fighting words. I took a deep breath before responding.

“Do you think it’s OK for your daughters to work for 23 cents less per hour than their male co-workers, for doing the same work?”

He replied, “No, they shouldn’t.”

“Well, they might and its legal. Scott Brown voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act which makes pay discrimination against women illegal. The law still passed despite his negative vote.” (Authors note: The pay disparity is worse for black women – 61 cents and Hispanic women – 52 cents. Source: US Census Bureau, 2008.)

I continued, “Do you think big banks are ‘too big too fail’ and should be bailed out for making poor and highly speculative investments?”

He looked at me, puzzled. “Brown voted against that, too?”

Yes, the Zoolander wanna-be Scott Brown did. At times, my low information friend frustrates me with his selective lack of knowledge.

Then state senator from Wrentham, Brown became the “accidental United States senator” having been voted into the Senate seat to replace the deceased Edward M. Kennedy in 2010. Brown defeated Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and Libertarian candidate Joseph L. Kennedy,51.83 % to 47.07%, and 0.99% in a race Coakley was favored to win.


Brown vs. Coakley Polls

Brown’s primary campaign platform was to “stop Obamacare” by being the filibuster creating 41st senator in the state which the ACA’s model, “Romneycare” was implemented successfully. Obviously, his grandiose boast failed. He also promised to be bring bipartisanship to the Senate and to represent the best interests of Massachusetts.

He did not win the election as much as the more intelligent and professionally accomplished Coakley lost. Coakley ran a terrible campaign. Throughout the campaign and in the debates, she came across as entitled to win, shrill, out of touch and dismissive of Brown. Brown’s carefully crafted good guy pickup truck driving Everyman image created an even greater contract as a result. However, this image was fraudulent.

“I live in Wrentham,” Brown declared in a debate against his opponent, Attorney General Martha Coakley “I drive a truck. And, yes, it has 200,000 miles on it now.”

It’s been a politically advantageous narrative. But one complicated by Brown’s personal finances. According to a review of Brown’s 2008 financial disclosure report — which was filed April 2009 and appears to be the most current document available — Brown and his wife own (at least then) five separate properties. The list includes a 3,000-square-foot home near a lake in Wrentham, Massachusetts, a condo in Boston and a time share in Aruba.”

Less informed (a/k/a low information) voters typically vote on image, not on issues and record, which was all Brown had to run on. Scott Brown did not win, unfortunately, Martha Coakley lost. What most voters in Massachusetts, including myself, did not know at the time was Brown’s ties to the Koch Brothers, who funneled money through their campaign financing labyrinth to his campaign.  You can see what the Kochs bought below.

Notice the voting patters throughout Massachusetts. Except for Coakley’s home area of Berkshire County, Brown won in the less urban areas, where more low information voters reside.


Brown vs. Coakley Campaign Results

After his short term in the Senate, there was a reason why Scott Brown was defeated by political novice, and now Senior Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, 54% to 46%, his obstructionist voting record.


Scott Brown’s Obstruction Voting Record

ProgressMass analyzed Brown’s Senate record in great detail. It was clearly not in the nest interest of Massachusetts nor the United States. Here’s what Brown voted against.

4/26/10: S. 3217, Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 (Senate Vote 124)

The bill was the original financial regulatory reform bill, increasing accountability and transparency, and ending “too big to fail.”

7/27/10: S. 3628, Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act (Senate Vote 220)

This bill would have increased transparency of corporate and special-interest money in national political campaigns, in response to the notorious Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court, as well as prohibited foreign influence in federal elections.

9/28/10: S. 3816, Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act (Senate Vote 242)

This bill would have given companies a two-year payroll tax holiday on new employees who replace workers doing similar jobs overseas, as well as revoked provisions of the tax code that encourage companies to outsource their workforce.

11/17/10: S. 3772, Paycheck Fairness Act (Senate Vote 249)

This bill would have provided more effective remedies to victims of gender-based discrimination in the payment of wages.

12/8/10: S. 3985, Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act of 2010 (Senate Vote 267)

This bill would have provided a one-time payment of $250 to all Social Security recipients to help compensate for the lack of a cost-of-living adjustment.

12/9/10: H.R. 847, James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (Senate Vote 269)

This was the original version of the 9/11 first responders bill to improve health services and provide financial compensation for 9/11 first responders who were exposed to dangerous toxins and were now sick as a result. The bill would establish a federal program to provide medical monitoring and treatment for first responders, provide initial health screenings for people who were in the area at the time of the attack and may be at risk, and reopen the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund to provide compensation for losses and harm as an alternative to the current litigation system.

5/4/11: S. 493, Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Reauthorization Act of 2011 (Senate Vote 64)

This bill would reauthorize the “Small Business Innovation Research” (SBIR) and “Small Business Technology Transfer” (STTR) programs, which Scott Brown earlier said provided “vital resources to small businesses nationwide, and this reauthorization is incredibly important for Massachusetts and our country,” and signed on as a co-sponsor of the measure before Republicans lined up behind a competing measure.

5/17/11: S. 940, Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act (Senate Vote 72)

This bill would have eliminated five tax subsidies for U.S. oil companies and closed a loophole that oil companies exploit to disguise foreign royalty payments as taxes and reduce their domestic tax bill. Resulting savings would have been applied to reducing federal budget deficits.

10/11/11: S. 1660, American Jobs Act of 2011 (Senate Vote 160)

The bill would have created an estimated 1.9 million jobs nationwide, including 16,000 in Massachusetts. It would have extended several stimulus measures scheduled to expire at the end of 2011, including the employee payroll tax holiday, and extended unemployment insurance, helping over 170,000 Massachusetts residents. It also included several measures designed to prevent layoffs and encourage businesses to hire new workers, including: $35 billion in aid to local governments to help slow job losses in the public sector, about $100 billion in various infrastructure improvement programs, tax credits for businesses that hire long-term unemployed workers, and reductions in the level of payroll taxes that businesses have to pay.

10/20/11: S. 1723, Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act of 2011 (Senate Vote 177)

This bill would have invested $35 billion in state and local governments, including $591 million in Massachusetts, to prevent layoffs of public workers and first responders, including an estimated 6,300 education jobs in Massachusetts. The spending would have been offset by a 0.5% surtax on all income earned above $1 million.

11/3/11: S. 1769, Rebuild America Jobs Act (Senate Vote 195)

This bill would have invested $50 billion in infrastructure repair, plus another $10 billion in an infrastructure bank, which would provide loans for private, revenue-generating infrastructure projects. The spending would have been offset with a 0.5% surtax on all income earned above $1 million. The measure would have created an estimated 11,000 jobs in Massachusetts and invested $850 million in the Commonwealth’s infrastructure.

12/1/11: S. 1917, Middle Class Tax Cut Act of 2011 (Senate Vote 219)

This bill would have reduced employment tax rates in calendar year 2012 (payroll tax holiday period) for both employers and employees to 3.1%.

12/8/11: S. 1944, Middle Class Tax Cut Act of 2011 (Senate Vote 224)

This bill would have extended through 2012 the reduction in employment taxes for employees and the self-employed.

3/29/12: S. 2204, Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act (Senate Vote 63)

This bill would have limited or repealed certain tax benefits for major oil companies while extending a number of energy efficiency and renewable energy tax credits.

4/16/12: S. 2230, Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012 (Senate Vote 65)

Known as the Buffett Rule, this bill would have enhanced tax fairness by ensuring a 30% effective tax rate on income exceeding $1 million.

No, Scott Brown was not bipartisan and “reaching across the aisle”. Worse, he had no clue as to what was really going on. Neither did the voters.

“After my election, Washington politicians began an aggressive push to bend the rules and force their unpopular health care bill on an unwilling nation. They went into secret negotiations to make up their own rules, and eventually found a way to circumvent the will of the people by using the reconciliation process to ram through their health care bill. For the last year, the American people have been shaking their heads at the closed-door meetings, sweetheart deals, and special carve-outs. It has been a very ugly process, and caused many Americans to lose faith in their elected officials in Washington.” [Sen. Scott Brown op-ed, Boston Globe, 3/30/10]

The Affordable Care Act passed through standard Senate procedures.

According to the Washington Post, “Senate Democrats approved landmark legislation just after sunrise Christmas Eve that would transform the nation’s health-care system by requiring people without insurance to obtain coverage and protecting those who have it from the most unpopular private insurance practices. Vice President Biden presided over the 60 to 39 party-line vote, described as a historic milestone by senators on both sides of the aisle. Despite the early hour, Democrats sat alert at their desks, exhausted but exuberant, savoring a victory that had eluded so many of their predecessors. ‘This is probably the most important vote that every sitting member of the Senate will cast in their tenure here,’ said Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), one of the authors of the bill.” [Washington Post, 12/25/10]

The reasons for Brown’s voting record becomes obvious when looking at his campaign sources, which included the Koch Brothers. He was a stooge and a tool of the “too big to fail” financial industry. There was no question where his interests were and they were not with the citizens of Massachusetts, and certainly not with the low information and working class voters  who elected him.


Brown vs. Warren Campaign Contributors

If you want to see Scott Brown get owned by Elizabeth Warren during one of the debates, here’s your opportunity. I watched with glee as Brown got destroyed by the Harvard University professor and financial industry expert.

Yesterday, the carpetbagging Scott Brown, humiliated in Massachusetts, filed to run for the Senate in New Hampshire, claiming that his vacation home qualifies as a residence. For the third consecutive election, he will run against a more accomplished and intelligent female, Senator Jeanne Shaheen. Senator Shaheen is a two-time New Hampshire state senator, three-term governor and has an exemplary voting record for the interests of New Hampshire. She is the first woman to be elected both Governor and Senator in the United States history. Current polling has Senator Shaheen ahead by 7 to 12 points.

In combination with the newly elected governor, Maggie Hassan, Shaheen has the opportunity to show the rest of the nation how effective women can be in office working together.  Despite New Hampshire’s Meldrim Thompson Republican Neanderthal history, Hassan and Shaheen are its bright, modern future. The Koch Brothers and the anti-women’s rights movement will be out in force to defeat Shaheen. The Koch Brothers-backed,  uniformed and obstructionist Scott Brown represents the worst of modern politics.


 Director, NRDC Action Fund

In May 2011, Senator Brown voted to protect billions in taxpayer subsidies to oil companies even though they were enjoying record profits. It was later revealed through FEC records that just two weeks before the vote, he had accepted contributions from Exxon, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips. In March 2012, Senator Brown again voted against ending the subsidies. Over his career, he has accepted $454,000 from the Oil and Gas industry. To put that in perspective, in 2012, Senator Brown received more money from the Oil and Gas industry than all but five other members of Congress (and more than all but two other Senators).

Not only did Senator Brown vote in May 2011 to keep giving billions of dollars to oil companies instead of using that money to reduce the deficit or invest in renewable energy, he also voted to weaken the oversight standards of offshore drilling operations. This was after the tragic 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and would have weakened oversight even beyond what was in place during that catastrophe.

When Senator Brown tried to explain away these unpopular pro-oil votes, he claimed(incorrectly) that “oil companies don’t get subsidies.” Our friends at the League of Conservation Voters explained why that is completely false….

The Koch Brothers and their Big Oil allies know that electing Scott Brown in New Hampshire is an uphill battle, and that’s why they’ve already bought ad time for the month of September to the tune of $1.2 million on one New Hampshire television station alone. It’s a safe bet that this is only the tip of the iceberg of Big Oil’s effort to buy a Senate seat (again) for Scott Brown.


Using the same criteria, Brown’s single largest source of money is the Manhattan-based hedge fund Elliott Management; its employees have given him $51,100. Several other New York City hedge funds or private investment firms also show up as top donors to Brown: Blackstone Group, Baupost Group and Paulson & Co. Shaheen and her surrogates have tried to paint Brown as backed by big oil companies, and there’s some truth to that – David Koch of Koch Industries and his wife Julia have each maxed out to Brown, and the industry has given him at least $34,500 — but other industries have given his campaign far more.

The dominant industry on Brown’s top donor list is securities and investment, more commonly known as Wall Street, which had given him $375,000 as of the end of June. In Brown’s earlier stints in the Senate — when he represented Massachusetts — the securities and investment industry gave his campaigns more than $3.3 million, led by Massachusetts-based mutual fund giant Fidelity. Neither Fidelity employees nor its PAC appear as top donors to Brown’s New Hampshire campaign, as of the end of July.


“When Brown was in the Senate representing Massachusetts, he co-sponsored a bill with Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) that would have allowed employers to opt out of providing any aspect of health care coverage to which they morally object, including birth control. Brown also voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would require employers to prove that any discrepancies in pay between male and female employees are based on experience or performance, not gender.

But now, in his New Hampshire Senate race, Brown has avoided addressing those issues. He punted a question about equal pay in a September interview with New Hampshire Public Radio. Asked why he thinks the gender wage gap persists and how he and other Republican candidates would try to close it, Brown replied, “Well, I’ll leave that to the political pundits.””



Columnist/Journalist/Writer/Book Editor Co-Founder/CEO of Azimuth Partners, high tech consulting firm for 30+ years. Former columnist for the Washington Post/Newsweek syndicate.


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