Thursday, August 09, 2012

True Colors

Sen. Scott Brown (R.MA) portrays himself as a Republican who reaches across party lines and represents all of the people of Massachusetts.  And it's true that in a limited number of instances he has voted with Democrats, notably on the Dodd-Frank Bill and the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare).  

But he's shown his true colors by vilifying the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (the state welfare agency) for sending out almost half-a-million voter registration forms to its clients.  Brown asserts that "its outrageous to use taxpayer dollars to register welfare recipients as part of a special effort to boost one political party."  

I don't know how much the state of Florida has spent in its effort to cleanse the rolls of voters who tend to support Democratic candidates.  Or how much Pennsylvania is spending to install a voter ID system that will aid Republicans in this fall's election--even though the state has admitted in court that it knows of no instance in which one person impersonated another at the polls.  But I'd bet that those and other states that implemented measures that will restrict participation spent a lot more than Massachusetts has in trying to help people exercise their right to vote.  But Senator Brown does not care about that.  What he cares about is his political skin.  Which is what we'd expect from any political candidate.  But it would be nice if he would drop the sanctimony.

Oh, and by the way, the mailing to Massachusetts citizens was required under federal law.  

The asserted key for Brown and his allies is that the daughter of Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren is the chair of the board of trustees of an organization of an organization called Demos, which represented voting-rights groups in a suit to enforce the federal Voter Registration Act of 1993.  The mailing to public-assistance recipients in Massachusetts was prompted by an interim settlement of that suit.  In other words, Brown and his allies are angry that his opponent's daughter joined in trying to enforce federal law.)

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