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Record shows Brown  not thoroughly bipartisan

To the editor:

A key theme in Scott Brown’s re-election campaign is that he’s an independent voice in the Senate and is “the second-most bipartisan senator.” But one of Elizabeth Warren’s main challenges to Brown is that his voting record shows he’s far from independent and bipartisan.

So who’s right? Well, for one thing, the extent of Brown’s “bipartisanship” seems to depend more on what the Republican leadership requires of him than on an impartial evaluation of the issues. He has rarely voted against Republicans when they needed his vote, on issues including equal pay for women, interest on student loans, the Jobs Act and other bills. We’ve heard him insist that he’s actually in favor of these things, but that the bills themselves were flawed. Odd that his “independent” assessment of their flaws happens to coincide exactly with Republican hostility to them.

Moreover, that bipartisan record is of fairly recent vintage — specifically, since Warren entered the race. Prior to August 2011, when she formed her exploratory committee, Brown voted with Republicans 93 percent of the time, according to the Washington Post. That statistic provides an all-too-clear picture of how Brown would vote if he were to be re-elected.

Sadly, Warren is right: Brown’s claim to bipartisan cooperation goes only as far as the Republican leadership will allow. His self-proclaimed independence makes good copy back home, but on the floor of the Senate he’s been, and would continue to be, a good foot soldier for the Republican agenda. And with control of the Senate possibly hanging on the outcome of this race in Massachusetts, that’s a scary thought.

Naomi Miller

Florence

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