Scott Brown: Working for Massachusetts? [Mary Wentworth]

or Working for Wall Street?

   Scott Brown made promises when he beat Martha Coakley - did he keep many? Any?

Guest columnist deconstructs one of “Wall Street’s Favorite Senators”

By Mary Wentworth, My Day.

On the night of his upset win over Martha Coakley two years ago, Brown pledged “to go to Washington as the representative of no faction or special interest, but to answer only to my conscience and to you, the people.”

You can tell a lot about aman by his friends like Jeff Perry who he campaigned for, or by his opponents like Elizabeth WarrenYet an examination of his record reveals that he has not lived up to that pledge. He carries the water for very special interests, giving rise to his being one of “Wall Street’s Favorite Senators.”

Kennedy’s death in August 2009 gave the Republicans an opportunity to grab an all-important 41st vote, making it possible for them to filibuster without facing cloture, which requires 60 votes. Consequently, Wall Street firms along with Koch Industries poured money into the truck driver’s campaign.

Within six months of Brown’s election their investment paid off. The Dodd/Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act went to a conference committee to iron out differences between the two bodies.

Brown got to work. He leveraged his 41st vote position to force changes to the ban on proprietary trading, a form of trading that allows firms to buy and sell for direct gain rather than doing it for customer commissions. Thanks to Brown, banks are still allowed to trade in hedge funds and private equity funds as well as other entities like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Our junior senator has had to inch his way along a re-election tight rope, trying to keep wealthy supporters happy without alienating Massachusetts supporters.

Thanks to Brown, banks can still trade in hedge funds.He took some criticism from conservatives for allowing gay men and women to serve openly in the military by voting to repeal Clinton’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.

It is hard to imagine, though, that Brown’s contributors like Goldman Sachs, General Electric, Barclay’s, Bain Capital, FMR Corp, Pfizer, Bank of New York Mellon, or Morgan Stanley gave a rat’s ass about this vote. They understand that the Republican Party has to use hot-button social issues to distract Americans from voting their pocket books. Not a problem for them if Brown had to cast a vote for “liberal” Massachusetts.

Warren's entrance makes it easier for Brown to move to the center

In a way, Elizabeth Warren’s entry into this race has made life easier for him. He can make his move toward the center for re-election purposes without undue concern that it will offend the financial industry since his defeat would mean that their most despised adversary would replace him.

In Brown’s case, Party leaders, knowing that his re-election is a requirement for their dreams of gaining control of the Senate in November, are also willing to forgive him if he strays from the fold. Thus, he could cast the only Republican vote for Richard Cordray’s appointment as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that was his opponent’s brainchild.

Brown sides with the coal company over asthma sufferersHowever, when Brown had to choose between the interests of Murray Energy, the largest privately-owned coal company in the US and one of Brown’s top twenty contributors, and the health of his constituents who, in increasing numbers, suffer from asthma, he sided with the coal company. Brown supported Republican attempts to take away the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gases as well as fuel economy standards.

The 1 % gets what it wants from its pocketed pol

Brown would be more honest if he left the barn coat in the closet and campaigned in a dark blue, pinstripe suit.Brown’s record is littered with votes that show the divide between what many Americans need and what the 1% want. A sampling:

  • Holding fast to tax cuts for the rich because he opposes “job-killing tax increases at a time when the nation’s economy is so weak.” (DHG-8/11/11)
  • Rejection of Rebuild America Jobs Act to provide $245 billion in tax incentives and $100 billion for state aid and new infrastructure spending to be paid for with a 5.6% increase in taxes for upper-income folks. Would have brought thousands of jobs to Massachusetts. Makes his Job Fairs look rather phony.
  • Supported an amendment that would have excluded airport security screeners from having collective bargaining rights like other Federal employees.
  • Rejected an amendment that would allow OSHA regulations to apply to aircrews.
  • Supported a series of failed attempts by Republicans to tie extension of unemployment benefits to the repeal of the estate tax or to pay for them with economic stimulus money or by selling surplus government property.

This time around, Scott Brown would be more honest if he left the barn coat in the closet and campaigned in a dark blue, pinstripe suit.

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