EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

October 18, 2012

Letter: Attacks on Warren will cost Brown support

To the editor:

I used to think Scott Brown was a nice guy. Sure, his job performance is a mixed bag. Our junior U.S. senator’s occasional good votes do not make up for his votes favoring the interests of the wealthy, Wall Street, big oil companies and other 21st century robber barons. But he always seemed like a nice guy.

My views have recently changed. I’ve listened to the Crossroads GPS robocalls attacking candidate Elizabeth Warren. Super PAC Crossroads GPS, a symbol of all that is wrong with our political system, was co-founded by Karl Rove, longtime counselor to former President George W. Bush. Crossroads is spending $300 million to influence elections this year.

Our junior U.S. senator should tell this PAC to spend its money elsewhere.

I’ve also read the state Republican Party mailings. One accuses Elizabeth Warren of having “sold out to the nation’s largest insurer.” Facts appear to be irrelevant in this smear campaign.

Sen. Brown adds fuel to the fire with his ad that accuses Warren of working to “restrict payments” to asbestos victims. Warren has denied the accusations. Factcheck.org, a nonprofit project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, backs her up. Its finding: “Warren is correct; Brown’s ad is a distortion.”

Another mailing from the Mass. Republican State Committee accuses Warren of “25 years of deception and cover-ups...” In a self-titled “Voter Alert Elizabeth Warren: Native American Scandal,” the committee accuses Warren of “25 years of deception and cover-ups...” Headlines like “Jigs up, Cherokee Liz” are inaccurate and sleazy.

The charge that Warren used her Native American heritage to advance her career is refuted in a New Yorker magazine profile titled “The Professor” (Sept. 17). Legal scholar Jeffrey Toobin writes, “It seems clear that Warren did not benefit from any affirmative action for Native Americans at Harvard.” He adds that Harvard Law Professor Charles Fried “presented the case for hiring Warren to faculty... ‘Neither in the discussion in the appointments committee or in the faculty did the subject of her Native American roots come up,’ Fried told me. ‘I did not know it.’”

Sen. Brown should tell Crossroads GPS to go home. He should tell the Republican State Committee to clean up its mailings or stop them altogether.

Otherwise, our junior U.S. senator’s nice guy reputation will be lost, and he will likely not fare well on Nov. 6 against his combative, principled opponent.

Joe LeBlanc

Haverhill

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