Scott Brown's U.S. Senate campaign today introduced a 30-second radio spot that synthesizes multiple complaints he and others in Congress have registered regarding perceived injustices to and federal mismanagement of the commercial fishing industry.
Since January, as part of the Republican's effort to win a full six-year term for the seat he took in a special election in 2010 after the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Brown's campaign has been running weekly radio spots on topics as varied as "Americans First," "military jobs," "tax," "jobs" and "the Red Sox."
Brown and the presumed Democratic nominee, Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren, have been locked in a tight and high visibility race since the start of the year, when Warren became a national favorite of party activists and donors.
The gist of the Brown ad that began running today implicitly flails the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, reprising and broadening a kicker Brown first enunciated last June 20 during a field hearing he organized in Faneuil Hall of a Senate Homeland Security subcommittee.
After he questioned the top appointee of NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco about the Commerce Inspector General's findings that the federal fisheries law enforcement system had been corrupt, Brown asked whether any NOAA oficials had been subject to discipline; instead, key figures leaders had been transferred.
"What does it take to actually get fired at NOAA?" Brown asked at the hearing.
In his radio ad, which refers to NOAA only as "the agency," Brown's question is: "What does it take to get fired in Washington?"
The theme of the Brown radio ad asserts that "our fishing industry is dying, and Washington is to blame. Fishermen have been hit with crushing fines, unrealistic catch limits, and arbitrary enforcement.
"As a result, people have lost their jobs, their homes, and their way of life. The agency responsible for this crisis is completely out of touch and unresponsive."
The ad contains one inaccuracy. After noting that the agency was "out of touch and unresponsive," Brown adds, "Just recently, they bought a $300,000 party boat using funds meant to help fishermen. To this day, no one has been held accountable for these abuses."
The boat was actually acquired in 2008.
The Warren campaign did not have an immediate response to the Brown ad.
For more on this story, look to tomorrow's print and online editions of the Gloucester Daily Times and gloucestertimes.com.
Richard Gaines can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3464, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.