GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

October 29, 2012

Times endorsement: Sen. Scott Brown a clear choice for return to D.C.

Times Endorsement
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — In January 2010, in the closing days of the landmark race to succeed the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy in the U. S. Senate, we endorsed then-state senator Scott Brown for the U.S. Senate as a means of bringing effective, bipartisan change.

We expressed the hope that Brown could reach across the aisle and work with Democratic House lawmakers like John Tierney and Barney Frank to help bring justice and a reasonable work environment to Gloucester’s, Cape Ann’s and all of Massachusetts’ commercial fishermen. We urged him not only to stand up to the spending-mad policies of the Democratic left wing, but to ignore the divisive tactics of the hard-line Republican right as well. And in that vein, we hoped he would strive to be a true catalyst for bringing reform and a forward course for a Congress that had seemingly lost its way – and to a great extent, still has.

Yet, nearly three years later, our scorecard shows that Brown has heeded all of those calls, and in some cases, taken them a step or two beyond what anyone could have hoped. And despite the shamefully false claims about his positions by his challenger, Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, it is clear he has fought for Massachusetts workers and taxpayers alike — and that he will continue to do so. That’s why Scott Brown is our clear choice to be re-elected to his Senate seat when voters go to the polls a week from Tuesday.

There are, frankly, many reasons why voters should question many of Warren’s claims and credibility. But there’s no need to dwell on her occasional claims of Native American heritage on job applications without any documented proof of that ancestry — or her claim of fighting for workers in asbestos litigation when she was actually working for insurance giant Travelers. And there should be no need to even acknowledge Warren’s false advertising claims that suggest Brown is against women’s reproductive choice, or against bringing in jobs for Massachusetts residents. He’s none of those things — and this really didn’t need to be that type of campaign.

Simply put, voters should indeed return Brown to the Senate because of what he has done, and for what he is still striving to do over the next six years.

When it comes to the fishing industry, Brown — who has spent an inordinate amount of time in Gloucester talking to fishermen and other industry leaders — has not only been on the bipartisan front lines fighting with Tierney, Frank and Senate colleague John Kerry in getting both justice and government accountability for rank-and-role fishermen. He’s frankly done them all better, not just calling for NOAA chief Jane Lubchenco’s ouster, but filing a Senate bill that would hold NOAA and Department of Commerce officials accountable for Lubchenco’s job-killing catch-share policy that drove more than 20 percent of Gloucester’s boats out of the industry in its first year of implementation.

While other federal lawmakers have bombarded Commerce and NOAA offices with letters and demands that have been largely ignored, Brown’s so-called FISH Act — for Fishery Impact Statement Honesty – would require an annual economic impact study, and would put a management policy on hold if it brings a documented loss of 15 percent of the industry’s jobs. That bill remains active and on the table, with Brown also poised to refile it if it lapses, he said.

Have some Brown votes raised questions? Of course. When a measure that would have extended badly-needed unemployment benefits for jobless workers, Brown voted it down not once, but 16 times, he noted. But that’s because – like many Senate and other legislative tricks — the proposal was tacked onto a federal jobs bill that would have funneled money to states, cities and towns to boost their own public sector work forces, not invest in the kind of private jobs expansion that’s still needed.

And while Warren laughably paints Brown as being tied to Wall Street, it was Brown who crafted legislation to end insider trading by members and employees of Congress — with President Obama signing the bill into law in April.

Some of Brown’s other tasks, of course, are still to be completed. But that’s just one more reason why voters across Cape Ann and Massachusetts have a clear choice on Nov. 6.

That’s returning Scott Brown to represent all of our interests in the U.S. Senate – just as he’s already done.