We are one week closer to the primary and the battles are starting to heat up. Once we finish profiling each candidate, we will spend the remaining weeks looking at specific issues and exploring where the candidates stand on those issues. I have to be honest – the more I learn about the candidates, the less sure I am about which one I want to support. Going to be very interesting as they start to hit each other on the issues and attempt to differentiate themselves. Already Capuano is starting in on Coakley about the death penalty. Two more weeks of profiles and then we’ll really get into the meat of the race.
Joe Kennedy (no, not that one. A different one.)
Ok, so today we are going to look at the second Republican in the race – Scott Brown. Senator Brown is 50 years old and currently represents Norfolk, Bristol & Middlesex Districts in the Massachusetts State Senate. In his personal life, he is best known for his daughter, Ayla Brown, who was a semi-finalist on American Idol, his wife, WCVB reporter Gail Huff and his, umm…interesting nude spread in Cosmo magazine (maybe NSFW) when he was in his early 20s and a student at BC.
As senator, he serves on several important committees including Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure; Education; Higher Education; Election Laws; Public Safety & Homeland Security; Veterans & Federal Affairs. Throughout his career he has striven to use his position to increase transparency and hold the government accountable for excess spending and waste. He really believes in the ‘power of the people’ and advocates a limited governmental role in citizens’ lives. In addition, he is very focused on ethics reform and has introduced bills banning convicted felons from serving as lobbyists and stripping elected officials of their chair positions if they are under investigation. However, he is perhaps most vocal for veterans rights and the rights of victims of sexual abuse. On both issues he has taken a lead role in working to make their lives easier and ensure they get the support services they need.
Among his other focus areas are advocating for a strong military, reducing the national debt, ensuring everyone has access to quality healthcare (but without governmental involvement) and encouraging the purchase of American-made products through sales tax rebates on American goods and incentives for small businesses to work together and expand. On other social issues, Senator Brown has demonstrated an interest in protecting the enviroment through increased focus on alternative energies and green building; supports civil unions but is opposed to gay marriage; believes in recruiting strong teachers who have diverse life experiences (and wants to provide teachers with free in-state college tuition); is generally pro-choice, but has a very mixed record on the subject. Finally Senator Brown is 29 -year member of the Massachusetts National Guard, where he currently holds the rank of Lt. Colonel in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, has been recognized as a “Guardian of Small Business” by the National Federation of Independent Businesses and received the 2004 “Public Servant of the Year” Award from the United Chamber of Commerce, for his leadership in reforming the state’s sex offender laws and protecting the rights of victims.
In summary, Senator Brown is a truly moderate Republican and one who could well be a formidable opponent in a general election. He seems to be an independent thinker who is running partially because he believes that having one party in power is bad government (no matter which party it is). It is especially noteworthy that, in his recent re-election race, he got more than 55% of the vote, despite President Obama and Senator Kerry receiving more than 60% of the vote in his districts. People seem to see him as someone who is accessable and reasonable. Those traits could serve him well and he continues to build his campaign.