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Scott Brown has finally gone over the edge in his showdown with Elizabeth Warren for the MA-Sen seat.  Now he's whining that too many poor people are being given the opportunity to cast their vote -- and of course, the poor are more likely to choose Ms. Warren, right?!

US Senator Scott Brown today criticized the state’s welfare department for sending voting registration forms to 478,000 people on public assistance, saying the mass mailing was a ploy to boost the ranks of Democratic voters and benefit rival Elizabeth Warren’s campaign.

The state’s Department of Transitional Assistance last month sent registration forms, along with prepaid return envelopes, as part of a settlement over a lawsuit accusing the Patrick administration of violating the federal “motor voter” law.

It requires states to provide voter registration at motor vehicle and public assistance offices.

...“I want every legal vote to count, but it’s outrageous to use taxpayer dollars to register welfare recipients as part of a special effort to boost one political party over another,” the senator said in a statement.

Brown's position is heinous on multiple levels:

(please turn to Page 2)

> First, the state welfare department distributed these registration forms under a court settlement of a federal lawsuit!  (The suit was, in fact, filed by an organization in which Warren's daughter is involved, but it's a multi-state lawsuit, and that doesn't make the outcome any less legal.)  Accusing the government of pulling some scheme because it is complying with a federal order is beyond ridiculous.

> Second, even if this had been done without a court order, what the heck is wrong with registering poor people?! How dare Senator Brown object to any initiative that gives more people the chance to vote?  Especially those suffering the most in this economy!

> Finally, isn't it just dumbfounding for any politician to concede the fact that his campaign will suffer if more poor people vote?  Isn't Brown coming right out and admitting that he represents the non-poor, that a vote for him is to the disadvantage of the disadvantaged?  Could you be any more blatantly callous, Senator?

To my view, this is a huge Win-Win-Win for Ms. Warren.  Her opponent is attacking the state complying with the law, attacking the expansion of democracy, attacking the poor, and admitting that his policies are anti-poor.  And meanwhile, a half-million new Warren voters get signed up!

Here's the reaction that I'd love to see from Elizabeth (and which I'm e-mailing to her campaign):

"Senator Brown's objections to the state's judicially mandated compliance with the law, to help enable the poorest citizens of this state to participate equally in our democracy, flies in the face of everything this country and this Commonwealth stand for.  I can't believe that the Senator's campaign would sink so low as to oppose legal measures to enfranchise the poor.   However, in the interests of complete fairness, I will support an effort to balance this situation in Senator Brown's favor.  If his campaign can identify 478,000 unregistered rich people in Massachusetts, I will support a program to help them register as well."

Originally posted to dnta on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 03:50 PM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges.

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