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Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown
In 2008, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO endorsed Scott Brown in his race for state Senate. In 2012, it's a different story. In a Labor Day op-ed Boston newspapers wouldn't run, Steven Tolman, president of the state labor federation, writes that in 2008,
Upgrade the Senate bug
Brown did not try to hide his Republican leanings, but he did stress his support for the issues important to the working people of Massachusetts. He mentioned he was a member of two unions—dating back to his time as a magazine model.

But after two short years in the U.S. Senate—manipulated by extremist Republican colleagues—Brown has changed. He has become much more K Street, Washington D.C. than Main Street Wrentham. He is Wall Street’s favorite senator. [...]

Party affiliation did not matter to him then. Now it clearly does.

Do not believe what you are hearing about Brown being an independent voice. He has turned his back on his Massachusetts constituents, regularly siding with the archconservative leaders of his party to the detriment of those of us back home.

The Massachusetts AFL-CIO has endorsed Elizabeth Warren this time around, of course. But as this op-ed reminds us, it's Brown who changed, not the unions. Once he was in a position to pull in Wall Street money, he left behind his pretense of supporting workers on the issues that matter to them. Now all that's left of that is the faux-populist veneer, the pickup truck and the Red Sox fandom. It's quite a contrast with Warren, who Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention said:
Goal Thermometer
People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here's the painful part: they're right. The system is rigged. Look around. Oil companies guzzle down billions in subsidies. Billionaires pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. Wall Street CEOs—the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs—still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them.
And it's senators like Scott Brown who make that possible, who give the favors and defend the oil company subsidies and vote to protect the wealthy from paying their fair share.

Please give $3 to Elizabeth Warren to put a real champion of working people in the Senate.

(Via New Hampshire Labor News)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 11:32 AM PDT.

Also republished by Massachusetts Kosmopolitans and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Voted for Liz Warren today. (11+ / 0-)

    Was glad to do so.   Will be proud to vote for her again in November.

  •  Excellent analysis. Brown had a 75 percent labor (9+ / 0-)

    rating in the legislature, albeit some of this was probably on police and correction officer issues.  Not surprising that the Globe and Herald wouldn't run this.  IMO both papers are preparing to endorse Brown.

    The Herald has been smearing Warren on almost a daily basis and the Globe is falling all over itself to say nice things about Brown.

    It will not be possible to save Medicare by destroying it.

    by brae70 on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 11:57:15 AM PDT

  •  I wonder how many MA AFL-CIO members... (4+ / 0-)

    ...are aware that Brown has lost their Organization's endorsement.

    And why.

    As I have suggested numerous times, Warren just needs a relative handful of those currently intending to vote "Obama-Brown" to cause the entire Brown candidacy to implode. He has no other "reserve bloc" of voters he can "activate" to replace ANY that he loses.

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 12:54:34 PM PDT

    •  They probably can't say this on radio or TV (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      because of the "no negative ads" agreement.  Perhaps that agreement doesn't extend to the phone banking that the unions do.

      It will not be possible to save Medicare by destroying it.

      by brae70 on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 01:10:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think Warren is in some trouble (0+ / 0-)

      in this race.  I live in Southern NH, most of my family is in MA.  Her campaign is not defining Brown as the typical national Republican that will do whatever leadership tells him.  They are letting him define himself as this truck driving regular guy who vaguely independent and doesn’t really like Washington but never really says what he doesn’t like.  His “from the road” report and all that.  It’s working, I wish they would hit him harder, hang McConnel, his votes and the Republican platform around his neck.  I just feel they have waited to long and the independent voter already thinks they know who Scott Brown is.  

      •  You're right - she's in big trouble. (4+ / 0-)

        Brown's campaign is hitting the right chords to keep the independent and the "why can't they find a way to work together" Democratic Party contingent. Brown's talking about fishing regulations in Gloucester.

        Meanwhile Warren is focusing on national not MA-centric issues. There are less than 2 months to go -- she needs to draw some DEEP, SHARP differences with Brown, and soon. And she needs to do that by going after Brown directly, in connection with the broader GOP, and in a more effective manner than she has thus far.

        "A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future." – Leonard Bernstein

        by frisco on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 08:23:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the link - just gave $100. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Brown was in insurance. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That's why he's the candidate of the Chamber of Commerce and confederated small business -- i.e. businesses that are part of chains.

    He's also a bit of a hypocrite, railing against the ACA while taking advantage of it.

    He's still peddling his sob story about his poor beginnings:

    I didn’t have a lot of breaks growing up. I came from a broken home and moved around a lot as a kid. Times were not easy. But I had the love of a mother who struggled to provide for me, and the help of some wonderful mentors who I met along the way.

    What I learned is that anything is possible and our lives are not pre-determined by fate. America made it possible for a kid like me to get a fine education, make an honest living, and own a home where I could raise a wonderful family. It doesn’t get much better than that.

    He's a self-centered opportunist, who does what he's told, or not.  He's easy to suborn and Wall Street calling couldn't be turned down.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 01:26:43 PM PDT

  •  Hopefully, Warren's excellent speech last night (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    at the Democratic convention will give her a boost in the polls in Massachusetts.

  •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tgrshark13, lyvwyr101, sukeyna

    My sympathy for the AFL-CIO in this case is close to ZERO.

    You cannot say that you could be THAT stupid and gullible.

    You endorsed a Republican. You deserved whatever happened to you.

    Sadly, everything Communism said about itself was a lie. Even more sadly,, everything Communism said about Capitalism was the truth.

    by GayIthacan on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 08:12:20 PM PDT

  •  The Best Thing About This Guy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Is his centerfold in Cosmo. That's all there is to him ..

  •  So, they endorsed him because he had a pickup? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Cynic in seattle, lyvwyr101


    Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

    by Bush Bites on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 08:17:20 PM PDT

  •  there goes another (5+ / 0-)

    union supporting a gop candidate because they thought he was sympathetic to the unions issues, won't the unions ever learn a goper never changes their stripes.

  •  What In Merry Hell, Is Wrong With the AFL-CIO? (5+ / 0-)

    Did't they learn from being repeatedty butt f*cked by their friends, the Republicans, under Reagan???  I wondered what the hell happened in MA that allowed a Republican to win in a clearly blue state.  I'm giving money because we desperately need Warren in congress.  My sympathy for the AFL-CIO is...uummm...severely circumscribed.

    Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

    by tikkun on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 08:19:09 PM PDT

  •  I am sure (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, lyvwyr101

    I do not speak only for myself when I ask...beg, really...that the front-pagers stop putting up photos of the GOPers.


    Those pics make me want to throw up.

    Ugly men who want to destroy the nation?

    Not attractive.

    To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

    by Youffraita on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 08:26:18 PM PDT

  •  How could they have endorsed him at all, ever /nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Don't roof rack me bro', Now the brown's comin' down; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 08:28:55 PM PDT

  •  HAHAHA LOL - while I am crying (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radical simplicity, lyvwyr101

    I know it makes you look super-duper bipartisanny and showed the GOP they could endorse a Republican, but is there even ONE moderate Republican left anywhere? Were these guys out of their minds? Absolutely tragic.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 08:31:14 PM PDT

  •  Unfortunately, unions in Massachusetts (4+ / 0-)

    have a poor history of turning out voters for Democratic women in statewide races. Good to see that they aren't endorsing Brown, but we are going to need a very strong GOTV effort and very few member defectors. Warren is coming from behind. She can win, but it will be very close. The ends Brown was running with Democratic politicians testifying for him were the sort of thing that has brought in male union votes for Republicans in the past.

    I won't believe corporations are people until Texas executes one. Leo Gerard.

    by tgrshark13 on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 08:33:10 PM PDT

  •  Scott's union: American Federation of Boy Toys? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radical simplicity, lyvwyr101
  •  Nothing has changed about Brown (4+ / 0-)

    ... except that he's stopped lying to the unions.

    Once in office, he didn't need to maintain the charade in order to get elected, so he stopped.

  •  So the AFL-CIO in Mass couldn't see the trend (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Happening in the senate and the republican movement and the massive obstruction occurring at the time, expecting he would somehow vote with Dems in their decision to endorse this joker to fill Ted's seat? They need to replace the leadership of the AFL-CIO in Mass. They are not smart,  they are/were gullible and should have seen this coming.

  •  Brown didn't change, Labor was happy to be fooled (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cynic in seattle, lyvwyr101, sukeyna

    in 2008 and vote for the guy candidate.

    Martha Coakley wasn't man enough for them, that's basically what it was.

    After 8 years of George Bush demonizing any one who wasn't right wing enough, Labor had to be idiots to to think the GOP candidate was going to support their issues.

  •  Four years ago (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lyvwyr101, sukeyna

    the AFL-CIO had the power to help elect  the scumbag. Four years later they may  have lost the power to un-elect him, & it's their own damned fault.

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:52:15 PM PDT

  •  PPP internals. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, Amber6541, lyvwyr101

    I looked at the internals of their most recent which had Brown with a five point lead.  The best news I found was a heavily white sample.  I think it was 88%, with 81% white vote in MA in 2008 Presidential.

    But the larger problem is the base.  Warren only gets 75% of very liberal and similar percentage of mostly liberal.  But what is really disconcerting is non-whites.  Brown is leading them by a larger margin than with white voters.

    Democrats don't win when the candidate can't take the minority vote.  She needs to lock down the rest of the liberals and get about 75% of minorities.  

  •  Tonight I gave money to Elizabeth Warren (3+ / 0-)

    but really bummed that she's not leading in the polls already. Massachusetts, for a right-wing enabler? WTF?!

  •  interestingly if Brown decided not to be a right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lyvwyr101, netop

    wing dickhead, he would win re-election easily.

    so why give in to the fascists ?

    if he can win re-election why would he do what they say instead of doing what is most likely to get him re-elected ?

    big badda boom : GRB 090423

    by squarewheel on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 10:38:40 PM PDT

  •  Warren should run Clinton's 'We Democrats' (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, lyvwyr101

    President Clinton just wrote a playbook defeating the GOP. Warren should use it. Scott Brown has a score. It is zero! Warren is a good speaker, explainer. Clinton model, now, and hit Brown over and over.

  •  Warren should run Clinton's 'We Democrats' (0+ / 0-)

    President Clinton just wrote a playbook defeating the GOP. Warren should use it. Scott Brown has a score. It is zero! Warren is a good speaker, explainer. Clinton model, now, and hit Brown over and over.

  •  Increasingly homoerotic ads by Cosmo Scott Brown (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, lyvwyr101

    Not anything wrong w/ being gay whatsoever. It is unusual to have a married man w/ two kids being shown in polo shirts and t-shirts in some of his more recent ads. Just my observation as a Mass. voter watching the recent ads.

  •  Sad amount of labor hating here. As to why (0+ / 0-)

    AFL-CIO, or some member unions support Repubs in otherwise blue territory, here's a couple of thoughts:
    1. If Dem party is the dominant party, then general frustration at economy is taken out on those in power.
    2. Certain unions, because of their industry, may find the Republican platform (or long-established perceptions of Repub platform) attractive.  
    a. An example: police.  In the 60's, the Republican party established itself as the law-and-order party.  Until the Democratic Party can convince the Fraternal Order of Police that reducing poverty and improving cities will reduce crime and therefore enhance the safety of their officers, they will face an uphill battle.
    b. Another example: industries that may see themselves threatened by the platform of the Dem. party such as mining or defense manufacturing.  The right to organize, and the right to seek better safety standards and everything else that the Dems can offer don't matter to many workers, and therefore their unions, if their industry is shuttered. Unfortunately, there will be a conservative component to organized labor's view of industry simply because there will a strong incentive for union leadership, who face frequent re-election by the rank-and-file, to address short-term needs.  Whether organized by trade or by industry, the unions are representing its members who work in the jobs of today.  So when there is a threat to the coal industry, there are unions representing a large number of miners to protest.  There are not an equal (or greater) number of union members working in wind or solar (yet).
    3.  Liberalism vs. Progressivism: Starting in the 50's, liberals started to  divorce themselves from populist concerns and turned their attention to governing in an age after "the end of ideology".  This disconnect between liberal elitism and working people continued into the 60's as exemplified by Eugene McCarthy's assertion that "more educated, more intelligent people vote for me" and his refusal, on principle, of speaking about crime due to the liberal thought of the time that equated talk of crime as thinly veiled racism. Certain union members (or their families), because of their economic, social, and/ or  geographic position did not have the good fortune to live far away from daily crime.  They, and their children, are still stinging from the experience they, or their families felt in the 60's and 70's.  
    4.  The (now relegated to history) Moderate Republican.  The bluer, and more liberal or progressive the region, the more liberal or progressive the candidate, regardless of part affiliation.  This may not apply to areas of the country that have a large number of folks on the extremes of the spectrum, but in New England, at least, there are several examples of a "conservative" who would be considered moderate or liberal in other parts of the country.  The loss of the moderate republican is fairly recent and it is being reflected in endorsements, such a Warren in MA or by lack of endorsement, such as the FOP's refusal to endorse Romney.  That the reaction to the phenomenon (such as the AFL-CIO's previous endorsement of Brown) is not as immediate as the phenomenon itself is not surprising.

    This is no way an argument for unions to support a Republicans.  It is some thoughts as to why union support of the Democratic candidate is not always automatic, despite the anti-labor tendencies of the GOP.  Hopefully by recognizing the conflicted interests of many unions and many union members, the Left and the Democratic Party can win the hearts and minds of them more fully so that they can both stand together on more solid ground.  

    I don't think calling them idiots helps.

    "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars" --Casey Kasem

    by netop on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 09:27:26 AM PDT

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