Bear with me, I'll catch you up. Asbestos Union stuff further down...it's explosive!
For those of you outside of the Massachusetts television viewing area, you have perhaps not been aware that as of now, there have been three - count 'em! - three ads hitting Warren on the Cherokee heritage issue. (Then he wonders why there's disrespectful war whooping by his own Senate staffers at events, and further war whooping that I personally witnessed during the standout before the last debate in Lowell. Well, you know, he doesn't "condone" that, though no one has been fired or anything.)
Funnily enough, the official Scott Brown YouTube account has disabled embedding on a lot of their vidoes, but you can see the first ad here (complete with 3D spiraling movement around grainy TVs with excerpted clips of news stories which were covering Brown's newsmaking of this, a sort of Cheney-NYTimes-Cheney circle).
The second ad was labeled "Got Caught" and is just a bunch of people Scotto drummed up to speak to the camera. You know, "jus' folk" who were standing around the street (yeah right). This was embeddable.
There is also a third ad I've seen very recently, which I can't seem to find online (too new?). It goes along similar lines of the "people on the street" Got Caught ad above.
[As just a personal aside, Brown also posted the audio from Lowell City Councilor Rita Mercier endorsing him. Now, Rita and I don't get along, I have been a critic of hers for ages. But what you have to understand about this "popular politician in Lowell" is that this endorsement is more about how much she hates the current Mayor of our city, Mayor Patrick Murphy, an independent liberal who endorsed Elizabeth Warren, than her believing Brown is a better candidate for the Senate. I find it amusing that normally Mercier is a half decent Democrat and local politics forced her to do something that, I have personally heard, has angered some of her supporters and friends here. Yeah, good luck with that.]
So...anywho...imagine my surprise watching TV in the last day or so and seeing a new ad from Brown that had nothing to do with heritage! But of course, it had to do with the other scummy lying attack Brown has been repeating during debates - that of the work Warren did for Travelers Insurance regarding asbestos.
Again, it's not online yet (though another similar ad about work Warren did with LTV Steel, another misleading, lying attack, is posted).
Something you have to understand about this entire race is that a Karl Rove acolyte is running Scott Brown's campaign. You can see that they are using that tactic of taking what is a strength of their opponent, and trying to turn it into a liability. They have to do this by lying and misleading, and you can see this in every attack they've been making since last spring - heritage, the asbestos and other cases Warren's worked on, and the "law license" issue. She has integrity and has done incredible work for working people - therefore they must smear her integrity and her work for working people.
But to recap a long story about the asbestos/Travelers case: Warren took on work with Travelers Insurance, her role being to try to preserve the right for companies with liability to create settlement trusts so that future victims, ones that have not yet even realized they are sick, could be compensated down the road. The "trust" idea was up before the Supreme Court and could have been struck down as a tool in lawsuit compensation, had Warren and her team not argued well for it. It was upheld. That was the extent of Warren's involvement. However, later, a lower court vacated Traveler's payments and is still an ongoing suit, and asbestos victims have not yet been paid.
The extensive Boston Globe article linked above goes over a lot of things; at one point it calls the result "disastrous for asbestos victims" - a quote Brown uses in the ad itself to attack Warren as though the disaster was her fault. However, the full sentence in the article goes, "But after Warren left the case, it continued to twist and turn through the legal system, leaving a result that has been disastrous for asbestos victims."
So, you can see just how much of a lie this new ad really is. And, Asbestos Union members agree, having written an open letter calling on Brown to stop his lies and pull his ad (bold mine):
Dear Senator Brown:These are, as you can see, some VERY strong words from the very people whom Scott Brown, were he telling the truth, ought to be able to get on his side...but Brown is lying, misleading, misrepresenting the issue, and the very people affected BY asbestos and who have every reason to be angry about the vacated payments to victims...they back Warren's work, and are very angry at Brown.
At your first debate with Elizabeth Warren, you accused her of siding with Travelers Insurance Company to deny people with asbestos poisoning their benefits and added, “I hope all the Asbestos Union Workers are watching right now.”
As the Business Manager of Asbestos Workers Local 6 – which represents 450 asbestos workers in Massachusetts – I can attest that many of us were watching and were shocked and upset by your mischaracterizations and politicization of this serious issue. We were also disappointed to see your totally unsupported and unsupportable subsequent allegation that asbestos victims “have died as a result of her efforts,” as well as to see you repeating these false attacks in your second debate and in a new false, misleading, and offensive television attack advertisement.
The truth is that Elizabeth Warren represented Travelers at a time when the company was on the same side as a vast majority of asbestos victims. Elizabeth fought for a principle that most asbestos victims agree with strongly: that settlement trusts are an important part of the law and should be continued to be used. To say otherwise is either ignorant of the facts or a cynical lie designed to trick people to vote for you.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. There is no cure for mesothelioma and the average life expectancy from diagnosis is generally from six to eighteen months. In our union, many of us have watched family members and or friends suffer and die painful deaths from this horrible disease.
We think it is inappropriate of you to use misleading personal attacks to distract people from your record against working families in Massachusetts, and we think it is offensive for you to campaign on the backs of suffering mesothelioma victims to win votes.
We would like to request a meeting to discuss this issue with you further as soon as possible and certainly before the next debate on Oct. 10, and before you make more false attacks. We are indeed watching your comments on this and other issues and have a keen interest in them.
Francis C. Boudrow
International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers Local #6
303 Freeport Street
Dorchester, MA 02122
As I posted on my blog...anyone wanna take on the bet that Brown will meet with actual asbestos victims and workers, or pull the ad, or stop misleading and lying about this issue in debates and on the stump?
Update: Duh! Here's my fundraising page for Warren, in case you want to donate. Or you can donate direct to the campaign.