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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Advisor Elizabeth Warren listens to a question at the Reuters Future Face of Finance Summit in Washington March 1, 2011.
Elizabeth Warren
Sen. Scott Brown's decision to center his campaign almost entirely on Elizabeth Warren's claim of Native-American heritage has earned him the opposition of Boston's African-American ministers, who have lined up with Elizabeth Warren.
Some of Boston’s most prominent African-American ministers put their support behind Elizabeth Warren Thursday and denounced Senator Scott Brown’s attacks on her purported Native American heritage, saying the issue has become a divisive distraction from more pressing concerns about poverty and violence. [...]

“It’s a dead issue,” said the Rev. Jeffrey Brown, executive director of the Boston TenPoint Coalition, a group of ministers that seeks to ­reduce youth violence. “I know that, as the commercials continue to roll, I cringe. It’s an issue that has no relevance to things that I care about.”

Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who also attended the event at Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury, accused Brown of trying to divide the electorate, while Governor Deval ­Patrick, in a television interview, called Brown a “Bay State birther,” an allusion to the conspiracy theory about President Obama’s birthplace. [...]

“Scott Brown, throughout this campaign, has taken on an issue that I think is very derogatory to” Warren and her claims to Native American heritage, said Menino, who stood with Warren and about a half-dozen ministers. “Elected officials take on those issues because they’ve got nothing else to say. It’s about dividing people.”

Even an African-American activist who is a Brown supporter and was tapped to respond to this endorsement had veiled criticism for Brown for continuing to flog this issue. Rev. Talbert W. Swan II, president of the Springfield chapter of the NAACP, said, "I’m hoping in the last 30 days we can focus on some of the issues of concern for the residents of the Commonwealth, as opposed to getting hung up on one issue, especially if it’s concerning someone’s heritage. [...] I think both Senator Brown and professor Warren are above that.”

Goal Thermometer

Brown's one-note negative campaign might just be wearing on voters, too. Another poll released yesterday, a private one for a Boston-based consulting and research firm, gives Warren a four-point edge, 48 percent to 44 percent among likely voters. Back in April, this same poll had Brown leading by 14.

Brown, with very little else to campaign on (the Supreme Court certainly isn't going to be an option for him!) isn't likely to give up this attack on Warren, no matter what some of his supporters ask of him. This is probably only going to get uglier.

Please donate $3 to Elizabeth Warren on ActBlue.

Thu Oct 11, 2012 at 8:54 AM PT: Late update. Rev. Talbert Swan tweets to me the clarification that he has not endorsed anyone in this race.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 09:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos and Black Kos community.

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