Entries in Scott Brown (32)


GOP Gifts Elizabeth Warren with Account

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren turns 63 today, and among her birthday gifts is one she probably won’t appreciate very much. She’s in a tight race against the GOP incumbent, Scott Brown.  The state’s Republican party announced this morning that it is gifting Warren, a Harvard Law professor, with an account at

“Since Professor Warren has failed to come up with any evidence supporting her claims to Native American ancestry, we thought this account would make the perfect birthday gift,” said Massachusetts Republican Party executive director Nate Little in a statement.

Warren has come under fire in recent months for identifying herself as Native American in law school directories based on a blood line that she said goes far back, though there has not yet been primary documentation to back up her claim.

The Warren campaign did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New Documents Raise More Questions About Elizabeth Warren’s Ancestry

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images(BOSTON) -- The ongoing debate over whether or not Elizabeth Warren used her Native American ancestry as a way to advance her career got more confusing Thursday when a minority equity report from the University of Pennsylvania was unearthed, showing that the school also listed Warren as a minority faculty member.

One of the pages in the report lists professors who were awarded the Lindback Award for distinguished teaching. In the report, names of minority faculty members who won the award are displayed in a bold, italicized font. Warren received the award in 1994, and her name appears bold and italicized, indicating that the school listed Warren as a minority faculty member at some point.

Warren is 1/32 Native American, according to documents unearthed by genealogists at the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

There had been no reports indicating that Warren was listed as a minority by any of her employers besides Harvard prior to this one. It was known that Warren was listed as a minority in law school directories from 1986 to 1995.

The document begs the question: On what was the university basing its report? Was it the aforementioned law school directories or something else?

Republicans have suggested that Warren used her minority status to further her career in academia. Several of Warren’s past employers, including a colleague from the University of Pennsylvania, have said the status played no role in hiring decisions.

Earlier this week, Warren’s opponent in a race to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate, Republican Sen. Scott Brown, called on Warren to release her personnel files from her past employers, saying that would be the best way for Warren to put the issue to rest.

A further potential source of questions for Warren was unearthed on Thursday by The Boston Globe, which reported that a personnel document from the University of Texas -- where Warren taught law prior to joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania -- showed that Warren listed herself as white when she taught at UT’s law school.

Polling shows Warren and Brown in a dead heat.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Scott Brown Challenges Elizabeth Warren’s Native-American Ancestry

Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown issued a statement on Tuesday calling on Elizabeth Warren -- his likely Democratic opponent in the state's hotly contested Senate race -- to release her law school applications in response to the questions about the recent revelations that she self-identified as Native American based on her tenuous Cherokee bloodline.

“Serious questions have been raised about the legitimacy of Elizabeth Warren’s claims to Native American ancestry and whether it was appropriate for her to assume minority status as a college professor,” the statement said.  “The best way to satisfy these questions is for Elizabeth Warren to authorize the release of her law school applications and all personnel files from the various universities where she has taught.”

Warren has faced questions about reportedly listing herself as a minority in law school directories in the 1980s and 90s since the allegations emerged two weeks ago.  Chris Childs, a genealogist at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, traced Warren’s Native-American roots to her great-great-great-grandmother, who was listed as Cherokee on an 1894 marriage record.

Warren, 62, released a statement through spokeswoman Alethea Harney saying that Brown was attempting to “divert attention” from his voting record.

“Once again, Republican Senator Brown is shamelessly attempting to divert attention from his record on the issues that really matter in this election, like the cost of student loans,” Harney said.  “Minutes after Scott Brown voted with his Republican Party to double interest rates on student loans, he ridiculously attacked Elizabeth Warren with questions that have already been answered.”

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which oversees Democratic Senate races, released a similar statement.

“At the exact same moment that Scott Brown was voting with his fellow Republicans to block low interest college loans for Massachusetts students, Brown shamelessly resorts to tired personal attacks aimed to distract voters” said DSCC spokesman Matt Canter.  “Brown’s latest bait-and-switch illustrates just how personally desperate he is to avoid the real issues in this race -- like making college more affordable, protecting Medicare, holding Wall Street accountable -- because on the issues that matter most to voters Scott Brown sides with Republicans and special interests and against the middle class.”

Since the story broke, several of Warren’s past employers have come forward to say that their hiring decision was not influenced by her minority status.  Nevertheless, the cries from her opponents to further investigate the matter have continued.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Scott Brown Criticized for Keeping Daughter on His Health Insurance

Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- After facing her own controversy for questions about her Native-American heritage, Elizabeth Warren, the likely Democratic nominee in the Massachusetts Senate race, has accused Sen. Scott Brown of being a hypocrite after he told the Boston Globe that he still insures his 23-year-old daughter, Ayla, on his health care plan.

Brown is the Republican senator whose election in January 2010, broke the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, forcing them to re-organize their plan for passing health care legislation. During his tenure in Congress, he has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act three times, a provision of which allows children to stay on their health care until they turn 26.

“Brown’s still promising to repeal the very reforms that allow him and the parents of 2.5 million other young adults to keep their kids covered,” Warren spokeswoman Alethea Harney said in a statement. “It’s not right. Scott Brown spells health care: H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y.”

But Massachusetts’ state health care law, which served as a model in many ways for the Affordable Care Act, has the same provision, and Brown has long expressed his support for that law, supporting it when he was in the state legislature.

“I’ve said right from the beginning, that if there are things that we like, we should take advantage of them and bring them back here to Massachusetts,” Brown said Monday.

While the Massachusetts health care law only applies to residents of the commonwealth, Brown has expressed his support for this particular provision of the Affordable Care Act, noting in an interview with the Lowell Sun in 2010 that he would like to keep two parts of the Affordable Care Act: the provision allowing children to stay on their parents insurance until 26, along with the catastrophic-coverage provision.

“There’s no way that he can escape the all-too-evident hypocrisy of placing his daughter under his own insurance, insurance that is provided to him as a member of Congress by the U.S. Government,” said Jeffrey Berry, professor of political science at Tufts University in Medford-Somerville.

The timing is also unfortunate for Brown, who had started out the week in a good situation as a result of the negative coverage Warren had been receiving in light of the questions surrounding her Native-American ancestry.

Warren, 62, came under fire after the Boston Herald reported that Harvard University, where Warren is a law professor, had promoted her as a minority member of their faculty. Warren had listed herself as Native American, and that identification is facing scrutiny after genealogists traced her Native-American ancestry back to her great-great-great-grandmother – who was Cherokee – making Warren 1/32nd Native American.

“I think it comes at a particularly unfortunate time for him because Elizabeth Warren is having a rough week because of the revelations concerning her Native-American heritage and the press has been awful, and this has given her an opportunity to volley back,” Berry said.

As Berry noted, Warren and Brown, 52, signed a pledge to keep outside spending groups away from their race. The pledge is being honored by both candidates, but as a result they are forced to fling attacks directly at one another, portending a nasty race ahead.

“It’s inevitable in a Senate race that when one candidate is disadvantaged, they’re going to have to respond,” Berry said. “There was no question that this race was going to become more negative and we’re simply seeing it in May and rather than maybe September.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown Releases Six Years of Tax Returns

Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown released six years of his tax returns on Friday, following through on a campaign taunt from his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren to release several years of their individual returns.

In 2011, Brown and wife Gail Huff reported earning $510,856 and paying $123,642 in taxes, an effective tax rate of about 24.2 percent.  The couple’s income and tax rate was higher in 2010 -- they reported paying a tax rate of 28.28 percent on $839,520 -- a result of an advance Brown received for his book Against All Odds, released in February 2011.

The release comes after the Boston Globe requested that both Brown and Warren release six years of tax returns -- a request that kicked off a lengthy back and forth between the two campaigns.

Warren’s campaign responded that they would only be releasing two years of returns, but later said that if Brown released more than two years, she would release more. Warren’s campaign is expected to release four years of her tax returns on Friday.

Brown and Warren’s argument over how much tax disclosure is enough is motivated by their own political calculations.  The Brown campaign has been seeking to paint Warren, a Harvard Law Professor, as out of touch with the middle class, and hypocritical about her own wealth.  A personal financial disclosure report released by Warren earlier this year showed her earning more than $700,000 between 2010 and 2011.

The Warren campaign hopes to paint Brown as a career politician.

However, Brown’s decision to release six years may have a ripple effect on the Romney campaign.  Brown shares an adviser with Mitt Romney.  Eric Ferhnstrom, the senior adviser to the Romney campaign, is a strategist for Brown’s campaign.

Brown’s apparent show of transparency -- in releasing six years of his tax returns -- is likely to shine a light on what some consider Romney’s avoidance of the issue.  The Romney campaign has so far released two years of returns for the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.  The campaign has said that Romney will release his 2011 tax returns in October, after calls from the Obama campaign to do so.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mass. Senate Race: Elizabeth Warren Raises Nearly $7 Million in First Quarter

Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren raised $6.9 million in the first quarter of 2012 -- the period stretching from January through March. This figure represents slightly more than twice the amount raised by incumbent Sen. Scott Brown, whose campaign announced last week that they had raised $3.4 million.

Warren has consistently outraised Brown for the past three quarters now, since announcing her Senate bid in September 2011. In the third quarter of 2011 she raised $3.15 million to Brown’s $1.55 million, and in the fourth quarter she raised $5.7 million to Brown’s $3.2 million.

Still, despite this strength in fundraising, Brown has more money in the bank. The Brown campaign has around $15 million cash on hand, which includes money left over from his 2010 campaign. Warren, the Harvard Law professor and presumptive Democratic nominee, still has a little ways to go until she catches up to that (she has about $11 million).

A Boston Globe poll out last week showed Warren and Brown in a virtual dead heat. Thirty-seven percent of those polled said they supported Brown, while 35 percent said they supported Warren. The poll had a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percent.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Scott Brown Donates $35K to Autism Charity for Violating Anti-Super PAC Pledge

Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Hours after President Obama officially proclaimed Monday World Autism Awareness Day, Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown hand-delivered a $35,545 check to the Autism Consortium in Boston.

But while the donation was coincidentally timed, Brown did not choose the charity nor did he name the amount -- his Senate election rival Elizabeth Warren did.

After an oil lobbying group ran radio ads on his behalf, Brown was required to donate half the dollar amount spent on the ads to the charity of Warren’s choice under the stipulations of a pledge the two signed banning funding or advertisements from outside groups in their Senate race.

“I am very pleased to donate this money to the Autism Consortium and help support their incredibly important work,” Brown said in a statement. “I am also pleased that we have strengthened and expanded the People’s Pledge to include issue ads.”

The ad in question, which the American Petroleum Institute ran in print and radio ads, asked voters to tell Brown not to vote on a Democratic plan to eliminate subsidies for oil and gas companies. Because it did not specifically ask people to vote for Brown, it was not explicitly covered under the People’s Pledge that Brown and Warren signed in January.

“Closing this loophole is an important step toward keeping outside groups from influencing the Massachusetts election,” Brown said.

This is the second time Brown has paid a fine because of the pledge. In March his campaign donated $1,000 to the same autism charity after the conservative group CAPE PAC ran Google ads supporting him.

Warren has not yet had to pay a fine for violating the People’s Pledge.

The two were the first national candidates to sign a pledge banning out-of-state money following the national controversy over the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, which allows businesses and individual donors to give unlimited donations to super PACs, which can support political campaigns but not directly coordinate with them.

Even without the groundbreaking pact, the Massachusetts senate race is expected to be one of the most closely watched races in the country. Brown and Warren are neck-and-neck in the race, one of about a dozen contests that will determine which party takes control of the Senate in 2013.

A Boston Globe survey released Sunday showed Brown, the incumbent senator, in a statistical tie with Warren, a Harvard professor best known for her consumer advocacy work in the Obama administration.

But with more than seven months until the election, the survey found that a quarter of Massachusetts voters are still undecided.

Both candidates have high favorability ratings on their own, but when respondents were asked which candidate was more likable, Brown blew Warren out of the water. Nearly 60 percent of voters said Brown was more likable than Warren, compared to the 27 percent that chose Warren as the most likable.

The Warren campaign blamed this likability deficit on the candidate’s lagging name recognition. According to a December University of Massachusetts Lowell/Boston Herald poll, nearly a quarter of Massachusetts voters said they had never heard of Warren.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Scott Brown’s Anti-Third Party Pact Written By Third Party

Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown and his chief 2012 rival, Elizabeth Warren, made history when they signed a “People’s Pledge” to limit the influence of third-party interest groups and Super PACs in their hotly watched Senate race.

But with the ink still wet, the newly minted Massachusetts pact is already unraveling.  The pledge by Brown, a Republican, and Warren, a Democrat, to expel third-party interest groups from their race was written by one of the third-party groups the pledge sought to block, The Huffington Post reported Monday.

The pledge that Brown sent out to reporters as a Microsoft Word document was created by Sean Caincross, the top lawyer for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, according to the document’s electronic signature.

The NRSC is a national group that works to elect Republicans to the Senate. The group’s spokesman, Brian Walsh, told The Huffington Post that NRSC’s involvement “shouldn’t surprise anyone.”

“As with our Democratic counterparts, the NRSC frequently provides advice and counsel to all of our campaigns,” Walsh said.

As the Massachusetts anti-PAC pact falters, a similar attempt to implement an anti-outside-influence agreement in the Montana Senate race crumbled Monday.

Incumbent Sen. Jon Tester challenged his Republican rival Rep. Denny Rehberg to sign an agreement last week to reject donations or money spent on their behalf from third-party groups outside of Montana.

“It’s a shame that third-party organizations are allowed to pollute our records and drag our character through the mud with no transparency and no accountability,” Tester wrote Wednesday in a letter to Rehberg. “Let’s let only you and me -- and our campaigns -- do the work of illuminating the issues and the differences that separate us.”

Rehberg responded Friday by taking Tester’s pledge a step farther. Instead of only limiting money from out-of-state groups, Rehberg also wanted to block donations from lobbyists and political action committees and called for both campaigns to return any money already received by such people or organizations.

Tester rejected the counterproposal Monday, saying Rehberg can’t be trusted to adhere to such an agreement. Tester’s campaign manager, Preston Elliott, said in a statement that Rehberg’s response was “just more dishonest politics.”

Erik Iverson, Rehberg’s campaign manager, denounced Tester’s decision Monday evening.

“By rejecting that proposal Senator Tester is admitting there simply isn’t enough support in Montana for the failed policies he and President Obama have given us,” Iverson said in a statement.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Scott Brown, Elizabeth Warren Make Pact to Fight Super PACs

Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images(BOSTON) -- What do comedian Stephen Colbert, a Massachusetts senator and the woman trying to take his seat have in common? They are all battling super PACs, those recently legal groups that collect and spend unlimited funds from people and corporations to support or oppose political candidates.

But where Colbert used over-the-top satire to inflate the two-year-old campaign finance laws, Republican Sen. Scott Brown and his Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren, are employing self-imposed sanctions to diminish the influence of super PACs on their race.

Warren and Brown agreed Monday to shun outside groups by signing a pact to donate half the value of any ad run on their behalf by third-party groups to a charity of the opposing candidate’s choice.

“This is a great victory for the people of Massachusetts, and a bold statement that puts Super PACs and other third parties on notice that their interference in this race will not be tolerated,” Brown said in a statement.

The Massachusetts Senate race is the first campaign of national significance in which both candidates have vowed to reject the millions of ad dollars that super PACs can provide.

The Massachusetts race is expected to be the most expensive Senate race in 2012, and possibly the most costly Senate race in history.

Warren, a Democratic darling who helped the Obama administration create consumer protection regulations, is aiming to unseat Brown, whose upset victory in a special election following Ted Kennedy’s death in 2010 broke the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Elizabeth Warren Stuns with a Massive Fundraising Haul

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Liberal firebrand Elizabeth Warren raised $5.7 million in the last quarter of 2011, a number that not only eclipses her rival's fundraising effort but underscores Democrats' desire in Massachusetts to take back the Senate seat once held by the late Ted Kennedy.

Warren's campaign says 23,000 people in Massachusetts have donated money, and that the average contribution is $64. Her $5.7 million haul between October and December is impressive for a Senate candidate --- and is even more than some Republican presidential candidates have raised in past quarters.

Warren, a former financial adviser to President Obama, is looking to unseat Scott Brown, who raised $3.2 million in the last quarter of the year. He also raised $1.4 million in the third quarter and has more than $10 million on hand.

In 2010, Brown spent only $845,000 in his effort to beat Martha Coakley in the special election for Kennedy's seat.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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