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Closer look at Senate race

Why Warren is a better choice for us

There are a number of reasons why this Senate race is drawing so much attention within Massachusetts and across the nation. Because the result of this election has such tremendous ramifications for all of us, we must put aside the “noise” of negative campaign messages and take a close look at the facts.

First, let’s consider Sen. Brown. He presents as a well-liked fellow who describes himself as bipartisan and independent. But looking at his record, when legislation was supported by 50 or more senators, Brown voted with Republicans against the bill 40 out of 53 times, essentially blocking legislation 75.5 percent of the time. Furthermore, before the campaign season, Brown opposed majority-supported legislation 30 out of 32 times.

When it counted most, Brown voted with Republicans to repeatedly filibuster, preventing Congress from accomplishing much of anything constructive. Brown may think he is independent, but the reality is he is bankrolled by millionaires and billionaires, who hold no allegiance to the working people of this country and who used those same workers to make their fortunes. For example, the Koch Brothers, major contributors to Brown, have an estimated net worth of $62 billion. Do any of us really believe that Brown is not beholden to those who make massive campaign contributions? Does anyone truly believe that if he broke away, voting against his party more than a handful of times in an effort to convey the image of independence, that these campaign donors would continue to bankroll him? It is perhaps noteworthy that Brown voted against making campaign contributions transparent (The Disclose Act).

Let’s look at just a few of Brown’s votes, reported on the votesmart.org website.

Brown voted against both SAmdt 928, American Jobs and Economic Growth, and S1660, American Jobs Act of 2011, resulting in the estimated loss of thousands of jobs here in Massachusetts. Brown voted against Senate Bill 2573, which would have extended the middle-class tax cut while voting against a 4.6 percent tax increase on those earning over $250,000 (S3412). Brown voted against extending unemployment benefits (HR4213) and voted to reduce food stamps for struggling families (SAmdt 2392) He consistently supports giving our hard-earned taxes to subsidize oil companies that are showing record profits collectively in the billions.

Brown has indicated that many of the above votes have resulted from his commitment to not raise taxes on the wealthy. We might, therefore, wonder where his true loyalties lie. Have we not been held hostage long enough by partisan politics that protect the wealthy? Hasn’t Brown’s voting record contributed to that stalemate in Congress? Can you imagine how many measures, economic and otherwise, could have advanced the lives of working people?

Now let’s consider Elizabeth Warren’s views and positions. Warren’s experience growing up in a middle-class family and working to put herself through college gives her the background that helps inform her views. Appreciating, firsthand, the struggles of hard-working individuals and families, Warren, a well-liked and highly respected teacher as well as a devoted wife, mother and grandmother, is clear on her mission and holds a strong alliance with the average American. She believes that the wealthiest of us should contribute our fair share and, although she agrees we must address the deficit, she does NOT want to see taxes raised on working families.

Furthermore, Warren believes strongly that it is time to STOP paying our hard-earned tax money to subsidize the oil companies that are already making enormous profits. (Contrary to what we are told, economists have indicated that raising taxes on the wealthier Americans and withdrawing oil company subsidies does NOT reduce jobs.)

Two other important issues: Warren supports equal pay for equal work. Warren also believes that a woman’s reproductive health is a private matter between her and her doctor.

Brown has stood in opposition on these issues.

Another example of her commitment to hard-working Americans was her work on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Standing up for the consumer, Warren led a bipartisan commission designed to create rules to govern banks/credit card companies and was able to achieve a unanimous vote by both parties. This tremendous achievement has ultimately resulted in establishing the bureau that has “put feet to the fire,” levying huge fines to offending credit card companies now required to return that money to card holders. This accomplishment represents an outstanding example of her working with both parties and her tenacity in getting things done to benefit the average American.

Throughout this campaign, Warren has demonstrated her integrity and her clarity of purpose. Voting Elizabeth Warren into office would continue our tradition of having a senator who can work across the aisle, holding the seat that best represents US!

Sandra M. Sobek is a Conway resident.

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