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Tags: Scott Brown

Reason for GOP Optimism . . . and Pessimism in New Hampshire



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If you’re looking for affirmation that the New England College poll showing Scott Brown ahead of Senator Jeanne Shaheen by one point is accurately showing the winner, here’s one nugget to make you feel good . . . 

The final New England College poll of 2012 in the presidential race in New Hampshire had President Obama with 50, Romney 46 percent. The final results were Obama 52 percent, Romney 46 percent. Ironically, every other pollster’s final survey in the state showed Obama with a lead of 3 points or less.

On the other hand, if you subscribe to the theory that the “who do you think will win?” question is a better indicator of the likely winner, the Granite State Poll, sponsored by WMUR and conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, found 55 percent of likely voters think Shaheen will be re-elected, only 30 percent think Brown will win, and 15 percent are unsure. The polls “final prediction for the NH Senate race is 49% for Shaheen and 48% for Brown.”

At this point, the only really surprising result would be one candidate winning by a significant margin.

Tags: Scott Brown , Jeanne Shaheen , New Hampshire

Come on, New Hampshire. Let’s Make Sam Wang Eat a Bug.



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CNN, out today:

A new CNN/ORC poll shows a statistical dead heat between New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and her GOP opponent Scott Brown, with Shaheen at 49 percent, Brown at 47 percent, and a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4 percent.

ARG, out today: Jeanne Shaheen 49 percent, Scott Brown 48 percent. 

Come on, New Hampshire. Let’s make Sam Wang eat a bug.

Tags: New Hampshire , Jeanne Shaheen , Scott Brown

CNN Poll in New Hampshire: Jeanne Shaheen 48 Percent, Scott Brown 48 Percent



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We’ve seen three public polls of New Hampshire’s Senate race since July. WMUR put incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen up by 2; YouGov put her up by 6.

And now:

Think about it, New Hampshire. You have the power in your hands . . . to make a Princeton professor eat a bug:

Tags: Jeanne Shaheen , Scott Brown , New Hampshire

Biden’s Strangely Political ‘Official’ Visit to New England



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Vice President Joe Biden travels to New Hampshire and Maine today:

Vice President Joe Biden is expected to tour the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard this morning, an event we are told will highlight the shipyard’s work-force engagement. 

Also attending will be U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, representing New Hampshire, along with U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud, from Maine — all Democrats.

But it’s totally not a political campaign event, honest!

(Note Sen. Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire’s other senator, was not invited to the allegedly non-partisan event.)

Once and perhaps future U.S. Senator Scott Brown welcomes the Vice President to the Granite State with this video:


VICE PRESIDENT BIDENPresident Obama has made those hard calls with strength and steadiness.
 
And the reason he’s been able to is because he had clear goals and clear strategy how to achieve those goals.
 
He had a clear vision and has a clear vision for America’s place in the world
 

PRESIDENT OBAMA: We don’t have a strategy yet.
 
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: I am very optimistic about Iraq. I think it is going to be one of the great achievements of this administration.
 
PRESIDENT OBAMA: We don’t, we don’t have a strategy.

Tags: Joe Biden , Barack Obama , New Hampshire , Scott Brown

‘He’ll Give Everything He’s Got for New Hampshire.’



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Here’s a new ad from Scott Brown’s campaign, featuring Senator Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire Republican:

Notice the issues mentioned: the economy, the debt, and Obamacare. Ayotte says Brown stands for “fiscal responsibility, accountable government, a health-care plan that works for all of us.”

A few fans of Obamacare perceived/hoped that Republicans were starting to talk about the health-care plan less often . . . also note that while Brown has talked about immigration reform and border security in recent weeks, it’s not mentioned in this ad.

Tags: Scott Brown , Kelly Ayotte

Tom Cotton, Scott Brown Hit Democratic Rivals on Illegal Immigration



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In Arkansas, GOP Rep. Tom Cotton hits incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Pryor for “voting for amnesty”, “voting for citizenship for illegals” and “voting against a border fence” in a new television ad.

Scott Brown also focused on illegal immigration in a new television ad:

Tags: Scott Brown , Tom Cotton , Mark Pryor , Jeanne Shaheen , Illegal Immigration

Scott Brown Is About to Make 2014 Much More Expensive for Shaheen



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Former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown is making his interest in the New Hampshire Senate race official today, and that’s good news for Republicans and bad news for Jeanne Shaheen.

Sure, Shaheen leads most of the polls that match her up against Brown.

Back in 2010, Brown raised $15 million (and spent $10.1 million). Then in his reelection bid in 2012, he raised $28 million and dipped into his leftovers from the previous race, spending $35 million. (For perspective, Elizabeth Warren raised and spent $42 million.)

According to papers filed at the end of 2013, Shaheen has $3.4 million in cash on hand.

In other words, with his national network of donors and supporters, Brown automatically gives Shaheen a serious challenge, and national Democrats will have to throw in their own money to help — leaving fewer dollars for all of the other competitive Senate races in places like Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Colorado, Michigan, Virginia . . . 

Yes, there are other Republicans with deeper roots in New Hampshire running. But at least as of the end of December, none had raised the kind of money needed to run a serious challenge to Shaheen. Former state senator Jim Rubens had $255,000 on hand, mostly from a loan to his campaign. Former senator Bob Smith had about $21,000 in cash on hand. Radio-talk-show host and activist Karen Testerman had $3,650.

This is entirely separate from who New Hampshire Republicans deem the best to represent them, of course.

Tags: Scott Brown , Jeanne Shaheen , Jim Rubens , Bob Smith , Karen Testerman

Scott Brown Sends New Hampshire–Focused Message on Obamacare



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It’s not clear if former senator Scott Brown, once the shining star of Massachusetts Republicans, is serious about running for Senate in New Hampshire. But he did just send a New Hampshire–focused message of criticism for Obamacare to his e-mail list, declaring:

Not only is President Obama to blame here, so too are every single one of the Democratic senators who forced this fiasco on the American people. . . . The President is not going to face voters again, but his congressional enablers and supporters will in less than a year. When they do, it’s going to be an unpleasant experience for any incumbent having to explain their deciding vote and continued support for the ongoing disaster of Obamacare.

One presumes that would include New Hampshire’s Democratic senator Jeanne Shaheen, who voted for Obamacare and is up for reelection in 2014. The chairman and vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Senators Jerry Moran of Kansas and Rob Portman of Ohio, are encouraging Brown to run. The Granite State poll, conducted in mid-October as the government shutdown came to a close, found Shaheen with healthy leads against two lesser-known potential GOP opponents, former state senator Jim Rubens and former U.S. representative Charlie Bass.

A September poll by PPP found Brown within four points of Shaheen, trailing 48 percent to 44 percent.

Brown’s message, hitting mailboxes now:

HYPOCRISY AND DOUBLE STANDARDS

BY FORMER SENATOR SCOTT P. BROWN (R-MA)

Hypocrisy and double standards are two things that disgust and infuriate all Americans, regardless of where they fall on the ideological spectrum. Unfortunately, these qualities are far too prevalent in our political culture today, and are prime reasons why Washington and the politicians that work there are held in such low regard.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the implementation and implosion of Obamacare. During the debate over the deeply flawed bill in 2009 and 2010, voters were repeatedly assured by President Obama and his congressional allies that everyone who liked their current health care plan would be able to keep it. “Period”. Now, as the new law implodes before our eyes, millions of Americans have received letters of cancellation. With approximately five million people across the country expected to lose their current plan and millions more to follow, when all the smoke clears, it’s clear that the Democrats broke their promise to the American people.

Many other Americans are experiencing fewer medical options as insurers restrict their choice of doctors and hospitals in order to keep costs low. Some of the country’s top medical facilities are being excluded from the new exchange system, meaning patients who have been getting treatment from doctors they like all of a sudden find themselves out of luck.

For example, in New Hampshire, only 16 of the state’s 26 hospitals are available on the federal exchange, meaning patients must either pay more to keep their current doctor or seek inferior care elsewhere. Neither is a good option.

New Hampshire is not alone. Across the country, some of the best hospitals are not available on plans on the exchange, leaving patients with difficult choices and unwanted sometimes, life threatening decisions.

Keep reading this post . . .

Tags: Scott Brown , Jeanne Shaheen

A Bad Idea, Thankfully Avoided



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I’ll admit, it’s a rather grim Morning Jolt this Tuesday morning, looking at controversy over a Tweet from John McCain, a real controversy and outrage over a Tweet from Ron Paul, and then this bit of news out of Massachusetts:

Really, Nobody Was Up for a Game of Tagg

Okay, Boston Herald, you won Monday’s headline contest:

Tagg, you’re it for GOP Senate hopes

Our Katrina Trinko was hearing it too: “Despite press reports that Tagg Romney will not be running for Senate, a source close to Tagg Romney tells National Review Online that Tagg, the oldest son of Mitt and Ann Romney, and a prominent surrogate for his dad during the election, is seriously considering making a Senate run in Massachusetts — and expects to decide one way or another soon.”

But by the late afternoon, Tagg issued his statement:

“I have been humbled by the outreach I received this weekend encouraging me to become a candidate for the US Senate.  I love my home state and admit it would be an honor to represent the citizens of our great Commonwealth. However, I am currently committed to my business and to spending as much time as I can with my wife and children.  The timing is not right for me, but I am hopeful that the people of Massachusetts will select someone of great integrity, vision, and compassion as our next US Senator.”

This is probably for the best.

It’s not likely that the sneers about the GOP being the monarchist party would be worth the benefit of having candidate with a recognizable name and a presumably-decent network of donors.  (Yes, yes, I know the sneers will be coming from the Massachusetts Democratic Party, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Kennedy Family, Inc.)

Here’s the thing. If we had seen poll numbers indicating that Tagg Romney could win this thing, I would have been be much more enthusiastic. But we never saw any polling on any of the hypothetical match-ups, and I think Tagg Romney would have started the race pretty far behind.

I’ll let NPR lay out the Romney name’s standing in Massachusetts:

On the other hand … here are two numbers that might dissuade a candidacy by the 42-year-old venture capitalist: 34 and 23.

Thirty-four is Mitt Romney’s approval rating back in 2006, not long before he left the governor’s office. And 23 is how many percentage points President Obama beat Mitt Romney by in Massachusetts in the November election.

If Tagg Romney nevertheless enters the race, he’ll be following in his father’s footsteps. Recall that Mitt Romney also ran for Senate back in 1994 — which gives us a third number to mull over: 17. That’s how many percentage points incumbent Democrat Ted Kennedy won that race by.

And another thing: If his name was Tagg Smith, he would just be some guy who always gets asked why his first name is ‘Tagg.’ If Republicans had united behind him and nominated him, it would have been entirely because of his name and the belief that a lot of Republicans would be willing to give him money. There are four Republican state senators in Massachusetts, and… (spit-take) wait, what? Four? Four state senators out of 40? Are you kidding me? What, did you guys forget 2012 was an election year? You guys could literally meet in a phone booth, presuming that you’re not morbidly obese and that you can actually find a phone booth these days.

Anyway, Massachusetts Republicans have four state senators and thirty state representatives (out of 160). Had the party nominated Tagg, it would have amounted to a concession that at this moment, none of those 34 lawmakers, all of whom have won at least one more race than Tagg Romney has, have the potential to be another Scott Brown. None of them could use the circumstances of this special election to build name recognition and a base of support for a future race down the road.

I realize one of my recommendations for the GOP since November has been to stop conceding races and run the best candidate you can in every race you can. But on Monday, the lefty blogs were a lot more enthusiastic about a Tagg Romney campaign than the righty blogs were. Most of the conservative bloggers don’t know much about Tagg Romney. Knowing his father, he’s probably a very decent man. But that’s the whole point – the electorate’s entire perception of him will be shaped by their perceptions of his father. Barring some dramatic change, those perceptions of the father were never going to be good enough to sustain a successful statewide bid.

And I suspect the GOP grassroots that would be expected to help out Tagg for Senate 2013 with their time and money feel frustration at Mitt Romney for losing a race he should have won. Until Tagg Romney can come to Massachusetts Republicans with a reason to vote for him that doesn’t mention his father, it’s probably best to look elsewhere for a candidate – even if it means a little-known competitor with no extensive family-based fundraising network.

Tags: Massachusetts , Scott Brown , Tagg Romney

Scott Brown for Senate: Third Time (in Four Years) Is the Charm?



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After long delays and much discussion, a Scott Brown senatorial bid — the third in four years — may be taking shape:

GOP officials close to Scott Brown report that the former Republican senator is ‘’leaning strongly toward running” in the special election to replace Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry. They report that Brown is likely to enter the race early next week.

Representative Ed Markey — still showcasing that state-of-the-art website for his campaign — is the favorite on the Democratic side; he’s going to face a primary from Representative Stephen Lynch. Lynch may intrigue some folks on the right, as he’s pro-life and voted against Obamacare.

In fact, if Lynch won the Democratic primary, you could see a pro-life Democrat competing against a pro-choice Republican in Brown.

Tags: Ed Markey , Scott Brown , Stephen Lynch

Massachusetts Voters May Have Big Fields in 2014 Governor’s Race



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The Fox affiliate in Boston takes a look at the Massachusetts gubernatorial possibilities for 2014:

On the Democratic side, State Treasurer Steve Grossman has said he is “leaning strongly” toward a run. Also, Congressman Michael Capuano could be eyeing the seat. Last week, he decided against running in a special election for Senate, if Sen. John Kerry is confirmed as Secretary of State Thursday.

Attorney General Martha Coakley also said to be considering a run. During an appearance at a breakfast honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Coakley would say only that she is running for the position she currently holds. “I am running for Attorney General,” she told reporters. “Right now I’m really focused on all the great things we’re doing in the Attorney General’s office. I love the work. I love the office. That’s my focus at the moment.”

There are two other lesser known Democrats in the mix. Former Wellesley Selectman Dr. Joseph Avellone has said he is running for governor. Also, pediatrician and former Obama Administration official Dr. Donald Berwick, of Newton, is considering a run for the seat.

On the Republican side, former gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker is widely considered to be a candidate for governor in 2014. Also, former Senator Scott Brown could choose to run for governor instead of for Senate. If Brown does run for governor, he is not allowed to use any of the money he raised during his Senate campaign.

The Democratic field is a bit more open because Governor Deval Patrick is term-limited and Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray recently declared, “I will not be a candidate for Governor in the 2014 election cycle. Nor will I be a candidate for any other statewide office in 2014.”

Baker lost to Patrick, 48 percent to 42 percent, in 2010.

Tags: Charlie Baker , Martha Coakley , al-Qaeda , Scott Brown , Steve Grossman

Massachusetts Democrats, Debating Who Will Kerry the Torch



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Up in Massachusetts, Glen Johnson of the Boston Globe updates his scorecard on the Senate seat that will open up when John Kerry departs to become secretary of state:

  • Representative Ed Markey has lined up support from several big names, like Kerry and the Kennedy clan. For now, Markey’s usual campaign website is the barest of bones, announcing his Senate bid and asking for donations.
  • Markey has two potential big-name rivals still in the mix. Representative Stephen Lynch is working the phones to gauge support for a bid, and Representative Michael Capuano is not ruling out a campaign.
  • Perhaps the most intriguing indicator in Johnson’s roundup involves soon-to-depart Senator Scott Brown, who “is trying to engineer the selection of his deputy campaign finance director as the new chairwoman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, which would give him de facto control of over $700,000 in a party joint victory account — plenty to seed a special election campaign.”
  • The only other potential Republican Senate candidate mentioned is former governor William F. Weld.
  • While no one knows who Governor Deval Patrick, a Democrat, will appoint as the interim senator, his desire for a loyalist has some mentioning the name of his “outgoing Administration and Finance Secretary Jay Gonzalez.”

Tags: Deval Patrick , Ed Markey , al-Qaeda , Scott Brown , Stephen Lynch , Presidential Debates

Stage Is Set for a Scott Brown Comeback — If He Wants One



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Boston’s NPR:

WBUR poll of 500 registered voters finds U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is in a strong position should there be a special election to fill U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s seat.

MassINC pollster Steve Koczela looked at how well Brown would fare against four current or former Democratic members of Congress.

“We matched him up theoretically against (U.S. Reps.) Ed Markey, Mike Capuano, Steve Lynch and (former U.S. Rep.) Marty Meehan, and in each one of those cases, he led by between 17 and 19 points,” Koczela said.

Dang.

Chances are that some of that is the advantage of statewide name recognition against the name recognition limited to one congressional district, and in a hard-fought special Senate election, Brown would find it tough to match those numbers. But the four potential opponents polled, and most of the other non–Ben Affleck names, mentioned are more or less cookie-cutter, standard-issue, middle-aged or older white career Massachusetts Democratic pols.

Sarah Rumpf, a Florida-based GOP consultant who worked with Massachusetts GOP congressional candidate Sean Bielat last cycle, writes:

I have heard some scattered rumors of other candidates considering throwing their hats in the ring, but nothing serious or very credible. Brown’s near-universal name recognition and fundraising prowess not only make him a formidable primary opponent, but also help reassure Republican primary voters still smarting from November’s losses (the Democrats pretty much ran the table in the state, now holding both Senate seats, all Congressional seats, and a large majority in both houses of the Legislature) that he is likely the party’s most viable candidate for this seat.

She points out that besides the advantage of running in a high turnout presidential year, winning candidate Elizabeth “Warren was able to successfully weaken Brown’s numbers with women voters, even though he is moderate on many of those issues, including being pro-choice. A male candidate — and almost all of the names being discussed as potential candidates for the Democratic nomination are men — would not be able to duplicate Warren’s attacks as easily.”

Tags: Scott Brown

Kerry, Brown, Patrick, and the Murmurs in Massachusetts



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In today’s Wall Street Journal, Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts is mentioned as a possible contender to be the next secretary of state or the next secretary of defense.

If Kerry were to accept the appointment, Massachusetts state law requires the appointment of an interim senator by the governor, Deval Patrick, and a special U.S. Senate election must be held 145 to 160 days after a vacancy occurs. If Kerry were to depart his seat in January, that would put the special election in May or June.

Obviously, when you hear “special U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts,” the first name that comes to mind is incumbent Republican senator Scott Brown, who just lost his bid for reelection to Elizabeth Warren. There is a further wrinkle that the Journal mentions: Patrick is being mentioned as a possible appointee in Obama’s second term, and some in Massachusetts believe Brown is interested in running for governor someday. Brown insists he’s not focusing on either position until there is a certain vacancy.

If Deval Patrick were to depart Boston for a job in the Obama administration, his office would remain technically vacant for the remainder of his term (ending in January 2015) and Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray would be “Acting Governor” during that time.

Tags: Deval Patrick , John Kerry , Scott Brown

First Massachusetts Exit Polls: Brown, Warren ‘Dead Even’



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A Massachusetts media source sends along this look at the early exits in the Senate race up there:

We’re hearing the race (between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren) is dead even. Turnout in Boston wards not quite as high as expected (good for Brown) but higher in Lowell and Lawrence (bad for Brown). 

Two years ago midway through Election Day we heard turnout in Democrat areas was way down, leading to panic among the Democrats (in the U.S. House races). They got their act in gear and pulled their voters out by 8 p.m. — so don’t count on anything holding up yet.

But Brown is hanging in there.

Tags: Elizabeth Warren , Scott Brown

Elizabeth Warren, Unlicensed Lawyer?



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Over at Legal Insurrection, William Jacobson has a bombshell: considerable evidence that Democrat Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren practiced law in Massachusetts without a license.

I confirmed with the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers by telephone that Warren never has been admitted to practice in Massachusetts.  I had two conversations with the person responsible for verifying attorney status.  In the first conversation the person indicated she did not see any entry for Warren in the computer database, but she wanted to double check.  I spoke with her again several hours later, and she indicated she had checked their files and also had spoken with another person in the office, and there was no record of Warren ever having been admitted to practice in Massachusetts.

You don’t need a law license to teach law, but you need one if your duty includes “the examination of statutes, judicial decisions, and departmental rulings, for the purpose of advising upon a question of law … and the rendering to a client of an opinion thereon.”

Among her cases in recent years: “As reported earlier by Globe reporter Noah Bierman, Travelers hired Warren to represent the insurance company in its fight to gain permanent immunity from asbestos-related lawsuits; in exchange for that immunity, the insurance company said it would establish a $500 million trust for current and future victims of asbestos poisoning. Warren succeeded in that mission, successfully arguing Travelers case before the U.S. Supreme Court. She was paid $212,000 by Travelers from 2008 to 2010.”

He concludes, “I detail above the facts and law which lead me to the conclusion that Warren has practiced law in Massachusetts without a license in violation of Massachusetts law for well over a decade. I expect Warren will disagree, and I welcome a discussion of the facts and the law.”

Will this interest the Massachusetts media at all?

UPDATE: One of my readers, a lawyer, writes in:

The post indicates that this is a federal case.  You do not need to be licensed to practice law in Massachusetts to practice law in federal courts located in Massachusetts or anywhere else.  Federal courts decide who can practice before them, and individual states can’t tell federal courts that an attorney cannot practice before them.  It’s that whole supremacy clause thing.  Constitution 101 and all that. 

It is really well established that a federal district court can admit an attorney to practice before it even if the attorney is not licensed in that state.  You most certainly do not need to be licensed in the state where a federal court of appeals sits to appear before the federal court of appeals.  I am clearly practicing law when I argue before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.  It does not matter that I am not licensed in Ohio. 

The blurb also mentions taking the case to the US Supreme Court.  I have submitted an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court on a case that originated in West Virginia state courts even though I am not licensed to practice there.  I was not practicing law without a license when I did so because I was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Another veteran lawyer writes in to Campaign Spot:

I have practiced law for 30 years.  Your correspondent is correct that a federal court can permit an attorney from a state outside the state wherein the federal court sits to appear before that court.  The practice is called “pro hac vice,” which is Latin for “for this occasion.”  Here are the pro hac vice requirements for the District Court of Mass, which would be the relevant court in this case.

However, this does not conclude the issue.  There would still need to be an attorney licensed in Mass. who moved for Ms. Warren to be admitted pro hac vice for the case at hand.  Such a document would have to be in the docket of the case as to which she was representing her client.  If Ms. Warren simply filed pleadings without first being admitted to the court pro hac vice, she would be implicitly representing to the court that she was, in fact, licensed to practice in Mass., and if she was not so licensed, she would have violated the court’s rules, and, in effect, have committed a fraud upon the court.

Tags: Elizabeth Warren , Scott Brown

Brown on Warren: ‘She’s Obsessed With Raising Taxes.’



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The final Morning Jolt of the week features a lot of discussion about “you can’t change Washington from the inside,” but also an update on last night’s debate between Republican senator Scott Brown and Democrat Elizabeth Warren.

Warren! Brown! The Brawl in Boston!

Last night, Republican Sen. Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren held their first debate.

Ira Stoll saw a preview of the themes we’re likely to see in this fall’s presidential debates:

Professor Warren sought to depict Senator Brown as a friend of billionaires and big oil companies, asking “whose side do you stand on?” She said she favored a “balanced approach” to deficit reduction — one of President Obama’s favorite euphemisms for tax increases.

Senator Brown sought to depict Professor Warren as a tax-increaser, and he genially deflected her attacks. “Her criticism of me is that I’m not gonna raise taxes, and that’s an accurate criticism,” he said. At another point, he said, “The criticism you’re hearing . . . I don’t want to raise taxes. Guilty as charged.” He said of Professor Warren, “she’s obsessed with raising taxes. . . . The first thing, every single time, is to raise taxes.”

Responding to Professor Warren’s criticism of him for a vote she described as cutting oil subsidies, Senator Brown noted that gas prices are $4 a gallon, and said, “I’m no friend of big oil. I’m a friend of the motorist.” Professor Warren retorted that what she called the “big five” oil companies made $137 billion in profits last year.

Senator Brown also rejected Professor Warren’s attempt to divide Americans into the top 3% versus everyone else, or billionaires and oil companies versus everyone else. “Fingerpointing, us versus them, the haves and have-nots,” he said.

William Jacobson was watching, and while he thinks Brown did himself some good.

Very strong opening for Brown on fake Cherokee issue.  He didn’t handle it the way I would have, but he picked an issue — the release of her employment records — and stuck to it.  (added) In hindsight, focusing on releasing records was brilliant, because Warren has a major problem, she likely made or participated in causing Harvard to make false federal filings as to her Native American status using standard Harvard and EEOC definitions.

Warren probably got the better, in liberal Massachusetts, on social issues using the War on Women theme.  Brown deflected it, but it probably stirred up the base.

Warren didn’t land many blows, but Brown hit her very hard at the end on two points. When Warren brought up the high cost of college, Brown hammered her on her lavish salary and perks.

When Warren tried to say that Brown sided with big companies, Brown lowered the boom on something most viewers probably didn’t know, that Warren represented Travelers Insurance Co. and was paid $225,000 to defeat asbestos claims.  Brown harped on it, and because most viewers probably didn’t know, I think it hurt.

Brown also gave multiple shout outs to union members, including on the Keystone Pipeline.  Remember, the unions supported Coakley in 2010, but the members voted with Brown.

I imagine supporters will still support each, but even putting aside my disdain for Warren and trying to be as neutral as I can, I think Brown helped himself tonight.  It wasn’t a knockout, but he won easily on points because Warren needed to demonize him, and he came across as he always comes across, as a regular guy the people can relate to.

I’m always a little wary of these flash polls, but for what it’s worth: “Fifty percent (50%) of voters who watched tonight’s U.S. Senate debate between Senator Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren said the Senator won, with 40% saying that Warren won the debate (6% thought it was a tie and 4% were undecided) according to a Kimball Political Consulting survey of ‘likely voters’ in Massachusetts.”

ADDENDA: A Leno joke, transmitted by Andrew Malcolm: “Leno: MSNBC reports the economy has bottomed out. There’s an Obama slogan: ‘It Can’t Get Any Worse Than This.’”

Tags: Elizabeth Warren , Scott Brown

The Post-Akin GOP Outlook for the Senate . . . Doesn’t Look That Bad!



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Argh. What are the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and grassroots Republicans and conservatives, supposed to do, now that Todd Akin has exponentially complicated the effort to defeat Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri, and win the three (or four, if Romney doesn’t win) seats needed to take over the Senate?

All they have is Nebraska, where state senator Deb Fischer holds an 18-point lead over Democrat Bob Kerrey in a seat where incumbent Democrat Ben Nelson is retiring, and North Dakota, where Rick Berg is up 9 on in a seat where incumbent Democrat Kent Conrad is retiring . . .

and Montana, where Rep. Denny Rehberg has a small but consistent lead over incumbent Jon Tester . . .

and Wisconsin, where Tommy Thompson has an increasing lead over Tammy Baldwin to fill the Senate seat occupied by the retiring Herb Kohl . . .

. . . but they have to make up the likely loss in Maine, where either a Democrat or a Democratic-leaning independent is likely to replace Sen. Olympia Snowe . . . and they need to keep Sen. Scott Brown in office in Massachusetts, where the latest poll has him . . . er, only up by 5 . . .

. . . and they have to hold Indiana in a presidential year, when Rasmussen has Republican Richard Mourdock slightly ahead . . . and make sure that Sen. Dean Heller keeps his consistent lead in Nevada . . .

and . . . hey, wait a minute . . . Connie Mack looks pretty competitive against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson in Florida . . . George Allen remains neck-and-neck with Tim Kaine in Virginia . . .

. . . what’s this? Could incumbent Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown really be tied with GOP challenger Josh Mandel in Ohio, as Rasmussen suggests? And what’s this eye-popping suggestion that in Connecticut, “former wrestling executive Linda McMahon holds a narrow lead over Democratic Congressman Chris Murphy in Rasmussen Reports’ first look at Connecticut’s U.S. Senate race. A new telephone survey of Likely Voters in Connecticut shows McMahon with 49 percent of the vote to Murphy’s 46 percent . . .”

Gee, suddenly the outlook for Republicans in the Senate races doesn’t look so bad anymore, does it?

Tags: Connie Mack , Dean Heller , Deb Fischer , Denny Rehberg , George Allen , Josh Mandel , Linda McMahon , Richard Mourdock , Rick Berg , Scott Brown , Senate Republicans , Tommy Thompson

Warren Trails Brown by One; Most in Mass. Think She’s Native American



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The Suffolk Poll released its results at 11 p.m. last night:

Republican incumbent Scott Brown (48 percent) clings to a one-point lead over Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren (47 percent) in the Massachusetts race for the U.S. Senate, according to a Suffolk University/7NEWS (WHDH-Boston) poll of likely general-election voters in Massachusetts.

The poll result is well within the margin of error. Five percent of voters were undecided in a race that has drawn interest from across the country, even though the primaries are months away. The race has closed since a February Suffolk University/7NEWS poll showed Brown leading Warren 49 percent to 40 percent, with 11 percent either undecided or choosing someone else.

“In both the February and May polls, Brown has fallen short of the coveted 50 percent mark for an incumbent, while Elizabeth Warren has converted some undecided voters since February,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “This leaves both campaigns no choice but to spend tens of millions of dollars in an all-out war to woo the five percent of voters who will decide this election.”

Warren’s heritage

Seventy-two percent of likely voters were aware of the recent controversy concerning Elizabeth Warren’s heritage. Of those, 49 percent said Warren was telling the truth about being part Native American; 28 percent said she was not telling the truth; and 23 percent weren’t sure. Meanwhile, 41 percent said they believed that Elizabeth Warren benefited by listing herself as a minority, while 45 percent said she did not benefit. Sixty-nine percent of likely voters said that Warren’s Native American heritage listing is not a significant story, while 27 percent said that it is.

That is a pretty good result for Elizabeth Warren. What’s really surprising is that somehow she’s coming through the “high cheekbones, like all Native Americans” brouhaha more likeable to the Bay State’s voters, if this poll is accurate:

Brown’s popularity (58 percent favorable) moved up six points from February (52 percent favorable), while his unfavorable rating remained the same at 28 percent. Warren gained 8 points on her favorable rating (43 percent) since February, when it was 35 percent, but she also tacked 5 points onto her unfavorable rating, which is now 33 percent unfavorable, as opposed to 28 percent in February.

Tags: Elizabeth Warren , Scott Brown

Hooray! No Talk of Replacing Warren in Massachusetts!



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Great news for Scott Brown in Massachusetts: “‘This is a race that is a dead heat,’ said state Democratic Party chairman John Walsh, citing a recent poll and insisting the flap has had no effect on Warren’s standing as the party’s front-runner. He said no one is talking about replacing her. ‘It’s not a sentiment that is out there at all.’”

I suppose if you offered Warren a clear path to the nomination, like a gift, and then decided you wanted to take it back, it would make you an… eh, never mind, too easy.

But as Bob Torricelli taught us, it is never too late for Democrats to switch out a doomed, scandal-plagued candidate for a more electable replacement.

Tags: Elizabeth Warren , Scott Brown

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