The Corner

Elizabeth Warren, Coal Miners’ Foe?

It seems pretty safe to guess that Elizabeth Warren’s week isn’t exactly starting off on the right note: First, there was a bit of a dust-up over the charge that even though she’s never been licensed to practice law in Massachusetts, she appears to have done so. That would put her in violation of state law, as Jim Geraghty explains at The Campaign Spot — bummer. William A. Jacobson, a professor at Cornell Law School, was the first to bring this to media attention.

If that was it, Warren’s PR department would be in enough of a tizzy. But things managed to get worse: The Boston Globe and the Boston Herald both ran front-page stories today about Warren’s work on behalf of industrial conglomerate LTV Steel. She helped participate in the effort to keep LTV from paying $140 million into a fund that covered retired coal miners’ health benefits, which “would seem to undercut her image as a middle-class champion,” as the Globe obliquely put it. She made about $10,000 for her efforts, which ultimately failed. Eleven years later, she criticized the company in a PBS interview for its shoddy treatment of its employees. Understandably, she didn’t mention her role in defending said treatment, the Herald noted.

And remember, this is all on top of the criticisms Brown’s been hammering about Warren’s work defending a huge insurance company in an asbestos case. It’s a complicated story, but not a flattering one.

UPDATE: Spoke too soon?

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