WBUR

Brown Counters Warren’s Charges That He Votes Against Women

Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Scott Brown speaks during a campaign event at Stachey's Pizza in North Andover Monday. (Elise Amendola/AP)

U.S. Sen. Scott Brown speaks during a campaign event at Stachey’s Pizza in North Andover Monday. (Elise Amendola/AP)

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. — Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is countering his Democratic opponent’s charges that he takes positions against women.

Winning over women is important for Brown. A WBUR poll conducted earlier this month finds him leading Elizabeth Warren by four points. And Brown has a 17-point lead among men. But Warren is winning the battle for women, with an eight-point lead.

Helping Brown in the battle for women voters is Laurie Myers, president of Community Voices, a group that advocates for victims of rape and domestic violence. On Monday, she endorsed Brown.

“The scare tactics that are involved, I think, have to stop, where, as women, we all know that Scott is pro-choice, but there are more choices out there,” she said. “We’ve got to think of our kids. We’ve got to think of our communities. We need jobs. We need the economy to do well.”

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren campaigns at the Puerto Rico Bakery in Springfield Monday. (Steven Senne/AP)

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren campaigns at the Puerto Rico Bakery in Springfield Monday. (Steven Senne/AP)

Myers first met Brown when he was a state senator. She would bring victims of violence to testify at the State House.

“One day, we walked into his office with a victim who was visibly upset and shaken, and he offered his office to us to calm her down, and we had an open-door policy with him after that, that we could just go in and sit if people needed to compose themselves after testimony,” Myers recalled.

Warren sent out an email Monday trying to raise money for Emily’s List. The group raises funds for Democratic women running for office who support legalized abortion. In her email, Warren said if contributors don’t send money, they could find themselves with six more years, in Warren’s words, “of Senator Brown voting against equal pay for women.”

“You know, I think it’s laughable,” Brown said. “She needs to stop scaring women.”

Brown, along with other Republican moderates, such as Maine’s Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, have voted against a recent Democratic proposal to mandate equal pay for women because they believe that it would cost jobs.

“Bottom line is we already have laws in effect right now to protect the pay for women,” Brown said.

Warren’s critique of Brown on issues affecting women is part of a campaign to persuade voters that this election is about which party controls the Senate.

“The next Supreme Court justice could overturn Roe v. Wade,” one of Warren’s recent television ads says. “One vote could make the difference: your vote against a Republican Senate, your vote for Elizabeth Warren.”

At her headquarters last week, Warren was joined by Sandra Fluke, the law student Rush Limbaugh called a “prostitute” for testifying in favor of insurance coverage of contraception. Fluke made the argument that Democratic control of the Senate is crucial to women’s rights.

“This race here in Massachusetts is important beyond Massachusetts,” Fluke said. “This is a race that could very well decide who controls the Senate for the next term. A vote for Scott Brown is a vote for a Republican majority.”

Tying Brown to his party seems to be working for Warren. The most recent WBUR poll shows 71 percent of Warren supporters say it’s very important which party controls the Senate; by comparison, 54 percent of Brown supporters feel that way.

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  • janesoutham

    Sandra Fluke. Ugh. Nuff said.

    • Sinclair2

      Perhaps you were asleep during the fallout and outrage generated by Rush Limbaugh. Sandra Fluke’s testimony was powerful and far reaching in the name of women’s rights. Limbaugh lost several sponsers costing his hate & rage show millions of dollars. She is not only persuasive, she has proven to be courageous, thus a powerful endorsement.

  • Zimmer

    So my question is what is  Laurie Myers getting from Brown. There is more than meets the eyes here and it stinks… Something is not right. Time for research…

  • J__o__h__n

    Scott Brown may be pro-choice but he said Scalia was his model Supreme Court Justice.  His letter to change the Republican party platform calling for banning abortion including cases of rape and incest had no impact at all.  At best he is ineffective on this issue.  He also co-sponsored legislation that would allow any employer to decide not to provide contraceptive coverage for moral reasons. 

    • Sinclair2

      His letter was simply decorative.  A prop to use in his campaign.  

      His letter to the Republicans asking them to change their “pro-life” platform would be comparable to asking the pope to change his stance to pro-choice and to allow priests to marry.

  • Carl J. Britton, Jr.

    Elizabeth Warren isn’t trying to scare women.  She’s simply pointing out Scott Brown’s consistently anti-woman voting record (which is much more indicative of his support for women than his usual retort about living with three of them) and letting his voting record scare women — and men — all by itself.  

    And — to continue with the subject of “frightening” — this election IS, in part, about control of the Senate.  For Brown to call himself “bipartisan” in this Congressional environment is a bit like saying he’s the second least poisonous snake in the swamp.  He votes with the Democrats — when it doesn’t really matter (and more often since the 2010 election gave the Republicans more votes to maintain filibusters than they need Brown for) — just often enough for him to put forth his ridiculous claim of working with “both sides”.

    Lastly, the WBUR poll showing Brown up by four points is the only poll of the last half dozen that has shown him ahead — and it came at the height of Romney’s bounce after the first presidential debate.  So it is out of date for WBUR to still be referring to it in their articles.

  • FrancisMcManus

    The best argument that Scott Brown can make about how he has womens’ backs is simply to refute what Warren said as ‘laughable’.  That’s it? 

    He doesn’t cite a litany of votes to make his point.  He doesn’t talk about his values? We get one anecdote, he offered his office. Credit were due.  But how does he vote? 

    Pro-choice NARAL says he’s not pro-choice, and MA pro-life also says he is not pro-choice.  That’s fairly unanimous that on women’s repro rights he does not have their backs.

    On equal pay he says he supports it but not the bill.  What bill would he support and why isn’t he talking about that? He’s the one who claimed to be Mr Independent who can bring the sides together.

    On his no vote on Supreme Court Justice Kagan, he joined the far right to oppose.  Sens Collins and Snowe both voted yes. In this case, Scott Brown was to the right of moderate and far from independent.

    How does Scott Brown make his case for being a women’s advocate? He enlists women as surrogates to tell us what Scott wants us to think.

  • J__o__h__n

    Scott Brown has shown that he can get concessions from the Democrats when they need his vote.  If the Republicans gain control of the senate (which a vote for Brown would help), what value would there be in Brown’s being bipartizan?  He is not going to be able to get the national Republicans to be more moderate.

  • Brian Thompson

    Brown actual votes tell the real story of his ‘support’ for women and women’s issues. Warren’s ad outlining his several votes against women’s rights is not fear-mongering, it is truth-telling.

  • Heck

    I heard your piece this morning and it was nothing but an advertisement for Scott Brown. I’ve noticed this sort of reporting more and more frequently on public radio.

    It is not news when Scott Brown counters warren’s claims. And — especially nowadays when republicans misinform as an explicit campaign strategy — it should NOT be reported. Doing so only makes their cynical strategy succeed. Your amplifying Brown’s false claims is shameful pandering to — i don’t know what — your right wing critics? 

    What IS worth reporting is the truth of the matter — not brown’s attempt to confuse and obfuscate. The truth is that Brown has voted against legislation that would benefit women. The truth is that Warren is right — Brown is no friend to women and is no independent. What is truth is that he has partnered with and  played along with the republicans in congress who have obstructed sensible initiatives and who are largely to blame for most of what Brown / Romney / etc blame obama for — the “slow” pace of recovery, the coming military cuts, etc etc.

    Come on!

    These are dangerous days. What’s needed in this environment of republican attempts to disenfranchise, mislead, misinform, etc, is a murrow moment of “Have you left no sense of decency?” Who’s going to say it? You should be saying it every single day, 10 times a day.

    You don’t suck, but as a 1+ hour a day listener, i have found that you suck too often.

  • Sinclair2

    Sandra Fluke, “the law student Rush Limbaugh called a ‘prostitute’ for testifying in favor of insurance coverage of contraception, made the argument that Democratic control of the Senate is crucial to women’s rights”, had a choice, and she chose Warren over Brown.  Her choice for Warren was a powerful statement for all women. 
     
    Laurie Myers, president of a group that advocates for victims of rape and domestic violence, endorsed Brown and that is troubling for all who are rape victims.  Brown said that right winger Antonin Scalia (pro-life) is his favorite chief justice.  Brown also voted against pro-choice Elena Kagan’s appointment to the Supreme Court.  What is going on with Laurie Myers?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GJ7LXNWSJB2ZYWC2Z25MPXHRDU Michael

      Holding out Sandra Fluke’s as some kind of persuasive figure is weak. 

      • Sinclair2

        Perhaps you were asleep during the fallout and outrage generated by Rush Limbaugh.  Sandra Fluke’s testimony was powerful and far reaching in the name of women’s rights.  Limbaugh lost several sponsers costing his hate & rage show millions of dollars.  She is not only persuasive, she has proven to be courageous, thus a powerful endorsement. 

  • J__o__h__n

    The headline states, “Brown Counters Warren’s Charges That He Votes Against Women.”  Nothing in this story counters charges that he VOTES against women. 

  • Gardenia

    Scott Brown is a Republican to his core!  Health care, reproductive rights including abortion for women is not on his To Do list.  We must vote him out, then he can go back to his pick-up truck.  Safer for all of us.  Warren is so far superior to Brown, she should win by a landslide.

    • MD

      actually, Scott Brown is pro-choice

      • MD

        And he also supports woman soldiers, those woman who are raped, planned parenthood, contraception, and stopping violence against woman. He is not the monster woman-hater Warren puts him out to be. I’m not a republican or a democrat, but I fully support him. Of course, we are all allowed to have our own opinion :)

        • Timeborne

          Yes, you can have an opinion….or you could simply look up his voting record and actually KNOW what you’re talking about!

      • Sinclair2

        Pro choice to win votes to keep his job so he can vote for a conservative Supreme Court Justice in the image of his favorite justice, “Pro-lifer” Antonin Scalia.  Goodby Roe v Wade.

        • NancyG

          SCOTT BROWN ATTEMPTS TO MISLEAD VOTERS WITH “PRO-CHOICE” CLAIMNARAL Pro-Choice America sets the record straight on senator’s choice historyWashington, DC – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, vowed today that her organization will not let stand Scott Brown’s assertion that he is pro-choice.“Scott Brown’s support for women’s reproductive health is inconsistent at best,” Keenan said. “His support for anti-choice bills that would defund family-planning programs and take away women’s health-care coverage tells a very different story than the ads he plays on the radio. Being pro-choice is a value, not a political playing card. As we move closer to the general election, we will make sure that voters, especially pro-choice women, know the truth about Sen. Brown.”Scott Brown has a record of supporting anti-choice measures including:Medical-Abortion Ban - In 2010, Brown voted to deny medical-abortion coverage to women in the new health system, even those using their own private funds to purchase health insurance.Anti-Woman Budget Bill - In 2011, Brown voted for a spending bill that proposed eliminating the Title X family-planning program, defunding Planned Parenthood, and reinstating the D.C. abortion ban.Pro-Choice Judicial Nominee - In 2011, Brown voted to block the nomination of pro-choice judicial nominee Goodwin Liu for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The Blunt Amendment – Just this spring, Brown voted to allow employers to refuse to cover birth control and any other health service required under the Affordable Care Act for virtually any reason.

    • guest

      I hope not.

  • antzanne

    Regardless of his philosophies, Brown is a republican.  I’m not comfortable voting for ANY republicans this year.

    • NancyG

      SCOTT BROWN ATTEMPTS TO MISLEAD VOTERS WITH “PRO-CHOICE” CLAIM

      NARAL Pro-Choice America sets the record straight on senator’s choice historyWashington, DC – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, vowed today that her organization will not let stand Scott Brown’s assertion that he is pro-choice.“Scott Brown’s support for women’s reproductive health is inconsistent at best,” Keenan said. “His support for anti-choice bills that would defund family-planning programs and take away women’s health-care coverage tells a very different story than the ads he plays on the radio. Being pro-choice is a value, not a political playing card. As we move closer to the general election, we will make sure that voters, especially pro-choice women, know the truth about Sen. Brown.”Scott Brown has a record of supporting anti-choice measures including:Medical-Abortion Ban - In 2010, Brown voted to deny medical-abortion coverage to women in the new health system, even those using their own private funds to purchase health insurance.
      Anti-Woman Budget Bill - In 2011, Brown voted for a spending bill that proposed eliminating the Title X family-planning program, defunding Planned Parenthood, and reinstating the D.C. abortion ban.
      Pro-Choice Judicial Nominee - In 2011, Brown voted to block the nomination of pro-choice judicial nominee Goodwin Liu for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  
      The Blunt Amendment – Just this spring, Brown voted to allow employers to refuse to cover birth control and any other health service required under the Affordable Care Act for virtually any reason.

  • JohnnyBeagle

    My son, a former Republican, was called by the Brown campaign, asking for his vote.  I guess their records are outdated because he is now a Democrat.  In any case, my son told the caller that he was not comfortable voting for a Republican in the Senate, and that he wanted either an Independent or a Democrat.  The Brown caller assured my son that Brown was an “independent voice for Massachusetts”, to which my son asked why Brown is a registered Republican and not an Independent.  The caller told my son that it’s complicated, not easily done, but rest assured that Brown is independent. 

    Then my son asked, “If it’s complicated, why was it so easy for Lieberman, Sanders and now Angus King from Maine?” 

    That’s what anyone voting for Brown as an “independent” should ask. 

  • mattyw

    we don’t need more extremists like Warren holding any office. Someone who will vote for party lines 100% of the time and ignore the interests of the state they represent if needed will not help this country move forward one bit. We need compromise, not Elizabeth Warren

  • VOICESOFTHE51PERCENT

    This is bunk. Anyone who actually looks into Browns “support” of equal pay would learn that the bill he VOTED AGAINST the fair pay act- Senate 2330 – he voted June 5 2012 and he voted w/REPUBLICANS TO FILIBUSTER the bill, because if it were allowed to simply be voted – it had enough democrat and republican support it would have passed. The “laws” that were passed as bills that are in place now for equal pay have no teeth – this law would have put the equality the workplace for women on par w/the same laws that protect minorities …. brown lies. 

    Brown is not an independent, he is a replican- he is registered as such both as a voter and a candidate and will follow their agenda or he will lose the important financial and lobbying support he needs – http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/27/1151002/-MESSAGE-TO-WOMEN-No-Exaggeration-Republicans-Win-We-LOSE

  • Just passing through

    Why does the Community Voices website list another woman, and not Laurie Myers, as the organization’s president? C’mon WBBUR, earn your pledge week dollars and find out the story here.

  • Newsletter

    Doesn’t matter what he says, it’s how he votes and he votes against women

  • Marnie Hitchock

    Never mind Laurie Myers supporting him she didn’t do her homework either.  How can she support someone who says one thing and then votes all together differently. He voted against extending the unemployment, He voted against the paycheck fairness act, he opposed Ellen Kagan. In addition he voted no for the middle class tax cut extension and to top it off he supported Sen Roy Blunt. What I would like to know is if Roy Blunt supports Viagra and Male contraception medication being paid for by your health plan? And when these politicians are campaigning, why can’t they be honest and how they are going help us with specific plans, not lambasting their opponent, and telling untruths about them, when they can’t even tell the truth themselves.  Gram always said “If you can’t say something nice about someone, then don’t say anything at all” and do unto others….     What has happened

  • sciacca

    I just watched the Laurie Myers endorsing Scott Brown ad for the umpteenth time. I googled her wondering how she could be a “women’s advocate” and endorse Sen. Brown. The home page for Community Voices tells her story, read at http://www.communityvoices.net/meet.html 

    She references Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey and Gov. Romney. Whether she is a Republican or leans Republican one can only assume. Still, I would be interested to know if she sought out Sen. Brown or his campaign approached her. This is what I would call responsible journalism, vetting those that choose to lend their voice.

    Personally, I am voting for Elizabeth Warren because she is an intelligent human being that thinks on her feet, works hard and has a track record of following her convictions throughout her  life. Massachusetts deserves a Senator  capable of this level of commitment to their constituency. I am convinced she will support those bills she believes in, leading not following.

  • Nikifrench

    Laurie Myers is a republican……end of story.

  • Wilwill04

    I’m happy to see that people did as I did and googled the Laurie Myers character.  Considering she is/was a rape crisis counselor you would think no matter what, considering the issue she would not be for sale when it relates to women’s issues and in particularly abortion as it pertains to rape.  She has now turned her credibility over to Brown and by doing so insulting women and the state of Massachusetts by thinking citizens would not check his record for themselves as opposed to taking her paid word for it.  I am not a resident of Massachusetts nor a woman, but if I were my vote would clearly reflect a competent one for Elizabeth Warren.  

    • Kcarpenter2

      I was SHOCKED when I heard her advocate for Scott Brown in a commercial while I was in my car the other dy. I thought to myself he voted yes for the Blount administration, he voted against the fair pay for women act. This is support for women????

  • Bcowley

    I admire Laurie Myers’ advocacy for abuse victims, but she does herself and her cause no favors when she gives herself over to the political handlers of her longtime supporter and admired friend Scott Brown.  Pretending that she suddenly heard Warren’s criticism and decided to “check his record” is disingenuous, bordering on a lie.  Reading a list of Brown’s “positive” votes from a teleprompter, without mentioning the negative votes he cast (against equal-pay legislation because it was unnecessary and superfluous, voting against Elena Kagan’s confirmation because–like several of her conservative colleagues on the Court–lacked experience on the bench, etc., etc.), only added to the pattern of the Brown campaign’s misleading, if not downright dishonest, television ads.  Ms. Myers is a decent person, I have no doubt.  Before the campaign, I thought the same of Scott Brown.  My view of Senator Brown has certainly changed in light of his ruthless dishonesty.  And Ms. Myers’ recent ad tends to make me wonder just a bit about her.

  • EricJBarton

    The problem here is that Ms. Myer’s claims are easily be checked.  I’m not sure which “record” she checked, but a cursory look at the actual voting record of the United States Senate would show that brown voted NO on the Fair Paycheck Act;  he voted YES on the Blunt Amendment, which he co-sponsored, he voted YES on the version of HR-1 which included the ban on Title 10 funding and Planned Parenthood.   This stuff isn’t up for debate.  There actually IS a public record for the the world to see.  The surprise, to me, is that Ms. Myers actually thought she could lie about it and nobody would notice.  Frankly, I have no respect at all for a shyster like this.  

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