TEAM OF RIVALS: Republican Sen. Scott Brown (right) may be more popular with Massachusetts voters than Gov. Deval Patrick (left), but he's taking heat for a controversial vote. (Photo: Office of Governor Patrick/Flickr)
Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) has become the target of a pro-environment advertising campaign because of a recent anti-environment vote.
In April, the junior senator from Massachusetts threw his support behind Amendment 183 of Senate Bill 483, which would have eliminated clean air standards aimed at reducing smoke stack and tail type emissions. Brown was unsuccessful in his vote — but he did give opponents some ammunition.
The League of Women Voters took out a banner ad on the website of Brown’s hometown newspaper, Boston.com, which asks why Brown supports the reduction of standards that protect the air that children breathe. The ad also includes a poignant video that puts Brown in a difficult position.
The video, which is posted below, lives on the site PeopleNotPolluters.com. “Here in Massachusetts, clean air standards prevent thousands of hospital visits, serious asthma-related illnesses, and even deaths. Scott Brown should protect the people not polluters,” the voice on the ad says. Other environmental organizations in Massachusetts, including the local branch of the Sierra Club, point out that Brown was the only member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation to vote against clean air standards. According to OpenSecrets.org and the Federal Election Commission, Brown has received more than $108,000 from the oil and gas, electric utility and coal and mining companies since he ran for the office just over a year ago.
Despite the negative attacks, Brown is not holding back. He called the League of Women Voters “pawns” of his critics. Others in Brown’s corner have criticized the advertising campaign for using children against the senator.
Brown — who enjoys favorable numbers in the Bay State, numbers that are higher than those held by Democrats Sen. John Kerry, Gov. Deval Patrick and President Barack Obama — faces reelection in 2012. To date, no strong Democratic challenger has emerged to take on Brown for the seat once occupied by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy. Considering Brown’s popularity, the League of Women Voters’ campaign might a test of the senator's vulnerability.
Take a look at the video and let us know what you think in the comments below.
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