SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Election Forum

October 31, 2012

Our view: Brown for U.S. Senate

(Continued)

Voters should indeed return Brown to the Senate because of what he has done, and for what he is still striving to do over the next six years.

Brown wasn’t in Washington long, for example, before he noticed politicians rake in a lot of money trading in stocks and other financial instruments whose value is influenced by the legislation they enact. (Funny how that happens despite the blind trusts and conflict-of-interest laws that are supposed to inhibit legislators from growing wealthy during their time in office.)

Brown took action, crafting legislation to end insider trading by members and employees of Congress. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law in April.

And it is worth repeating that Brown has been consistently supportive of legislation supporting women and protecting their rights. Brown broke with most Republicans to support the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act and to oppose the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Brown is pro-choice and has called on Republican leaders to be more inclusive on abortion rights.

Locally, Brown has been a strong supporter of the fishing industry, working to get both justice and accountability for Cape Ann and North Shore fishermen, each of whom represents a struggling small business.

Brown has also shown strong opposition to the 2.3 percent excise tax on the sale of medical devices meant to help pay for Obamacare, a tax that threatens to cripple growth at the state’s 400 medical device manufacturers.

Have some Brown votes raised questions? Of course. Sixteen times, Brown voted against a measure that would have extended unemployment benefits for jobless workers. But that’s because — like many Senate and other legislative tricks — the proposal was tacked onto a federal jobs bill that would have funneled money to states, cities and towns to boost their own public sector workforces, not invest in the kind of private jobs expansion that’s still needed.

Brown has been an effective, bipartisan senator in his short time in office. Let’s send his independent voice back to Washington to serve Massachusetts for a full term.

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