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MEMO: Scott Brown's Bad Month

To: Interested Parties
From: American Bridge 21st Century
RE: Scott Brown’s Bad Month
Date: October 14, 2011

In January 2010, Scott Brown unexpectedly won a special election for Massachusetts Senate. Riding into the public spotlight in his ubiquitous pickup truck, the people of Massachusetts saw Brown as an authentic everyman who promised them he would go to Washington and be an independent voice for working people. In February 2010, Brown embarked on his book tour with the revelation that his fundraising goal for the 2012 cycle was $25 million, a figure that would represent a nearly insurmountable challenge for his potential opponents to overcome.

But the last month has seen the veneer of inevitability chipped away from Brown’s reelection prospects. Brown’s supposed strengths – his financial advantage, his independent voice, his likability, and his authenticity – have each been called into question in just a few short weeks.

Overall, from being outraised to having his real record exposed, from petty attacks to getting caught plagiarizing, it has not been a good month for Scott Brown.

Brown’s 3Q fundraising doubled by Elizabeth Warren

While Brown still possesses a formidable war chest, there’s no doubt his fundraising pace has slowed without the benefit of national attention on his special election victory. Despite announcing her entry into the Senate race on September 14th, barely two weeks before the 3rd quarter fundraising deadline, Elizabeth Warren still managed to raise $3.15 million for her campaign. This is double the $1.55 million that Brown raised in the three months between July and September.

Brown a reliable Republican vote

When elected, Brown promised that he would be a “Scott Brown Republican,” but in practice that has proven to be more of a redundancy than a distinction. As of October 5th, Scott Brown has voted with the majority of Senate Republicans 78% of the time during the 112th Congress (and 81% during the 11th Congress). Earlier this week, Brown spoke of the urgency of Senate action on a jobs bill, but then voted against cloture on President Obama’s jobs bill, a procedure that allowed a minority of the Senate to kill the legislation. Consistently, Scott Brown has put the demands of his party leaders above the needs of the people of Massachusetts.

Brown misleads Massachusetts voters on Wall Street reform

In the days before Elizabeth Warren entered the Senate race, Scott Brown attempted to rewrite history by presenting himself to the people of Massachusetts as a champion of Wall Street reform. In reality, Brown, rated one of Wall Street’s favorite Congressmen by Forbes, finally supported the legislation only after he had done all he could to weaken the bill on behalf of his buddies on Wall Street. This is but one more sign that Brown has come to the realization that the only way he can secure re-election is to mislead voters in Massachusetts on his actual record.

Brown takes heat for mocking opponent’s appearance

On October 4th, Scott Brown gave a Senate floor speech decrying partisanship and “petty attacks.” Two days later, in a radio interview, Brown delved into frat-boy humor and mocked one of his opponent’s appearances.

Brown’s plagiarism calls into question his authenticity

An American Bridge researcher uncovered a section on Brown’s website that was copied verbatim from a speech by former Sen. Elizabeth Dole. Supposedly describing what Brown was raised to believe in, the paragraph matched Dole’s speech word-for-word. Making matters worse, the plagiarism occurred on Brown’s “Student Resources” page. The story dominated the news cycle in Massachusetts and DC. This wasn’t Brown’s first technology-related mishap; one of his top advisers was revealed to be behind a fake Twitter account, @CrazyKhazei, mocking another of Brown’s opponents.