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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Giving back

Scott Brown may be trailing Elizabeth Warren in collecting campaign cash, but he appears to be the leader in raking it in from special interests. And returning it.

Federal reports show Brown has collected five times as much money from political action committees than Warren, with strong support from the financial services and pharmaceuticals industries. Warren is drawing support from labor PACs.

Brown's friends have also proven to be somewhat more troublesome. We've already learned he donated a $10,000 check from a fund-raiser held at the home of New England Compounding Center owners.

The fund-raiser was held six weeks after Brown signed a letter urging less federal regulation on firms like the one at the center of the fungal meningitis outbreak linked to tainted  pharmaceuticals manufactured in its Framingham plant and distributed nationally in an apparent overstepping of regulations on how it should operate.

And this week we learned Brown "quietly returned" $7,000 to the Travelers Insurance PAC just days before he started distorting Warren's work for Travelers on behalf of the families of workers who contracted cancer and died from asbestos poisoning.

Brown hasn't thought of returning donations from another PAC associated with Chubb Insurance, which worked for insurers against the interests of workers in the asbestos litigation.

And lest you think Brown was only being fair to a company he was about to attack for his own political gain, he did not give back cash from a Dow Chemical employees PAC even though he also slammed Warren's legal work for Dow.

Brown has tried to paint Warren as a hypocrite for her work, going so far as to claim Warren used paid actors in one of her ads defending her asbestos work, a lie for which he was forced to apologize.

But his own record on accepting (and returning) cash from corporate PACs offers a solid picture of hypocrisy from the man who claims to represent Main Street.

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