Scott Brown: Push to register welfare recipients to vote is ‘disturbing’
Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) on Friday accused the Commonwealth of Massachusetts of favoring his Democratic rival, Elizabeth Warren, because they complied with a 1993 bipartisan federal law that requires states to provide voter registrations to people seeking public assistance like welfare.
New York-based think tank Demos in May sued Massachusetts and eight other states for not complying with the National Voter Registration Act. The state responded by sending out more than 500,000 voter registrations to welfare recipients at taxpayers’ expense.
On Friday, Brown sent out a statement demanding that Warren reimburse the state for $276,000 because her daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi, chaired the board at Demos.
“It’s been disturbing for a lot of people to learn that the state’s welfare department undertook an unprecedented voter registration drive at the behest of Elizabeth Warren’s daughter and the organization she represents,” Brown said. “It is clear that this was done to aid Elizabeth Warren’s Senate campaign. Professor Warren has more than $13 million dollars in her campaign account, and if she wants to mail every welfare recipient a voter registration form, she should do so at her own expense, not taxpayers’.”
“She should immediately reimburse the state for the cost of this mailing and stop playing politics with the taxpayers’ money.”
But Warren told WFXT that Demos was working to enforce the law before her daughter joined the organization.
“No one like to see attacks on their family,” the Democratic candidate said. “But this is about a law that’s been in place for 20 years.”
Warren campaign senior adviser Doug Rubin explained to NECN that Brown was outraged over the voter registrations because welfare recipients were more likely to register as Democrats.
“He believes that if a certain group of voters vote, that he’s not going to have as good a chance to win this election – and I think that is part of what this is about,” Rubin insisted.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Brown acknowledged that registering welfare recipients would only hurt his bid to stay in office.
“It means that I’m going to have to work that much harder to get out my pro-jobs, pro-free enterprise message,” Brown said.
Watch this video from WFXT, broadcast Aug. 9, 2012.