Scott Brown's League of Women Voters Problem

U.S. Senator Scott Brown, R-MA, is learning the hard way:  When you vote against kid's health, you have to expect a backlash.

Back in late January, I wrote about the American Lung Association data showing that that over 130,000 kids and nearly 500,000 adults in Massachusetts suffer from asthma.  At that time NRDC and Environment Massachusetts ran the following radio ads because Brown was telling constituents he would support efforts to block EPA from reducing pollution:

... [N]ow Senator Scott Brown wants to cripple the EPA when it comes to protecting us from carbon dioxide, by letting big polluters dump unlimited amounts into our air. Please call Scott Brown … and ask him why he's putting corporate polluters and their profits ahead of the health of our families.

Now that Sen. Brown has actually voted to side with the polluters, the League of Women Voters is taking Sen. Brown to task in a seven-figure bipartisan advertising campaign that also includes U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-MO

As the LWV explained when the ads were released:

Air pollution is a life or death issue. Senators Brown and McCaskill cast dangerous votes that put public health at risk,” said Elisabeth MacNamara, national president of the League of Women Voters.  “In 2010, according to the EPA, the Clean Air Act saved the lives of 160,000 adults and 230 infants.  Clean Air Act protections also prevented 130,000 non-fatal heart attacks, 86,000 emergency room visits, and 1.7 million acute asthma attacks that year alone.  Voting to block clean air standards is bad for America and deadly for many Americans.

Here is the ad airing on Massachusetts television and cable:


How did Brown comment on the ads?   His bizarrely over-the-top, non-response boiled down to a shoot-the-messenger attack on the respected League of Woman Voters:

It is outrageous for an allegedly non-partisan group to use sick children to misrepresent a vote about jobs and government over-regulation. These type of over-the-top distortions have no place in our political discourse,” Brown, a Republican, said in a statement.

Er, ok. Allegedly non-partisan? LWV is running pretty much the same ad in Missouri, taking Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill to task for her vote.

In response to this lame attempt on the part of Sen. Brown to sidestep responsibility for his vote against the health of children, the LWV retorted:  

Elisabeth MacNamara, national president of the League of Women Voters, defended the spots, saying they were intended ‘to spark a discussion about votes that let polluters off the hook and put our children at risk.’

‘It’s really a shame that Senator Brown does not understand that clean air is a public health issue,’ she said in a written response to Brown.

The bottom line for Scott Brown is simple, when you flip flop and go from favoring the public health to siding with polluters,  you have to expect that change of heart will be noticed … and commented on in a very public way.