By Tom Spencer, Staff Writer
Incumbent Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren appeared at the University of New Hampshire’s Durham campus to rally the Seacoast community against Scott Brown’s bid for the senate.
The event began at 10:30 a.m. in Huddleston Hall on Oct. 25. The Super Secret Project, creators of the song “Granite State of Mind,” entertained the crowd with pop songs rewritten with New Hampshire lyrics before Councilor Van Ostern of District 2 took the stage.
The crowd of 200 people was most responsive to the issues of equal pay for equal work, affordable healthcare and criticisms of Brown’s association with wealthy interest groups outside New Hampshire.
Van Ostern continued this theme when he introduced Shaheen and Warren. “When Wall Street sees a politician like Scott Brown, they see a big ‘Buy’ light blinking over his head,” Van Ostern said.
When Shaheen took the stage, she introduced herself and Warren as Scott Brown’s “worst nightmare,” a reference to how Warren defeated Brown in the Massachusetts senate race in 2012.
Shaheen criticized Brown’s support of allowing employers to opt out of covering contraception and abortion as not truly pro-choice. She also reaffirmed her support of the Affordable Care Act.
Throughout the event, Shaheen cast Brown as a servant of the interests of oil industries rather than small businesses.
“This week we learned another Texas billionaire wrote a $500,000 check to Scott Brown’s PAC,” Shaheen said. “Do you think out-of-state billionaires give a hoot about New Hampshire? Do you think Scott Brown gives a hoot about New Hampshire?”
Warren took the microphone about an hour later. She had four concerns with Brown’s voting record.
“[Scott Brown,] you can pack up your pickup truck, but I don’t care how fast you drive it; you’re not going to outrun your voting record in the United States Senate.
“When we were right in the depths of a recession, Massachusetts had 250,000 people out of work, and with that Scott Brown voted against a jobs bill … three times Brown said to people out of work: ‘No, I am not there to help you,’” Warren said.
On student loans, Warren said, “in a choice between millionaires and billionaires and young people who are trying to get an education, Scott Brown stands with those who already have it made.”
Warren’s other points included when Brown voted against equal pay for equal work laws for women and permitted employers to exclude contraception coverage from health plans.
“I can’t believe we still need to talk about this in 2014 … we believe that women should make their own healthcare decisions. We believe corporations are not people,” Warren said.
Reginald Baird, a veteran of the Coast Guard for 33 years, agreed. Baird also criticized Brown’s foreign policy.
“Brown does not have all the answers. He portrays himself like he’s this big general. He’s a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard. Anyone can play dress-up military and pretend they have the answers. [Brown] never attended one hearing on national security when he was in the National Guard,” Baird said.
The event ended with Shaheen and Warren encouraging those present to join Shaheen’s campaign immediately after the event in knocking on doors and making phone calls.