Scott Brown vs. League of Women Voters

As if Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) didn’t have enough to worry about, the man earning the “Dan Quayle in a barn coat” moniker has decided to engage in a feud with the non-partisan League of Women Voters in Massachusetts.

This morning, for example, Brown sent an email to his list of supporters, asking for money and touting an upcoming fundraiser hosted by Women For Brown. The pitch? The oft-confused senator needs help because the League of Women Voters is going after him.

Sadly, the League of Women Voters now has two negative ads running on TV against me, I’m sure you have seen them. My top priority in the Senate is to provide a favorable climate for business development so we can get America back to work — the League of Women voters and the political attack machine have a much different priority….

What’s all this about? Two weeks ago, the League of Women Voters launched ads criticizing two senators — Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Claire McCaskill — for voting against clean-air standards limiting carbon pollution. The ads, not surprisingly, were pretty hard-hitting, and accused Brown and McCaskill of siding with polluters over the public.

In response, Brown, who’s not accustomed to criticism, has gotten a little hysterical.

It started with an op-ed that accused of the League of Women Voters of being mean, but which never actually refuted the organization’s arguments. It got worse when Brown’s office would no longer say whether the senator even believes climate change is real. Soon after, Brown began excoriating the LWV and pleading with donors to send him money to counter the negative ads.

“At some point you’ve got to get people’s attention,” Elisabeth MacNamara, the League of Women Voters’ national president, said. “The ad is intended to educate people in Massachusetts, and hopefully educate Senator Brown.”

Educating the senator is obviously pretty tough, but the organization has clearly gotten Brown’s attention.

In the bigger picture, one gets the sense Brown isn’t having much fun anymore. He looked deeply foolish falling for an Internet hoax on a photo of bin Laden; he leaked word of his upcoming visit to Afghanistan and then whined about his own leak; and his support for right-wing House budget plans are certain to become campaign fodder next year.

And now he’s feuding with a respected non-partisan organization. There have to be easier ways to win re-election.