By Scott Brown
If you've been watching TV lately, you're probably aware that I'm the target of a negative attack ad that is running on all the stations. This one seeks to distort my pro-jobs record by suggesting that I voted to hurt sick children. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As a father, I would never put my two daughters or anyone else's children in harm's way. I find this insinuation not only inappropriate, but highly offensive. I cast every vote in the Senate thinking first of how it will affect the people back home. I believe one of our most solemn responsibilities is to protect children, and ensure that their future is bright and prosperous.
To do that, I've made fixing the economy my top priority, and this starts by providing a favorable climate for businesses to grow and create jobs. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to rising energy prices and legal compliance costs that eat away at their bottom line, and yet everywhere I go in Massachusetts, small business owners tell me they are being strangled by taxes and over-regulation. Burdening our businesses with even more bureaucracy will kill jobs, and that is the last thing our economy can afford right now when we are barely starting to recover.
That is why I voted to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide as a way to end-run the decision by Congress to reject the massive cap-and-trade bill. I feared that cap and trade would have dramatically raised energy prices and cost jobs in Massachusetts and throughout the country.
Make no mistake: I support a clean environment. Last year, I worked across the aisle with Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware and others on bipartisan legislation targeted at keeping our air clean by restricting emissions of pollutants like mercury from power plants. I also worked with Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California on the bipartisan Oil Spill Prevention and Mitigation Improvement Act to help prevent another disaster like the one in the Gulf last year. This Congress, I have introduced legislation that promotes energy conservation in our vehicles and homes that would both help the environment and start to wean us off of foreign oil.
What I do not support is giving unelected and unaccountable agencies like the EPA the power to bypass Congress and impose new and unpredictable regulatory burdens on business. I believe that legislators should craft our energy and environmental policies with a view to ensuring we do not increase joblessness when our economy is still hurting.
Regulations and government overreach were the real issues at stake with this vote -- not dirty air or sick children. It's shocking that a supposedly nonpartisan group like the League of Women Voters has engaged in this demagoguery. In the past, the League has been known as a neutral and issues-oriented group that has helped elevate our public discourse by encouraging active participation in government and educating voters.
By misrepresenting one of my many votes and running a shameful attack ad, the LWV has put its reputation at risk. It has gone into the gutter and become part of the negative politics that voters have rightly rejected.