Brown Questions Role of Warren’s Daughter in Voter Registration Effort

August 9, 2012

By JESS BIDGOOD, The New York Times

BOSTON – Senator Scott P. Brown on Wednesday accused Elizabeth Warren’s daughter of using her position on the board of a nonpartisan organization in service of her mother’s Senate campaign.

It is the latest exchange between Mr. Brown and Ms. Warren, his Democratic opponent, in what has become the country’s most expensive Senate race – and one that will likely be critical in determining the Senate’s balance of power come 2013.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Mr. Brown, the incumbent Republican senator representing Massachusetts, cited an effort by his state’s Department of Transitional Assistance to mail almost 500,000 voter registration cards to individuals receiving welfare benefits. As part of the effort, the state will also run radio and television advertisements about voter registration and provide additional information on the issue in public assistance offices.

The Boston Herald reported on Wednesday that the effort is expected to cost more than $270,000.

The push is the result of a negotiated agreement in a lawsuit that said the state failed to follow the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, which requires that all states offer voter registration at public assistance offices.

“I want every legal vote to count, but it’s outrageous to use taxpayer dollars to register welfare recipients as part of an effort to boost one political party over another,” Mr. Brown said in a statement.

Mr. Brown then referred to the fact that Amelia Warren Tyagi, Ms. Warren’s daughter, is the chairwoman of the board of trustees at Demos, one of the public-interest organizations that are lending litigation or research to this issue in more than a dozen states.

“This effort to sign up welfare recipients is being aided by Elizabeth Warren’s daughter, and it’s clearly designed to benefit her mother’s political campaign,” Mr. Brown said.

Later in the day, in comments broadcast on New England Cable News, he told reporters that Ms. Tyagi is “leading the charge at taxpayer expense” to help get her mother elected.

Ms. Warren’s campaign swiftly responded, calling Mr. Brown’s comments “ridiculous” and “baseless.”

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