Thursday September 13, 2012

The first time I heard Mas sachusetts U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren speak, she spoke about how we need a deeper appreciation for the community of Americans who make it possible for someone to succeed economically be yond their wildest dreams. I heard her rejoice in the success of those who had made it financially, but I also heard her clearly trying to remind these people that they did not totally achieve that success without the help of the community of Americans. I had never heard anyone else express this in quite that way and I rejoiced in the fact that finally there was someone running for office with both a head and a heart and someone who would fight passionately for the middle class.

Warren successfully pushed for establishment of a con sumer protection agency, and has expressed passionate convictions about the need to "rein in" Wall Street and the big banks. I see Elizabeth Warren as standing up to Wall Street, while I see Scott Brown blocking sensible regulation and representing Wall Street and all of its dangerous secretive manipulations.

I see an Elizabeth Warren who will work to restore the middle class, while I see Brown voting to protect subsidies for oil companies and voting against the Buffet Rule legislation that would make sure that millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share in taxes. Brown has even signed the Grover Norquist pledge to never raise taxes on anyone, even though a large part of our federal budget problem is a lack of revenue.

I appreciate Warren’s support of the Affordable Care Act. The Romney-Ryan-Brown agenda would actually repeal this act with little hope of finding anything to replace it. More and more people are beginning to realize many of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, and that it actually extends the life of Medicare between 7 to 10 years and makes adjustments in the Medicare Advantage program that will not impact most Americans. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has indicated that it will lower the deficit.

With three daughters and six granddaughters, I have a great concern for their future. Brown has voted against equal pay for women and voted for the Blunt amendment to limit women’s access to birth control and cancer screenings. Brown’s voting record is 80 percent in line with anti-choice senators and anti-choice organizations like the Massachusetts Citizens for Life. He is being pulled to support the positions of the Republican Party platform, which seeks a ban on all abortions including those that may be required due to rape, incest, or to save the health of the mother.

During the next four years, three new appointments to the Supreme Court may well be required and it is not unimaginable that Roe vs. Wade could be overturned. The Senate must confirm those appointments. The Elizabeth Warren that I know will stand up for women and protect their right to health care, fair pay, and access to birth control in a way that Scott Brown never will. Please seriously consider the ramifications of your vote on Nov. 6 and vote for Elizabeth Warren.

ROBERT H. SKIDMORE

Pittsfield