State Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), the Republican candidate running for the special election in Massachusetts next week, has been campaigning for the last several days telling crowds an odd conspiracy theory. Brown is alleging that state officials, including the Secretary of State’s office, are devising a plot to deny Brown’s election certification, if he wins, until after health reform passes:
BROWN: The latest development is Senator Kirk, the interim senator which we manipulated senate the succession issue to make sure that we had that 60th vote to kind of ram things through, well he announced today that he’s not resigning and that the Secretary of State thinks he needs to wait until every single ballot is counted and recounted and triply counted, and they’re not going to certify me until after the healthcare debate. Now, you know what that does, that makes me sick to my stomach. [...] We called on her [Martha Coakley] to stand up to the manipulation of another vote in Washington. We’ve called on her tonight to stand up and say ‘no, no, whoever wins, you certify them right away.’
Brown is apparently referring to a quote by Sen. Paul Kirk (D-MA) in a local tabloid called the Boston Herald. Kirk had noted that the health reform bill would likely pass in January, and if it were up for a vote while he is still in office, he would “absolutely” vote for it.
ThinkProgress contacted the Massachusetts Secretary of State office for comment on Brown’s theory that officials are conspiring to refuse to seat him immediately after the election on January 19th. Brian McNiff, a spokesman for the Secretary of State, called Brown’s remarks “nuts.” He then explained that by law, election officials must wait 10 days after the election for military and overseas ballots. Also, by law, an additional five days (totaling 15 after the election) are required for cities and towns to verify and report ballots. Responding to a question about Brown’s conspiracy theory, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) said, “That is the stupidest thing I’ve been asked in a long time. That is insane, the suggestion could only come from a demented right wing source.”
Characterizing Brown’s opposition to health reform, energy reform, and trying the 9/11 plotters in a civillian court, a withering Boston Globe editorial yesterday called out the candidate for his “misleading” and “unsubstantiated” assertions. It should be noted, however, that Brown is not only lying about policy, but is concocting up a Glenn Beck-style conspiracy to falsely accuse officials of manipulating the election.