Politics

Brown Justifies Denying 9/11 Rescue Workers Aid: ‘We Had To Take Care Of Our Own Priorities First’

As the Plum Line reported yesterday, State Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate special election on Tuesday, voted on October 17, 2001 to deny financial aid to Red Cross rescue workers who had volunteered with 9/11 recovery efforts. As a state representative at the time, Brown was one out of only three legislators who had opposed the overwhelmingly bipartisan measure.

At a campaign rally today in Hyannis, ThinkProgress caught up with Brown for comment on why he voted against the measure:

TP: In 2001, you voted against 9/11 recovery workers, giving them aid, do you have any comment on this story?

BROWN: Yes, it was a time when our budget was down. We had a lot of cuts unfortunately, and we had to take care of our own priorities first.

Watch it:

During the same month Brown was voting down efforts to support 9/11 rescue workers, he was pushing a bill to appropriate a tax-subsidized bond to build a golf course in Norfolk, a city in his district. “Priorities,” indeed.

Also during the same period, he was busy fighting for tax subsidies for corporate interests. According to a 2002 article in the Lowell Sun, Brown scored a perfect pro-corporate tax subsidy rating in the months following his anti-9/11 rescue workers vote:

House members who supported decreasing the minimum corporate excise tax which was rejected were also given credit. Positive marks were also given to representatives who voted in favor of term limits for the speaker, voted against increasing the auto excise tax, and voted in favor of freezing the unemployment insurance rates. […] Rep. Scott Brown, a Wrentham Republican, and Rep. Brad Hill, an Ipswich Republican, were the other two lawmakers to receive 100 percent taxpayer friendly ratings.

For Brown’s “priorities,” golf courses and corporations are above the Massachusetts Red Cross volunteers who rushed to the site of the twin towers after the terror attack.