State Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate special election on Tuesday, voted on Oct. 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. As ThinkProgress reported on Saturday, at the same time Brown was voting against the 9/11 rescue workers bill, he sponsored House Bill 4423, a measure to provide a tax-subsidized bond to build a golf course in Newport, a town in his district. Brown, earlier this weekend, told ThinkProgress that he opposed the rescue worker money because of the state’s fiscal condition and because he had his own “priorities.” Given the revelation that Brown fought for a golf course over the rescue worker aid, ThinkProgress again approached Brown for comment today:
TP: Mr. Brown, in 2001 when you voted against financial aid for 9/11 rescue workers, you were pushing a bill for a tax subsidized golf course in your district. Can you explain that?
BROWN: I’m not sure what you’re referring to. [...]
TP: Are you going to explain that vote?
BROWN: Number two, we were in a financial difficulty and we couldn’t afford it unfortunately.
TP: But you could afford a tax-subsidized bond for a golf course?
BROWN: We had to obviously take care of the people of Massachusetts who needed to stay employed.
Brown’s golf course bill passed on November 30, 2001, a few weeks after he voted to kill the 9/11 rescue worker financial aid. While the golf course construction certainly kept people employed, Brown’s self-professed interest in protecting the American homeland doesn’t extend to the rescue workers who rushed to the site of the twin towers after the attacks of 9/11.