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What Can Brown Do for Us?

Hillary Chabot talks to grumpy Massachusetts Republicans who think they have an outside chance at an upset in next month’s special election for U.S. Senate -- a

Elisa Mueller
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Dec 29, 2009

Hillary Chabot talks to grumpy Massachusetts Republicans who think they have an outside chance at an upset in next month’s special election for U.S. Senate — a credible candidate (State Senator Scott Brown) and an anti-Democratic Party headwind — but are being starved for funds.

Local operatives say the national GOP and the NRSC have donated voter lists, telephone systems and at least $50,000 to Brown’s effort.

But that support is barely a blip when compared to the intense GOP involvement in the unsuccessful but vigorous Romney and Weld Senate bids.

In 1994, NRSC’s leader, then-Sen. Phil Gramm, vowed an “all out effort,” during Romney’s underdog battle against Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. The national party boosted Romney’s campaign coffers by $540,000 – the legal limit – in so-called coordinated spending.

The problem for Republicans is that state Attorney General Martha Coakley won the Democratic primary. She he has tapped a state fundraising base to haul more than $2 million for the one-month campaign and she cannot easily be tied to national Democrats. Running against Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.), a Democrat from the state’s most liberal district, would have been one thing. Running against Coakley is just too daunting. But if Scott Brown keeps the race surprisingly close — around 10 points — expect attention to swing to the special election in Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District.

Elisa Mueller | Elisa Mueller was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a mother who taught reading and a father who taught film. As a result, she spent an excessive amount of her childhood reading books and watching movies. She went to the University of Kansas for college, where she earned bachelor's degrees in English and journalism. She moved to New York City and worked for Entertainment Weekly magazine for ten years, visiting film sets all over the world.

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