The Washington Post

Schumer: I offered Scott Brown a pass in 2012

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks to reporters. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/Files

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), in a new interview with The New Republic, says he offered former senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.) an electoral pass in 2012 if Brown would give Democrats the deciding vote for the so-called "Disclose Act."

The legislation, pushed by Democrats in 2010 following the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, would have required corporations, unions and interest groups to provide more information about their political actions and spending. It came up one vote shy in the Senate.

"I went to Scott Brown and said, 'If you give us the 60th vote for the Citizens United rollback, we won’t go after you,'" said Schumer. "I spent a lot of time lobbying him, and met some of his friends and had them lobby him. He said yes. Then he said no. So I wanted to recruit the strongest candidate against him, and I thought that was Elizabeth Warren."

Schumer is a former head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, though he wasn't its chairman in the 2010 election cycle.

In an e-mail response sent to Post Politics, Brown said Schumer is showing his partisan stripes.

"As the most partisan person in Washington, it’s difficult to take anything that Chuck Schumer says seriously," Brown said, adding: "With people like Chuck Schumer running the Senate, it’s no wonder the American people hold Congress in such low regard. He and his Democratic colleagues in the Senate are the problem. Fortunately for voters, next year we get a chance to replace these Schumer acolytes with fresh, new leadership."

It's not clear when Schumer made the offer. Brown wrote a letter in July 2010 making clear he adamantly opposed the legislation; it was finally voted down two months later, in September of that year.

Warren, of course, wound up defeating Brown, who is now looking at running for Senate in New Hampshire in 2014.

Updated at 11:30 a.m.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.



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Aaron Blake · December 3, 2013

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