By Andy McKeever On: 10:45PM / Friday February 17, 2012
Elizabeth Warren packed the house in her first campaign stump in North Adams.
Elizabeth Warren is ready to take on Scott Brown for the U.S. Senate seat that Brown won in special election in 2010 after Edward Kennedy died.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren says the country has turned in the wrong direction and she hopes to right the ship.
Recapping her own story of rising from a middle-class family to success, Warren told more than 300 people at the Eagle's Hall on Friday night that she fears everyone does not have a shot at success and that she wants to make sure they do.
"I worry my story is embedded in time," Warren said. "I am the daughter of a maintenance man who became this fancy pants professor at Harvard."
She grew up in frugal surroundings, started working at at 9 baby-sitting for the neighbor, went to a public university and taught in public schools on her way to teaching economic law at one of the most prestigious colleges in the world. But now when she looks around, she fears few can follow her path and that is why she is running for the seat, she said.
"As a country coming out of the Great Depression and really the next 50 years, we made the decision to invest in us, to invest in our children, to invest in our future," Warren said. "In the '80s, we lost our way. We turned in a different direction and look where we are today."
Warren said times were booming when the government invested in education, transportation, power and research but those have all taken cuts and, instead, the country is investing in big businesses such as oil, "one of the most profitable industries on Earth."
"We're not investing in our future and that's what draws me into this race," Warren said. "Are we a country that says 'I got mine, the rest of you are on your own' or are we going to be a country that says 'we love success, we think success is terrific, we celebrate success but we believe that everyone, no matter how powerful, no matter how rich has to take a piece of what they've got and pay it forward, to invest so we've got the right conditions in education, infrastructure, power and research so that the conditions will be right so the next kid can make it big."
She also took a shot at what once have been one of the county's largest employers.
"When General Electric is paying zero in taxes at the same time we as a country are saying there is no money for after school programs, young people are going to have to take up more debt to get a college education, seniors have to work and live on less, it's not a question of economics, it's not a question of finance, it's a question of values," Warren said.
In the last 30 years, she said, federal research funds have been cut in half and state college fees have jumped by 350 percent. Meanwhile, as China is investing 9 percent of its gross domestic product in infrastructure and Europe 5 percent, the U.S. is at 2.4 percent, she said.
"At 2.4, we don't only not build a future, we don't hang onto the present," she said.
Warren is expected to be the Democratic candidate to take on incumbent Scott Brown after scaring top-tier Democrats out of the ring; immigration lawyer Marisa DeFranco and Boston lawyer James King are still in the primary. She lead the charge in developing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau but was over to lead it. She was also chief adviser to the National Bankruptcy Review Commission, a member of the Federal Judicial Education Committee and most recently appointed as assistant to the president and special adviser to the secretary of the Treasury on consumer financial protection.
Warren has not been shy about saying she will go Washington and throw her weight around to "rebuild" the middle class by making those investments. That has draw criticism from Brown, who's trying to position himself as a bipartisan aisle-crosser, not a rock-thrower.
Warren says the Wrentham Republican is anything but bipartisan. Brown has voted against three different bills that would have brought jobs to the state, against the DREAM Act and financial reforms that shifted more burden to the taxpayers, she said.
"That's not bipartisan, that's voting against families as I see it," Warren said. "Scott Brown is much more about protecting Wall Street, protecting the biggest corporations. I am here to say that we need to protect our kids and our future."
As for her own ability to reach across the aisle, Warren pointed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau development that faced challenges by the "biggest lobbyists in the world." She said she's work with banks and creditors with regulations that protect both the consumer and the banks.
"I know how to work with a lot of people to get something done," Warren said. "This is my first election but it's not my first campaign."
This campaign is also an uphill battle with Brown not only being an incumbent with strong approval numbers but also twice as much money as her, she said. Her campaign strategy is not going to be about buying TV spots but instead a grassroots campaign fueled by word of mouth, she said.
"I need you, starting now, to start talking about this election of 2012, talk about what's at stake, talk about the difference between investing in those who have already made it and investing in our future.Tweet it, Facebook it, if you are old fashioned use the telephone," Warren said.
Warren was joined by the many of the county's politicians. Mayor Richard Alcombright, state Sen. Benjamin Downing, D-Pittsfield, and state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, D-North Adams, introduced Warren. Also attending were some of the area's Democratic leaders and city councilors, U.S. representative hopefuls Andrea F. Nucifor Jr. and Bill Shein, and state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield, who later took the stage to encourage the crowd to spread the word.
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Amazing, this is what we need. Someone who has proven you can get somewhere in this country with good hard work. A middle class example of how this country can support and grow. I strongly support her ideas of investing in research, infrastructure and education. We need to empower the Democrats to change the direction of the country. The Republicans are holding us back by putting up roadblocks every step of the way. Listening to this just inspires me !
Another stump speech by the professsor. No mention of western MA-specific issues. I think by now we all know her biography pretty well. Where is she on the issues? Not just vague bromides about spending even more of our federal tax dollars on research and infrastructure. Where is Warren on guns? Does she want more federal gun control? How will Warren help our veterans with many more now returning from Iraq and Afghanistan? Does Warren even know that most of the four western counties don't have biotech jobs like those where she lives in Cambridge, or financial services jobs like in Boston, or high-tech jobs like along Route 128? Enough with the sappy stump speeches, where's the beef?
I think Elizabeth Warren has a remarkable story and has a true desire to make a difference. Her energy last night was inspiring and heartfelt! Thanks so much to all the folks who made this event possible!
I like how she focused on her brothers serving in the military (one career) and her support of local schools, community colleges and supporting the middle class with more jobs. Her handling of the Q&A after her talk was amazing, she actually answered the questions, instead of giving stock answers. She has spent a lot of time int he Berkshires, too, so she knows our special needs as well.
Scott Brown supports deregulating megabanks and investment houses. Elizabeth Warren supports reestablishing the simple barriers that prevented at 2008-style collapse for 60+ years.
Scott Brown has been in DC for two years and voted against his own jobs bill because he was told to by Mitch McConnell.
Brown is part of the problem. He votes for policies that say only a tiny sliver of the population do anything, and the worker bees should simply be grateful.
Warren is one of the few who understand that individual effort being recognized and supported was what made America great. That things like infrastructure, education and simple hard work should be supported, not discount.
"If you work hard and play by the rules" you should be able to raise a family without constantly being on the edge of financial disaster. You should be able to send your kids to college without saddling them or you with a mortgage-sized debt. You should be able to save for retirement without having to eat rice and beans every night.
Hey Teddy, why don't you go down to Alabammy, where you won't have to be offended with "durn libruls with their fancy yankee book lernin". We'll continue enjoying the fruits of living in a state that still at least resembles a first world country. Kthx.
Brown is owned by the Koch Brothers who have a lot of oil and energy interests. Same Koch brothers who make money on putting their formaldehyde in poor people's trailer. Why does Brown take all this out of state money?
The fact that Warren is a college professor indicates that she has some level of intelligence and ability to pursue goals.
Evidently "Brownie" hasn't been reading the newspaper. Even the Globe, which is so in the bag for Warren it's disgusting, noted recently that the majority of her campaign donations are from out of state, and California specifically.
And what is it with liberals and the Koch brothers? (who also donate ALOT of money to research and the arts).
Why don't we name the candidates owned by George Soros?
EVERYONE does have the option, the CHOICE to succeed, to become a "fancy pants professor" or whatever else they, you, CHOOSE!
It requires hard work and determination, something sorely missing in this society of "entitlement" we have become.
How can the investment to infrastructure, including education, be increased when there is no GDP?
This country owes more to China than it even makes except for all those bogus bills being pumped out by the Treasury.
Let us build, and purchase from, more Wal-Marts and Dollar Stores. By doing so we support not our own, but rather the one country to whom we owe the shirt on our backs!
Don't like the fact that large corporations such as GE pay zero taxes? Why are they allowed the tax breaks they get?
Why is it that Buffett’s secretary paid at higher tax bracket than did her boss? Don't like the fact that the like of Buffett, Soros, Romney and Moore don't pay "their fair share"? Why do so many tax loop holes exist?
Don't like the fact that millions are unemployed or under-employed? Take a look at all of the companies that outsource offshore including GE whose CEO is the chair of President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Like, Really??
Wonder why health care is unaffordable? Think about that the next time you light up, "enjoy" those beers or drinks, eat that fat laden burger and fries, visit the ER for a "hangnail" or your doctor and demand the most expensive drug or test because you just saw some misleading TV ad that tells you this is better than what you currently have in your medicine chest that, by the way, you don't take as directed anyway; or while you sit there on the couch and surf!! And you think government run health care is the answer? Like, really?
Oh, and then there is the issue of contraception which you think the government or health insurers must hand out for free because it is “preventative” medicine. I thought preventative medicine was to prevent a disease, so conception is a disease??????
Whatever happened to personal responsibility?
@Really - You wrote "How can the investment to infrastructure, including education, be increased when there is no GDP?"
There is a massive lie in your statement. GDP is already back above pre-recession levels and growing steadily. http://goo.gl/tXd7o
The lack of infrastructure and resource investment is a policy choice that has been continued since the time of Reagan. As a nation, we are paying the lowest taxes as a share of this growing GDP since before WWII. The money is not there because we have chosen not to collect it.
You can claim America is failing because of a lack of personal responsibility, but you would only prove yourself to be one of the suckers that has bought the Wealthy/Corporate propaganda hook line and sinker. They want you to blame poor people for your own insecurity, and it looks to me like they've succeeded.
The cities of Pittsfield and North Adams will hold municipal elections for mayor, city council and school committee in 2015
You may vote absentee: if you will be absent from your town or city on election day, have a physical disability that prevents you from voting at the polls or cannot vote at the polls because to religious beliefs.