Update: November 7: Here’s the answer to Question 3 below: in 2012, 53,408 people voted in Springfield, 73 percent of them for Elizabeth Warren.
You may have missed the story about the efforts by the Springfield NAACP to arrange a meeting with Senator Scott Brown. In December of last year, they invited Brown to meet “sometime early in 2012,” an invitation he declined (thank you, but extraordinary demands on the Senator’s time, etc. etc.). A few days later, he reconsidered and said yes. His people say they had at first misunderstood the scope of the meeting the NAACP was asking for — a town hall type meeting, if that was the request, would have required “more time than the Senator has time for plan for.” Yes, we are aware of his wariness about town hall type meetings — and an eternity is a long, long time.
Looks like the meeting might be on sometime soon — maybe even today. Whenever it happens, here are three subjects Scott Brown won’t be bringing up:
1. That in each of his three terms as a State Senator, he sponsored Voter ID legislation, making him one of the earliest Massachusetts backers of what the NAACP has denounced as “the heart of the modern block the vote campaign.”
2. That he once proposed to water down the state’s affordable housing law to count the prison beds located in a city or town as contributions toward its “affordable housing” inventory. (Globe, January 28, 2001 $.) In case you’re wondering, African-Americans make up 6.6 percent of the state’s total population, but 28 percent of its prison population.
3. That he is aware that turnout for elections can vary widely depending on popular enthusiasm and perceived importance. For example, in the 2010 special election in which Brown was elected to the U.S. Senate, 28,818 people in Springfield voted, while in the 2008 election in which Barack Obama was elected President, 50,415 did. What happens in Springfield this year when they’re both on the ballot?