Scott Brown, the New Ben Nelson?

Posted on July 5, 2010

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It seems Scott Brown, who ran on fiscal responsibility, and who owes much of his success to the conservative movement, is learning the ways of D.C. in a surprisingly alarming fashion.  Senator Brown is now looking more and more like the typical politician.

From the Washington Times:

Republican Scott Brown owes his election in part to the public furor over the so-called “Cornhusker Kickback,” the backroom deal that Sen. Ben Nelson, Nebraska Democrat, struck for his vote to pass the health care bill. Now he is following Mr. Nelson’s example, winning concessions in the financial-overhaul bill on behalf of Massachusetts banks.

The “Massachusetts Miracle” who delivered Edward M. Kennedy’s Senate seat to Republicans is now wheeling and dealing with both parties and hinting that he just might vote with Democrats if they agree to goodies for financial institutions in his state.

It’s an instructive look this midterm election year at how quickly a candidate who campaigned against “closed-door meetings” and “backroom deals” can learn to craft them once in office.

Mr. Brown scored an exemption for home-state interests like Fidelity Investments and the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. from some new restrictions on trading. He also persuaded congressional negotiators to let banks invest up to 3 percent of their capital in private equity funds and hedge funds, a change that would help such banks as Boston-based State Street Corp.

Brown’s approval ratings remain high at home, but the man who garnered so much national support as the kind of politician who wouldn’t partake in the typical back room dealing is disappointing the rest of us.

Posted in: Congress, Senate