Mrs. Rosemary Brown is impeccably groomed, wears smart business suits and is blessed with a charming disposition. She is also pretty poisonous to Latinos and Latinas in Pennsylvania. She should not be allowed to return to Harrisburg as a representative in 2015.
I strongly object to her reelection because of the way she sought to take away the vote of U.S. citizens at the election booth. I refer, of course, to her enthusiastic defense of the so called “Voter ID Law” that was found unconstitutional by the courts. At a session held before the 2012 election at the Monroe Public Library, Brown sat alongside her busy-body mentor, Mario Scavello, and tried to defend the indefensible. The conversation was focused on Latinos and Latinas as made clear by the session’s sponsor, the Hispanic Republicans of the Poconos. I was one of a committed group of Democrats confronting these two about the error of their ways.
Rosemary has an exaggerated confidence in her ability to persuade. Perhaps this is derived from her business experience in sales. But when the product you are selling is defective, your promotion of it makes your political position offensive. I was able to engage her at length on the issue, even after the most public part of this odious 2012 session had ended. I want to digest a long set of arguments to a few key issues. Here is a list of reasons explaining why she is pretty poisonous to Latinos and Latinas and should not be reelected.
1. She said “everyone” has a driver’s ID that is used for airplane travel, so the voter ID is “no problem.” Within the Latino community, many persons do not own a car and therefore do not have a driver’s license. Our elderly found that Rosemary’s law made a license previously held invalid as ID. Not everyone, least of all the young, the poor and the elderly among us Latinos, jet around by plane to our destinations the way that Brown thinks “everyone” does. Her disconnect from the Latino people is appalling.
2. She said the law was intended to prevent illegal Hispanic aliens from voting. Brown seems not to realize that most Latinos and Latinas in Pennsylvania are Puerto Ricans and EVERY Puerto Rican is born as a US citizen. Moreover, neither she nor Scavello could cite even one case of voter impersonation in the Commonwealth. Later, when the case went to court, Corbett’s lawyers failed to find even one instance of the problem the law was supposed to fix. My conclusion is shared by many other Latinos and Latinas: this law was a Trojan Horse of anti-Hispanic hatred for the radical right-wing Republican base to which Scavello and Brown pander.
3. Brown said the law was based on legislation in Indiana that had been found constitutional. However, the State of Indiana spent over $2 million just to inform the public of the change, and even more tax dollars to implement their photo ID law. When I asked, “Who will pay in PA for this new photo ID law?” Mr. Scavello answered that the costs would have to be paid by the county. At his side, Rosemary Brown oozed satisfaction at the concise way her boss had raised local taxes. In fact, the Pennsylvania courts found that not enough money was being spent to make the law viable.
4. She said that the law would increase turn-out in elections. When I confronted RB on the anti-Hispanic nature of this law that would prevent US citizens from voting, she confidently predicted that turnout would rise in 2012. She was wrong. Even though the law was declared unconstitutional and suspended that November, the confusion it had caused reduced turn-out. Such underwhelming ignorance of how things really work for our people is another reason Latinos and Latinas need to reject Brown.
5. She never repudiated House Speaker Turazi’s statement that the Photo ID Law would deliver Pennsylvania to Romney. Any decent person with a conscience would have rejected the blatant admission by the GOP boss in the State House that there was a shabby political purpose of the law. Brown did not utter a word of criticism, continuing to flock with boo-birds of the same feather.
These are the principle reasons I urge Latinos and Latinas to reject Rosemary Brown and elect Liz Forrest, who has been a real support for us, even before she announced her candidacy for Representative.
Please note that I have reasons for my opposition: I do not act out of blind ideological reaction or personal pique. My Puerto Rican sense of being a caballero means I will continue to meet and greet Mrs. Brown with respect. I do not “hate” her as a person. Rather, I consider her a creature controlled by her petite bourgeoisie class status. She belong to the herd of desperate rentiers who profit from real estate speculation and think that hob-knobbing with the 1% is a measure of success. In politics, her class feeds the racial and anti-Latino hatred of an embittered poor white population because this group is their populist base. It is virtually impossible for these post-Tea Party Republicans to treat Latinos and Latinas with the equality guaranteed to us by the US Constitution. Rosemary Brown in Harrisburg is an obstacle to our participation in the American Dream. She must be retired -- and soon.