By Andy McKeever On: 09:03PM / Sunday August 05, 2012
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The message hasn’t changed in more than a year on the campaign trail for U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren and she vowed to local Democrats on Sunday to keep “fighting” even after the November election.
Warren is at odds with incumbent Sen. Scott Brown, R-Wrentham, in regards to the economy. While he is emphasizing the private sector, Warren is emphasizing public infrastructure.
“The Republicans say that the way to build a future is to cut taxes for those who have the most, to reduce regulations for the Wall Street companies that broke the economy,” Warren said after addressing nearly 100 supporters in her Wahconah Street headquarters. “I’m out here arguing that the way to build a future is that we make the investment in education, in basic infrastructure, in research, in the things that help create a future for ourselves and for our children. This is really about priorities.”
Warren said the investment in education, infrastructure and science is affordable but that it requires removing tax breaks from companies that ship jobs or hide their money overseas or oil companies.
“Washington is working for those who can hire an army of lobbyist. It’s not right,” Warren said.
In a 15-minute address to her supporters, she recalled her family history of going from “the daughter of a maintenance man to a professor at Harvard law school.” And that history in public education and child care to eventually getting a “good job offer,” is what she fears fewer and fewer people can achieve.
“I grew up in an America that invested in kids. I grew up in an America that expanded opportunity and I fear that America has turned away from that and if we turn away from that, we become fundamentally different people,” Warren said.’
That has changed, she said, with only 2.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product being put into infrastructure, public university tuition and fees growing by more than 300 percent in 30 years and medical research being cut in half in the last 30 years.
Warren characterized the goal as a matter of “priorities” by placing the money the country has in three boxes. One box is investing public dollars in private business and “lobbyists,” another for the national debt and the third for infrastructure, science and education. She said she’ll shift the spending from the “lobbyist” box and place it in the others.
Her campaign has been based on “working families” and investment since last April when she announced her candidacy. One of her last stops before officially announcing was at the law office of Sherwood Guernsey, where local democratic leaders told her they’d support her.
On Sunday, she recalled that visit during a question-and-answer session and thanked her supports for living up to their word.
“We started this campaign in Pittsfield. Now we have an office, we’ve got volunteers all over the county. They’re knocking on doors, they’re making phone calls, talking to people in grocery stores and sandwich shops. Ultimately that’s what this campaign is about. It’s person to person,” Warren said after the event.
At that kick off meeting she acknowledged that campaigning would be taxing. More than a year in, she said “I’m holding up great.”
The “optimism” and support she said she’s received across the state has kept her going and she vowed that she will continue fighting for her supporters even after the election.
“It’s the fundamental optimism that drives you every single day. I am out there because I truly believe that there are enough of us here and if we push hard enough, we can make this the country we believe in,” Warren said. “I will be out there every single day. I will be out there fighting every step of the way. But don’t kid yourself, big money is not going to back down easy.”
Also in attendance were U.S. Rep. John W. Olver, D-Amherst, Sheriff Thomas Bowler, North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright and state Reps. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield, and Paul Mark, D-Peru.