The controversy involving welfare recipients and voter registrations continues to grow in Massachusetts as Sen. Scott Brown says he wants his Democratic opponent Elizabeth Warren to reimburse the state using money from her campaign.
"Professor Warren has over $13 million dollars in her account. If she wanted to have her daughter and her group do that, she can pay for it herself," said Brown.
Brown took time out from his lunch at Nick's Roast Beef in Beverly, Mass. to call on Warren to pay back the Bay State for the $276,000 it cost to mail voter registration cards to welfare recipients.
Warren's daughter, Amelia Warren Tyagi, chairs the board of the New York-based think tank Demos, which was one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit that was filed in May that argued Massachusetts was failing to comply with the federal law requiring that welfare recipients have the opportunity to register to vote.
The law dates back to 1993, and is a law that Republicans, such as former President George W. Bush, have endorsed.
Still, the Mass. Republican Party has filed Freedom of Information Act requests to determine if there was communication between Tyagi and Warren advisers and/or state officials, including Mass. Governor Deval Patrick.
Republicans point to a photo of Warren receiving an award from Demos in 2010 as further proof that Warren has a cozy history with Demos.
"It just doesn't pass the smell test," said Brown.
"Scott Brown is just wrong on the facts on this issue," said John Walsh, Mass. Democratic Party chair. "And he's going to have to stop trying to mislead people with this."
Walsh says Brown is wrong about Massachusetts going above and beyond what the nine other states did to meet the legal requirements, given he says that other states spent that money in fines garnered from non-compliance.
"It's a sad thing to see Scott Brown sort of falling in line with the national Republican voter suppression campaign. And I think that's what we see here," said Walsh.
Demos officials say their effort has nothing to do with Warren's campaign, and that Tyagi played no role in the lawsuit.
However, that hasn't convinced Brown, who says he'll be shocked if no connection is found.