Scott Brown for Joe Sweeney

August 16, 2013

Former U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) spoke about the importance of youth in government Friday during a Restoring Trust In Government campaign event for State Representative Joseph Sweeney (R-Salem). Staff Photos by S. Aaron Shamshoyan

by S. Aaron Shamshoyan

When voters elected Joseph Sweeney to the State House last year, he was only 19 years old and less than a year later he has gained support from a popular U.S. Senator.

Driving his famous green truck, former Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) spoke to supporters Friday at the Salem Derry Elks about the importance of youth in the Republican Party.  “I’m here because we need good people like Joe Sweeney in politics.”

Brown beat out Democratic Candidate Martha Coakley in 2010 during a special election to fill a seat vacated by U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) for the remainder of his term.  In 2012 he lost reelection to Democratic Candidate Elizabeth Warren for a full term.

Brown said during his campaign he would vote on issues independently and not necessarily with party lines, something he encouraged current politicians to do but said was not happening.  “We are Americans first,” he said.  “People that bridge that gap between the left and the right extremes are gone.”

Both of Browns parents were divorced and married four times.  “I lived in 17 houses by the time I was 18,” he said noting his mother received help from welfare.

Active youth in politics can help reduce roadblocks such as debt facing the nation’s economy by providing a new perspective on challenges.  Brown said it was important to “send new, young, bright people into government,” adding Sweeney was one of them.

Brown said he was disappointed with lawmakers, criticizing republicans for continuously voting with party lines and adding he voted independently on social issues.  “A lot of them have forgotten what it’s like to represent the people,” he said.

A growing deficit is also a concern for Brown.  “We can’t keep printing money,” he said.  Brown said politicians need to work together to reduce the debt for future generations.  “People are tired of reaching in their pockets,” he said.

Specifically to New Hampshire, Brown said the state needs to encourage and support businesses.  “Your Senator here in New Hampshire has voted for the most regulations I am aware of,” he said.  “Live free or die, really, is that still happening?”  Brown said Massachusetts is strengthening business regulations, which could cause an influx of business to move north.

Brown didn’t give specifics on his political outlook but said he was still considering more.  “I don’t think I’m done,” he said.

State Senator Chuck Morse (R- Salem) also spoke about Sweeney.  “They sent him [Sweeney] there to make sure they don’t raise taxes and they didn’t,” he said.  “It should be about the youth of the republican party showing leadership in New Hampshire.”

The experience of the evening for Sweeney was overwhelming.  “I’m just shocked right now,” he said after Brown’s speech.  “We both have similar views on what republicanism is.”

Sweeney said it was important to keep government efficient and lower taxes.  He also said he will be seeking reelection at the end of his term.  “we need to unite the people,” he said.  Restoring trust in government is the basis for his campaign.