A Massachusetts Republican senator has admitted he paid homeless people to wear shirts in support of his campaign.

According to The Boston Herald, Sen. Scott Brown paid small sums to Black homeless individuals to wear “Obama Supporters for Scott Brown” t-shirts, though the president has backed Brown’s opponent in the close race, Democrat Elizabeth Warren.

Four of the members of the campaign are homeless and received an $8 per hour stipend to wear shirts in front of a store. The money was used to cover “transportation and child care costs” of the participants, according to the Herald.

The state GOP’s Mass Victory program said it is financially supporting the effort.

“We want to let Black people know that they actually have an option. This state is controlled by the Democrats to the extent that before we came here on Thursday the Warren office was closed every day,” Benjamin Thompson, who heads “Obama Supporters for Brown,” told the Herald. “They’ve put no money in the Black community because urban America, the Black community is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic party. If I had my way, every Black person in America would be un-enrolled and you’d have to fight for our votes.”

Brown did not comment on the wages paid to homeless campaign workers, the newspaper reported.

Brown’s tactic came after Warren recently won endorsements from Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and leading Black ministers.

The intense battle between Brown and Warren comes as the candidates seek victory in the most expensive Senate race in the nation. Warren has out-raised all congressional candidates, generating $12.1 million in the third quarter. Brown’s campaign raised 7.4 million dollars, according to The Huffington Post. Polls have Warren winning by a small margin.


Brittany Buchanan

Special to the AFRO