Wired and ready, Marisa DeFranco is not intimidated by US Sen. Scott Brown’s millions or Elizabeth Warren’s public and party support. She’s itching for debates and forums. She figures she’s going to win first the Dem primary and then the general on issues.
“I am the only progressive in this race,” she told us today. An immigration attorney, she declares herself also the one from either party who has the most real-world experience, foreign policy knowledge, and solutions in her platform. Moreover, she differentiates herself from the other candidates by saying she is the only one with a real jobs plan.
To her, the incumbent and other candidates speak in vagueries and talking points. She says there are two kinds of campaigns, the talking point variety and her specific and plainspoken one. “My whole campaign is based on real talk,” she said.
She admitted that voters won’t necessarily agree with all her platform, but they’ll have no question what she means or intends to accomplish. In contrast, she said that Brown came to office with the single priority of job creating, but has neither done that nor even produced a plan.
While she has the least in the bank of any Dem candidate, she said ad money won’t make the difference in this race. “Democrats aren’t going to get people to hate Scott Brown in this state,” she said. Also, they “are making a fundamental mistake in playing the money game against Brown.” she figures whatever the Dem nominee raises, Brown’s supporters will at least double. Instead, she believes voters “are tired of the mouthpiece politics” of generalities.
She said for the past 11 months, she has based her organizing and speaking on a “focus on message, message, and message, and grassroots.”
As for Warren, DeFranco said that working for the Obama administration and spending many years at Harvard are not good preparation for the Senate and are not marks of an outsider. “I am the real outsider,” she said, “the person on the ground and from the streets.” She noted that in her many advocacy trips to the legislature, “I haven’t seen Elizabeth Warren in any of my travels.” Moreover, she was similarly plainspoken about Warren taking contributions from those in the financial industry and claiming those are the ones who want reform. She called it “disingenuous to say, ‘My rich guys are better than your rich guys.'”
For Warren’s centerpiece of the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, DeFranco remains unimpressed. She notes that it came with no prosecutorial powers. Also, she says that its (and Warren’s) emphasis on making lenders and companies reduce complex contracts to two pages does not do much. As an attorney, she says she knows that “mortgagte companies can make a two-page document hard to understand too.” She said that the CFPB is trying to regulate want instead of could; the customer may really want to buy that house, but the danger is what the lender can do on its side, regardless of how clearly the customer is thinking.
DeFranco says her plain talk has gotten support from both parties as well as independents. She says that she doesn’t “know where Elizabeth Warren would stand on so many issues.” For Brown, it returns to “Where’s his job plan. That’s my biggest problem with him.”
Short term, she’s in the process of directing her volunteers to gather the necessary 10,000 valid signatures to make sure she’s on the ballot.
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