It once appeared that Democrat Elizabeth Warren was going to lock up her party’s nomination in Massachusetts to run against U.S. Sen. Scott Brown by default. Now she could face a primary challenge this fall from attorney Marisa DeFranco at least in part because of the controversy surrounding her unproven Native American ancestry.
The scandal has two components: Elizabeth Warren’s unsubstantiated claims of 3% Cherokee heritage and that she may have used “minority” status to jump ahead of others to get prestigious academic teaching jobs. Warren has in general been stonewalling the controversy since it emerged in the local and national media.
The Boston Globe has been cheerleading Warren’s candidacy for months, but now it too has also raised questions:
US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has said she was unaware that Harvard Law School had been promoting her purported Native American heritage until she read about it in a newspaper several weeks ago.
But for at least six straight years during Warren’s tenure, Harvard University reported in federally mandated diversity statistics that it had a Native American woman in its senior ranks at the law school. According to both Harvard officials and federal guidelines, those statistics are almost always based on the way employees describe themselves.
In addition, both Harvard’s guidelines and federal regulations for the statistics lay out a specific definition of Native American that Warren does not meet.
Although recent polling suggests the race between Warren and Republican Scott Brown is a dead heat, this continuing controversy makes it more likely that Brown will prevail in November despite Massachusetts being a very blue state. Brown, then a little-known state legislator, won an upset victory after running a strong campaign in the 2010 special election brought on by the passing of Sen. Ted Kennedy.
To make matters more awkward for Warren, her one remaining Democrat rival (all the others dropped out in deference to the party establishment who wanted to clear the field for Warren) is likely to force her into a primary according to Boston Herald columnist Holly Robichaud:
Next weekend, commonwealth Democrats are holding their annual state convention…Although Fauxcahontas Elizabeth Warren is their anointed candidate to take on U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, state Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh is predicting that Marisa DeFranco, a Boston immigration lawyer with a mere 1200 Facebook friends, is going to get 15 percent of the delegates, allowing her to be on the September [primary] ballot.
In the meantime, additional damaging information about Warren may surface.
Here is Warren refusing to answer a reporter’s question about her self-designated Native American ancestry:
Although it’s unclear whether they have any major ideological disagreements, Marisa DeFranco wants to debate Warren four times. DeFranco talks about her potential primary challenge in this video:
Do you think Elizabeth Warren will eventually gain her party’s nomination to oppose Scott Brown in the November election?