Sen.-elect Scott Brown has endorsed a candidate for Congress who has asserted that President Obama was born in Kenya rather than the United States, and who drew complaints from his neighbors during the 2008 presidential campaign for putting up signs on his property depicting Obama as Osama bin Laden.
The Salem News reports that the Brown campaign has issued a statement endorsing Republican lawyer William Hudak of Boxford, who hopes to unseat U.S. Rep. John Tierney, a Salem Democrat, this fall. Here’s the key passage:
“Bill was with us from the beginning and is the representative the people of the 6th District need,” Brown said in a press release.
“We’re going to take advantage of this endorsement,” Hudak said. “We’re going to capitalize on this momentum and add it to [our] campaign.”
(Update, Thursday, 3 p.m.: Brown spokesman Felix Browne says the senator-elect neither saw nor approved of the press release Hudak put out claiming Brown’s support.)
But on Nov. 3, 2008, the Tri-Town Transcript reported that Hudak and another person who lives on his street had festooned their properties with signs their neighbors found offensive. Reporter Brendan Lewis tells the tale:
Down the road at 165 Herrick Road, William and Angela Hudak have more of the same anti-Obama signs lined along the front of their property. One large, roughly 6-foot-by-4-foot sign stands back from the road, up against their house, with words — such as socialist, Marxist, and lazy — surrounding the same picture of Obama dressed as Osama Bin Laden….
[Hudak] said he decided to put up to signs to spread the message that Obama was not the person that the American public thinks he is.“I was looking to wake people up and it worked,” Hudak said….
Hudak asserts that Obama was not born in the United States but in Kenya, according to affidavits that he made available to the Tri-Town Transcript. He said that Obama has ties to the Muslim faith through an extremist cousin that is from Kenya.
“There is a lot more going on here than anyone knows,” Hudak said.
Police asked Hudak and his neighbor to remove the signs, and Hudak said he agreed to do so in order to spare the police from the barrage of complaints they had received.
Now, it’s unlikely that Brown knew about Hudak’s birther beliefs before he endorsed him. The Boston Globe didn’t note it in reporting Brown’s endorsement; neither did the Salem News, though columnist Nelson Benton has mentioned it in the past.
But Brown has already been caught expressing falsehoods about Obama. As Blue Mass Group discovered last week, Brown once raised the possibility that Obama had been born out of wedlock, an assertion for which there is zero evidence.
The question now is whether Brown has the guts and integrity to admit he made a mistake and withdraw his endorsement of Hudak.
Not only would Brown’s repudiation of Hudak be the right thing to do, but it would be for the good of the Republican Party as well. Brown won overwhelmingly in Tierney’s district, which you’d think would make the Democrat vulnerable this fall. But if the Republicans can’t come up with a candidate more credible than Hudak, Tierney will likely roll to re-election.
Update: I should point out that the importance of Benton’s column, linked above, was that he confirmed it was that William Hudak, something the original Transcript article did not do.
Update II: I’ve asked Brown spokesman Felix Browne if the senator-elect has anything to say about the Hudak endorsement. Browne replied that he (that is, the spokesman) is “looking into it.”