Elizabeth Warren set for rally in Shepherdstown
SHEPHERDSTOWN – The former Harvard law professor who became a progressive icon after leading the congressional task force overseeing the bank bailout will be here next week to urge voters to send fellow Democrat Natalie Tennant to join her in the U.S. Senate.
Elizabeth Warren, elected to the Senate from Massachusetts in 2012, became a national figure with her public grilling of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner as well as regular appearances on MSNBC, “The Daily Show,” The Huffington Post and the like.
On Monday, she’ll campaign for Tennant, West Virginia’s Secretary of State who faces Republican Shelley Moore Capito in November’s general election.
Capito, who has served in Congress since 2001, and Tennant are seeking the seat held since 1985 by Democrat Jay Rockefeller, who is retiring.
The campaign rally in the Shepherdstown Train Station is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
When the Tennant campaign began to release news of the event at the beginning of July they pointed to the similar middle-class backgrounds of Warren and Tennant as well as a common appreciation for small business and a skepticism about Wall Street banks.
In a news release issued by the Tennant campaign, Warren describes Tennant as the candidate who will “make sure working families have a fighting chance” while Capito has repeatedly “side[d] with powerful financial interests over working people.”
Tennant, who worked as a TV news reporter before her election to office, notes that she held a minimum wage job at a florist’s while attending West Virginia University.
Tennant, who grew up in Marion County, has recounted how her father helped her with tuition payments by selling cows from their farm. Warren, meanwhile, went to work after her father lost his job following a heart attack. She earned money by babysitting and working in a restaurant and then wed at 19.
Tennant has expressed support for Warren’s bill to lower student loan interest rates. The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission recently OK’d a 5 percent tuition increase for the 2014-2015 academic year.
Warren’s proposed legislation would be funded by the implementation of the “Buffett Rule,” by which millionaires and billionaires would be subject to the same tax rate as the vast majority of Americans who earn less.
Jennifer Donohue, Tennant’s director of communications, said that while Tennant and Warren agree on many issues, their approach to the coal industry is night and day.
“Natalie Tennant supports coal – period,” said Donohue.
In the Tennant news release, Warren also acknowledged the gap between her position and Tennant’s. “Natalie and I don’t agree on every issue,” she said. “She has made clear to me that she will fight against EPA regulations that I support if she believes it means protecting coal jobs for West Virginia.”
Donohue quickly dismissed Capito’s contention that she’s the superior coal supporter over Tennant.
She said Capito voted “against the health and safety of coal miners” by refusing to back the Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act. Donohue noted Capito was the only member of the West Virginia delegation who voted “no” on the measure.
Warren has also endorsed and campaigned for Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s secretary of state who faces the GOP’s Mitch McConnell in the Nov. 4 election.