Democratic Party Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren (MA) is coming under increasing pressure to explain allegations that she claimed to be Native American on her law school applications.
At the heart of the Warren controversy is whether or not it was appropriate for the Democrat to list herself as a minority in law school directories in the 1980s and 90s, according to an Associated Press article.
Tuesday, Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown called on Warren – his likely Democratic opponent in the closely watched competitive Massachusetts Senate race – to release her law school applications in order to put to rest allegations that she self-identified as Native American based on a tenuous Cherokee bloodline. Theoretically, listing herself as a minority could have entitled Warren to special treatment.
Warren has been dogged by the national media and her political opponents for failing to authorize the release of her law school applications and personnel files from various universities where she has taught.
“Once again, Republican Senator Brown is shamelessly attempting to divert attention from his record on the issues that really matter in this election, like the cost of student loans,” said her campaign spokeswoman, Alethea Harney.
Harney was referring to a bill to hold down college tuition rates that recently died in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Republicans want the bill paid for with spending cuts while Democrats want to increase revenues.
“Serious questions have been raised about the legitimacy of Elizabeth Warren’s claims to Native American ancestry and whether it was appropriate for her to assume minority status as a college professor,” Senator Brown said in a statement released Tuesday. “The best way to satisfy these questions is for Elizabeth Warren to authorize the release of her law school applications and all personnel files from the various universities where she has taught,” the statement said.
For his part, Democratic Party spokesman Matt Cantor released a statement saying, “Brown’s latest bait-and-switch illustrates just how personally desperate he is to avoid the real issues in this race – like making college more affordable, protecting Medicare, holding Wall Street accountable – because on the issues that matter most to voters Scott Brown sides with Republicans and special interests and against the middle class.”
Robert Maginn, chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, called on Harvard University, where Warren teaches law, to investigate Warren’s claims.
“Harvard must investigate Ms. Warren’s false claims to be a minority; how it came to pass that Harvard accepted these claims; and the extent to which Ms. Warren’s alleged minority status afforded her advantages to which she would not otherwise have been entitled,” Maginn said in a letter to Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust.
Chris Childs, a genealogist at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, allegedly traced Warren’s Native-American roots to her great-great-great-grandmother, who was listed as Cherokee on an 1894 marriage record.