October 01. 2013 1:38PM

John DiStaso's Granite Status: Scott Brown: Running against Shaheen 'not my priority'

By John DiStaso, Senior Political Reporter


TUESDAY, OCT. 1: MORE (AND MORE) BROWN VISITS. Republican former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown is still not ruling out a run for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire against Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen, but he said it's "not my priority."

Brown told us in an interview Tuesday he won't stop making appearances in New Hampshire -- where he owns a home and where many family members live -- to support and raise money for Republicans.

He said he is not limiting his appearances to the Granite State. He said he would be heading to Connecticut Wednesday and has been to, or will go to, Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina, Vermont, Maine and New Jersey and even Japan.

Brown made it clear he has no one working for him to coordinate visits in New Hampshire. He said his former Beacon Hill chief of staff and Capitol Hill deputy chief of staff, Greg Casey, is simply a friend doing him a favor by forwarding to him requests for appearances.

A personal email sent to the New Hampshire Republican State Committee by Casey's friend, New Hampshire Americans For Prosperity state director Greg Moore (not in his AFP capacity), suggested that Casey was now soliciting appearances on Brown's behalf.

But Brown said that's not the case.

"I've not engaged Greg (Casey) nor asked Greg to solicit or look for any type of appearances for me in New Hampshire," he said.

"There's no business relationship or employment relationship. He merely sends (requests) along," said Brown.

Brown also said responded to a New Hampshire Union Leader editorial Tuesday that urged him to "stop flirting with New Hampshire" and either announce a run for the Senate or state definitively that he will not be a candidate.

"I'm going to go anywhere in the country," Brown said. "I'm ninth generation New Hampshire and I've been going out helping anybody who needs help, raising money for them. There should be more people like me doing that.

"I'm not quite sure why I have to do anything or let anyone know what I'm doing," Brown said, noting that he has no active political committee.

Brown said he has been thinking about selling his home in Wrentham, Mass. for four years. He put his home on the market this week.

And he did not rule out the possibility of moving to New Hampshire, but said if he did so, it should not be taken as a signal that he will run for the Senate.

He said his family, his work with the Fox News Channel and with the Nixon Peabody law firm are his priorities.

Running for the Senate "is not something I think about 24/7. I'm doing the things I enjoy, and there is life after the Senate," he said.

"Is there a role for me somewhere, someday for me? Yes, I think so, but now I'm just not prepared.

"I haven't heard from anybody (in New Hampshire) that somehow I'm holding people up" from running for the Senate, he said.

Brown criticized Shaheen for mentioning him in emailed contribution solicitations when he does not even have an active political committee.

"It's misleading to donors," he said. "It's trying to find a bogeyman to raise money off of. But whatever. I get it.

"I will say that the more she pokes me in the eye, the more fired up I get," he said.

The state Democratic Party said that Brown was not immune to using the mere possibility of someone running for office as a peg to raise money.

Party spokesman Harrell Kirstein noted that in 2010, Brown, while in the Senate, tried to raise money based on a blog report that MSNBC personality Rachel Maddow was being recruited to run against him.

Maddow took out a full-page ad in the Boston Globe to say she was not running against Brown and said she was. She also said she was not being recruited by Massachusetts Democrats to run against him.

Kirstein said Brown "is dreaming if he thinks New Hampshire wants to send him and his special interest agenda to the Senate," Kirstein said. "Brown's pathetic trips shine a spotlight on how woeful the potential NHGOP candidates are with the wildly out of touch Jim Rubens is a prime example."

Brown, meanwhile, said, "I'm doing what I said I was going to do. Go around the country, advocate for a bigger tent and try to raise money for folks. And pick good candidates to help."

Brown was in Hampstead Monday night for a GOP fundraiser and Brown is scheduled to return to the state on Nov. 2 to campaign for Fred Leonard, who is running for mayor of Rochester, and Matt Spencer, who is running for reelection as mayor of Somersworth, and to appear at a fundraiser for the Strafford County GOP in Dover.

Meanwhile, former state Sen. Jim Rubens remains the only announced GOP candidate for the Senate seat, while former U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass continues to talk to supporters and weigh a candidacy.

(See earlier Granite Status reports elsewhere on this page or by clicking on "Granite Status" above.)