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Some blacks support Brown on education, business

Kenneth J. Cooper | 1/27/2010, 4:21 a.m.

“I don’t think I saw three black faces at Scott Brown’s victory crowd” shown on television on election night, Taylor said. “And I was looking...”

Fortes, who directed the State Office of Women and Minority Business Assistance in the Romney administration, said Brown has engaged the African American community away from TV cameras.

Early in the Senate campaign, Brown toured Dorchester and Roxbury, attending an event at the Strand Theater and visiting a church nearby in Upham’s Corner, Fortes said. That foray in October, he said, attracted little media attention.

Brown campaigned to be the 41st Republican senator in order to enable U.S. Senate Republicans to block, through filibustering or endless debating, any legislation the Democratic majority might try to pass. In Brown’s case, the specific issue was Obama’s health care proposal.

Congress, Brown has argued, should start over again writing the complex legislation. In effect, some analysts observed, the state senator without an alternative argued — successfully, as it turned out — that he knew better than health policy experts in Washington who have spent more than a year drafting the bill.

Asked how black residents of Massachusetts should think about Brown’s potential role in blocking Obama’s agenda, Fortes replied: “I think you’ll find Scott will agree with the president on some things, and disagree with him on other things.”

The senator-elect has favored Obama’s troop buildup in Afghanistan, which Coakley opposed.

Because about 98 percent of state residents have medical insurance under the state’s system, the federal legislation would be “bad for Massachusetts,” Brown has said.

“Scott is going to fight for Massachusetts, all of Massachusetts,” Fortes predicted.