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Sen. Scott Brown speaks to Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce at annual meeting

PLYMOUTH – At the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting, state Rep. Vinny deMacedo, R-Plymouth, reminisced about a time when he shared office space on Beacon Hill with Sen. Scott Brown, who was then also serving as a state representative.

DeMacedo noted the similarities between them – that Brown has two beautiful daughters, just as he does.

“They’re not available, by the way,” deMacedo added, as the room exploded in laughter, and went on to joke that Brown had also stolen his hairdo.

“I was such a good state rep he couldn’t keep up with it and decided to leave the House,” deMacedo added, to more laughter.

“Pretty funny,” Brown quipped, smiling wryly, as he followed his friend to the podium.

Brown may look a like America’s Golden Boy, but his road to the Senate has been anything but paved with gold, he told the record crowd in attendance for the luncheon meeting..

Brown touched on the childhood trauma he unveiled in his autobiography, Against All Odds, which was released last year and chronicles the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a camp counselor and the stepfathers who physically abused him. His parents divorced when he was just a toddler and his mother received welfare benefits, he explained. Brown was shuttled off to live with his grandparents and an aunt and he got into trouble as an adolescent, for stealing record albums.

Determination fueled his service in the Army National Guard and the degrees he attained at Tufts University and Boston College Law School, he said.

“My mom and dad were married and divorced four times each,” Brown told the assembled group of Chamber members and local and state officials. “I lived in 17 houses by the time I was 18. There was abuse and other challenges I went through. Those life experiences help me make decisions about how I vote.”

Solutions to the nation’s $15.2 trillion debt and budget deficits aren’t going to be found by the “hyper-partisanship” in Washington, he said. President Obama’s position that taxes shouldn’t be raised in the middle of a recession mirrors his own, Brown added.

“I vote regardless of party, regardless of north, south, east or west. There’s no Democratic bill that’s going to pass. And, for all you Republicans out there, there’s no Republican bill that’s going to pass. It has to be a bipartisan bill.”

If Japan lowers its taxes, America’s taxes will be the highest in the world, Brown explained. Tax code reform is needed.

When asked the best way to foster clean energy, he said America has to step away from its dependence on foreign oil, and the battle wind turbine face getting permitted isn’t helping matters. Federal and state governments need to create a mechanism to expedite the siting and permitting processes, he added.

And the health care bill needs to be amended, he added, because its one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t work. Reimbursement issues need to be resolved and inefficiencies need to be cut.

Later in the meeting, held last Friday (Jan. 13) at Indian Pond Country Club in Kingston, Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Denis Hanks chronicled the many programs and services the Chamber offers, including a host of workshops and other assistance for local and regional business professionals.

The Chamber honored Pembroke-based Tiny & Sons Glass with its Business of the Year award, and Hanks praised founder and owner James “Tiny” Brown for his selfless dedication to the community. (See related story.)

The Chamber also offered its thanks to outgoing Chamber Board Chairman Kevin O’Reilly, whose term expired this year, said hello to new Board Chairman Laurie Curtis and introduced the 2012 board members.

For more information on the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce, go to www.plymouthchamber.com.