By JOHN DiSTASO, News Editor
CONCORD — Shortly after filing as a candidate for the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, Republican former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown resigned as an advisor to an obscure Florida firm from which he had received stock options valued at $1.3 million. He said he also relinquished all stock holdings.
Brown made the announcement after being peppered with media questions about his role in and relationship with Global Digital Solutions of West Palm Beach as he officially filed his candidacy for the seat held by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen at the Secretary of State’s office in the New Hampshire State House.
Brown’s full statement said:
“When I became an adviser to Global Digital Solutions last year, I did so as a private citizen who viewed them as a start-up company in the defense technology field with the potential for long-term growth. I served as an adviser, and did not participate in the day-to-day decision-making of the company.
“I have not received any monetary compensation from this company, nor will I in the future.
“It’s clear from recent media reports that my continued role with the company would be an unnecessary and unwanted distraction. I want the people of New Hampshire to know they are my top priority. Therefore, I am resigning my advisory position with the company and relinquishing all my rights to the restricted stock that has been granted me, effective immediately.”
Predictably, the resignation did not satisfy Brown’s political opponents.
“Scott Brown can resign, but he can’t keep hiding from questions about a shady company run by executives sued for fraud, who gave him $1.3 million in stock,” said state Democratic Party spokesman Julie McClain. “The fact is, everything we know about GDSI was true when Brown joined its advisory board — and he joined anyway. New Hampshire voters deserve to know where else and from who else he was cashing in. He owes it to the families of this state to lay his cards on the table and file his personal financial disclosure form.”
Earlier, Brown and his wife, Gail Huff, walked into the Secretary of State’s Office as supporters, critics, reporters and camera crews lined the hallway. He shook hands and exchanged pleasantries with the iconic Secretary of State, Bill Gardner, and then sat down and filled out the form that finally made him an official candidate. He also supplied the required $100 check.
“Honey, any second thoughts?” he asked his wife as he began filing out the form. “Five months of hard work and I only had to pay $100 for that.”
He said he and his wife were “honored” to be part of the tradition of candidates filing for office in the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Office.
“It’s a very warm welcome,” he said of the backers, and even critics, outside. “It kind of gets the juices flowing. We’re focusing on the things that matter to New Hampshire voters, which is the high cost of energy…..a health care system that’s broken and needs work, and you have a government in gridlock.”
“Let the games begin,” he said.
The media, which had crowded into the small office, immediately resumed peppering Brown with questions about how he came to be an advisor to Global Digital Solutions, which, according to the Boston Globe, has no revenue, no patents, no trademarks, no manufacturing facilities, plummeting stock values and is $19.7 million in debt.
He was also asked why he sought, and received, an extension until August for the release of his financial disclosure, required by the U.S. Senate. That filing would answer several questions about his relationship with the firm.
Brown’s campaign this week issued a statement that, “GDSI is a start-up company that does not have significant operations at this point. Scott Brown has an advisory role but he is not involved in the day to day management or decisions of the company.”
Today, he said, “I’ve already answered it for two days. I’ve put out a statement….”
“Like many other start-up companies,” he added, “they’re going through a transition. They’re trying to create jobs and ultimately come up with a plan to do so. I’m an advisor and I’m not involved in the day-to-day operations of it. I’ve been very clear and open about it and that’s about it.”
He repeated a similar answer being questioned as he left the office, walked out of the State House and, eventually got into a pickup truck with his wife and drove away.
Shortly after Brown filed, state Democratic Party spokesman Julie McClain said in a statement:
“Brown may have filed to become a candidate today, but he is still refusing to come clean and file his personal financial disclosure form. This week has been chock full of revelations about Scott Brown cashing in by becoming involved with a shady Florida-based company that gave him $1.3 million in stock, which was run by executives who were sued for perpetrating an alleged pump-and-dump scam. Because he won’t directly answers questions about his involvement and what other companies were lining his pockets, voters are asking themselves, ‘what is Scott Brown hiding?’”
Brown had said on Monday that Global, which is now a purported firearms technology firm, “wanted somebody who had a military background who could offer guidance and advice and be a sounding board.”
About two hours after he filed, he issued the resignation statement.