Mass. Appeal

Newly-elected Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown is expected to be sworn in today as Ted Kennedy's successor in the U.S. Senate. What could this possibly have to do with the fitness club industry?

Well, for starters, Brown upset Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley in last month's special election. Coakley, you may recall, fined Town Sports International's Boston Sports Clubs last year for violating that state's child labor laws. Coakley also sued a club called Fit 'N Fitness for not opening.

I remember reading an account, about the Boston Sports Clubs in particular, in which one of the reader comments went something like, "Martha just wants publicity so that she could get Ted Kennedy's seat." And this was when Kennedy was still alive. Little did we know...

I had a nice chat Wednesday with Shawn Collins, chief of staff for Massachusetts State Sen. Richard Moore. I was getting an update on the personal trainer licensing bill in that state, about which we reported today. Sen. Moore introduced the bill last year.

Shawn and I got to talking about the Brown election upset, and he mentioned how universal health care—the main topic on the Obama administration agenda and Kennedy's supposed legacy—really wasn't a concern with Massachusetts voters because they already were content with health care in that state, thanks to the Massachusetts Health Reform Law. The primary sponsor of two of the major bills on which that law is based is none other than Sen. Moore.

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