If you wanted to parody a politician’s fear, paralysis, indecisiveness and timidity, you couldn’t do much better than the Senate’s newest addition, Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey:
U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey punted as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a compromise resolution designed to win support for President Obama’s proposed strike on Syria by limiting the scope of any military action, voting present and saying he needs more information — drawing a derisive “Profile in Courage” award from the state’s GOP for the newly elected senator.
“This is an important decision that has the potential to draw us into the Syrian civil war,” the Massachusetts Democrat told the Herald in a statement after his vote. “I will be analyzing intelligence information about the Syrian chemical attacks, and I will be considering the potential for additional entanglement in that war. When I have had a chance to further analyze all of the information, I will then make a fully-informed vote of yes or no on the final resolution next week on the floor of the Senate.”
He sits in the seat held by now-Secretary of State John Kerry, who urged the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to give the resolution their approval. It would have made an outright “no” vote a bit awkward.
Markey had earlier demanded that the President seek congressional approval before using military force. That makes his “present” vote read a bit like, “You better ask my opinion on this, but meh, I don’t really have one.”
Way to go, Massachusetts. Way to go.
Also note this brilliant illustration from Jeff Dobbs and Hit and Run . . . “What a difference a red line makes. It’s two words now.”
Massachusetts voters go to the polls to pick their next senator on June 25, three weeks from now. Isn’t it a little late for the Democratic nominee, Ed Markey, to be gallivanting across the country to do Hollywood fundraisers? “Markey will be raising money at the Beverly Hills home of Haim and Cheryl Saban on Sunday, with tickets starting at $1,000 per person.”
Apparently money is on the mind of the Democratic favorite; with charisma, a stirring message, or other traditional measures of enthusiasm tepid so far, Markey appears to be relying on overwhelming Republican Gabriel Gomez with a tidal wave of cash:
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Edward J. Markey is stepping up his fundraising going into the final weeks of the campaign — coordinating with the state Democratic Party to help cover bills as he ramps up ad buys and voter outreach.
Markey and the party have jointly hired fundraiser Jon Patsavos, who worked for Gov. Deval Patrick and Secretary of State John F. Kerry, to help pump up fundraising before the June 25 election. Patsavos will raise money for the Markey Grassroots Victory Fund to help cover get-out-the-vote and advertising costs in support of Markey.
Markey has spent $3,160,945 as of April 10; Gomez has spent $682,605.
Ed Markey’s campaign is happy to remind you that he was first elected to Congress in 1976.
How much should national Republicans invest in the effort to elect Gabriel Gomez in Massachusetts’s special Senate election June 25?
Some evidence — such as this poll commissioned by the Gomez campaign — points to an extremely competitive race:
The May 5–7 poll of 800 likely special-election voters by OnMessage, Inc., a Republican political consulting firm, found [Democrat Ed] Markey leading [Republican Gabriel] Gomez 46 percent to 43 percent, with 11 percent undecided. According to an OnMessage polling memo, respondents “were stratified by county based on previous election results to reflect historic voter trends.”
On the other hand, WBUR had Markey up by 8 among likely voters with leaners (46 percent to 38 percent) and Suffolk put Markey up 52 percent to 35 percent.
Even an incompetent Markey campaign will still enjoy the advantage of running in a heavily Democratic state, and Gomez’s task will be supremely difficult if he doesn’t get significant financial support from national Republicans and conservatives. Right now, national Republican and conservative groups are weighing that decision.
The NRSC is debuting a new web video, pointing out that Markey was caught up in the notorious House Bank scandal 20 years ago and consistently voted to increase his own salary.
As a Massachusetts Republican, Gomez is not a down-the-line conservative by any stretch. Massachusetts talk-radio host Michael Graham deems Gomez unsupportable because of the candidate’s past support for Barack Obama. Gomez says he wants to close “the gun-show loophole” and also says he’s pro-life but “Roe v Wade is settled law. Politicians spend way too much time on divisive issues that are already decided and far too little time on fixing our economy.” He supports same-sex marriage. He backs a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants with no criminal record.
On the other hand, Gomez says he backs a secure border, supports the Keystone pipeline, and says Obamacare is “ignoring or compounding the underlying costs of health care.” Plus he has a sterling background for a senator: graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, platoon leader in the Navy SEALs, MBA from Harvard Business School and successful entrepreneur and Little League coach. He’ll be a vote for Mitch McConnell to be Senate majority leader instead of Harry Reid. And if the party wants to do better among Hispanics, why not make a solid effort to elect the third Latino Republican senator, as Gomez is a son of Colombian immigrants?
The new revelations of the Benghazi hearings and the IRS scandal probably energized the GOP base. The coming months or year may feel a lot like the political environment of 2009 and 2010.
Finally, if Markey were to win narrowly, would even that result reinforce the notion that the political environment has tilted in favor of the GOP? Republicans shocked the opposition by winning in South Carolina’s special election, and should have a breeze in a Missouri House special election. The New Jersey governor’s race doesn’t look competitive, and Cuccinelli is off to the better start in Virginia. Undoubtedly, the GOP’s campaign committees would love to enter 2014 having swept every competitive special election.
State Sen. Katherine Clark is running for Congress, if U.S. Rep. Ed Markey’s seat representing the 5th Congressional District opens up.
Markey is seeking Secretary of State John Kerry’s newly vacated U.S. Senate seat in the June 25 special election.
“I can tell you I’ve had a great response to this announcement and I feel within my district people know that I work hard,” Clark told WickedLocal.com Monday afternoon. “We’ve had some real legislative successes. I think that people know that I’ve been a voice for them and that I have been a leader around issues concerning schools and public safety and open and accountable government.”
Clark, a Melrose resident, currently represents the 5th Middlesex District in the state Senate, which includes Melrose, Malden, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield and half of Winchester.
Two other legislators, state Rep. Carl Sciortino, D-Medford, and state Sen. William Brownsberger, D-Belmont, have also announced they will run for Markey’s seat if vacated.
The seat’s not open, and this is crazy… but here’s a petition, vote for me… maybe!
After long delays and much discussion, a Scott Brown senatorial bid — the third in four years — may be taking shape:
GOP officials close to Scott Brown report that the former Republican senator is ‘’leaning strongly toward running” in the special election to replace Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry. They report that Brown is likely to enter the race early next week.
Markey has two potential big-name rivals still in the mix. Representative Stephen Lynch is working the phones to gauge support for a bid, and Representative Michael Capuano is not ruling out a campaign.
Perhaps the most intriguing indicator in Johnson’s roundup involves soon-to-depart Senator Scott Brown, who “is trying to engineer the selection of his deputy campaign finance director as the new chairwoman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, which would give him de facto control of over $700,000 in a party joint victory account — plenty to seed a special election campaign.”
The only other potential Republican Senate candidate mentioned is former governor William F. Weld.
While no one knows who Governor Deval Patrick, a Democrat, will appoint as the interim senator, his desire for a loyalist has some mentioning the name of his “outgoing Administration and Finance Secretary Jay Gonzalez.”
Another stimulus success story — well, success for Democratic lawmakers and a company that received millions in federal funds, not for the taxpayer, laid-off workers, or the customers who will probably never purchase the product of the rapidly sinking company.
A Waltham-based electric car battery supplier — now facing financial implosion despite receiving $249 million in federal stimulus cash — was a heavy donor to congressional Democrats before scoring the hefty taxpayer handout, the Herald has learned.
A123 Systems CEO David Vieau has donated $16,900 to Washington, D.C., power brokers and Democratic committees since 2008, including $2,400 to Bay State Rep. Edward J. Markey, the chairman of the climate and energy committees, in 2009 — just three months before A123 received $249 million in federal stimulus funds. Vieau donated another $1,500 to Markey last year as the company pushed for even more federal dollars through government loans.
U.S. Sen. John Kerry, another ardent supporter of the company, received $2,000 in campaign donations from Vieau in 2010, the same year Vieau gave $2,500 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In 2008, Vieau donated $4,800 to campaign funds supporting President Obama and $200 to the Democratic National Committee.
The Boston Herald also reports:
A123 has laid off more than 100 employees and seen a net loss of $172 million through the first three quarters of 2011 despite the heavy infusion of federal cash. A123 has yet to turn a profit, and losses have been mounting. Earlier this month, the company posted a fourth-quarter loss of $85 million despite $40.4 million in revenue. The company’s stock tanked to an all-time low of just more than $1 yesterday on news of a $55 million battery recall. A defective battery caused a luxury electric car, the Fisker Karma, to conk out earlier this month in a Consumer Reports test.
A luxury electric car called the “Karma” fails a test because of a product from a company that received stimulus funds. Hmmm.
The only thing this story lacks is Obama touring the factory. But perhaps Pelosi will do:
Markey squired then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi through A123’s former Watertown headquarters in June 2010 as a “great example of how Recovery Act funding is helping American companies.” Pelosi called Markey a “true visionary of our time.”
House Democrats made their case for continuing taxpayer funding of public media outlets such as NPR and PBS with a little help from Arthur the PBS cartoon character, who visited the Capitol Wednesday morning.
The friendly but silent aardvark joined Democratic Reps. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and others to hit back against Republicans who have pledged to cut the funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the next budget.
“We need your help today,” Markey said as a person dressed as the character walked toward the Capitol building. “We can’t leave Arthur and all of his pals in the lurch.”
Gerry Dembrowski, a GOP challenger to Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, goes to the listed address of the congressman. He finds his neighbors have no idea he lived there, and don’t recall seeing him . . . pretty much, ever.