Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ed Markey Has To Fight Off Two Anti-Choice Conservatives-- Stephen Lynch & Scott Brown


John Kerry gets to cap his career off as Secretary of State. Huzzah! I like the sound of "Elizabeth Warren, senior Senator, Commonwealth of Massachusetts," but... but by taking Kerry out of the Senate, Democrats now face the task of holding a seat. Scott Brown, Wall Street's favorite politician, is likely to run again, which means it won't be a cakewalk. The almost universal favorite for the Democratic nomination, with endorsements from the DSCC and from Kerry, is progressive champion Ed Markey, the dean of the Massachusetts delegation, who has a stupendous record in the House, not just as a dependable voter but as a leader on some of the most important issues facing the country, particularly around Climate Change and the environment. His lifetime ProgressivePunch crucial issues score is 94.70, a fraction better than Jerry Nadler and Barbara Lee and a just bit below fellow Massachusetts Reps Jim McGovern and John Tierney.

But Markey isn't the only congressman looking for the promotion to the Senate. Way down at the other end of the political spectrum, conservative Democrat-- and anti-Choice fanatic-- Stephen Lynch would also like to run. His lifetime Progressive Punch crucial vote score is a dismal 78.72. (This session Markey has a 100 rating so far and Lynch has a 33.33 rating, one of the lowest of any Democrat in Congress.) This afternoon, at Iron Worker's Hall in Boston, Lynch announced he would challenge Markey for the nomination (after campaigning at diners in Springfield and Worcester all morning). The primary is set for April 30 and the general election will be June 25. Markey has around $3,000,000 on hand for the challenge, while Lynch has something like $800,000 in his campaign warchest.

As a state legislator Lynch had a 100 percent voting record from Massachusetts Citizens for Life, a group usually associated with Republicans. In Congress, he was one of the 64 Democrats who voted for the Stupak-Pitts amendment that threatened to derail the healthcare bill. (43 of those Democrats were subsequently defeated for reelection or forced into retirement. One died and, by a quirk, one-- Joe Donnelly-- managed to get into the Senate when his Republican opponent started babbling about legitimate rapes.) Eventually Lynch voted with the GOP against the healthcare bill even after his Stupak-Pitts anti-Choice amendment was added to it.

Over the weekend the Washington Post pointed out that Lynch would definitely give Markey a run for his money-- while draining much of it out of the crucial efforts needed to fight Scott Brown and his Wall Street and Big Oil allies.
“This is an uphill fight for [Lynch] in a Democratic primary,” said Bay State Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh. But, she added, Lynch is “clearly going to make Markey earn this.”

Among the questions for Lynch is whether he is capable of building a wide enough base of moderate Democrats and can keep pace with Markey in the money race. How much support Lynch can expect from labor will be another major question.

We don’t yet know the answers to these questions. But one thing we do know is the race to replace Kerry just got a whole lot more interesting.
Blue America has a page devoted to electing progressives to the Senate in 2014. And we've added Ed Markey to it.

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At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott Brown is out.


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