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Update - Senate votes to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline (see below the squiggle)
MA should be proud of their Senators' votes:
Massachusetts:    Cowan (D-MA), Nay    Warren (D-MA), Nay
How would we feel if one of our Senators was a Yea vote?

Despite a statement by Ed Markey asking Thomas Steyer to stay out of the Massachusetts special senate election, the billionaire environmentalist is going forward with his campaign against Markey's primary opponent, Stephen Lynch. Voters will decide which of the two Democratic candidates, both current US Reps, will face one of three Republican's on April 30.

Steyer, a former hedge fund manager and Democratic activist, has donated millions to establish an energy sciences institute at Yale University - his alma mater - and the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy and a the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Finance and Policy both at Stanford University where he got his MBA. He has also used his money to support political initiatives that promote alternative energy and environmental causes.  

Steyer is motivated by Lynch's support of the Keystone pipeline project.

According to Politico, a letter went out to Lynch from Steyers on Monday (March 18) accusing Lynch of taking positions too far to the right:

“We have to solve the problem now in large part through smart policies that invest in a clean energy future for our next generation,” says the letter, which was sent, sources said, after environmentalists approached Steyer about getting involved. “Nowhere does this policy drive matter more today than the Massachusetts Senate Democratic primary between Congressmen Ed Markey and you. In short, climate change is on the ballot on April 30 as it never has been before.”
Steyer, joined by Massachusetts activists, gave Lynch until “high noon on Friday” to withdraw his support for the Keystone Pipeline or the group would launch an aggressive public relations campaign against him.

On Wednesday, Masslive reported the Lynch campaign's response:

“This sort of behavior exemplifies the problem with the Washington establishment,” said Scott Ferson, a senior Lynch campaign advisor, in a statement sent to the press. “It’s not enough to support environmental efforts 94 percent of the time, as Congressman Lynch does. You need to be with every radical group 100 percent of the time or they will unleash millions of dollars against you.”
Markey also asked Steyer to stay out of the race in a statement Friday:
"As I stated when I first learned about Tom Steyer's demands on Monday, these kinds of tactics have no place in our political discourse and should be repudiated," said Markey in a statement. "Mr. Steyer should immediately withdraw his threats and ultimatum, and stay out of this Senate race. This campaign should be about the people of this state, and I remain committed to giving Massachusetts voters a debate about the issues they care about most"
According to the Washingon Post:
Steyer was not moved; his campaign launched Friday afternoon. “The issue in this race is whether Steve Lynch is running to be the Senator from Canada fighting for increasing the wealth of a foreign oil company or a Senator from Massachusetts who will stand for the common good of the Commonwealth,” spokesman Chris Lehane said.
Markey and Lynch signed a pledge committing not to use outside money in the special senate primary election. According to the pledge, Steyer's campaign against Lynch might actually cost Markey money. The pledge states that if an independent third party group spends money advertising to support a candidate, that candidate has to give 50% of the cost of that ad to a charity of the other candidate's choice.

However:

Steyer says he will abide by the terms of the pledge, avoiding the television, radio, web or direct mail ads that are barred. His campaign is kicking off with ads on the sides of RVs that will drive around heavily Democratic areas of the state. Steyer is also planning to fund field work, college campus events and phone banking — none of which is covered by the pledge. (Other outside groups have also exploited these loopholes).
Steyer's concerns about Lynch's right leaning positions are shared by many Democrats in MA. He voted against President Obama's health care bill, and despite a recent pivot he has always been a self described "pro-life" Democrat.  

Lynch, a former iron worker, has the support of building trades unions who see him as one of their own.  Frank Callahan, President of the Massachusetts Building Trades Council which represents 75 local trades unions, issued his own statement directed at Steyer:

Here’s my message to Tom Steyer and others like him. As a lifelong resident of Massachusetts I’ve had enough of Washington insiders and outside environmental groups attempting to dictate who we can have for our elected representatives. I and my fellow residents of Massachusetts are perfectly capable of deciding who will represent us the United States Senate.  Keep your money - our votes are not for sale.
Although not actually stated in this press release, it is no secret that the Keystone Pipeline will mean jobs for several different trades unions.

Lynch's most recent ad features union members, three of whom are women. Women represent a very small percent of the building trades unions, and many women, including this diarist, consider that ad disingenuous to say the least.

Once elected, the actions of a US Senator effect the entire country.  National grass roots support was important to the success of the Elizabeth Warren campaign, and the entire country reaps the benefits of her election every time she takes her seat in the Senate.

Despite what the local MA unions proclaim, it is everyone's business who is elected to that seat.

Corporations aren't people, but people are people. You can help us elect Ed Markey to US Senate, whether you live in MA or Timbuktu.

8:29 PM PT: From http://thinkprogress.org/...  :


Senate Gone Wild: Vote To Approve Keystone Passes, Decision Still Lies With White House

"Tonight, 62 Senators voted for an amendment to the Fiscal 2014 Budget Resolution that attempts to give Congress the power to approve the Keystone pipeline. This is despite the fact that the pipeline would do nothing to make the country more energy independent, and would create far fewer jobs than its supporters claim.

While some conservatives may claim the pipeline would create “more than 20,000 direct jobs,” the most recent State Department impact assessment found that the pipeline would directly create only “3,900″ temporary construction jobs. After construction is complete, the operation of the pipeline would only support 35 permanent and 15 temporary jobs, with “negligible socioeconomic impacts.” Moreover, only 10 percent of the total workforce would be hired locally. For perspective, our country had 3.4 million green energy jobs in 2011 and it was the fastest-growing industry in the country.

Sorry Congressman Lynch - the best you will get is a seat in House, explore the world outside your home district, please.

Originally posted to 51 Percent on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 05:44 PM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Hawks, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, and Massachusetts Kosmopolitans.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (16+ / 0-)

    Women are 51% of the population yet are represented in congress by barely 17%! Until our representation reflects the population, we risk sliding backwards .....

    by 51percent on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 05:44:08 PM PDT

  •  I'm from New Jersey. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    51percent, Lujane, Chi

    Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

    by rebel ga on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 07:25:34 PM PDT

  •  Lynch is contemptible. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    51percent

    I have no objection to anyone spending money to defeat him.  That pledge was foolish because a corporatist like Lynch would always break it sooner or later.  

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 06:53:02 AM PDT

  •  This is going to push people to Lynch (0+ / 0-)

    who is running very attractive ads appealing to working class voters.  He's running as the underdog, the simple working man.  Markey has a "Cambridge" edge and styled hair too pretty like the unfortunate John Edwards.  

    I asked someone who she was voting for and she said "Lynch" I said "Do you know what policies he has voted for?"  she said "No, but I like his ads, - I am Stephen Lynch" and then repeated "I am Stephen Lynch"  My friend is a working class Democrat.  I said, "But he is anti-choice, and not a friend of the environment, and he voted against Obamacare."  (all of which she supports). She said " Eh, They're all the same, but he's more like me."  

    Markey better get out of the Scott Brown Boston suburban collar JCrew barn jacket or he's going to lose.  He's going to be this year's Martha Coakley if he's not careful.  And he may even lose some of what should be his voters in bluest but rural Hampshire County.  

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 10:46:42 AM PDT

    •  Elizabeth Warren was Cambridge as well (0+ / 0-)

      I think it matters where what area we come from. I am involved in Democratic politics, and have met no one in my area who supports Lynch.  

      IT is so difficult to stay positive when the Lynch ads and persona are so misrepresented.

      Like I've said, anyone who understands or is familiar w/the Building Trades in MA KNOWS that those ads are full of false representations. Women are only seen on "jobs" when the contract has quota requirements.  The percentage of women ironworkers is in the single digits.

      Luckily, the election w/him is the primary, where Democrats who have a great get out the vote machine, will be the strongest votes.  

      Also, there are several groups that people forget to consider. There are a lot of strong women's groups who know what Lynch is all about. There are strong environmental groups who know what he's all about.

      Steyer's won't be doing any ad buys - it will be all local grass-roots stuff.

      Women are 51% of the population yet are represented in congress by barely 17%! Until our representation reflects the population, we risk sliding backwards .....

      by 51percent on Sat Mar 23, 2013 at 01:28:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Warren didn't come off as Cambridge (0+ / 0-)

        out here in rural Mass.  Ted Kennedy was about as elite Boston rich as you get, but he didn't come off that way either.  Markey does.  Don't know exactly why, but this is a fact.   You can pretend it doesn't exist but it does.  

        The strength of support for Warren out here was palpable, it was visceral.  Warren cleaned up here, and raised money out here.  The support for Markey is soft.  

        And yes, I am familiar with the building trades, and the failure of trade unions vis a vis women and men of color.  I know full well those issues, from the union worker side (My best friend of 20 years is in a trade union and has been f*d by her BA for years) and from the management side - trying to get union BAs to send women and men of color for permanent high paying jobs, and instead getting young white guys as the "only qualified" candidates, when I know it's a lie.

        The woman friend I was talking to is one who should be an easy get according to your reasoning - she is a truck driver of 25+ years and a lesbian.  She's a Democrat.  Lynch doesn't deserve her support, but she's voting for Lynch unless I can talk her out of it.  But her support is visceral.  That's a harder one to change.  

        Markey has a perception problem.  I don't understand why his people don't get this.  Simply pretending it doesn't exist doesn't make it go away. Maybe it's a eastern Mass problem.  

        Frankly, as stupid as it seems, he might be helped if he got a bad haircut, and stopped wearing Scott Brown derided JCrew Barn Coats.  It's  sign of a big phoney out here where we really wear work clothes to work in the woods and get through mud season and high snows and none of them are JCrew.  The Lynch folks are media positioning him as the "real deal"  the "average working man" it's a smart strategy.  And it's a problem.

        Sustainability and the environment are our lives out here, not simply a fad or theoretical good - we are agricultural, small farms and dairies and small herds and bees and wool.  Climate change impacts our ability to make a living in the present.  But I am seeing zero groundswell of support for Markey.  Not much for Lynch either, so it's still an open game, but Markey has to head off the Lynch average working man meme.

        Maybe it's business as usual in Boston, and you all pretend we don't exist or don't matter, and perhaps rural Western Mass voters don't for Markey but this is a Democratic Primary, and we have re-elected the dreadful anti-abortion Richie Neal time and time again, even as we elected John Olver time and time again - Markey may lose this one.

        "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

        by Uncle Moji on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 06:54:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not seeing it (0+ / 0-)
          out here in rural Mass.  Ted Kennedy was about as elite Boston rich as you get, but he didn't come off that way either.  Markey does.  Don't know exactly why, but this is a fact.  You can pretend it doesn't exist but it does.
          A little boring, maybe. Central casting Congressman, maybe. But coming off as "elite Boston rich" I cannot see.

          My perception is that nobody, outside devoted activists, is really tuned into this race yet. It's been a yawner. I'm not worried just by the idea that Markey's support doesn't match Warren's. Markey is not facing an incumbent with a 60%+ popularity rating (though God only knows why).

          Disclosure: I say this as a strong Markey supporter whose antipathy to Steve Lynch is such that I will stay home in June if Lynch wins the primary.

          Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

          by fenway49 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:52:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Boston sees Boston (0+ / 0-)

            Not sure why folks in the eastern part of the state are so insular and parochial in this regard.  The sun rises and sets inside 495.  I guess that's why Shays rebelled.

            Too bad you will sit out the race if Lynch wins, and I hope you are not indicative of the Boston "activists" who would rather toss us down the sh*tter and elect some (another) Republican than swallow hard and vote for the other guy.  

            I am not a Lynch supporter, and I regularly vote against Richie Neal (who is like Lynch, an anti-choice conservative Dem), but when the general comes, if there is a contest, I put my pencil X in the box on our paper ballots and have the Constable crank it through the wooden ballot box for the Democrat.  

            The Western part of the Commonwealth is worth knowing.  Hampshire County is the most liberal county in the Commonwealth, and arguably, therefore, one of the most progressive in the nation.  There is poverty out here, rural life, centers of academia, and great wealth.  We are host to a huge sustainability movement, NoGMO, micro-farms, permies, 3rd Wave Feminists, generations of old Yankees, married queers, vets of Vietnam and Afghanistan, survivalists, preppers, coops, US Poet Laureates, potters, hunters, vegans, and mud, lots of mud.  

            The 495 Collar gave us Scott Brown because they didn't turn out for Coakley.  The 495 Collar gave us the Big Dig, something our roads have suffered for even as we have paid and paid and paid for it - we don't use it or Logan, we fly out of Bradley.  We pay more money into Boston for your public transportation and we get 0 dollars back to fund our Voke School transportation costs (even though it is mandated by law), and most of our towns have no public transportation.  

            Frankly, I hate the fact that both candidates we discuss here are from Eastern Mass, and the 495 collar seems to think that is fair and reasonable representation.  There has been a movement out here to break away from the eastern part of the state and become part of Vermont, and take your water supply (the Quabbin) with us.  The spirit of Daniel Shays lives on!

            "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

            by Uncle Moji on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 08:59:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Western Mass. (0+ / 0-)

              I have spent plenty of time in Western Mass. I used to live in Northampton. I've actually been in all 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts.

              I love Western Mass. but don't buy the suggestion that it is somehow subsidizing Eastern Mass. Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire TOGETHER are about 12.6% of the state's population. Add in Worcester County and you're still not at 25%, though most of Worcester's population lives well east of the Quabbin. The Eastern Mass. counties are higher income on average as well.

              It's also hard for me to get behind anyone who thinks we need LESS funding for public transportation. In Eastern Mass., Western Mass., and everywhere else we need a lot more of it.

              It's not my fault nobody from Western Mass. decided to run. Ben Dowling was thinking about it and decided not to. If a candidate from Western Mass. with good positions on the issues I would not hesitate to support that candidate.

              Good luck with seceding and joining Vermont. That border is older than the nation itself, and the last time any section of a state successfully withdrew was in the 1860s (WV from VA). It took a Civil War to make it happen.

              As for Markey, I don't dispute that he's "Boston" but I don't see him coming off as "elite Boston rich." Maybe if you spent more time here and saw what rich snobs in Boston really act like you'd understand. ;-)

              Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

              by fenway49 on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 09:57:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Markey already HAS (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Uncle Moji

          a bad haircut.

          Frankly, as stupid as it seems, he might be helped if he got a bad haircut

          Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

          by fenway49 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:53:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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