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 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.
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.
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.
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.