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What is a Massachusetts Democrat? Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch offer two Very Different Answers

What is a Massachusetts Democrat?

In the race to replace John Kerry in the U.S. Senate, it looks as though two members of the House of Representatives — Ed Markey of Massachusetts District 7 and Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts District 9 — will be the prominent contenders for the Democratic party nomination. As members of the House, Lynch and Markey offer starkly different visions of what it means to be a Massachusetts Democrat. Consider these differences in the 112th Congress of 2011-2012:

Issue Ed Markey’s Record Stephen Lynch
Patriot Act
On February 14 2011, Speaker of the House John Boehner brought a bill called H.R. 514 to the floor for a vote after mere minutes of debate, despite a lack of any committee consideration and without any provision for amendment. This bill aimed to reauthorize provisions of the Patriot Act without reform. The Patriot Act, as you probably know, a law that allows agents of the U.S. government to spy on, search and seize the property, papers and communications of individuals without a constitutionally-guaranteed finding of probable cause for that action.
Ed Markey voted against the Patriot Act (against H.R. 514) Stephen Lynch voted for the Patriot Act (for H.R. 514)
Big Oil Subsidies
The oil industry is one of the most profitable enterprises on the planet, and yet the same oil industry gets a load of special tax breaks from its friends in government. H.R. 601, the End Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act, would have cut nearly $40 billion in federal subsidies to the oil industry, ending rewards for environmentally dirty practices and restoring some balance to the federal budget.
Ed Markey acted against subsidies to big oil corporations (cosponsored H.R. 601) Stephen Lynch allowed big oil subsidies to continue (failed to cosponsor H.R. 601)
Big Military Spending
On February 18 2011, U.S. Representative Barbara Lee introduced H. Amdt 150 to the Republicans’ main spending bill for the year. If it had passed, the amendment would have cut spending at the Department of Defense to 2008 levels — more than $50 billion in cuts — without taking such cuts from the pay or health care of members of the military. As Rep. Lee noted in debate, a 2010 bipartisan defense task force report found that more than $100 billion could be cut from the annual defense budget without impairing national security. This amendment offered a chance for significant budgetary savings while eliminating rampant military waste.
Ed Markey voted to cut rampant military spending Stephen Lynch voted to maintain rampant military spending
Ending the War in Afghanistan
On March 17 2011, the House of Representatives voted on House Concurrent Resolution 28, legislation that would have brought an end to the increasingly pointless decade-old war in Afghanistan by the end of that year.
Ed Markey voted to end the war in Afghanistan Stephen Lynch voted to keep the war in Afghanistan going
FISA Amendments Act
The FISA Amendments Act gives the federal government the power to set up a massive electronic surveillance dragnet, grabbing private information from Americans’ personal electronic communications without a judge’s warrant. Your activity on cell phones, GPS devices, smart phones, online shopping, emails, internet browsing and even your ebooks on your Kindle is vulnerable to being spied upon, and you don’t have to be a criminal to be watched. The government doesn’t have to prove any suspicion of terrorism or other dastardly act.

On September 12 2012, the U.S. House voted to pass a 5-year reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act without a single reform.

Ed Markey voted against the FISA Amendments Act Stephen Lynch voted for the FISA Amendments Act

On these issues, Massachusetts Democrats face a fairly clear choice. Will Massachusetts embrace a liberal, anti-war, anti-corporate vision for the Democratic Party or a conservative, pro-war, pro-corporate vision? Watch and see — or, if you live in Massachusetts, help make the difference.

8 thoughts on “What is a Massachusetts Democrat? Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch offer two Very Different Answers”

  1. Todd says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Love the article and sharing, curious though, are you on twitter?

  2. Todd says:

    Great analysis. Every Democrat in MA needs to see this. I’d love to reprint this in Daily Kos with your permission to help get it out to more people. Of course I would list you as the author and include a link to your website, giving your site more exposure as well. Would you be ok with that?

    1. Jim says:

      Sure; please go right ahead.

  3. John says:

    Good analysis of their opposing votes. You can add the affordable care act to the list.

    1. Jim Cook says:

      Thanks for writing, John. I’ve always found the complexities of the affordable care act to defy most simple contrasts I try to make. Would you like to share the differences between Markey and Lynch that you think are important regarding that law?

  4. Count Stephen 1 of Sealand says:

    Daniel Winslow, Americans Elect lawyer and Romney campaign lawyer, declares as a candidate to run on the Republican side.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_special_election_in_Massachusetts,_2013
    http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/281845-republican-officially-launches-bid-for-massachusetts-special-election
    http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/02/republican_state_rep_daniel_wi.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Winslow

    Doug Bennet has also declared as well. I initially heard out via ballot access news.

    On February 7, Massachusetts state representative Dan Winslow declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, in the 2013 special election. Winslow was chief attorney for Americans Elect during the period when it was working to get on state ballots, during 2010, 2011, and the first five months of 2012. See this article, which does not mention Winslow’s work for Americans Elect, but which focuses on the fact that he was once chief counsel to Mitt Romney.

    1. Count Stephen 1 of Sealand says:

      Other people are running as well.

      Daniel Fishman (Libertarian), former teacher and nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 6th Congressional District in 2012[48][49]
      http://m.salemnews.com/TSN/pm_104190/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=bIUyPqy6
      http://www.wickedlocal.com/beverly/news/x2082685646/Beverly-s-Daniel-Fishman-announces-Senate-run#axzz2K3GsXIW1

      Jack E. Robinson III (Independent), businessman and frequent Republican candidate[19][47]
      http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2013/02/04/william-weld-latest-republican-bow-out-race-replace-john-kerry-senate/LngUjtIf6yI67QFPA8tCVK/story.html
      http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/02/ex-gop_candidate_jack_e_robins.html

      Also, note Ed Mackey has alot more endorsements than Stephen Lynch, about 40 to 2.

  5. Count Stephen 1 of Sealand says:

    What is the date for the primaries? The date for the general is June 25.

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