Running for the grassroots

  - promoted by david

The news is out. I am running for the United States Senate. As I look to the upcoming campaign and consider the great people of Massachusetts, I am humbled by the man whose seat I hope to fill. John Kerry’s confirmation to represent the United States around the world means that we will continue to be respected, listened to, and involved in promoting peace and prosperity. He has served the Commonwealth with dignity and ferocity, and we all owe John Kerry an enormous debt of gratitude. It is an honor to have worked side-by-side with him in the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, and I am proud to call John my good friend.

Growing up in Malden, I was inspired to run for office by President Kennedy and his brothers Bobby and Teddy. For a young man who was raised in an Irish Catholic home, the Kennedys embodied the ideals of public service. With boundless energy fueled by compassion and the commitment to better the quality of life for all Americans, the Kennedys made public service the highest calling in Massachusetts and the entire country.

With that inspiration, I began my journey into public service – with no money and no political connections. What I did possess was a confidence in my ability to take my strongly held core values and vision for the future and articulate them to voters. These values are the foundation for my work in Congress – fighting for middle class families, harnessing innovation to create jobs, and protecting consumers from special interests. It has remained my constant belief that a campaign should be about these values and the big issues that directly impact the people of Massachusetts. That is why I am running for the U.S. Senate – to fight for what matters most to the people of the Commonwealth. This special election should be focused on issues and ideas that matter most to the people of Massachusetts – getting dangerous guns off our street and out of our schools, building a clean energy future, and strengthening the middle class. It should be focused on the hopes and concerns of everyday citizens, not attack ads funded by out-of-state special interest groups like the gun lobby and big oil companies.

One other critical element of every campaign I have run is my deep appreciation and full respect for the power of grassroots organizing. With my campaign for U.S. Senate, I plan to build the largest and most potent grassroots organizing effort that this Commonwealth has ever witnessed. And to win this election, we need this movement to be one that ensures that every Democrat, Independent and, yes, even those Republicans who share my values and vision for the future, show up to vote on Election Day. I plan to fuel this campaign with volunteers who go family member to family member, street to street, and neighborhood to neighborhood, knocking on doors and engaging in an honest conversation about my candidacy and the values behind it.

That’s why I hired Carl Nilsson as the campaign’s field director. Carl was the Massachusetts state director for Obama for America, and in 2010 was responsible for organizing the historic coordinated Get-Out-The-Vote operation for Governor Patrick, which saw the building of a precinct level statewide field organization without equal at that time.

I thank the Blue Mass Group for providing this forum so that Bay State progressives can exchange ideas and strategies for success, and for allowing me to share my commitment to the people of Massachusetts and the issues that matter most to them.

I look forward to seeing everyone on the campaign trail.


27 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. As one who has worked closely with Carl Nilsson on two campaigns, I can say the Congressman could not have chosen better for his field operation. Carl’s an inspiring leader and a great tactician, with super current cred in the Mass. grassroots. As a candidate campaigns, so shall s/he govern. Great choice.

  2. field’s where it’s at. Better politics, better government and better campaigning happens face to face… at the doors.

  3. Differing opinions

    No doubt there will be differing opinions on the Democratic candidates, but this is a smart hire by the Markey campaign, hands down — and a solid investment in grassroots outreach at that.

  4. Having worked for Carl on the Obama campaign, I can say with full confidence that he is the right man for the job. Carl offers a substantial breath of experience, effective leadership, and a deep knowledge of grassroots organizing and Massachusetts politics. And to top it all off he’s a great guy. The Markey Campaign has made a smart choice.

  5. Why is the promotion..

    …credited to mcprutter?

  6. Welcome to BMG, and thank you!

    Thank you for contributing this, Mr. Markey, thank you for your service, and welcome to BMG. I hope that your decision to join Ms. Warren in participating here presages your service in the Senate alongside her.

    I wonder if any state has had two senators sitting simultaneously who each beat the same candidate — himself a senator — to get there.

    I’m sure stranger things have happened, but I’m not aware of them.

    • Whoa. *mind blown*

      That is a really great question!

    • I do remember

      Slade Gorton lost as incumbent in 1986, then won the other seat in 1988. He lost that one in 2000, but by the time Maria Cantwell replaced him the first guy to defeat him was retired. If he had lost in 1988, then both Washington State senators would have beaten him to get there.

    • This post suggests six defeated incumbents ran again and lost, and a seventh ran again and won, then lost again (I think that’s Gorton).

      Of those six, probably at least one was defeated in the comeback bid by a newcomer, before the term he/she’d last been defeated for expired. But who are they? No idea.

  7. Here’s a great story, as told by The Harvard Crimson:
    Ed Markey: The milkman’s son who broke the rules

    By David B. Hilder, November 22, 1976
    … While in his second term in the State House, Markey pushed for passage of a bill to eliminate part-time district court judgeships in Massachusetts. Part-time judgeships were lucrative for judges, who were allowed to maintain private law practices, and for politicians, for whom they were patronage gold mines. It was no surprise, then, when the House leadership, under Speaker Thomas McGee of Lynn, fought against Markey’s bill. It passed despite their objections, and McGee, known around the State House for his pettiness, gained his revenge by throwing Markey off the Judiciary Committee, and having his desk moved out into the hall.

    All this happened last January, and because of it, Markey received the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Legislator of the Year award and was praised in many editorial columns. Looking for a theme for an advertising campaign, Markey’s political strategists pounced on the Judiciary Committee incident.

    Markey’s one television commercial opened with a narration of the desk-in-the-hall scene along with a shot of Markey standing in front of a desk placed incongruously in a State House corridor. At the end of the spot, Markey folded his arms across his chest, looking stern and tough. “They may tell me where to sit,” he said, “but nobody tells me where to stand.”

  8. Maybe I'm the only one who cares...

    But a winning campaign dots the i’s and crosses the t’s. Seeing several grammatical errors in a statement weeks in the making doesn’t exactly thrill me. I know I make mistakes in my typing, but I’m not running for Senator.

    sabutai   @   Wed 30 Jan 5:26 PM
    • Good News

      Markey will get A LOT of support from teachers.

    • You are concerned about grammatical errors?

      His document might not be typed perfectly, but we need to remember that Markey is running against Bqhatevwr.

      • I am concerned with needless errors

        Will he lose due to grammatical faux pas? Of course not. But if his campaign cannot successfully make use of apostrophes I wonder if they use money the best way. We already have too many people in DC who apparently can’t do math ….

        sabutai   @   Wed 30 Jan 9:15 PM
        • What were the errors?

          Could you please be specific, as a learning exercise. BMG: relentless pursuit of six sigma.

          • What Fenway49 said down below

            “…whose seat to fill” had been “who’s seat to fill”
            “the Kennedys embodied…” had been “the Kennedy’s embodied”. Similar problem further on. There were others but I don’t remember what they were exactly.

            Well, next best thing to making mistakes is quickly finding and correcting them. Points for that.

            sabutai   @   Thu 31 Jan 5:12 PM
  9. Thanks for posting here, Rep. Markey

    I’m looking forward to your campaign – and having you represent us in the Senate. And I wanted to say thanks for your many years of work on energy issues.

    I’m optimistic that many useful lessons were learned from the 2010 special election.

  10. Thank you, from one of your neighbors in Malden

    Congressman Markey — Thanks very much for posting here at BMG and engaging with this community as you get ready to formally launch your campaign. I think this community can offer a lot of great ideas as you gear up for the primary.

    I’m very glad to hear about the hire of a top notch field organizer with excellent recent experience organizing statewide in Massachusetts — and in a very tough year (2010). I door knocked in Malden (where I live) in 2010 for the Governor and I had never seen such an amazing, coordinated grassroots effort up to that point. (Needless to say, 2012 was even more impressive). Given the compressed timeline for this race, I find it very encouraging as someone who will be volunteering for you that your field staff is top notch — well done.

    Looking forward to your kickoff on Saturday and to calling you Senator Markey :-)

  11. I don't see grammatical errors.

    I copied and pasted this into MS Works and ran a grammar check. It only came up with a couple of questionable comma uses which I actually think are fine as they are.

    • I saw a couple

      which have been fixed. Not to make a big deal of it, but the word Kennedys had an incorrect apostrophe in the original post, etc.

  12. Issues-based Campaign

    As I had posted before, I’m thrilled that my Congressman, Ed Markey is running. The issues that he fights so powerfully for, Clean Energy jobs, dealing with climate change, and an innovation economy, are really the critical issues for the 21st Century. They’re the issues that motivated me to first get involved in political campaigns many years ago, and they’re issues that Ed has led on for years.

    I’m committed to making Ed Markey the next Senator from Massachusetts.

    Bob Peters,
    Lexington, DSC Member

  13. Great News for the grassroots

    I have been fortunate to had the opportunity of volunteering with Carl Nilsson and Congressman Markey’s campaign team over the last couple of successful election cycles. They are talented, knowledgeable, creative and dedicated to grassroots organizing. I look forward to again working with Carl and the rest of the campaign staff as we reach out to voters about Congressman Markey’s commitment and record of standing up for the citizens of the Commonwealth.


    Last night I ( and many many others) had the privilege of hearing comments from my CD5 Congressman Ed Markey affirming what we already knew: he is running for Senate in a critical election with a short time frame. I am thrilled that Congressman Markey who has taken a visionary lead on so many issues including environment, climate change, green energy revolution and also supports healthcare, end to gun violence, LGBT issues will join Elizabeth Warren in the Senate. I am also thrilled that Carl Nilsson who was the creative and inspiring leader of the Obama Campaign in Massachusetts will lead this campaign. As one of many Team Leaders in MA who worked with Carl, I know we will follow Carl’s lead again, and again (with a lot of work, more emails, canvasses and phone banks than we can imagine and an unprecedented GOTV effort) elect our candidate–this time Senator Ed Markey. I am so glad Ed Markey is running and Carl Nilsson will lead the campaign.

  15. As mentioned before

    I attended (for a bit) a Lowell for Markey event Tuesday (ironically, the day Kerry got confirmed). A few stalwart regulars were there of course, but a whole ton of people I didn’t know were too, or people I met through the Lowell Warren effort.

    And at the front of the room, besides heavyweight Dick Howe, Jr who was running the meeting (which is a whole thing unto itself – he doesn’t always pick a horse in the primary) was Ms. Ariela the Evil Field Person Whose Number Was Constantly Showing Up In My Caller ID Like Every Freaking Day.

    You can’t get more grassroots-relentless than Ariela…

  16. Go Markey! Go Carl!

    Delighted to be working with Carl again.

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