Get Markey in First

Leland Chung is "a City Councillor in Cambridge and an Executive Committee member of the Democratic State Committee and the Political Director for the Young Dems." - promoted by Bob_Neer

Hello BMGers. First time poster, but a long time reader and grassroots advocate for Democratic causes. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a City Councillor in Cambridge and an Executive Committee member of the Democratic State Committee and the Political Director for the Young Dems.

I wanted to write for two purposes to my fellow advocates on here. First, to announce and invite you to some events I will be hosting in Cambridge for the Markey campaign. On Saturday, February 16, I will be out in Inman Square with other supporters collecting signatures from 2:30 – 4:30. Please feel free to meet me at Lord Hobo at 2:30 pm. On Thursday, February 21, I will be in Kendall Square from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm doing the same, meeting at Meadhall. You can join me to collect signatures from the lunch crowd then get lunch ourselves. Finally, stay tuned for a Young Professionals for Markey event that I’m presently in the process of setting up for late March with the Markey campaign.

Secondly, I hope to caution my Democratic friends and colleagues from taking focus away from the task at hand: electing a leading progressive to the US Senate. I have read with trepidation the announcements of some Democrats in the 5th Congressional District who have already publically declared their intent to run for Congressman Markey’s seat, going as far as to have campaign websites already in place. It is a dangerous endeavor. It ignores our party’s own not too distant past to assume that any candidate is destined to win. It distracts from the grassroots work urgently at hand.

I have every confidence that Congressman Markey can win this election, but I will not stop working to elect him until he does. Our collective grassroots efforts can carry the day, as they have so brilliantly before, but only if our resources are marshaled, unified, and focused. I have no doubt that there are dozens of Democrats – myself included – who have been asked by friends and supporters if they would consider a run for Markey’s seat should he win. Everyone is welcome to consider that, but now is not the time to start a campaign for a seat that is not yet vacant. Now is not the time to siphon off resources to a growing number of campaigns for the 5th. Now is the time to focus on electing an extraordinary public servant to represent the Commonwealth in the United States Senate. I know for a fact that Ed Markey is not taking this election for granted; neither should we.

I greatly admire the work that has been done by the elected officials in question and believe that they are great leaders in the Democratic Party, but for the best interest of the party, I urge any candidates who are considering an official announcement to hold back, and candidates that have already declared, to take down any websites or Facebook pages that expressly state their intent for Ed Markey’s seat.

Now is the time for focus and unity. Now is the time to dig deep – past the fatigue still lingering from this past November, past the weary of the cold that would keep us indoors – and to find our inner Kate Donaghue. Now is the time to demonstrate once again how powerful grassroots organizing can be. Now is the time to gather together in support of a leading progressive: Congressman Ed Markey.


12 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Recommended for "inner Kate Donaghue"!

    While the entire post is great, that last line had me reaching for the recommend button as soon as I read it! Thanks, Leland!

  2. It's one short window followed by another.

    I think it’s fine to start getting the proverbial ducks in a row to fill another potential vacancy, but PLEASE let’s not have another round of, “Why hasn’t my candidate done x yet?” like BMG subjected Markey to before Kerry even resigned.

  3. Welcome Leland

    Glad to see new names, thoughts, opinions and other paraphernalia on the ever evolving BMG

  4. Totally Agree

    I received a call today from a candidate for Markey’s congressional district. I told her that, if she really wanted to become a member of Congress, she should work every minute to help elect Ed. I am troubled by the people who are focusing on their own careers, instead of trying to help elect a progressive Senator.

  5. In an ideal world, sure, but...

    In an ideal world, I’m right there with you. I worked my tail off for Elizabeth Warren in Medford — and am revving up for Markey now. I’d like to think that we can wait to start building a base, building support for the Congressional race. Frankly, I’d like the breather.

    I do NOT take Markey’s race for granted. I think he’s got a long way to go to win the primary, nevermind the general.

    The truth is, though, that if you’re going to do a campaign right — talking to voters one by one, block by block, precinct by precinct — then it just takes a long time to build the infrastructure just to set up the framework to handle the volunteers you need, nevermind raising the money to run halfway decent TV, radio, mail and other advertisements. In a Democratic primary, you can’t rely on party infrastructure since, presumably, no candidate has that. Deval Patrick had almost 2 years to build his grassroots effort; Elizabeth Warren started at least a year out. And if you recall, the number one complaint lodged against Ed Markey’s campaign right here on BMG was that nobody could immediately figure out how to get plugged in (in fact I remember that same complaint about the Warren campaign early, early on, too.) Isn’t a grassroots campaign the kind of campaign you would want people to run? To do it, they have to start now.

    If candidates wait, there’s no time to set up that kind of infrastructure, especially as they are scaling up most likely from State Senate or State Rep to the Congressional level. If we asked all candidates to wait to start organizing, then we’re basically letting whoever has access to big money and high dollar donors and media connections win, not the person who wants to build their campaign from the bottom up. That’s the reality.

    Finally, if done right, it’s mutually reinforcing. Candidates in Markey (or Lynch’s district) who want to become a Congressperson will necessarily start to build their lists and activists to get their Congressman elected. In fact, other than Markey, there is nobody who has more at stake to get him elected than the people who want to run to fill his seat. So I am sure that they will do all they can to turn out the vote in MA-5 by going across the district, meeting people, talking up Markey, raising money, collecting signatures, and doing whatever needs to be done to win. In fact, I think it’s quite a good thing to have a lot of candidates going around talking about how they want to lead in the same way that Markey has led for the last several decades.

    • Injecting more passion and enthusiasm into Markey's campaign

      Is a good thing I think. Two excellent progressiive potential successors are
      already providing their supporters and workers to Markey’s campaign. In fact I suspect potential candidates for higher office all over the state are using this campaign to exercise their own organization and demonstrate their capacity to deliver votes to an unknown candidate from another part of the state.

      • Excuse me it looks like 5 or six excellent progressive successors

        will be working very hard to organize their own personal supporters to get Ed Markey into the Senate. Great.

        And at least 3 o4 good solid Democrats are lining up to succeed Lynch. Great.

        The more people run to succeed their candidate the more voters with a direct self interest in getting to the polls to create an opening for their candidate.

  6. Leland is only half right on this...

    Leland, you are right when you say Markey needs all the help he can get (in spite of being annointed by the party poobahs in DC and Boston)…but, you are wrong to assume that everyone wants to spend their time and energy helping his campaign. I find nothing wrong with letting Dems who are unenthused with Ed or Steve focus on potential congressional candidates. It’s preferable to sitting on the sidelines waiting for the outcome. At least they will have a bank shot vested interest in getting a Dem elected to the Senate so their candidate can run for congress!…Pragmatically, campaigns require so much effort and money now it is not reasonable to expect a newcomer to be able to get it accomplished in the short time frame of a special election…they need to get out of the gate early to have a reasonable chance.

  7. Good post

    A Lynch primary win, by no means beyond the realm of possibility, would give us a candidate that a good many Democrats would see as their last choice if every single member of the Congressoinal delegation was in the primary (ok-maybe not no including Tierney.)

    • I agree that a Lynch Primary win is possible...

      … especially if there is only one republican running in the primary.

      If there is only one republican running, all/most of the independant voters that vote will vote in the democratic primary. The independents tend to lean more towards the middle which may be where they think Lynch sits.

      • Lynch is a joke.

        He is neither left, nor right, nor center. He is only interested in furthering the political career of Stephen Lynch. That’s all he cares about.

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