Boston Globe – Endorsement: Markey Democrats’ best choice for Senate
ONE AFTERNOON in 2007, Ed Markey stood outside the doors of the US House chamber, balancing plaster models in his hands. He was waiting to enter the nearly empty chamber, to make a speech for C-SPAN junkies illustrating the lack of screening of cargo on US airliners — a loophole that Markey feared a terrorist might exploit. It was a point he had hammered home after 9/11, while airlines and cargo companies insisted that existing precautions were sufficient. But he wasn’t about to give up, and, with a big smile on his face, bounded onto the House floor.
Though Markey’s district included people who died on 9/11, there was no special reason why he, of all House members, should be leading this particular cause. He simply saw it as his job to do what he could to improve the country.
Now, after 37 years of legislative action — sometimes fruitful, sometimes fruitless, always engaged — Markey is seeking to move to the Senate. His primary-election rival, fellow US Representative Stephen Lynch, casts Markey as a creature of Washington, beholden to its ways. It’s an understandable argument for Lynch, since many voters are frustrated with the paralysis in the capital, and looking for ways to register their disapproval.
But it’s hard to see what Ed Markey has to do with the partisanship and discord that have turned people against Congress. He’s a happy warrior, eager to join with Republicans on matters of national importance. To reject Markey simply because he knows how to get things done wouldn’t be a blow against congressional dysfunction; it would further it…
Markey has been the House’s main architect of federal telecommunications policy, guiding the creation of millions of jobs — including many in Massachusetts. He’s also a leader in energy policy, and the prime mover of the far-reaching bill to address climate change that passed the House in 2009 but got bottled up in the Senate. He helped create the legislation that enabled President Obama to negotiate a 54.5 mpg fuel-economy standard for the 2025 model year — one of the greatest accomplishments of Obama’s first term. The list goes on and on…
On that afternoon in 2007, Markey could have been anywhere else in Washington — or Massachusetts, for that matter — than the floor of the House, intoning about cargo screening. But the opposition finally relented: Markey’s bill became law. On cargo screening and dozens of other issues, Markey’s legislative exertions have paid off for America and Massachusetts. He is the best choice for Bay State Democrats.