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slides: Markey Vs Lynch: By the Numbers

Thursday, March 14, 2013

 

As the Democratic primary heats up for the Commonwealth's open U.S. Senate seat, GoLocal takes a look at the numbers to see how U.S. Reps. Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch compare.

We pick apart the rankings on taxpayer friendliness, gun control, protecting the middle class and more to show how these Congressmen have performed in recent years before one takes on a Republican challenger in the June 25 special election.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Both candidates have key groups that have shown their support, and now the question is which one has more swinging power.

“Markey comes from the progressive wing of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, and I would expect groups on the left will strongly support him,” said Clark University professor of political science, Mark Miller. “Lynch comes from the more conservative wing of the Democratic Party, and I would think center-right groups will support him. “

Miller added that Markey has been a “darling” of environmental groups, and can count on them for support. Robert Boatright, another Clark political professor, agreed.

Markey, he said, will likely have a better chance gaining support from left-leaning advocacy groups, but will split union support with Lynch.

“I think Markey has a substantial edge in support, but Lynch may well be a better campaigner and more capable of making personal appeals, particularly to working class Democrats,” Boatright said. “That might help overcome Markey’s edge, but given the dynamics of turnout in a special election, I doubt it.”

Local Support

Both candidates for Kerry’s empty seat have local supporters, with councilors and state-level politicians throwing their support behind Markey and Lynch for various reasons.

More than forty labor organizations, including the Massachusetts Nurses Association, and a number of other elected officials across the Commonwealth have endorsed Lynch in his Senate run, and more announced their support this week.

State Reps. John Fresolo (D-Worcester) and John Binienda (D-Worcester), At-Large City Councilors Kathleen Toomey and Michael Germain and former state Rep. Jennifer Callahan (D-Sutton) officially announced their endorsement of Lynch in the special election.

“I want a Senator who remembers where they come from, and that’s Steve Lynch,” said Toomey. “He's an independent, self-made man who strapped on a pair of work boots for 18 years.” She added, “Steve Lynch doesn’t need a GPS to get to Worcester, he knows where Worcester is and knows how important our future success as a city is to the people of Massachusetts.”

Rep. Fresolo said that Lynch isn’t a “carbon copy of the progressive Democrats who have been successful recently,” but said he fits best with the people he represents.

“My constituents are the working class and the working poor. In my opinion, there is no better advocate for the people I represent and the people of Worcester than Stephen Lynch in the U.S. Senate,” he said.

Given their track records and momentum thus far, political experts say it’s just a matter of keeping that support going and translating that into votes.

The Grades Come In

Before the April 30th primary, see how Lynch and Markey have stacked up so far during their years in Congress by reading how national groups ranked these candidates for taxpayer friendliness, gun control, protecting the middle class and more.

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TechCrunch

Markey: C

Lynch: B

Lynch takes this ranking from TechCrunch for having a more tech-friendly voting recrord.

Markey got points taken off for his vote against the Jumpstart Our Business Startups bill -- something Lynch supported. Both were non-supporters of SOPA and voted for the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act.

TechCrunch touts itself as a leading technology media property, dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news.

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Natl. Taxpayers Union

Markey: F

Lynch: F

The National Taxpayers Union calls itself, "America's independent, non-partisan advocate for overburdened taxpayers."

Markey and Lynch failed this group's ranking of congressmembers.

The group's mission is to, "mobilize elected officials and the general public on behalf of tax relief and reform, lower and less wasteful spending, individual liberty, and free enterprise."

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Heritage Action

Markey: 19%

Lynch: 14%

Heritage Action for America promotes Conservative legislation and supports welfare work requirements and defunding the Affordable Care Act.

Their scorecard for the two candidates points out votes for and against conservative items. Their average score for House Democrats is 15 percent.

Click to see how the group felt about Lynch and Markey's voting records.

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Natl. Rifle Association

Markey: F

Lynch: F

In the National Rifle Association's 2012 Congressional scorecard, both Dems. received a failing grade.

Neither candidate contributed to the group.

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GradeGov

Markey: F

Lynch: F

GradeGov.com is an online vote-casting website, where anyone can vote for how well they believe candidates represent them effectively.

While it's hard to tell how many voters cast their votes, both candidates tied for a losing score in this round.

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MiddleClass.org

Markey: 100%

Lynch: 80%

TheMiddleClass.org released a Congressional scorecard showing each House member's votes that directly affect the middle class.

Markey took this round with a perfect score for supporting the middle class.

While Lynch still received a "Good" score, he lost points for his vote against the 2013 Progressive Caucus Budget for All, and against the Surface Transportation Extension Act.

The website is under Campaign for America's Future, which calls itself, "the strategy center for the progressive movement."

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Americans for the Arts

Markey: 93/A+

Lynch: 83/A

Markey won this round by a close margin, judging by statistics from the report card issued by Americans for the Arts (AFA).

The group ranked each candidate's voting record against six values to show how well their record supported the arts.

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Food Policy Action

Markey: 92%

Lynch: 100%

Lynch came out with a perfect score in the rankings provided by the Food Policy Action group.

The group's mission includes promoting a healthy diet and exercise, as well as political issues like improving food access and affordability, upholding the rights and dignity of food and farm workers, increasing transparency, and improving public health.

Markey lost this round thanks to his lack of a vote on the Farr Organic Amendment and his vote against Sullivan E15 Amendment, which would prevent the EPA from allowing higher amounts of ethanol in gasoline.

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Secular Coalition

Markey: C/57%

Lynch: A/80%

The Secular Coalition for America also released a recent ranking of House members, in which Lynch won over Markey.

 

The group's metrics included seven issues, "covering aspects of protecting and eroding religious liberty, religious privileging in law, discrimination against nontheistic Americans, the influence of religious dogma on the availability of health care and educational choices, and the effect of religious bias in science."
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NAACP

Markey: 90/A

Lynch: 95/A

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) called their Markey/Lynch ranking a near tie, giving both Reps. an "A."

But Lynch beat Markey by a small margin in this one, due to Markey's not voting on the bills in question, costing him points.

The NAACP Washington Bureau has produced an annual Civil Rights Legislative Report Card since 1914. This resource is designed to provide NAACP members with insight into the general voting patterns of their congressional representatives over the course of the year.

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National Journal's Score

Markey: 92.5

Lynch: 71.2

The National Jounral ranked members of Congress to illustrate party alliances, and found that Lynch was the most conservative Rep. in Mass.

The numbers were broken down into economic, social, and foreign policy scores and compared members to other party memebers.

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Conservation Voters

Markey 2012: 100%

Lifetime: 94%

Lynch 2012: 89%

Lifetime: 94%

This round goes to Markey, who was rated more highly by the League of Conservation than his opponent for his support of pro-environmental legislation.

The group issued the scorecard based on the consensus of experts from about twenty respected environmental and conservation organizations who selected the key votes on which members of Congress should be scored.

 
 

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Comments:

Iron Mike Farquhar

I grade them as Dumb and Dumber....

Markey wins the Lifetime Govt Piggy Award – 40 years on the government payroll – with nothing but old yard signs to show for it...

Lynch wins the Union Hack Award,...for catering to unions while voting for programs which result in jobs shipped overseas to avoid the regulations and taxes he put in place.

Mass voters get this ONE opportunity to finally wake up and reject them BOTH!

But Markey has a war chest, and his anti-gun commercials have already hit the air.

D Stanley

Most of these slides are self serving and shortcuts to thinking. The food one is interesting; if we all exercised personal responsibility and quit smoking, ate right, (cutting out the junk food), and engaged in at least a half hour of vigorous exercise a day, then we wouldn’t need “Obama care”; any medical “system” would work reasonably well. I think Lynch would be a better candidate in the general election because he is not whacko conservative, just reasonably more conservative (than Markey).

I bet both of these men are of above average intelligence, whether or not one wishes to vote for them notwithstanding.

Question: What is it that self described conservatives are conserving, anyway? Energy, oil, resources, open land, water, paper, human life, fish, wildlife, infrastructure, reasoned deliberation, anything?




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