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February 18, 2020


Calls on Senator Markey to sign the Pledge before Tuesday night’s debate

Watertown, MA -- On the eve of their first public debate, Congressman Joe Kennedy III renewed his commitment to keep dark money out of the race for U.S. Senate and, in a video released Tuesday morning, called on Senator Markey to commit to transparency and join him in signing the People’s Pledge.

In September, Kennedy called on all Democratic candidates in the race to take the People's Pledge, a commitment historically made by Massachusetts Senate candidates to keep dark money out of the race. Then-candidate Shannon Liss-Riordan immediately agreed, and the two campaigns signed the Pledge in December. Senator Markey, however, refused to join them, despite championing the Pledge in his previous campaigns. News broke last month that his allies are actively trying to organize a Super PAC on his behalf.

“Since the Elizabeth Warren, Scott Brown Senate race in 2012, Massachusetts Senate candidates have agreed to a People’s Pledge -- a promise among opponents to be transparent with voters; to refuse unlimited, untraceable dark money; and to run campaigns that are informed by the candidates, not by Super PACs,” Kennedy said.

The Pledge includes similar terms laid out in the pledges of the 2012 U.S. Senate race and the 2013 Democratic Senate primary between Senator Markey and Congressman Stephen Lynch. It stipulates that if an outside group runs an independent expenditure on television, radio, digital or direct mail, the candidate who benefits will donate half of the ad's cost to a charity of the other two opponents' choosing. The pledge requires the signature of both candidates to become effective.

“In Massachusetts we champion ourselves as progressives because we stand up and do the right thing, even when the rest of the country does not,” Kennedy added. “If we open the doors to outside money in our own primaries, and we allow carve outs for certain groups we like, we open the floodgates everywhere else. Let’s do this right. Let’s make this about the voters. Let’s say no to dark money. Join me and sign the Pledge before tonight’s debate.”

Tuesday night’s debate is hosted by WGBH and will air at 7 pm. You can tune in locally on 89.7 FM and WBGH-2.

From the Trail:

Joe is running an energetic, diverse, inclusive, tireless and creative grassroots campaign across the entire state.

In just the first 90 days, Joe visited over 70 cities and has not slowed down. In January alone, he held 13 town hall meetings, with crowds of several hundred, in every corner of the state -- two completely in Spanish.

Joe continues to prioritize places and people that are all too often left out of the political process. He has spent his time visiting immigrant families working to make ends meet in Chelsea and Everett, veterans struggling to access proper mental health care in Somerville and Holyoke, working men and women on the picket line in Lawrence and Dedham, individuals with developmental disabilities in Brockton, and fishermen fighting for their future in Gloucester. He has visited community health centers, shelters, and clinics on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic in North Adams, Hyannis, Fitchburg and Boston. He has discussed environmental justice in Chelsea and Roxbury, racial disparities in maternal healthcare in Worcester, criminal justice in Springfield and clean energy in New Bedford.

On the trail, he continues to earn the support from a rising generation of diverse leaders across Massachusetts, including: State Senator Eric Lesser, State Senator Diana DiZoglio, State Representative Jon Santiago, Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley, Chelsea City Councilor Judith Garcia, Worcester City Councilor Sarai Rivera, Brockton City Councilor Rita Mendes, Springfield City Councilors Justin Hurst, Adam Gomez and Trayce Whitfield, Brookline Select Board Member Raul Fernandez and many others.

He continues to stand proudly with labor in the fight for jobs, fair wages and real economic justice. Joe is organized labor’s choice in this race, having been endorsed by the Massachusetts Laborers, the Machinists Statewide Council, Machinists Local 264, Teamsters Local 25, Pipefitters Local 537, IBEW 103, 104, 1505, 445 & 223, UWA 369, Carmen Union 589, Sheet Metal Workers Local 17, IUOE Local 4 & UFCW local 791, the Boston Musicians Association Local 9-535, Ironworkers Local 7, the Plymouth/Bristol County Regional Labor Council and the Norfolk County Regional Labor Council.

Joe is grateful for the support of a diverse group of his colleagues in Congress, from civil rights hero John Lewis to Progressive Caucus Chair Mark Pocan, New England colleagues Annie Kuster and David Cicilline, LBGTQ Caucus Leader Sean Patrick Maloney and rising leaders Joaquin Castro and Stephanie Murphy.

Kennedy for Massachusetts has opened up four campaign offices across the state, with more to come. With offices in Roxbury, Watertown, Lowell and Worcester so far, Kennedy for Massachusetts has prioritized building a strong local presence in every corner of the state, which will serve as the foundation of a massive grassroots operation.

Joe shows up. Joe listens. Joes will do more than fight for you -- he’ll fight with you.

Posted on February 18, 2020 in Press Releases.