Fact Check: Ed Markey Shamelessly Exploited Newtown

By
May 22, 2013

2V0R1860.JPGTime and again, Ed Markey of Massachusetts has touted his alleged courage in ‘standing up to the gun lobby,’ even going so far as to crassly invoke the recent Newtown tragedy in his advertising. Sadly, a review of the record does not support Markey’s claims of anything akin to leadership in this regard.

Ed Markey’s record of standing up to powerful special interests like the gun lobby ….

 

Also see here:

Markey: “In the Senate, I’ll keep standing up to the gun lobby. I want these guns off our streets, and that’s why I approve this message.”

However, a review of the facts indicates that Markey has been somewhere between feckless and ineffective as regards any gun lobby. Even the Boston Globe was forced to point that out in the wake of the Aurora, Colorado shooting via an interview with Boston Mayor Tom Menino. Keep in mind, the delegation Menino is speaking of has included Ed Markey for decades, during which time he’s done nothing to support his claims of leadership now that he wants a promotion to the Senate.

“It could be Dorchester next, or Brighton, or Roxbury,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino barked into the phone Tuesday. “Why does our leadership fail to act?”

I asked if there’s a member of the state’s congressional delegation to whom he can turn for help. “No,” Menino replied.

… Democrats say the right things and vote the right way. But they are muted followers, not leaders, joining the rest of the Congress in collective cowering to the National Rifle Association.

“We don’t have one single leader in our delegation willing to ask the question: Why can criminals and Al Qaeda buy guns undetected in 33 states?”said John Rosenthal, the region’s go-to guy on gun issues and the head of Stop Handgun Violence.

Maybe none of this is surprising. Representative Steve Lynch once described a proposed assault weapons ban in the State House as “feel-good legislation.”

In fact, if anything, when given the opportunity to step up after Aurora, one might say Ed Markey opted to hide behind Carolyn McCarthy’s skirt. That’s hardly a sign of leadership and his claims of fighting Chinese assault weapons decades ago do not hold up to scrutiny, either.

We could go on. Representative Ed Markey, … said Tuesday, “It’s not that there’s not passion on the issue. There is.” But he added that members defer to Carolyn McCarthy, the New York congresswoman whose husband was gunned down in the Long Island Railroad massacre in 1993.

All of which is profoundly unsatisfying. There is an important story to be told from Massachusetts, and no member of Congress from Massachusetts willing to tell it.

So much for Markey’s claims of fighting the gun lobby – until he began to covet a Senate seat. As for a rather dated 1993 ban on Chinese assault weapons Markey likes to invoke and try to take credit for, that was actually led by Bill Clinton who left office pointing out how weak on guns was a Congress that included Ed Markey – all those years ago and ever since. From the New York Times:

 As a single punitive act, Mr. Clinton ordered a ban on imports of Chinese guns and ammunition, which amount to $200 million a year. He also said he would maintain the few Bush Administration sanctions that remain in effect, including prohibitions on shipments of United States weapons and other goods to the Chinese military. But those measures will affect only a tiny fraction of the $31 billion in goods that China sold to the United States last year. Thus Mr. Clinton has sided with those in Congress and his Administration who warned against jeopardizing relations with Beijing.

One can research, or read article after article on the Clinton ban and Ed Markey’s name is nowhere to be found in the coverage at the time.

Previously, Ed Markey channeled Barack Obama’s ‘you didn’t build that’ remarks in an effort to take credit for business successes in which he played no real part. Unfortunately, not content to stop there, now Ed Markey is shamelessly exploiting the terrible Newtown tragedy in which so many children were massacred purely to falsely claim to be a leader on gun control issues when the record proves that’s false.

Hopefully the residents of Massachusetts opt for something other than politics as usual, not to mention Markey’s empty claims of leadership and the empty suit a close look at Ed Markey reveals him to be.

Markey faces off with businessman and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez on June 25th. If recent news out of Washington suggests anything, it’s that it’s time for a change. There’s no logical reason to expect a man like Ed Markey who has been in D.C. for over 30 years – first arriving in 1976 – is going to now miraculously emerge as the leader he’s never been simply because he gets a promotion he hasn’t earned.

What with going on 40 years in Washington, perhaps retirement is much closer to what Ed Markey actually deserves.

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