Republican Massachusetts Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez fired back after the campaign manager for his Democratic rival, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), made demand for him to sign a pledge to keep negative ads paid for by outside groups out of their race. Gomez spokesman Will Ritter told TPM a letter was "hand-delivered" to Markey's office this evening that described the pledge push as a hypocritical "campaign stunt."
Since they won their respective primaries on Tuesday, Markey has been pushing Gomez to sign the so-called People's Pledge to ban third party spending that was in affect during the 2012 Massachusetts race between Elizabeth Warren and then-Sen. Scott Brown. It was proposed by Brown.
In his letter, Gomez reiterated his past statement that the only pledge he will make is one "to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America." He also pointed to money Markey took from political action committees during his primary campaign in this election and in his lengthy congressional career and said this left a "cloud of hypocrisy" over the congressman's campaign. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Markey has taken $2.8 million from PACs since 1989.
Gomez closed by demanding Markey make a donation to a charitable organization to make up for some of this money. He also accused Markey of dodging a debate.
Read Gomez's full letter below:
"May 3, 2013
ATTN: Congressman Ed Markey
Ed Markey for Senate
P.O. Box 290782
Charlestown, MA 02129
Dear Congressman Ed Markey,
I write to you today to formally ask that you immediately return, in cash, the over $3.4 million in PAC money you have taken from special interest groups over the past 37 years in Congress by Monday at 10:00 AM.
More specifically, with regard to the special interest money you have taken from companies that you regulate, I ask that you not only return that money, but issue a policy and “pledge” to never do it again.
As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, a committee which regulates telecom and Internet activities, you have received over $1 million in special interest PAC money from companies that you regulate. In fact, according to Congressional Quarterly, since 1980 you have taken $1,064,250 from these companies.
Finally, according to the People’s Pledge rules, your campaign is obligated to make charitable contributions for the approximately $1 million of outside special-interest spending that occurred on your behalf during your campaign to defeat Stephen Lynch, in complete defiance of the People’s Pledge you signed. The rules stipulate that the minimum charitable contribution is 50% of this total, or $500,000.
My advice on a charity to donate these funds to would be “Homes for Our Troops,” a non-profit charitable organization based in Taunton. Again, please have this done by10:00 AM on Monday May 6, prior to your campaign stunt.
If you take these actions, you might be able to remove the cloud of hypocrisy currently hanging over your campaign.
I will take the same pledge that my parents took when they became U.S. citizens and that I took when I joined the US Navy – to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.
P.S. – I have yet to receive your response to my May 1st challenge that you agree to participate in three debates on actual issues like improving the economy and creating jobs. The voters deserve to see and hear their candidates talk directly to them instead of hiding behind silly stunts."