MA air war kicks off


So far the news in Massachusetts has mostly been about who isn’t running. But one who is, US Rep. Mike Capuano (D-MA) has kicked off the battle for the airwaves with an ad tying himself to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA).

The key to having any competition at all was held by a pair of Kennedys – Ted’s widow Vicki and former six-term US Rep. Joe Kennedy, son of Robert. Vicki is said to have no interest and Joe said he would not run, opening the field to competition.

Another former rep, Marty Meehan (D-MA), is sitting on a large warchest has declined to run, and Ed Markey (D-MA) has decided to hang on to his lofty seniority in the House rather than become Senator #100.

Capuano may be joined by colleague Stephen Lynch (D-MA), and a third Rep, John Tierney (D-MA) has been thinking about it. Another strong contender – some think the strongest – is State Attorney General Martha Coakley.

The Republican field consists mostly of state and local politicians, and Boston Red Sox World Series hero Curt Schilling has discussed a possible run, which would probably be as an independent.

Meanwhile, the Massachusetts legislature is close to restoring the governor’s right to appoint an interim replacement for a US Senate vacancy. It had taken it away to prevent then-Gov. Mitt Romney from potentially picking a successor to John Kerry after his presidential run. Now that Democrat Deval Patrick is governor, they’re restoring the right to get the Democrats another health care vote in Washington ASAP.

The state house has already approved a bill to do that and the state senate is expected to follow suit, although Republicans there have promised to use procedure to slow them down as much as possible.

RBR/TVBR observation: The minute former rep Joe Kennedy decided not to run, the prospects for ad spending brightened. Capuano and Lynch are said to have well over a million in the bank. And Coakley is thought to be in line for significant contributions from abortion rights watchdog Emily’s List. So far things seem to be breaking in favor of at least some kind of windfall for Massachusetts broadcasters, especially if the Republicans can manage to get any traction at all.