A new video ad from Kennedy’s campaign skewers and parodies a Markey ad that shows the incumbent Democrat walking around his hometown of Malden in white sneakers.
“Ed Markey gave internet and phone companies the power they have today to deliver poor services, hurt workers and overcharge consumers,” says Miles Calvey, business manager for IBEW 2222, which has endorsed Kennedy, strolling the streets of Malden in whiite sneakers and taking a pass by Markey’s home.
“Ed Markey still pretends it didn’t happen, just like he pretends to still live here in Malden.”
Markey campaign manager John Walsh responded: “The telecom act created new industries and countless jobs and brought trillions of investments. These Kennedy attacks are as old as Ed’s sneakers and not nearly as cool.”
The Kennedy campaign video takes a sarcastic turn in the Newton congressman’s bid to unseat Markey.
The telecom overhaul of 1996, signed by President Bill Clinton, was supposed to create more competition and more jobs and drive down prices for cable and internet by deregulating the industry. But critics contend it instead led to mega-mergers of media companies and lost jobs while driving up costs to consumers.
Markey, as a U.S. House member, had been chairman of the key telecommunications subcommittee that helped draft the bill in the early 1990s, but lost control of the post when the GOP took control of the House in 1994.
But Markey takes credit for being “co-author” of the legislation that his Senate website claims “helped unleash innovation, investment and competition.”
Michael Monahan, vice president of IBEW’s 2nd District, says he suggested the Kennedy campaign not let Markey “get away with” saying the telecom law was good for Massachusetts.
“It’s nothing he should be taking credit for,” Monahan said. “He should feel guilty about it, going to confession over it. In my opinion it’s been a disaster for a lot of industries.”
Markey’s new TV ad shows him walking around Malden in his trademark white sneakers in an effort to rebut charges that he spends more time at his Chevy Chase, Md., manse than he does in Massachusetts.
In the Kennedy ad, Calvey, also wearing white sneakers, walks by a building in Malden that used to house a Verizon call center employing 600 people, but now employs just 11.
“Is your phone and internet bill too high? He (Markey) sold you out, too,” Calvey says.