U.S. Rep Edward J. Markey emerged from the final and most explosive of
three Senate showdowns against Republican Gabriel E. Gomez largely unscathed,
giving him a leg up in the last week before the election as he holds a lead in
the polls and unleashes a blitz of negative ads.
Markey turned the screws on Gomez regarding his private-sector work, saying the Cohasset Republican has failed to provide a list of his clients.
"He's running as a businessman," said an outraged Markey.
"We need to know, Mr. Gomez, who you work for, what kind of jobs were created, and we still haven't gotten an answer."
The biggest fireworks during the hourlong faceoff came as Markey took hits over a Herald story that detailed a failed telecommunications jobs project that straddled Medford, Everett and his hometown of Malden.
"This is a great example of someone who's never had private-sector experience," said Gomez of the plan that promised 7,500 telecommunications jobs but has produced only 300, none Internet-related. "There hasn't been a single job created for the Internet."
Gomez added that the boondoggle is more proof that Markey hasn't been able to fix Washington or his hometown despite his nearly four decades in Congress.
"You've had 37 years down in D.C. to get these important things done.
"Give me 17 months and I will keep my word and I will do what I say," Gomez said.
Markey again laid the blame for the telecom jobs bust on former Govs. William Weld and the late Paul Cellucci as partners in the development, and suggested the three cities are still better off.
The last debate was a make-or-break moment for Gomez as the Republican has lagged behind Markey in several polls.
But Gomez didn't appear to turn the tide, despite pouncing on one exchange with Markey, after he nearly called Gomez a liar when the former Navy SEAL said he told U.S. Sen. John McCain that there should be term limits.
"Mr. Gomez did not tell Mr. McCain, 'This is your last term, you should be leaving right now,'" Markey said. "I'm saying that did not happen."
Gomez immediately retorted, "It absolutely did happen, so if you want to call me a liar, that's fine."
Markey also blundered during an exchange on the failed solar panel manufacturer Evergreen Solar, telling Gomez the company received only state money, when in fact, it got funding from President Obama's stimulus bill.
Gomez also accused Markey of misrepresenting his stance on gun control.
"You'll do anything and say anything to get elected," the Republican said.
"That's what you've been doing for 37 years."
(c)2013 the Boston Herald
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