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campaign notebook

McCain to stump for Gomez’s Senate bid

Gabriel E. Gomez has striven to avoid the label of conservative Republican that is largely unpopular in the Bay State.

Steven Senne /Associated Press

Gabriel E. Gomez has striven to avoid the label of conservative Republican that is largely unpopular in the Bay State.

US Senator John McCain is scheduled to come to Boston next week to raise campaign cash for a fellow US Navy veteran and Republican, Senate nominee Gabriel E. Gomez, according to an invitation to the event.

The high-dollar event at the Fairmont Copley Plaza May 20 will command $37,600 per ­person for a VIP roundtable, $15,000 per person for a photo reception, and $2,600 for a noon lunch. Donations will go to the Gabriel Gomez Victory Fund, the invitation said.

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McCain’s interjection in the race comes as Republican operatives privately wonder whether national donations will support Gomez as the private equity investor and former Navy SEAL does battle with the Democratic nominee, US Representative Edward J. Markey.

The victory fund is a joint fund-raising effort of Gomez’s campaign and the National ­Republican Senatorial Committee.

Gomez has striven to avoid the conservative label cultivated by Republicans in other parts of the country but largely unpopular in the Bay State.

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To that end, McCain’s maverick brand makes him one of the few national Republicans who could come to Boston without associating Gomez with the party’s hard-right wing.

Gomez has tracked with McCain on policy as well, endorsing the Arizona Republican’s position on how the United States should deal with the prospect of chemical weapons being used by the Assad regime in Syria. Both also support comprehensive immigration reform.

But the GOP nominee has had to display some political footwork in discussing whom he supported during the 2008 presidential election. Gomez, in a bid to win Governor Deval Patrick’s interim appointment to the vacant Senate seat earlier this year, touted his support for President Obama.

Later, Gomez said that he voted for McCain in the general election, but donated to Obama during the primary.

Democrat Edward J. Markey’s long tenure in Congress has been a key line of attack for Republicans.

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Democrat Edward J. Markey’s long tenure in Congress has been a key line of attack for Republicans.

Video targets Markey over House scandal

A new Web video from the National Republican Senatorial Committee hits Democratic hopeful Edward J. Markey for his involvement along with more than 300 other House members in a check-bouncing scandal more than 20 years ago.

Although the video is currently not backed by any money online or on TV, the 50-
second spot gives a window ­into a potential line of attack Republicans may use against the longtime congressman in paid ads in the run-up to the June 25 special election.

The House bank allowed members, who got paid at the end of the month, to overdraw their accounts without penalty.

The video begins with a clip from Markey’s own ad in an old-fashioned television.

“I’m Ed Markey. It’s hard to believe but 20 years ago. . . ” Markey begins.

Then the screen flashes with static and a foreboding male narrator comes in.

“Twenty years ago, Ed ­Markey was caught up in a major ethics investigation,” the narrator says.

“Markey bounced 92 checks, using his account at the exclusive congressional bank. That’s 92 bounced checks!” the narrator says.

“Insider perks are nothing new for him,” the narrator ­intones as an image of Markey holding a bundle of cash up to his nose appears on the old TV. “Over 36 years in Congress. Markey voted to raise his pay by nearly 40 percent. Scandals and special insiders benefits. Haven’t we had enough of that in Washington? Now Markey is asking for a promotion. Don’t think so.”

Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for the NRSC, said the video would probably turn into a targeted Web ad in the future.

Markey was first elected to Congress in 1976. His long tenure has been a key line of ­attack for Republicans, who hope to juxtapose his time in Washington, D.C., with GOP Senate nominee Gabriel E. Gomez, a political newcomer.

At the time of the check-bouncing controversy, Markey pinned blame partially on the bank.

“Had I more closely monitored my daily balance, I would not have been misled by the monthly statements from the bank that always indicated that I had a positive balance,” he said in a statement to the Globe in April, 1992. Markey wrote $47,780 in overdrafts, according to that article.

“Leave it to the national ­Republicans to dig up a 20-year-old news story about unintentional overdrafts from members of Congress that Ed Markey apologized for and voted to prevent from every happening again,” a Markey spokesman, Andrew Zucker, said in a statement Monday.

Gomez predicts win as his ‘own person’

WOBURN — Senate hopeful Gabriel E. Gomez predicted Monday that his campaign will be victorious, regardless of whether he receives help from Washington Republicans.

His comments came on the heels of the news that US Senator John McCain of Arizona is scheduled to come to Massachusetts on his behalf.

“I’m my own person and I’m going to win this election with or without D.C.,” he said at a press conference after a visit to a manufacturing plant in ­Woburn.

Gomez said he was honored to have McCain come to the state for him, but noted that he disagreed with the 2008 GOP presidential nominee on some issues.

He also said he would not return money contributed from the political action committee affiliated with former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who told the Boston Herald that Gomez must “run as a ­Navy SEAL and not as a ­Republican candidate.”

Pressed on whether he would release his 2005 year’s tax returns — the year he took a $281,500 historic tax deduction on his Cohasset home — Gomez reiterated, as he did last week, that he has released six years of returns and indicated he would not release any more.

He also called on his opponent — US Representative ­Edward J. Markey, a Democrat — to release his tax returns.

“The bottom line is: I’ve been 100 percent transparent,” he said. “I have yet to see a single tax return from Congressman Markey.”

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