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GOP group hits Markey for ’90s House bank scandal

US Representative Edward J. Markey.

Globe File/2004

US Representative Edward J. Markey.

A new web video from the National Republican Senatorial Committee hits Senate Democratic hopeful Edward J. Markey for his involvement along with more than 300 other 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 fifty-second video gives a window into a potential line of attack Republicans may use against the longtime congressman in paid advertisements in the run-up to the June 25 special election.

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The House bank allowed members, who got paid at the end of the month, to overdraft 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.

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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 likely turn into a targeted web ad in the future.

Markey was first sworn in to Congress in November, 1976. His long tenure has been a key line of attack for Republicans, who hope to juxtapose his time in Washington, DC with Republican 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,” Markey said in a statement to the Globe in April, 1992. Markey wrote $47,780 in overdrafts, according to that 1992 Globe article.

This morning, a spokesman and a spokeswoman for Markey’s campaign did not return requests for comment.

Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos.
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