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LETTERS

Outside money bumps up against the inside track in Senate race

Shannon Liss-Riordan and Representative Joe Kennedy III recently signed the People's Pledge, which would restrict outside money in the 2020 race.
Shannon Liss-Riordan and Representative Joe Kennedy III recently signed the People's Pledge, which would restrict outside money in the 2020 race.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Markey’s move would drown out the voters' voice

As Democrats, I thought we were all on the same page when it came to outside money in our elections. But after reading “Markey passes up People’s Pledge” (Metro, Dec. 3), I’m surprised by incumbent Senator Edward Markey’s reversal and his clear attempt to carve out an exemption for himself.

The entire point of the People’s Pledge is to ensure that voters’ voices are not drowned out by outside interests with money. At the end of the day, it shouldn’t really matter if a candidate deems a group a good voice or bad voice. It’s not the voters’ voice.

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We have great candidates running for this seat. Let’s hear straight from them and not from outside parties with veiled motivations. In these political times, too much is at stake to leave this decision up to anyone else but the voters of Massachusetts.

I thank Representative Joseph Kennedy III and Shannon Liss-Riordan for their leadership on this issue in their run for the Senate seat.

Hannah O’Halloran

Stoneham


There’s more than a hint of cold calculation to Kennedy’s People’s Pledge

It is easy for Joe Kennedy to pledge to limit money from outside groups when he can bank on his family name. It was his name that got the former assistant district attorney elected to the US House of Representatives without any previous elected experience.

I’m sure Kennedy knows this, which is why he can disingenuously proclaim his desire to keep money out of politics, while self-righteously criticizing an incumbent — with whom he has no substantive differences — for not taking the same pledge under such circumstances.

According to a 2016 survey on national civics by the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate , only 46 percent of Americans even know that each state has two senators. The benefits of Kennedy’s famous last name will undoubtedly also help him with millennial voters, 77 percent of whom can’t name a senator from their home state, according to a 2015 Fusion poll.

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Absent a genuine comparison and a proactive effort by others to educate the public about Markey, Kennedy’s popular last name alone will get him elected.

Keeping money out of politics is a noble effort, but let’s not pretend Kennedy’s intention is not calculated. He knows that uninformed voters are his path to victory. Markey is wise not to play his game.

Michael Seward

Shelburne