Morning Massachusetts Senate Race Briefing – Wednesday January 13th Edition

First off we apologize for the number of front page posts but this race is fluid and as news breaks we are going to break it.  Be sure to check the second page of front page posts to ensure that you are not missing any news.

The Boston Globe runs a story that tries to explain why Martha Coakley has been absent from the campaign trail in any public way.  Unlike Scott Brown who has taken his message directly to the people of the Commonwealth, Coakley has taken her message to the political machine and the unions.  

Coakley leaves quickly, hurrying through a reception downstairs, passing up the refreshments, shaking maybe a few hands on the way out. On the front steps, she rubs elbows with city councilors and School Committee members. She gives the mayor a comradely hug and a peck on the cheek. Then she is gone.

“Do you know where Coakley went?” a man asks. He wants to get another picture of her. He chases her black Ford Taurus and tries in vain to wave it down.

The appearance characterizes Coakley’s approach to this truncated race. Aware that she has little time for the hand-shaking and baby-kissing of a standard political campaign, she has focused instead on rallying key political leaders, Democratic activists, and union organizers, in hope they will get people to the polls.

Let’s read that again, Martha Coakley was chased by a supporter who couldn’t get a chance to meet her.  Perhaps that’s why she is down in some polls. She can’t stand being around the people. That will make a great senator now won’t it?  She even chides Brown for meeting the people of the Commonwealth.

“As opposed to standing outside Fenway Park? In the cold? Shaking hands?” she fires back, in an apparent reference to a Brown online video of him doing just that. “This is a special election. And I know that I have the support of Kim Driscoll. And I now know the members of the [Salem] School Committee, who know far more people than I could ever meet.”

You can hear the condescension through the ink.

The Boston Herald gives Ayla Brown the front page treatment.  They call her “Daddy’s Little Pit Bull”.  

“Martha Coakley’s new negative ad represents everything that discourages young women from getting involved in politics, and as a young woman, I’m completely offended by that,” said the 21-year-old Brown. “She even spelled Massachusetts wrong in her original ad which is very embarrassing, I must say as a young woman.”

The facts remain. Scott Brown voted for the emergency contraception bill. He did offer an amendment to protect the civil rights of health care providers who may be personally opposed to abortion on religious grounds. When that amendment failed he still voted for the final bill and voted to override Governor Romney’s veto. Those are the facts.

The National Review has started a new blog The Baystate Report that is focused like a laser-beam on this race.  Think of it as the KennedySeat.com on steroids.  There were over 20 news stories yesterday alone on this blog. It’s bookmarked on the RMG control panel’s browser and should be on yours.

Scott Brown visited with the Editorial Board of the Cape Cod Times recently.  Their article about that visit is up.

With one week left before the special election to fill the seat left vacant by the late Edward M. Kennedy, the Republican candidate met with the Cape Cod Times editorial board yesterday, fielding questions about issues from Cape Wind to Guantanamo Bay.

The race has drawn national attention in recent weeks – if Brown wins, he could block Democrats from having a filibuster-proof majority. If his opponent, Attorney General Martha Coakley, prevails at the ballot box, she’ll likely secure approval of the Democrats’ health care reform bill.

The Washington Examiner calls Martha Coakley “K Street’s choice for senator.”

The invitation names 24 “sponsors,” who raised at least $10,000 for Coakley’s campaign. One sponsor is the political action committee for Boston Scientific Corporation, a leading medical device and medical technology company. Another 17 of Coakley’s sponsors are registered lobbyists in Washington, 15 of whom have health care clients. The remaining sponsors include the wife of a lobbyist, a non-lobbyist lawyer at a lobbying firm, and a former Pennsylvania lobbyist.

This group delivered at least $200,000 for Coakley in the final week of her campaign, and so it’s worth taking a look at their clients. Heather and Tony Podesta, perhaps the most high-profile Democratic lobbyists these days, represent pharmaceutical companies Eli Lilly, Amgen, Genzyme, Merck, Novartis, and Roche. Insurers Cigna and HealthSouth are clients of Heather, while medical device giant General Electric is a client of Tony.

David Castagnetti, former chief of staff for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, has the largest list of health care clients among Coakley’s sponsors, including America’s Health Insurance Plans, the D.C. lobby for health insurers that Obama used as his foil whenever talking tough about special interests. The Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America — the most prolific single-industry lobbying group in the country — also employs Castagnetti and three other Coakley sponsors. Castagnetti’s client list includes Merck, Humana, GE, Astra-Zeneca, and Abbott Laboratories.

As always don’t forget to visit Google News for up to the minute news about this race.

About Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno