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(NECN: Alison King) - Ed Markey has released his first TV ad of the general U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts.
It focuses on what he considers one of his crowning achievements in Congress: His work on telecommunications policy.
In the ad, Markey says, "It's hard to believe, but 20 years ago, almost no one had broadband. Smart phones hadn't been invented yet. Facebook, Skype, Google- the stuff of science fiction."
And it includes testimonials from the Boston's high tech community, including Diane Hessan of Communispace, who says, "Then Ed Markey fought to break up monopolies and transform the telecom industry, unleashing competition and private sector investment and creating good jobs."
Within an hour, Markey's Republican opponent, Gabriel Gomez, campaigning on Cape Cod, had a response.
His statement says, "Al Gore invented the Internet and it turns out that Ed Markey invented the telephone. If... Markey wants to remind the voters that he's been in Washington for 36 years that's fine, but it would've been nice if he'd mentioned the over $1 million his campaign has accepted from the telecommunications industry he is supposed to be regulating..."
"This first ad by Markey and the response by Gomez indicates the competing objectives that each of the candidates have. Markey wants to turn his 36 years in the Congress into an asset. Of course, Gomez wants to turn those 36 years into a liability," UMass Boston Professor Paul Watanabe says.
In running a TV ad just one week after the general election, Ed Markey seems to be sending a message: That he intends to spend his own money defining himself before Gabriel Gomez, or worse, outside Republican groups, do it for him.
"In my view, really Gomez has to do more than that. He has to go beyond saying that Markey was there 36 years and I haven't. You've got to have an argument that's much more nuanced, much more critical than that," Watanabe says, "and I think his response to the Markey ad was a little bit weak."
No word on when Gomez will come out with his first ad.