Facing a Democratic challenger, a liberal independent opponent, and a Republican in this fall’s election cycle, U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch received a question on… the 2012 cycle?
The South Boston Democrat, who represents parts of Dorchester in the Ninth Congressional District, made an appearance this week on WCVB’s “On the Record” political chat show and declined to rule out a possible challenge to U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, a Republican who was elected in January to finish out the late Edward Kennedy’s six-year term.
“I’m focused on running for re-election, obviously,” Lynch told the hosts. “2012 is a hundred years away in political-speak. I wouldn’t foreclose any opportunities, but I’ve got a great job. I really do. I feel like I’m making an impact where I am. And this is the job I’m running for and this is the job I’m focused on.”
Lynch had briefly weighed running for the Senate seat last fall, but backed off after labor unions, outraged over Lynch’s then-lukewarm support for a public option in the health care reform bill, sent signals that they weren’t going to support him.
As for his potential 2012 opponent, Lynch said Brown is “walking a tightrope” between conservatives and moderates. “Yeah, I think he is,” Lynch said. “Not only that, but added to the fact, the rules of the Senate require 60 votes to end debate and take action, and he is the 41st senator. I know he’s got Senator [Susan] Collins and Senator [Olympia] Snowe from Maine, who are also sometimes on one side of an issue versus the other, but between those three, they’re always hovering around that 41st vote.”
Asked again to rate Brown’s performance, Lynch replied, “I think it’s too early to tell. I think there’s only been a couple of votes. I think he’s probably done a couple of things there were right and a couple of things wrong. But I think the voters will be the ones to decide that.”
Lynch was also quizzed on his take on immigration: He said it was an issue for the federal government to decide and that Arizona’s controversial immigration law was “unconstitutional.” Lynch added that he understood that the Arizona state government was frustrated with the lack of federal action. “But if we allow 50 states to adopt their own immigration policy, you’re going to have some states that want to restrict immigration, but you might have some other states, North Dakota, Montana, that want more population… So you can easily see how with 50 states doing 50 different things on immigration, it would be totally chaos,” he said. He added that he agreed with the Obama administration’s decision to sue the state over the law.
Asked whether there was another recession coming, just as the nation was recovering from the current one, Lynch said, “I’m concerned, I’m very concerned we might be.” He added: “We are not seeing the uplift we thought we would be getting at this point.”
Lynch is facing Democratic challenger Mac D’Alessandro, independent Phil Dunkelbarger, and Republican Keith Lepor. The Democratic primary is set for Sept. 14. The general election is Nov. 2.
Money ups number of youth summer jobs
Gov. Deval Patrick is funneling $9.1 million to 25 cities and towns, including Boston, to secure over 4,000 summer youth jobs. About 1,400 of the jobs will be in Boston, according to the Massachusetts Communities Action Network.
With Congress balking at increasing federal spending, some of the money is coming in a supplemental budget filed this week. Other funds – about $1.8 million – will be coming through unspent federal stimulus funds.
“Once there are more jobs for teens not only will violence decrease but a new era of teens striving for a better outlook on their lives will begin,” Daiquan Bradford, a member of the Dorchester Bay Youth Force and Youth Jobs Coalition, said in a statement.
Teen unemployment is at 26 percent nationally and at similar levels in Massachusetts, according to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
It’s a girl for the Forrys
On Tuesday, State Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry gave birth to a baby girl, Madeline Casey Forry, who weighed in at 8 pounds. Mother and baby are said to be doing fine.
Rep. Forry, a Dorchester Democrat who has served in the House since 2005, is married to Reporter managing editor Bill Forry. Miss Madeline joins her brothers, John Patrick and Conor, on Team Dorcena Forry.
Quote of Note:
Gov. Deval Patrick on the debate over casino legislation:
“We’re not going to get a bill without a compromise between the House and the Senate, and there isn’t going to be a compromise until both sides start to engage with each other and dial down some of the rhetoric.” That was said this week in another one of the governor’s rare forays up to the fourth floor press enclave, according to State House News Service. The sides have made their positions clear, but the deadline for a compromise bill that would bring gambling to the Bay State – July 31, the end of the legislative session this year and the date when all unfinished legislation dies – is drawing closer and closer. House Speaker Robert DeLeo wants slots at the state’s four racetracks, but Patrick and Senate President Therese Murray are less than enthusiastic about the idea. The News Service reported that a recent dinner at an Italian restaurant between the Big Three, as they’re referred to on Beacon Hill, did not seem to get them any closer to an agreement.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Material from State House News Service was used in this report. Check out updates to Boston’s political scene at The Lit Drop, located at dotnews.com/litdrop.