EMILY’s List Uses Elizabeth Warren to Boost Katherine Clark

A mailer picturing the two women together, despite the fact that Warren isn’t endorsing in the race, has raised some eyebrows.

Women Vote!, a political action committee arm of EMILY’s List, has done several mailings in support of state senator Katherine Clark, who the group has endorsed in this coming Tuesday’s Congressional primary to replace Ed Markey. The new one, which arrived in homes across the district today, is raising some hackles.

That’s because, as you can see below, it sure as hell looks like an endorsement from U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren—who is not, in fact, supporting any of the Democratic candidates in the race.

I’ve seen candidates get in a little hot water just for including a photo that happens to have another, non-endorsing politician in it. Many people who receive the mailing will assume that the politician pictured has authorized its use, which in turn suggests an endorsement.

And those instances have not been anything close to this.

“We’re frankly stunned to see these kind of tactics in the final days of the campaign,” Eric Hyers, campaign manager for Karen Spilka, said in a statement.

Scott Ferson, consultant for Will Brownsberger, quipped: “Have you seen our mail piece with Will between Mother Teresa and Gandhi?”

To be fair, both Warren and Clark are EMILY’s List endorsees, so I suppose the PAC is just boasting about two of their favorite Massachusetts women. And it should be noted that Clark’s campaign itself had nothing to do with this—in fact, by law it cannot have anything to do with it. Other campaigns and candidates have tried to evoke Warren’s name in various ways, too, since it’s like gold among likely Democratic primary voters in the Boston suburbs. But, well, judge for yourself:

warren clark piecewarren clark 2

  • Mike Hammerlock

    That’s how Marilyn Petitto Devaney got elected to the Governor’s Council. Put out an ad intimating Joe Kennedy endorsed her right before the election when he had done no such thing.

  • P Jack

    Regardless of what the Clark camp did
    or didn’t know about this mailer beforehand, I think the legitimate negative
    blowback from this ill-conceived piece will end up hurting Clark
    – and with little time for her to rebound before the 15th.

  • Scott

    It seems Clark and her supporters will go to any length to win – including accepting a patently false endorsement from Warren. This said, IMHO, Clark’s ‘loan’ of a quarter million dollars to fund her campaign is an even more astonishing and shameless act by her campaign. As of 9/30, that $250K represented 10% of all dollars in the race. In attempting to buy a congressional sat, Clark is drowning in hypocrisy. On the one hand, she took the People’s Pledge, espouses “middle class” values and even released an Op-Ed article two weeks ago demanding to get “big money” out of politics. On the other, she accepts unlimited 3rd party support from deep pocketed special interest groups (e.g., the suspect mailer) and has no problem with trying to buy the 5th outright. When it comes to campaign finance, Clark apparently thinks she should be held to a different standard. That, or she is so out of touch that she thinks $250k is not “big money.”

    • AngryDoc

      She’ll do anything but explain her actual accomplishments. Either she isn’t interested in that or her record is too thin to get into. Oh, but her grandmother worked during the war! Yeah, if you are about 50 years old, your grandmother worked during the war. Next.

    • agingcynic

      Come now. This is MA. Everyone is so worried about probity that our former Lt.Gov. is probably using burner phones and an existing Congressman is denying acts that are captured on video. They do this BECAUSE THEY CAN. MA was lost long ago.

  • arandolph

    campaigns do this kind of thing all the time- it is perfectly legitimate to say that our current allies in federal government need more support and to make a claim about who that support is going to be. It is also legitimate to say that one candidate is similar to another. Personally, I’d rather have an EWarren Dem than a Niki Tsongas Dem- they have different styles and substance. This mail piece isn’t crossing the line- they never say warren endorsed her- they say that she’ll stand with elizabeth warren. they have a right to make that claim. Plus, it wouldn’t be legal for the Clark campaign to know about this mailing since it is most likely an independent expenditure. It wouldn’t be on Clark even if it did claim an endorsement (which it doesn’t)

    • AngryDoc

      Except for the fact that Warren didn’t endorse ANYONE because too many good people are running, and Sciortino has a much stronger record and endorsements from many others. I hope Warren dope slaps her hard – having a vagina isn’t a top qualification for congress when you don’t have much of a record, and is no excuse for deceptive, sleazy advertizing.

      • arandolph

        did you not read what I wrote? this wasn’t an endorsement. It very explicitly says that she’s going to back warren up (which is perfectly fine to say because we need people to do that) and nowhere does it say that warren said clark would be the one doing it- that’s not dirty politics, that’s campaigning.

        • AngryDoc

          You may believe your own silly arguments – but that’s just delusion. Or paid shilling.

  • Scott

    Seriously arandolph? Do you even believe a single word you typed? The mailer is a dirty trick – so says the Blue Mass Group, who last i checked, are huge EWarren Dems. In a race where every candidate shares similar progressive values and voting records, a mailer with Warren and Clark’s images side by side is a fraudulent endorsement. The silence of Clark on this issue speaks volumes. She will do anything to win. She is shameless.

    • arandolph

      Blue Mass Group is also by and large supporting Carl Sciortino. its not a dirty trick- nowhere does it say EWarren endorsed Clark. Nowhere. It simply says she will be someone who will stand with EWarren. That’s kind of an important thing to know. Campaigns and their supporters are known for trying to stir things controversy like this in order to get attention. Again, perfectly legitimate to say that someone is going to back up another popular elected official, especially when it is critically needed

  • AngryDoc

    What next – is she going to put out a flyer with a picture of Malala saying “Clark supports girl’s education”?

    Maybe it would be nice if she, you know, explained her qualifications and accomplishments? It might help.

  • arandolph

    From Carl Sciortino’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=148018078696748&set=pb.139456379552918.-2207520000.1381423134.&type=3&theater

    Photo of him with EWarren.

    From Karen Spilka’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=666686443350467&set=pb.100000273510587.-2207520000.1381423217.&type=3&theater

    Photo of her with EWarren.

    From Peter Koutoujan’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=714970091862847&set=pb.491006567592535.-2207520000.1381423350.&type=3&theater

    Photo of him with Ed Markey. Did Ed MArkey endorse him? no.

    NOT CONTROVERSIAL TO SAY THAT THEY STAND TOGETHER WITH SENATORS ON CERTAIN ISSUES. IT HAPPENS. THEY ALL DO IT. What’s dirty politics is to claim that they don’t. Because its a lie.

    • AngryDoc

      Physically pictured together in the same space is not the same as Photoshopped into an ad in a manner implying endorsement.

      Seriously – do you even believe your own irrationalizations here?

      Oh, and while we are on the subject of photoshop, why does Clark use pictures that were either taken when she was younger or look like they were de-lined and buffed by the graphics department at Elle? Sorry – not feminist.

  • Scott

    Puh-leeze stop trying to justify the sleaze. This was a dirty as sin last minute trick by Emily’s List and judging by the overwhelming silence coming from the Clark camp, they are steeped in the mire as well. They will do anything to win – shameful stuff.

    • arandolph

      So what, those photo ops with Senators aren’t shameless plugs by the other candidates? If one is guilty, they all are, that’s all I’m saying.

      • Scott

        They are not paid political ads sent to hundreds of thousands of voters. Don;t forget, Clark signed the “People’s Pledge” which forbids this sort of stuff. Funny, but she’s not talking about the pledge now, is she?

        • arandolph

          you do realize that campaign finance law forbids her from telling them what to do with independent expenditures, right? what you’re suggesting- that she coordinate with them on this is actually illegal.

          • Scott

            Of course. I’m also aware that the People’s Pledge calls for candidates to disavow this stuff. Considering that Clark went further than that and called for getting “big money” out of politics two weeks back – right around the time she duked herself $250k! – let’s just call it what it is – stinky.

  • Scott

    Five candidates, five potential Congressional reps who will stand with EWarren. Everybody knows this. The real question is this political quid pro quo for Katherine Clark going on MSNBC last summer and blatantly lying about the EWarren ‘birth certificate’ claim days after it had been debunked?

    • arandolph

      Everybody knows this? Because you said it it makes it true? evidence please? Many candidates, including Clark, Koutoujian, Brownsberger, Sciortino etc do differ on certain issues with. Warren. PS- there are more than 5 candidates on the ballot

      • Scott

        Five viable candidates with resources to compete. Sorry, but with respect to Martin Gordon and Paul Maisano, there are only five candidates. As to the 5 candidates standing with EWarren, let’s go back to Puh-leeze. They fundamentally agree on every major progressive cause and stylistically, are indistinguishable save for Sciortino who is more outspoken in his views. Shill for Clark all you want but spare us the silliness, thx.

        • arandolph

          I’m actually not voting for Clark. I just hate when politicians try to use non-issues to shame other candidates on things they do, too. You want to talk about mail pieces being spent though, we can always have a discussion on how Peter Koutoujian’s mail that I’ve received thus far don’t include a single person of color anywhere.

          • Scott

            Fair comment. Supporting the Warren mailer? ‘Nuf sed.

          • arandolph

            I support saying that these are the issues that two people stand the same on, yeah. That’s what they did with the mail piece. Maybe it was poorly executed, but its far from the sleaze that the other candidates are claiming it is. Talk about grasping at straws.

          • Scott

            So you are cool with Brownsberger sending out a mailer with a photo of President Obama that says he stands with the president? Or Spilka sending out a mailer with a photo of Warren and the same text as today’s piece?

  • Jane

    I’ve been getting these mailings and frankly, they’re creeping me out. While I love Elizabeth Warren, they don’t tell me anything about Katherine Clark. They seem to me to be trying WAY too hard. I guess it is good in that they’ve given me incentive to go find out what Elizabeth Warren actually thinks of Clark before I vote on Tuesday.

  • Dracut Action

    Some hard research… as of yesterday, $109,716 had been spent on this independent expenditure by the Emilys list PAC:

    This money presumably came from a reception held on September 30 at the mansion at 168 Brattle Street:
    The mansion has an assessed value of $7.2 million according to the Cambridge assessor web site. Emily’s list is a great group when they get their funds from thousands of small donors but it appears they may be responding to the political preferences of one billionaire donor in this case. Did they really have to choose Clark over Spilka — whose voting history is probably the most similar to Elizabeth Warren’s.

    As for Clark’s record, see this:

    Google “”An Act relative to establishing a Chapter 70 equalization fund” and you will find that the original sponsors of this equalization fund (sllightly different bill text, but same towns would benefit) are Republicans Richard Tisei and Scott Brown.