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Politics : Err America: They Report, They Decide

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To: American Spirit who wrote (1472)6/7/2008 12:36:42 PM
From: TideGlider   of 1513
Democrats will weigh challenge to John Kerry
By Associated Press
Saturday, June 7, 2008 - Added 5m ago

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Some 3,000 Bay State Democrats will gather inside a cool, dark arena in Lowell today with one question on their mind.

Does John Kerry, less than four years removed from being about 60,000 votes short of the presidency, deserve to face a challenger from his own party while seeking re-election to the U.S. Senate this fall?

A Gloucester attorney, some Democratic activists and a group called the Progressive Democrats of America think he does.

They alternately argue that Kerry has neglected his home state, ignored the will of his fellow Democrats by endorsing Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton, or betrayed liberal principles by voting in 2002 to authorize military force in Iraq.

Edward O’Reilly, a Watertown native who worked first as a firefighter before putting himself through law school, decided to challenge Kerry for the Democratic nomination in part over the war vote.

“John Kerry voted for the war knowing the war was wrong,” O’Reilly said yesterday by telephone. “If we look at the past, we know that John Kerry did not vote his conscience.”

The 54-year-old Gloucester attorney also criticized Kerry for opposing same-sex marriage and for not expressing sufficient outrage over windfall oil company profits amid $4-per-gallon gasoline prices.

Another Kerry critic, delegate Charles Motta of Mattapoisett, said he’s concerned about a report Kerry is angling to become secretary of state in a potential Obama administration.

“Are we doing all this for nothing?” Motta asked. “Are we electing him to a senatorship and then he goes to serve in the Obama administration?”

The issue for delegates today is whether they award O’Reilly at least 15 percent of their nomination vote, so he can make the primary ballot.

Kerry campaign manager Roger Lau denies suggestions the senator is trying to keep O’Reilly off the ballot; in fact, he’s girding for a primary challenge
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