February 14, 2010


Delahunt says he might be the next to go (Farah Stockman, February 13, 2010, Boston Globe)

Delahunt has held office so long that Democratic strategists said it is not clear who in his party might seek the seat if he were to retire. Some have floated the name of Therese Murray, president of the Massachusetts State Senate, who is from Plymouth. But she has recently indicated that she believes Delahunt will run and win.

Still, several Republicans see a chance to recapture one of the state’s conservative districts, where Brown received some of his highest margins of victory on Jan. 19. And they have seized on an unlikely issue: Venezuela. Or, more specifically, Delahunt’s good relations with Hugo Chávez, president of Venezuela, who once called President Bush “the devil’’ in a speech at the United Nations.

In 2005, Delahunt persuaded Chávez to agree to give deep discounts on home heating oil for more than 30,000 low-income residents in Massachusetts annually. Citgo, an oil company controlled by Chávez, already supplies about 13 percent of US crude oil imports.

Delahunt’s deal opened the door for low-income households in Massachusetts to receive 100 gallons of free heating oil - enough to last several weeks or more - through a program run by Citizens Energy, a nonprofit arm company run by Joseph P. Kennedy II, the former Massachusetts congressman.

Joseph Malone, a Republican former state treasurer who is seen as Delahunt’s strongest potential challenger, has criticized the deal, calling Chávez “a dictator who has stripped his citizens of their rights.’’

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 14, 2010 2:42 PM
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