Flight attendant union defends Markey on national security

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“Ed Markey has been a strong and consistent advocate for aviation safety,” APFA President Laura Glading said in a statement.  

“Whether it was pushing for 100 percent air cargo screening or, more recently, keeping weapons out of airplane cabins, he has always put the security of the American people first. That’s why the APFA has formally endorsed his candidacy. The idea that his opponent would call his record into question is ridiculous and unconscionable.”

Markey and Gomez are competing for the Senate seat that was vacated earlier by Secretary of State John Kerry.

The GOP candidate, a former Navy SEAL, said this week that “Markey’s record on homeland security is just too weak for the world we live in."

“He voted against creating [the Department of Homeland Security], was both for and against the Patriot Act, wants the terrorists at GITMO transferred to the U.S. for trial where they will get taxpayer paid lawyers, and he even voted twice against a resolution honoring the victims of 9/11,” Gomez’s campaign said in a statement.

Markey’s campaign painted a starkly different picture. It also cited the congressman's recent fight over the TSA knife rule and requirements for inspecting cargo packages that are carried on commercial flights.

“Ed Markey wrote the laws that forced cargo inspection of passenger planes and nuclear materials inspections for ships coming into our ports,” Markey’s campaign countered. 

“He’s fought tirelessly to strengthen security at nuclear power plants and to keep dangerous small knives off passenger planes, and his record of fighting for our homeland and national security speaks for itself.”

Security issues have come to the forefront in the Massachusetts campaign following last month's Boston Marathon bombing, a terror attack allegedly carried out by two ethnic Chechen brothers, Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev. Gomez ran in the marathon, crossing the finish line mere minutes before two bombs exploded nearby.

Markey leads Gomez by 8.7 points in the Real Clear Politics average of four polls conducted this month on the Massachusetts race. 

The election is June 25.