Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey, his party's nominee for Senate in next month's special election, asked a former House colleague not to show up to a fundraiser in Washington, D.C. earlier this week. A Markey staff member reportedly called Ben Jones, a former Democratic congressman from Georgia who also starred as Cooter in the television show The Dukes of Hazzard, to disinvite him from a fundraiser. Here's the story from the Boston Globe:
US Representative Edward J. Markey disinvited Tuesday a Confederate flag defender, former television star, and onetime House colleague from playing music at Markey’s Washington, D.C., fund-raiser hours before it was scheduled to begin.
Markey’s US Senate campaign said the Malden Democrat was “completely unaware” that former Georgia Democratic congressman Ben Jones, who played mechanic Cooter Davenport on the “Dukes of Hazzard” television show, has long been an ardent proponent of the Stars and Bars as a symbol of Southern culture.
Jones, who describes himself as a veteran of the civil rights movement, publicly sparred in 2002 with former Virginia governor Douglas Wilder over Jones’s use of the flag in his campaign for a Virginia congressional seat.
The same year, Markey donated $500 to Jones’s campaign, one of two personal campaign donations Markey has made to federal candidates since 1997, according to Federal Election Commission records.
As Jones recounted to the Globe, he told the Markey staffer to "fold it four ways and put it where the sun don't shine."
Markey is running for the Senate seat once held by John Kerry and which Kerry vacated after being appointed secretary of state. Markey's opponent is Republican Gabriel Gomez, a first-time candidate who is nonetheless running within single-digits of the veteran Democrat, according to some recent polls. The election is June 25.