Democratic candidate Ed Markey is proving that he’s not above pandering to hip and young people in his bid for Massachusetts’ open Senate seat by referencing social media and touting his support for Generation Y’s favorite piece of legislation…the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
Markey, 66, has been in Congress for a long, long time—since the mid-70s. But now, as the newly-minted Democratic nominee for John Kerry’s old Senate seat, Markey can’t be seen as a boring old, Washington-insider; he has to be the fresh-faced candidate who connects with millennial voters.
“It’s hard to believe, but 20 years ago almost no one had broadband, smartphones hadn’t been invented yet,” Markey says in his first TV ad in the general special election. “Facebook, Skype, Google—the stuff of science fiction.” The ad focuses on Markey’s role in the 1996 act, which deregulated telecommunications markets to increase competition and promoted improved access and development for this new thing called the Internet; or, as the cool kids called it, “the information superhighway.” To get a sense of what the superhighway looked like way back then, check out the White House website from when the bill was introduced.
Markey’s ad touts how this legislation helped unleash jobs and innovation across Massachusetts—ultimately turning “the stuff of science fiction” into the stuff of science reality.