Republican congressional candidate Sean Bielat is hoping to raise money and votes in Massachusetts’ 4th Congressional District by mocking his Democratic opponent Joe Kennedy III’s public plea for office supplies with an online gift registry for Kennedy.
Kennedy has raised $2.6 million, seven times Bielat’s haul and 31 times the amount in Republican candidate Elizabeth Child’s campaign pocketbook, Blue Mass Group reports.
For only $5, you can buy a fictional sink strainer for one of Kennedy’s offices. For $10, you can buy a stapler, “because every staffer needs a stapler,” according to the gift registry website. For $50, you can buy a set of real, not plastic, silverware, a specific request from the Kennedy campaign.
The Kennedy campaign is “on the lookout for any and all clipboards, file folders, staplers, art supplies, kitchen items, and more,” campaign operations manager Luisa Maria Badaracco said in an email obtained by the Boston Globe.
Other items on the Kennedy wish list include first aid kits, mops and buckets, non-perishable food, sink strainers, dish racks and “silverware (real, not plastic).”
Whether Kennedy wants stainless steel or silver flatware is unclear.
“The part that gets me is they are asking for real silverware,” Bielat campaign spokeswoman Sarah Rumpf said.
According to Rumpf, the gift registry has been a success, and many locals have called Bielat’s office wanting to drop off plastic utensils for Kennedy.
Kennedy raised $1.6 million from April 1 to June 30, and is running to succeed retiring Democratic Rep. Barney Frank.
“Joe believes in spending what we must and saving what we can, which is the kind of smart budgeting he’ll bring to Congress,” Kennedy spokeswoman Emily Browne said. “We are happy to accept the gracious donations of our supporters and volunteers.”
Bielat is contending with Childs and David Steinhof for the Republican nomination this fall.
The Bielat campaign promises a small portion of the proceeds will buy a box of (real) supplies for one of Kennedy’s regional offices.
Rumpf admits the campaign is “poking a little fun at Joe Kennedy III’s expense … but he can afford it, right?”