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Political Circuit

Hollywood stars aligning for Khazei

(Lisa Poole)
November 15, 2009

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Several things have been clear from the beginning on the endorsements in the US Senate race: Stephen Pagliuca, co-owner of the Boston Celtics, had the NBA locked up, Attorney General Martha Coakley secured most prominent women, and US Representative Michael Capuano decidedly had the Washington crowd, including most members of the congressional delegation.

But Alan Khazei clearly has the Hollywood buzz factor.

“There is an urgent alarm sounding right now; it’s a five-alarm fire,’’ JJ Abrams, co-creator of “Lost’’ and “Fringe,’’ says in a YouTube message. “It is that Alan Khazei must be elected to the Senate.’’

Actress Elisabeth Shue (Lisa to her friends), who got her start in “The Karate Kid,’’ also recorded a tribute video. (“The funny thing about Lisa is she is totally shy,’’ Khazei said. “Isn’t she amazing? She sparkles.’’)

“He is somebody who has such a big heart and an incredibly big brain,’’ Shue says of Khazei. “And I think that combination in the Senate would be so important.’’

Hill Harper (Sheldon Hawkes to fans of “CSI: New York’’) did the same, saying, “Support someone who could actually bring great change to our Senate.’’

The clips are from a fund-raiser Khazei held this month in Los Angeles, which was also attended by Boston native Leonard Nimoy - better known as Spock - who gave the maximum amount to Khazei.

Khazei has tried to use those connections to make a novel public call, inviting comedian Stephen Colbert to come to Massachusetts and moderate a debate.

Colbert, the host of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,’’ plays a right-wing commentator on the show.

“Are you tough enough to come here to Massachusetts, the birthplace of freedom, the birthplace of our democracy and moderate a debate up against four progressive Democrats?’’ Khazei asked Colbert in a video posted on his website. “I’ll show up anytime, anywhere, any hour, any day.’’

“So Stephen, are you willing to come?’’ Khazei asks. “I’ll be there.’’

Khazei appeared on Colbert’s show as a guest in January to promote a national day of service on Martin Luther King Day.

“I believe Martin Luther King also said, ‘Follow the money,’ ’’ Colbert said at one point. “ ‘I’ve got my mind on my money and my money on my mind,’ is one of the things I believe he said.’’

“I can assure you, Martin Luther King did not say that,’’ Khazei responded.

MATT VISER

Coakley’s barking Dixie

It may go over well if she was running down in Dixie, but up in these parts it’s not necessarily the type of thing a political candidate might promote.

That’s right, Martha Coakley has two dogs. And they’re named after Civil War generals. From the Confederacy.

One is named “Jackson,’’ after General Thomas “Stonewall’’ Jackson, one of the most famous commanders, who won his nickname for his bravery at First Bull Run. The other is named “Beau,’’ for General P.G.T. Beauregard, a Louisiana native who was there for the opening shots on Fort Sumter.

“My husband’s a Civil War buff,’’ Coakley said by way of explanation. “We played around with different names, and those stuck.’’

Her husband, Thomas F. O’Connor Jr., has been known to take trips to various Civil War battlefields. (Coakley and O’Connor, married for nine years, enjoy kayaking on Mystic Lakes and walking the dogs; Coakley, though a student of history, says she hasn’t gone along on the battlefield visits).

The Labrador retrievers - one yellow, one black - came from the same litter about 4 1/2 years ago, Coakley said.

MATT VISER

AG rumors abound

With Martha Coakley’s US senate campaign steamrolling along, speculation about who might succeed her as the state’s attorney general is building.

With several of House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s minions eager for the appointment - which would be the House of Representative’s to make if there were a vacancy - one possible strategy has been picking up steam in the corridors of the State House.

DeLeo makes Secretary of State William Galvin the attorney general, a post that would suit his prosecutorial bent, and DeLeo, who may be looking for an exit strategy, takes his place. (A vacancy in that office would also be the House’s to fill.) Both DeLeo and Galvin downplay the speculation, saying it’s silly gossip.

ANDREA ESTES