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Mass. officials denounce storming of Capitol; Auchincloss calls it 'dark day for our democracy

By Stephen Peterson speterson@thesunchronicle.com

Massachusetts officials swiftly condemned the mobs that stormed the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington on Wednesday, disrupting proceedings to certify the results of the presidential election.

U.S. Rep. Jake Auchincloss, D-Newton, in just his third day on the job, said he was in his office waiting to get called onto the House floor for the Electoral College certification vote when he started to get alerts of a breach in security.

Auchincloss, who was elected in November to fill Joe Kennedy III’s 4th Congressional District seat and represents the Attleboro area, stayed in his office.

“It’s a dark day for our democracy, but it’s not going to stop Congress from upholding its constitutional responsibility to accept and certify the electoral college votes that made Joe Biden and Kamala Harris the 46th president and vice president of the United States,” Auchincloss, a former U.S. Marine, told masslive.com.

All Massachusetts representatives and senators reported they were safe.

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Worcester, who was in the locked House chamber, said the crowds should be labeled “domestic terrorists” rather than “protesters” or “rioters.”

“We will not be intimidated,” said McGovern, who previously represented the Attleboro area in Congress.

Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement, “I join with Americans from every corner of the country to condemn the violence unfolding at the Capitol, and President Trump and his supporters must do the same immediately.”

He said the “chaos” at the Capitol “is the sad but predictable outcome of weeks of attacks, perpetrated by President Trump and his supporters against the democratic process that makes America the greatest nation on earth, and these baseless challenges to President-elect Biden’s victory must stop.”

Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair Gus Bickford urged Baker to “call your friend Mike Pence and demand the 25th Amendment be invoked, otherwise spare us your faux outrage. Anything short of that is a moral failure.”

The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution concerns the transfer of the presidency to the vice president under certain circumstances.

State Republican Party Chair Jim Lyons said, “Sadly, we are witnessing a breach of lawful order on Capitol Hill that is completely indefensible under any circumstances. We must join together to reaffirm our deep and abiding respect for our nation’s laws.”

Other Massachusetts political groups also denounced the events that were taking place on Capitol Hill.

“The peaceful transition of power is a core tenet of our democracy,” said Cheryl Clyburn Crawford, the director of MassVOTE. “As complicated — and shameful — as this nation’s history is, the peaceful transition of power has withstood the test of time. Not since the Civil War have we seen this tenet so greatly tested.”

State police in Massachusetts and Rhode Island were on high alert, monitoring developments in Washington and possible demonstrations in their state.

This story originally appeared in the sun chronicle. Check it out here.

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