Bruce Backlash in N.Y.

Senate hopeful calls for Springsteen boycott

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A politician wants Bruce Springsteen to pay for his decision to support Senator John Kerry's bid for the presidency. In the wake of Springsteen's announcement last week that he will participate in the Vote for Change Tour, New York's Marilyn O'Grady, the Conservative Party's candidate for U.S. Senate, is calling for people to stop buying Springsteen's music. O'Grady's thirty-second "Boycott the Boss" ad has begun airing on Fox News in Albany and will expand into other markets over the next month.

"Bruce Springsteen is doing a concert tour to dump President Bush," the ad proclaims. "What's new? Springsteen criticized Reagan, bashed the New York police and said Bush should be impeached. He thinks making millions with a song-and-dance routine allows him to tell you how to vote. Here's my vote: Boycott the Boss. If you don't buy his politics, don't buy his music."

Springsteen -- along with the Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, R.E.M. and other acts will tour key battleground states in October -- seemed to recognize the potential for backlash when he spoke with Rolling Stone earlier this month.

"This is one of the most critical elections of my lifetime," he said. "Certainly since I was a young man. I've built up twenty-five years of credibility, hopefully, with my audience. That's something I've tried to put to good use when called upon. It's also something I don't expend lightly."

O'Grady, an ophthalmologist from Long Island, is running against Republican Howard Mills and incumbent Senator Charles Schumer.