So there I was, at the first 6th Congressional District debate, held
by Commonwealth Magazine at North Shore Community College.
Participants were, in alphabetic order, Fishman vs. Tierney vs.
Tisei. This completes the only objectivity in this column.
As a libertarian, I
agreed with everything the Libertarian candidate Daniel Fishman
eloquently said — especially his mini-poem about my primary concern
this election: “Debt is the threat.” Hope this mantra lodges itself
in every voter’s mind.
Now moving on to the
real race, which is between Richard Tisei, a nice young man (roughly
my son’s age) whom I’ve known for almost 30 years, and John Tierney,
whom I loathe with every fiber of my being.
I usually vote
Republican because of my primary concern about fiscal issues, but
I’ve known Democrats I like; rarely get emotional about any
politician, either way. Here is why Tierney is an exception.
So far this campaign
season I’ve received eight large anti-Tisei fliers in the mail;
expect to receive several more. Chip Ford — also a registered
Independent, but younger and male, living next door – didn’t get
them. Let’s try to figure out what the targeted demographic is.
The first flier
features a hard-hat workingman who accuses Tisei of being “just
another Tea Party voice in Washington giving corporations tax breaks
to send jobs like mine overseas.”
Tierney's sign kept falling
on omen we hope
Photo by Chip Ford
I’ve known a lot of tea
partiers, including myself, none of whom support giving corporations
tax breaks to send jobs overseas. I checked the sites noted on the
flier as “proof” of the above statement. The first was the Salem
News in August; I couldn’t find anything there about Tisei, the Tea
Party, corporations. The second site, at Bloomberg News in August,
simply noted that Tisei got the endorsement of the National Chamber
of Commerce; he said “Now is the time to repeal the 2.3 percent
excise tax on medical devices that would do irreparable harm to
growing businesses on the North Shore, pass commonsense tax relief
to help businesses grow, and end the intrusive practices of the
Federal government that are damaging the fishing industry.”
During the debate the
candidates were asked about the medical devices tax; Tierney
responded that the medical device businesses wanted the tax.
The third site was a
video on NECN; a good interview of Tisei by Jim Braude. Noted no
mention of the Tea Party or corporations going overseas.
I’ll add here that I
saw Braude last Friday commenting on “Braude Beat” that while Tisei
has always been available, Tierney refuses to appear. Just before
this, on Public Television’s Emily Rooney show, her “Beat the Press”
mixed panel all disliked Tierney’s demand that debates not include
discussion of his family scandal or cross-questioning by the
candidates. The highly non-partisan Rooney also noted that Tierney
will not appear on her show, accusing her of bias.
Another section of
Flier 1 insists that Tisei will be “ending Medicare.” Flier 2,
featuring another hardhat, repeats this. Flier 3 features an older
man stating that “Richard Tisei will stick with the Tea Party to end
the Medicare benefits I was promised.” The man seems over 55; the
Romney-Ryan Medicare plan applies only to people under 55. Not sure
what the Tea Party is doing on this flier; many tea partiers like me
are seniors who want to save Medicare, which is heading for
And yet: this
accusation is repeated in Flier 4, which features an elderly woman,
and all the other fliers, culminating in Flier 7 that Tisei brought
to the debate and showed the audience. Colored orange, he looks
threatening under the words “Richard Tisei will end MEDICARE.”
Flier 5 is like the
television ads you have all probably seen, in which gay, easy-going,
social-liberal Tisei is connected to Sarah Palin; this one, along
with Flier 8, implies he opposes abortion with “no exceptions for
rape or the life of the woman” because “he didn’t lift a finger to
stop them.” Stop who? What?! I checked the two media sites, couldn’t
find anything changing Tisei’s consistent, long-time pro-choice
At some point the
candidate was asked about a constitutional amendment banning
abortion that is estimated to have only a 1 percent chance of
passing Congress, never mind being ratified by the states. Though
clearly he would vote against it, Tisei simply responded with “it is
what it is,” which is what can be said about anything too farfetched
to waste time discussing. This phrase is the focus of Flier 8.
Pathetic, meaningless attack.
All these lying fliers
have been sent to me by the Massachusetts State Democratic Party.
Tierney clearly approves of them — he hasn’t stated otherwise, and
his most commonly used word in the debate was “extremists.” He tried
to make Tisei appear an extremist because Republicans of all
ideological stripes are enthusiastically supporting him against the
ultra-liberal Democrat Tierney.
I can’t imagine who
would support the likes of him even if they agreed on some issues.
But some of us are targeted “potential” — near as I can tell from
the fliers, the Democratic Party thinks that Independent women and
senior citizens are dumb enough to believe anything they’re told by
sleazy campaigners, then scared enough to vote for Tierney.
Personally, I resent that a lot.