Will another futile independent hand the 6th District to the Democrats?
© by Barbara Anderson

The Eagle-Tribune
Sunday, October 12, 2014


My favorite 2014 campaign moment so far came at a primary night rally here in the 6th Congressional District: Richard Tisei was enthusiastically introduced by Libertarian Dan Fishman, whose third-party candidacy had helped defeat him in 2012.

Fishman, who clearly regretted his part in re-electing Congressman John Tierney for another two years, was then generously applauded by Tisei supporters, including me, who welcomed his support. Dan said that he has gotten to know Richard and learned that the Republican candidate is more libertarian-leaning than he'd thought.

A small-l libertarian myself, as well as a grandmother of teenage twins, I appreciate Tisei's emphasis on the national debt: "When it comes to the nation's finances, we are living on borrowed money and borrowed time. The greatest danger our country faces is to continue down the road we are on: spending and borrowing well beyond our means while accumulating massive debt that will be passed on to future generations."

I checked out the website of Tisei's Democratic opponent, Seth Moulton. It gives his position on numerous issues, but never mentions the national debt that will prevent most of them from being responsibly addressed.

That's all I need to know before making my decision about any national candidate: that he's indifferent to a national debt of $17.8 trillion, which has increased an average of $2.44 billion per day in just the past two years. All government functions, from national defense to the human service safety net, are threatened by this unsustainable burden.

Speaking of Seth Moulton's website, those national and state anti-gay groups who are targeting Tisei should visit it. They'll learn that Moulton is emphasizing his support for all the things they most hate. He states that: "The Supreme Court's June 2013 repeal of DOMA was a good first step at the federal level towards ending marriage discrimination, but there is much more work to be done… I will fight to extend the leadership my own city of Salem is providing on transgender laws to the rest of the country."

So, why do the anti-gay groups want to elect Moulton instead of Tisei? Could their eagerness to defeat Richard merely reflect bigotry toward him and his happy marriage? I have a hard time understanding why people who are pro-marriage, pro-family, don't appreciate gays who share those values with them.

I agree with both major candidates on choice and gay marriage, so I'll be voting for Richard Tisei, who also agrees with me on the need for fiscal sanity, or just sanity in general, which seems to be in short supply everywhere.


Which brings me to this year's independent candidate with his delusion that he can rise like Aphrodite from the waters off Marblehead, make naked landfall on the beach of politics where his footprints have never been seen, and win a congressional election.

Who is this "Christopher Stockwell, Independent" I see on signs around town?

He lives in Marblehead but, active as I have been in local politics, I'd never heard of him until this past July, when he announced his candidacy. He admits this is his first foray into the political arena.

I never heard of Seth Moulton before this year either, but recognize he was serving in Iraq; what is Stockwell's excuse for starting his political involvement by running for Congress? Where was he when we needed a state legislative candidate? A voice at Town Meeting? Someone to hold a campaign sign?

At first I assumed he was a straw, encouraged to run as an independent by the Democrats to take votes from Tisei so that Tierney could slip through as he did the last time. But I've come to realize that he is serious about his candidacy and actually thinks he can win.
I feel a twinge of empathy; I recall when I started my political involvement by offering to run for Congress here when no one else was willing to challenge the incumbent Mike Harrington. The difference is that I was 30 years old, not 53, yet still inexcusably naive; thank heavens a Republican candidate did step forward before I thoroughly embarrassed myself.

Perhaps Stockwell cynically expects to win just because he has the word "Independent" on his campaign sign, hoping that some voters will choose him because they like that word, which may represent their own chosen voter registration. Well, as an independent myself, let me assure you that all independents are not alike.

It seems Stockwell was once a Republican, but switched parties to be with Barack Obama. That's all I need to know. Later he became disenchanted and writes in his manifesto: "Washington is broken and simply can't fix itself. We've been locked inside this nightmare together for years now, with no relief." True enough -- which is why this election is too important for egoistic amateurs to take up as a new hobby.

He calls for the architects of the nightmare to levy higher taxes and use the money to pay down the national debt. That's not how it works, Christopher; they'd levy new taxes, and spend them on growing the nightmare. Please, get out of the way and let the grown-ups deal with the broken reality that is Washington, D.C.

Voters in the 6th District have one possible choice: Seth Moulton or Richard Tisei. I hope I'm finally going to have a fiscally conservative congressman I can call about the issues that matter to me and my grandkids' future.

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. Her column appears weekly in the Salem News and other Eagle-Tribune newspapers.

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