The Republican challenger in what’s been tabbed one of the nation’s most bitter congressional campaigns has launched an unusual ad that claims to give TV viewers a respite from the relentless barrage of political ads in the final days before the election.
And it’s an ad that was filmed right here in Gloucester.
The entire 30-second cable TV spot for Richard Tisei, who’s challenging eight-term incumbent Congressman John Tierney, features a gentle tide rolling in at sunset on Gloucester’s picturesque Good Harbor Beach. At the bottom of the screen are the words: “Because you need a break from all the campaign ads.”
Aside from Tisei’s “I approve this message” at the outset, the only other spoken words come off screen from a woman who exclaims, “Aaahhh, that was nice.”
The ad is the latest this election season that have focused on and been filmed in Gloucester. An ad for U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown broadcast earlier in the campaign zeroed in on the plight of Gloucester’s fishermen, and Brown’s effort to rein in the federal regulations that many feel have driven many independent boats out of the industry. A similar ad for Brown also ran on Massachusetts radio stations.
The calming Tisei ad ironically comes at the tail end of a campaign that’s been everything but serene, with attack ads bombarding area TV sets and mailboxes from both sides.
The race has been pegged by the D.C. political publication Politico as the fifth nastiest U.S. House campaign in the country, with both sides drawing significant support from so-called Super PACs, or political action committees, that have taken advantage of the July U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing them virtually unlimited spending on campaigns, as long as they do so independently.
Records show that Tisei has been given a boost by more than $3 million in outside funding from Super PACs such as the Republican National Campaign Committee’s so-called Young Guns PAC and a PAC called Strong Economy for Massachusetts Inc., with former Congressman Peter Torkildsen — the man Tierney ousted in 1996 — as its driving force.
Tierney’s side, meanwhile, has drawn on nearly $1.6 million in Super PAC funding, much of it directed toward mailings that paint Tisei — an openly gay Republican who is pro-gay marriage and pro-choice —as am “enabler” for the conservative Tea Party.
Both Tisei and Tierney have campaigned extensively in Gloucester in recent weeks.
Associated Press material is included in this story.