To the editor:
I have been registered Democrat for most of my life.
Raised in Washington, D.C., in a devoutly Catholic Irish American family by an FBI agent father and a mother who taught in Catholic grammar schools for 30 years, my family’s commitment to social justice and equal rights for all reflected everything Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. stood for.
I have spent much of my life, first in Washington, D.C., and now in Massachusetts, advocating for abused and neglected children, veterans and other constituencies not often heard from in the halls of Congress. In those pursuits I have worked with and supported both Democrats and Republicans.
When I moved to Cape Ann in 2002, I was delighted to learn that John Tierney would be my congressman. Since then, I have voted for him five times.
I have had the great privilege to work with him and his staff on a number of issues. Together we passed major reforms of child predator policies, making sure our most vulnerable children have the law on their side. As the wife and step mother of veterans I was especially pleased with John’s work to clean up Walter Reed.
But the news of the Tierney family’s entanglements with crime and racketeering by extended family members has been deeply troubling. After all, it was John Tierney who aggressively challenged William Bulger about his brother’s criminal activities, sparing nothing in his questioning of a long-standing colleague.
When much of the Eremian family’s self-inflicted travails played out, the congressman was not selling cars. He was the chairman of an important oversight subcommittee in Congress. His flaccid denials of any knowledge of the various “arrangements” made between his wife and her family have been troubling.
It gives me no joy to say it. But, this year I will not be casting a vote for John Tierney —not just because his credibility in Congress has left him little leverage to represent us in the 6th District, especially with the Republican leadership in the House which is not likely to change, but because Richard Tisei is a bright, experienced credible voice who will be the kind of fresh advocate we need.
During his time in the Legislature, he has stood with Democrats repeatedly, always putting the interests of his constituents above party politics.
Any notion that Tisei is a puppet of the Tea Party is not only wrong it’s laughable. It’s also a troubling failure to acknowledge Richard’s many years of work in the legislature, often to the great benefit of Tierney constituents.
Voting for me is about the person, not the party.
In this election cycle, while I proudly cast my vote for Barack Obama, I will also be voting for Richard Tisei.
Main Street, Essex