Gloucester Daily Times
---- — The word that the U.S. House Ethics Committee has shut down its investigation into the actions or inactions of Congressman John Tierney regarding his wife’s tax handling of cash from her brothers’ off-shore gaming ventures will draw all sorts of reactions from officials and voters alike. Some, of course, will always believe that, as brother-in-law Daniel Eremian asserted last year, that Tierney “knew everything” about what proved to be the Eremians’ gaming scheme. Others, no doubt, welcome the Ethics Committee news as one more affirmation of Tierney’s position that he had nothing to do with his wife’s family and did nothing wrong. But all should be grateful that, in recognizing there was no evidence of Tierney wrongdoing, the bipartisan U.S. House Ethics Committee also set the stage for what should be a far more effective and positive election campaign next year than we all saw in 2012. While there are no assurances that challengers won’t raise personal and credibility concerns, the Ethic Committee’s statement that evidence “does not warrant a finding that Representative Tierney intentionally mischaracterized the nature of the payments for financial disclosure or tax purposes” should take the case off the campaign table. That’s not only good for Tierney and his staunch supporters, but for Gloucester, Cape Ann and other 6th District voters who should be able to hear the congressman and his challengers debate important federal policy issues, not merely clash over what Tierney might have known and when about his wife’s family’s gaming enterprises. We look forward to a spirited and informative campaign, with two Democratic challengers already in the 2014 6th District race and Republican candidates to no doubt follow.