GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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October 15, 2012

Boehner's Tisei push draws Tierney fire

BOSTON — A Boston fund-raiser for congressional candidate Richard Tisei with U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has given Massachusetts Democrats an opening to tying the Wakefield Republican with the national GOP agenda – a charge Tisei has emphatically denied throughout his run challenging eight-term incumbent Congressman John Tierney.

“Clearly, Speaker Boehner is not happy with the representation the voters of the 6th District (are) getting, because John Tierney is voting against the tea party-Boehner agenda,” Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh said outside the downtown fund-raiser last week at One Federal Street. “What is true is that he’s found someone in Richard Tisei who’s going to support him, because, why else would he be here?”

Stopping outside to speak with reporters before the fundraiser began, Tisei dismissed Walsh’s claim that he had been “handpicked” by Boehner, and said the allegations about his agenda matching up with other Republicans is a sign of how Tierney’s campaign has “imploded.”

“It’s just nonsense. Anybody who knows me knows I’m my own person,” Tisei said. “You know, I have a 26-year record in the (state) Legislature. I have to be, in the entire United States, the only candidate who’s in favor of gay marriage, who’s pro-choice, who wouldn’t sign the Norquist tax pledge being called a tea party extremist.

“It’s just laughable,” Tisei said, “and I think it says more about John Tierney’s character than anything else.”

Tierney, who was not present outside the fund-raiser, is facing challenges from Tisei and from Beverly Libertarian Daniel Fishman in what has become one of the nation’s most bitter races, ripe with personal attacks and claims between the Tierney and Tisei campaigns as to which is more in step with and beholding to their national party’s leadership. Tierney, Tisei and Fishman will all be participating in a final debate set for Friday, Oct. 26, at Cruiseport Gloucester, hosted by the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce.

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