There’s a donnybrook underway in the 6th Congressional district between incumbent Rep. John Tierney (D-Wanna Bet?) and former state senator Richard Tisei (R-You Betcha). Not surprisingly, the ads wars have heated up pretty quickly. Here’s a representative sample from Tierney:
And here’s a response of sorts from Tisei:
Also not surprisingly, Tierney would like all talk about his gambling problem (a.k.a. his wife Patrice) to go away, especially in the four debates he’s scheduled to have with Tisei.
Very surprisingly, it looks like he’ll get at least half his wish. Today’s Boston Herald exclusive (via the Newseum’s Today’s Front Pages):
John Tierney’s rules of debate
Rep moves to bar questions on relatives’ gambling ring
Facing the fight of his political life, scandal-plagued U.S. Rep. John Tierney has moved to block questions about his family’s illegal gambling ring from debates this fall, insisting on ground rules that bar panelists from asking about the controversy.
Sponsors of two of the four debates between Tierney and GOP opponent Richard Tisei told the Herald they have agreed to the congressman’s demand that they stick to questions about policy and steer clear of queries on what he knew about his wife and in-laws’ ties to an illegal offshore gambling operation.
Those two are the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce (which said it was “very amenable to the request”) and CommonWealth magazine.
A Sept. 27 debate, sponsored by MassINC’s CommonWealth magazine, will be focused on “jobs, the economy and the middle class,” said editor Bruce Mohl. Panelists are expected to keep their questions on topic, and Tierney’s camp made sure of it, according to Mohl.
“There was a concern about whether this would veer off topic into other issues,” Mohl said. “I think you can figure out what those issues might be.”
Mohl also said the Tierney camp refused to commit to the debate if it included a proposed section allowing candidates to ask one another questions.
The hardreading staff recognizes that CommonWealth is a seriously wonky – not dishy – magazine, but we like the response of The Jewish Journal editor Susan Jacobs a lot better: “I won’t shy away from asking that question because I I believe that’s a question everyone wants to know.”
Eight-to-five she never gets to ask that question. We’re betting Tierney bags that particular debate.