Tierney, Tisei clash in 6th District debate
LYNN, Mass. (WHDH) -- Democratic U.S. Rep. John Tierney and his Republican challenger Richard Tisei wrangled in their first debate over who would be more independent if elected to represent Massachusetts' 6th Congressional District.
The race has featured plenty of negative ads -- many focusing on the congressman's personal integrity.
As Congressman Tierney tried to greet supporters, he was jeered by people from the rival camp loyal to Republican Richard Tisei.
Inside the debate, there was no talk about the offshore gaming scandal which landed the congressman's wife in jail.
Tierney, along with Tisei and third-party candidate Dan Fishman, stuck to the issues related to the American dream.
“Quite frankly, the congressman should be ashamed to have gotten down to this level that he needs to spear,” said Tisei.
Tisei claims Tierney refused to come to the debate unless the format was to his liking and there were no questions about personal integrity.
“Given the fact that the format was changed so it couldn’t come up, I wasn’t about to bring it up myself,” said Tisei.
The congressman's wife is on probation after pleading guilty in 2010 to tax evasion charges.
She admitted filing false tax returns for one of her two brothers implicated in an illegal gambling operation which netted them millions.
Tierney recently released his tax returns under pressure, and a quarter of a million dollars Patrice Tierney allegedly accepted from the gaming business did not appear as income.
“We declared what had to be declared -- it was a gift. You don't have to declare that on your taxes, and that is crystal clear,” Tierney said.
“I think there’s a pattern there…there’s a lot of arrogance in Washington,” Tisei said.
“It’s like Groundhog Day. Every couple of year the Republicans bring up claims. That happens all across the country.
During the debate, Tierney repeatedly hammered Tisei for accepting $3 million from a super PAC called Young Guns, started by Republican House leaders.