NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Election Connection

June 30, 2012

Congressman fires back, defends reputation

(Continued)

On the allegation that he sat with bookies at Fenway Park: “There are 37,000 people in Fenway Park, and I’m sure there’s a bookie in there somewhere, but not sitting with me,” Tierney said.

Tierney’s Republican opponent, Richard Tisei, was quick to pounce on Daniel Eremian’s comments and reiterated yesterday that he thinks the congressman’s story doesn’t hold water.

“According to court records, John Tierney’s two brothers-in-law, his father-in-law, stepson and wife were all working for an illegal gambling operation for close to a decade,” Tisei said in an interview yesterday.

“And to have all of this activity taking place around him, I think most people look at this — especially with his brother-in-law’s statements yesterday — and just don’t believe him. It doesn’t make sense. He has not been honest or forthright.”

How deep an effect this will have on the 6th District congressional race remains to be seen.

Tierney said the Eremian incident will not prevent him from moving forward in the campaign. He said he has not received any calls from fellow Democrats asking him to step aside in light of the controversy.

“I have been contacted by the Democratic Party, and they are with me 100 percent,” Tierney said. “They are ready to walk with me and campaign with me in the streets. I am a hardworking and honest congressman, and all my colleagues feel that way. They think this whole thing is ridiculous.”

The Massachusetts Democratic Party fired off a press release unequivocally standing by Tierney.

“John Tierney has been an excellent congressman — from leading the charge on health care reform to fighting for lower interest rates on student loans — and that’s why Massachusetts Democrats support him,” said John Walsh, state party chairman.

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