, Newburyport, MA

Election Connection

June 16, 2012

Tierney, Tisei campaign spending talks break down

The Salem News — The negotiations between Congressman John Tierney and challenger Richard Tisei over the use of outside campaign money have collapsed.

Both candidates issued press releases yesterday blaming the other for failure to come to an agreement.

Tisei’s campaign said Tierney rejected its request to let Tisei catch up in the amount of money the campaigns have received from political action committees before limiting future contributions.

Tierney, a Democrat from Salem, has received $383,400 from PACs, compared to $33,900 for Tisei, a Republican from Wakefield, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Tisei campaign manager Paul Moore said Tierney could either give away the PAC money or let Tisei catch up to him.

Without those concessions, he said, any agreement “would freeze in place their advantage and that’s something we were not willing to do. We needed to be able to achieve parity.”

Tierney’s campaign said it agreed to Tisei’s request to limit PAC contributions to 20 percent of campaign spending, only to have Tisei reject the deal.

Tisei has also rejected a Tierney proposal, which the congressman has called the “People’s Pledge,” to keep Super PACs and other independent groups out of the campaign. Tierney said it’s the same pledge that Sen. Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren have signed in their race.

“Richard Tisei won’t sign the same pledge that Scott Brown signed for one simple reason because he actually wants these shadowy outside groups to spend their millions on attack ads to help him,” Tierney spokesman Grant Herring said in a press release.

Moore said Super PAC’s are independent organizations that cannot be controlled by campaigns.

“Coordination is not allowed,” he said.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or

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