NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Election Connection

November 2, 2012

Outside groups spent $3.5M to boost Tisei campaign

Tierney backers spent $1.6 million

Outside groups have spent heavily trying to influence the heated 6th Congressional race, and Republican Richard Tisei has been the biggest beneficiary.

Super PACs, 501c groups and other outside groups have spent more than $3.5 million supporting Tisei or attacking Tierney in the 2012 campaign, according to numbers compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

By comparison, outside groups have spent about $1.6 million supporting Tierney and opposing Tisei.

The 6th District race, one of the nastiest and most hotly contested in the nation, also has the distinction of being the race with the most outside spending in Massachusetts, far outpacing even the tight U.S. Senate campaign between Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Republican Scott Brown.

So far, outside groups have spent a total of $5.16 million on the 6th District race, compared with $4.4 million in the high-profile race between Brown and Warren, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Outside spending in other U.S. House races in Massachusetts can be measured in the tens of thousands.

“It’s what we’ve been saying since the beginning: Republicans in Washington are hell-bent on getting another vote in Congress to support their agenda. They are all too happy to support Richard Tisei,” said Matt Robison, Tierney’s campaign manager. “This is the group Richard Tisei has sold out to.”

Paul Moore, the campaign manager for Tisei, has a different take.

“I think people like to make investments in the person they think is going to win. That’s part of it,” he said.

Moore said he believes Tierney was poised to get more outside support initially, but lost it because of repeated questions raised about the illegal gambling scandal involving his brothers-in-law and his wife, who managed a bank account for one of her brothers. Sensing a vulnerability, Republican groups jumped in and Democratic ones dropped out.

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