NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Election Connection

November 2, 2012

Outside groups spent $3.5M to boost Tisei campaign

Tierney backers spent $1.6 million

(Continued)

“We agreed to all of them, but at 4 p.m. that day, they sent out a press release to announce that, lo and behold, the discussions had fallen apart.”

Robison continued: “There was never any intention by Richard Tisei to keep outside money out, because his only path to victory was to use millions of dollars from right-wing groups outside of Massachusetts to lie and smear. That’s his idea of a campaign.”

Moore strongly disagrees with that version of the story.

Tisei had sent Tierney an earlier proposal with different options for limiting PAC spending and never received a response, Moore said.

Tisei later rejected “The People’s Pledge” barring super PAC money because he believed Tierney, at the time, had a big advantage in outside fundraising and would not allow Tisei to catch up before signing the pledge.

“I wasn’t going to agree to something that would freeze us (in PAC contributions) when we were so far below them,” Moore said. “The goal was a level playing field; if there’s a level playing field, that’s all we can ask for.”

Robison said the Tierney camp did agree to let Tisei catch up in outside funding before baring all outside money. Moore said that’s not true and that if Tierney had agreed to that condition, Tisei would have signed the pledge.

Confused yet?

In addition to the super PACs, there are Political Action Committees, or PACs, which donate directly to campaigns and have limits on how much they can contribute.

As of Oct. 17, Tierney had received about $734,000 from PACs, or 37 percent of his total campaign contributions. Tisei had accepted $253,000, which is 12 percent of his total, according to The Center for Responsive Politics.

Campaign funding

The campaigns filed their last campaign finance reports before the Nov. 6 election last week. After losing the fundraising battle each of the last four quarters, Tierney bested Tisei — by a smidgen.

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