NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Election Connection

August 14, 2012

5 local mayors endorse Tierney

Say Republican budget plan would cripple local services

(Continued)

“I’m greatly concerned how the Republican budget would affect the city of Peabody,” Bettencourt said.

“I fear that any support for the Ryan budget would be a step backward,” said Driscoll, who added that “the unprecedented cuts” would “present a huge challenge” to Salem.

“I don’t know Richard Tisei well,” she said, “but the initiatives he supports would hurt the community, and that’s what I’m concerned about.”

For months, Tierney has been eager to align Tisei with Ryan’s budget plan, noting that Ryan’s political action committee has donated to Tisei’s campaign. He repeatedly referred to the Republican plan yesterday as the “Tisei/Ryan budget.”

In an interview, Tisei called Tierney’s use of that phrase “pathetic” and likened the congressman to “a little kid in a schoolyard.”

“I have never said I think the Paul Ryan budget is great or that I’d vote for it the minute I get down there (to Washington),” Tisei said. “You won’t find that quote because I’ve never said it anywhere.”

Tisei has called the Ryan plan “a good starting point,” along with the President Barack Obama-appointed Simpson-Bowles Commission plan, but stopped short of endorsing it.

Tisei said he agrees with Ryan that the tax code needs to be simplified, tax rates reduced, and certain loopholes and deductibles eliminated. But he said he does not support Medicaid cuts if it would shift more of the fiscal burden to states.

As for Medicare, Tisei “would look at every single proposal on the table,” including the Ryan plan, because the program “is going to go bankrupt if we do nothing.”

On Ryan’s steep spending cut proposals: “I will do everything I can to protect the district and programs that are vital to the district, and that’s what I did as state senator,” Tisei said. “The mayors should have no fears about me. They should talk to former colleagues who have worked with me in the past instead of listening to John Tierney.”

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