“Imagine what we don’t know? It’s time for John Tierney to man up and tell the truth,” the female narrator says.
The YG Action Fund ad “goes after something much more specific” than Tierney’s ad, Brown said. “It could be more damaging.”
However, most of the electorate already knows about the legal troubles of Tierney’s wife and in-laws, which came up in the last election, too, and that may lessen any impact, he said.
A recent poll by WBUR and MassINC Polling Group found that 57 percent have heard at least “a fair amount” about Tierney’s family’s issues.
The same poll also showed that a majority of voters either don’t know or are undecided about Tisei, explaining why the Tierney campaign has been trying relentlessly to fill in his profile for them.
“Every time you lose, it’s (because) someone else is defining you,” Brown said. “Tierney is saying, ‘If you want to know Richard Tisei, he’s the worst-case scenario, a screaming Rush Limbaugh type.’ Perception can be reality.”
The Tierney campaign, with help from national Democrats, has spent about $530,000 on the ads. They will run about 280 of the 30-second spots on network television through the end of this week.
The YG Action Fund has spent $818,200 on attack ads against Tierney, purchasing at least 380 30-second spots that will run on all four major Boston networks through the end of the week.
Tisei says he had nothing to do with the Young Guns ads; by law, so-called super PACS cannot have any affiliation or communication with the campaign.
But when asked, Tisei would not condemn the message of those ads.
“I didn’t ask the Young Guns to produce a commercial. There are going to be a lot of ads running on both sides; it’s one of 20 toss-up races in the country,” he said.