NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

July 4, 2014

PACs target rep race

Millions to be spent on likely Tierney-Tisei contest

BOSTON — Democratic and Republican super PACs are gearing up to spend millions of dollars on November’s likely rematch between Democratic Congressman John Tierney and Republican challenger Richard Tisei, as part of a national battle for control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The House Majority PAC has reserved $450,000 in advertising time with local TV stations, the first of several buys in the Boston market ahead of the Nov. 4 elections, according to reports to the Federal Election Commission. The group, backed by Democratic strategists, will use the money to blanket airwaves with criticism of Tisei, a former state senator who narrowly lost to Tierney in 2012.

“We’re feeling confident that Tierney is in a good place right now, but we’re not leaving anything to chance,” said Matt Thornton, a spokesman for House Majority PAC. “This is shaping up to be a very competitive race.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has listed the Tierney-Tisei race as one of its “frontline” contests across the country, meaning it will focus money and technical resources here. To date, the committee has reserved more than $1.4 million for political ads to air in the Boston media market in early October, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which backed Tisei in 2012, has already spent $350,000 on ads lauding him as an “independent voice” who wants to end “partisan gridlock” on Capitol Hill.

Tisei is also getting help from gay and lesbian rights groups, including the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, the conservative American Unity PAC and the Log Cabin Republicans. All three have endorsed Tisei, who would become the first openly gay Republican elected to Congress if he wins.

“This race is critically important to us,” said Victory Fund spokesman Steven Thai. “House Speaker John Boehner does not have an openly LGBT member in his caucus.”

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