GOP Congressional candidate Richard Tisei bucks national platform
Republican candidate for US House of Representatives Richard Tisei wrote to the chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party on Wednesday discouraging the party from adopting the national Republican platform.
Tisei, a moderate Republican who is openly gay, said the national platform “espouses beliefs that exclude many in our party, including myself.”
“As a ‘live-and-let-live’ Republican, my philosophy is that the government should get off our backs, out of our wallets and away from the bedroom,” he wrote.
Tisei is running for the Sixth Congressional District, hoping to unseat US Representative John Tierney, whose image has been damaged by his wife’s conviction on charges of tax fraud. Tisei’s campaign is considered Massachusetts Republicans’ best hope this election season of snatching a Congressional seat from the Democrats.
The Globe reported Tuesday that the state GOP is scheduled on Thursday to consider dropping its existing issues statement in favor of the national platform which condemns same-sex marriage and calls for banning abortion with no exceptions, including cases of rape or to save the life of the mother.
Republican US Senator Scott Brown objected to the strict anti-abortion language in the national platform in August but he did not respond to requests for comment on the state party’s proposed platform change last week, or immediately on Wednesday.
Brown faces a challenge from a well-financed Democrat, Elizabeth Warren. Despite Brown’s comments on abortion rights, Warren has tried to use the controversy over the national GOP’s stance on abortion to her advantage, particularly among women voters.
Some Republicans fear that if the national platform is defeated, in-state conservatives -- whose activism is needed this election seaton -- would be frustrated by their own party. But Republicans have traditionally been successful in Massachusetts running on socially moderate but fiscally conservative planks. The current state GOP platform ignores same-sex marriage and abortion, focusing on tax cuts and economic concerns.
In response to the letter from Tisei, state Republican party spokesman Timothy Buckley said on Wednesday, “The MassGOP is all about big ideas and there is no shortage of opinions within the Party. Ultimately, we all share one goal which is electing more Republicans in November.”
A former state Senate Minority Leader who served 26 years in the Legislature, Tisei noted in his letter to state GOP chairman Robert A. Maginn Jr. that he has long supported abortion rights.
“The Republican Party is a party of big ideas; a party that makes room for people on both ends of the social spectrum,” Tisei wrote. “The platform under consideration by the state committee will not strengthen our party--it will suffocate it.”Stephanie Ebbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @stephanieebbert.