In a new ad designed to highlight Republican congressional candidate Richard R. Tisei’s bipartisan appeal, a voter named Helen Clancy Bolino calls herself a lifelong Democrat but says Tisei is “the best choice to send to Congress for change.”
Another woman, identified as Mary Waselchuk, a former independent city councilor from Peabody, says Tisei is honest “and his word his bond, and you don’t get that too much in politicians today.”
What the ad does not tell voters is that both women are more than distant admirers of Tisei. Both women have worked for him, one currently and one in the past.
Bolino is an employee at Tisei’s realty firm, Northrup Associates in Lynnfield, where she lists herself as the “most successful agent over the past decade.” She has given $5,000 to Tisei’s congressional campaign, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Waselchuck is a former employee of Tisei’s firm, according to its website.
In an interview, Tisei, the former Republican leader of the Massachusetts Senate who is running against US Representative John F. Tierney of Salem, said he was happy to have both women appear in his ad.
He said Bolino was already working at Northrup when he purchased the firm 12 years ago and is “one of my closest friends.” Waselchuk is retired and worked at the firm in 2009, he said, for perhaps six months.
Tisei pointed out that, although the ad does not make any mention of it, both women’s affiliation with his firm is noted in small type after an asterisk in a press release his campaign sent out about the ad on Tuesday.
“It’s not like we’re trying to pull the wool over anybody’s eyes,” Tisei said. “I wanted to get people who knew me the best to speak on behalf... and they’re the ones who know me the best.”Michael Levenson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mlevenson.