US Representative John F. Tierney released a new ad today in which he cites a federal judge’s words to bolster his argument that he had no knowledge of any illegal activity associated with the offshore gambling ring that was run by his wife’s brothers.
But Tierney’s Republican opponent, Richard R. Tisei, demanded that Tisei take down the ad, contending it intentionally distorts the judge’s pronouncement.
The back-and-forth was yet another indication that the Tierney-Tisei battle in Massachusetts’ Sixth Congressional District has become one of the most bitter and personal House contests in the country.
Tisei has been focusing on the gambling business because Tierney’s wife, Patrice, went to prison last year, after admitting“willful blindness” to the enterprise and agreeing to plead guilty to tax fraud for handling bills and taxes in the United States for one of her brothers.
In Tierney’s new ad, titled “Honor,” the Salem Democrat speaks directly into the camera, and pushes back against those attacks.
“My opponent, Richard Tisei, has talked a lot about my wife, Patrice, and the mess her brothers have gotten into,” Tierney says in the ad. “The judge said I wasn’t involved in any way shape or form, and he was right. But Richard Tisei, he’ll do anything to try to distract you.”
Judge William G. Young did say at Patrice Tierney’s sentencing in US District Court in Boston that Tierney was “not implicated in this in any way, shape or form.”
But Paul Moore, Tisei’s campaign manager, argues the judge’s words were never meant to be a blanket pronouncement clearing Tierney of any knowledge of the gambling enterprise. Moore demanded that Tierney take down the ad.
“It was Patrice Tierney’s sentencing,” Moore said in a statement. “It was her name on the docket. It was evidence of her behavior that had been presented to Judge Young. At no point during those proceedings would any examination of John Tierney’s knowledge or lack thereof have been in front of Judge Young. John Tierney knows this.”
In a statement, Tierney’s campaign manager, Matt Robison, said Tierney would not take down the ad because it is factually accurate.Michael Levenson can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @mlevenson.