The contest between longtime incumbent Congressman John Tierney and former state senator Richard Tisei is reaching maximum tilt, which is to say, both men are now doing whatever they can to destroy one another.
This is to be expected in a political season featuring negative advertising and the colossal use of funds to negotiate and to project strong message to voters.
This isn’t bad – it is simply what it is.
Congressman Tierney, for all his bluster, is tainted during this run whereas in the past he ran without his reputation being questioned.
His reputation is the race for Tisei.
Tisei has been working hard to create the image of Tierney as a fraud who knew right from wrong when his wife was doing business with her criminal brothers-in-law.
Saying he did not know doesn’t do it for Tierney. It isn’t enough to dispel the notion that somehow he has sinned. He has perhaps lied. Voters are now left to wonder to what extent Tierney knew what was going on when his wife became part of a criminal enterprise.
Those of us who are married usually tend to know what our wives are doing in their fiscal lives.
Tierney said he didn’t know.
If you can believe that, well, you can believe anything.
The question is, does it matter enough that Tierney says he did not know and Tisei implores that he did know and knew fully.
This is what the race has come down to.
The rest is left up to voters who have come to know Tierney over the years.
He’s not a bad guy. He always wears a nicely tailored suit and he has a nice presence.
Did he know? Did he not know?
This is the question.
And it makes the whole difference in the minds of voters about to decide the fate of this contest.