The Handwriting is on the Wall

Congressman John Tierney is facing a seminal moment in his political career now that his brother-in-law, who is heading to jail, has made public statements indicating Tierney knew all about the brother-in-law’s bookmaking and gambling operations and might even have sat with bookmakers and others of those types at Red Sox games.

Whether the statements are true or not, the statements are damning as Tierney denied knowing anything about his brother-in-law’s fiduciary relationship with his wife, Patrice, who pleaded guilty to tax fraud in 2010 in Federal District Court in Boston.

At the time, it was revealed that Mrs. Tierney had as much as $7 million in her checking account.

The congressman pleaded ignorance, which I always believed was something more than ignorance because who among us who are married wouldn’t know if our wives had $7 million in their personal bank account?

Then there was the sight and then the sound of Tierney’s voice when he accompanied Patrice into the Federal Court House during her trial in 2010.

Reporters mobbed the congressman but he pointedly told them: “This isn’t about me. It is about my wife,” he said in as many words as she tried hiding under an umbrella in the rain.

That statement amazed me.

I couldn’t believe a congressman from this district would throw his wife under the bus like that.

I still can’t believe it.

I can’t believe he didn’t know what was going on with her and her brother.

So there you go.

With a heated election season not yet into high gear, Tierney is facing a very involved and contentious Richard Tisei.

Tisei, a former state senator, has been running a rugged campaign to unseat the longtime Democrat from Salem.

Most handicappers are picking Tisei in the race because he runs hard and smart at whatever he seeks and for Tierney this is problematic because he’s drowning under the weight of the detritus of his wife’s connection to her brother.

I don’t believe Tierney is a thief or even a bad guy.

But I do believe he knew all along what was going on.

That’s the problem and that’s the perception and perception is everything in voters’ minds.

How couldn’t he have known unless he never spoke to his wife about what she was doing at the time or they simply never talked at all – which is possible in many working marriages.

Tierney is being backed into a difficult corner.

And now come the local democrats posturing like he may face a challenge from a sticker candidate.

If I were Rep. Steve Walsh, I’d have those stickers printed already and I’d put my mind to getting myself to Congress.

Tisei may have Tierney on the run but he won’t beat out Steve Walsh in a contest.

Walsh would be a strong candidate – and beside – he’d like to go to Congress.

You can’t get there if you don’t run.

What a moment for Steve Walsh.

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