Congressman John Tierney held a news conference in Salem last week to deflect the rampant talk going around that he had knowledge of and hung around with bookmakers, who happen to be his brothers-in-law.
One of his brothers-in-law, recently convicted in Federal Court on a variety of gambling related charges, issued a statement recently saying Tierney knew everything that was going on and that if he says otherwise, he is lying.
Tierney may or may not have known what was going on with his wife’s brothers.
And he may not have known that his own wife had millions of dollars in her bank account – apparently to pay for family expenses – which her brothers apparently sent to her.
This is no longer the point.
The point is that Tierney has been forced to answer charges that are widespread and growing wider as his Republican opponent Richard Tisei campaigns around the district and forcefully uses the rumors as the substance of political fodder expected to derail Tierney.
During this election season it is not such a bad strategy.
After all, trust is presumably what it is all about when we vote for the candidate of our choice.
The truth in this instance is that Tierney is on the run – not just for re-election – but from the terrible things people are saying about his alleged connection to his wife’s legal problem, which is now a thing of the past as she has served her time and paid her penance and is now as good as any of us.
His wife has said she knew nothing about the illegality of what her brothers were doing.
We’d like to believe her but it is hard.
How do you not intuitively know your brothers are cheating and scamming their way to millions and millions, and even send you millions to hold for them? How do you not know something is not right?
As for the congressman – he is a gentleman but he has been put into a very bad place by all this talk about him knowing.
His knowing and pretending not to know is what the furor is all about.
For the voters set to make decisions in a few months, it is a case of did he know or did he not? Do I vote for John Tierney or not? Do I trust John Tierney?
These are the questions Congressman Tierney tried to put to rest last week at his news conference. Did he succeed?
Only time will tell.