SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Election Forum

November 3, 2012

Column: Beyond the rhetoric

If it seems that campaigns are even nastier than usual this year, you’re right. The Supreme Court decision, Citizens United, opened the floodgates for unlimited corporate donations to political groups. It’s not hard to guess which side big corporations are supporting (Hint: it’s not on the side of clean air and clean water).

Nationwide, big corporations are spending millions on character assassination ads. These corporate-funded PACs’ primary strategy is to smear their ideological opponents while avoiding any mention of their own (pro-corporate welfare, anti-regulation, science denying) views. Using character assassination, with dark foreboding ads, scary music, and grainy black and white photos are Karl Rove’s trademarks. We’ve been seeing Rove’s handiwork throughout the Bay State this year, and it’s not pretty.

With just a few days before Election Day, we urge you to base your decision in the voting booth on the basis of a candidate’s voting record, lifetime accomplishments, and their positions on actual issues. Don’t be fooled by the tangential accusations and the inflammatory rhetoric.

In the race between Congressman John Tierney and former state Senator Richard Tisei, I urge voters to look at each candidate’s record. For over a decade, John Tierney has been an unwavering advocate on behalf of many environmental bills. He voted against the Bush administration’s bills that favored big oil companies and threatened pristine wilderness areas with potential environmental disasters. John Tierney supported funding for rail transit, knowing that better transportation choices will reduce America’s reliance on fossil fuels.

John Tierney has repeatedly stood up to Big Oil, voting to end billions of dollars in corporate handouts. While his opponent may honestly believe that sending taxpayer dollars to the world’s wealthiest corporations is somehow in our best interests, we know that “trickle down” economics was a disaster in the late 1920s, again in the 1980s, and once more during the second Bush administration.

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