SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

October 3, 2012

It's name-calling season ... and they don't like it

If you can't say anything nice about somebody, you must be in politics.

Or so it seems as November approaches and voters are inundated by a blizzard of negative campaign ads, with often ugly charges and even uglier counter-charges, delivered via television, radio, Internet, mail and street signs. Woe to the self-image of the candidate who takes them too personally.

Most people we encountered on the street yesterday don't like the ads much, either. But most aren't denying that they listen. And in many cases these advertisements have an impact.

"Unfortunately, negative ads do work," says Peter Maguire, a retired school principal now working as a docent at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. "People remember them."

He singles out one of the most contentious campaigns, the battle between sitting Congressman John Tierney, a Salem Democrat, and his Republican challenger, former state Sen. Richard Tisei of Wakefield.

"I wish I could remember the good things that Tierney and Tisei have to say, but it seems all I remember is the negative," Maguire said.

Tisei has attacked Tierney over his wife's admission in federal court to helping her brother file false tax returns. The congressman has responded by linking Tisei with conservative Republicans like Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh.

"They're not getting to the message," Maguire said. "Neither is saying what they want to do. They seem to be intent on bringing each other down."

Jennifer Frye is a Salem resident recently arrived from Utah. Even so, she makes it clear she's not a supporter of presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and Mormon with strong ties to Utah. Despite that, a look of distaste crosses her face as she sighs, "The other night I saw an (President Barack) Obama commercial and it was pretty negative."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Officials Warn of Avoidable Death in Hot Cars Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
Comments Tracker