SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

October 30, 2012

Our view: Tisei for Congress

The issues facing the next Congress are as daunting as they are varied: A still-sluggish economy. Painfully high unemployment and underemployment. A national debt that’s now $16 trillion and rising. There will be long, tough debates over the expiring Bush tax cuts, Obamacare, Social Security and Medicare.

The current Congress, rife with partisanship and generally regarded as one of the worst in recent history, has proven time and again it is not up to this challenge. The electorate takes its cues from its leaders, and what they see in Washington, D.C., is not action but cynicism, demagoguery and mudslinging. It’s no wonder voters are so bitter and angry. In dehumanizing each other, Democrats and Republicans dehumanize us.

The time has come for voters to back candidates who have the desire to put people before party, the talent to bring a fresh approach to seemingly intractable problems and a willingness to work in concert to move the country forward.

In the 6th District, that candidate is Richard Tisei of Wakefield, who has our enthusiastic endorsement.

As a longtime Republican legislator in a deeply Democratic state, the former state Senate minority leader knows how to work professionally and productively across party lines. He had key roles in improving the state’s welfare and pension laws but is not a slash-and-burn reformer. His work in the area of social services has earned praise from groups as varied as the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers and the YMCAs of Massachusetts.

A fiscal conservative, Tisei supported balanced budgets and generally opposed tax increases, including the 2010 sales tax hike. Even on taxes, however, he can think for himself, opposing the 2008 effort to roll back the income tax rate from 5.3 percent to 5 percent, saying the state couldn’t afford the cut. He cast votes against initiatives by then-Gov. Mitt Romney almost half the time.

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