So there I was, at the second 6th Congressional District debate, held by The Salem News and The Jewish Journal. Participants were again, in alphabetical order, Libertarian Daniel Fishman, incumbent Democrat John Tierney, and fiscal conservative-social liberal Republican challenger Richard Tisei. I’ll try to show you what the evening was like.
I took advantage of the Danvers debate site to stop for a quick supper at Brothers Restaurant. Got talking with the owner about his recent trip to Greece so reached the high school later than I’d planned, in a frame of mind to be very concerned about our country following Greece into debt perdition. Was surprised, on a rainy evening, to see so many signholders lined up along the entranceway; there seemed to be many more signs for Tierney.
Therefore I was surprised to find that there were many more Tisei than Tierney supporters inside the auditorium. Guess some union guys came early to do their duty and then went home, and that’s OK.
The format was simple: questions from three panelists for all three candidates to answer. First question, how would you get people back to work? Tierney began by talking about the President’s “jobs bill,” which encouraged Fishman to note that government doesn’t create jobs, with which thought Tisei agreed, then noted the things that government’s been doing to prevent job creation, creating instead uncertainty about taxes and regulation.
To clarify this point, Fishman offered his original “First three are free” proposal to employers: hire three new employees with no paperwork, no government requirements or roadblocks, just give them a paycheck. He said that there are many one-person businesses that would quickly hire someone to help if it was a simple thing to do.
Tisei noted that five organizations, rating Congress on business-climate issues, gave Tierney scores ranging from 19 percent from the National Chamber of Commerce, to zero percent with the National Federation of Independent Businesses and National Retail Association; two other Massachusetts Democrats got as high as 66 percent. Tierney responded by calling the groups “all wings of the Republican Party.” Tisei told him that “small businesses aren’t partisan, they’re job creators.”