, Salem, MA

November 16, 2012

Letter: GOP attack ads spurred him to work for Tierney

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

Richard Tisei told The Salem News that he believed there were no mistakes in his campaign. He certainly waged a vigorous one, but from my perspective, there was at least one huge mistake.

I’d only moved back to Essex County this summer after decades of absence. I was busy caring for an ailing relative and not involved with the election. I had some familiarity with Tierney’s record and appreciated his positions and diligence on behalf of the district’s needs; I had also gathered that Tisei was running a well-respected challenge, and I was curious about him, but I was definitely not engaged in this election.

Then in my mailbox appeared the seemingly endless barrage of attack literature from out-of-state Republican organizations. These expensive fliers provided no substantive content but asked me again and again only one thing, to accept the word of a convicted felon. What an insult! And what do such mindless requests say about the motivation and thought process of the requesters? Or, more significantly, about the requesters’ opinion of my ability to reason?

Had Tisei repudiated these fliers, I know I would never have launched myself into the campaign, but he did not. Thus I felt compelled to join the bands of diverse volunteers — ranging, for example, from local neighborhood residents to the Sierra Club activists to public school teachers, who gathered at rallies and set forth on behalf of Tierney, knocking on doors across the district. From the moment I began this, I knew I had taken the action that my heart and brain required of me. It felt great, I got a better sense directly from John Tierney of his real integrity, and I squeezed three days out of my busy schedule to work for the cause.

It’s amusing to think that I, the disaffected amateur, had suddenly become a cog in the so-called “Democratic machine.” It was immensely gratifying to work with my neighbors and to imagine I may well have helped.

Richard Tisei and Republicans in general will not succeed in Massachusetts until they learn to respect voters.

Paul Dobbs