Globe endorses Tisei

Timothy Kincaid

October 23rd, 2012

The Boston Globe, the city’s more liberal newspaper, has issued an editorial endorsing Republican Richard Tisei. Endorsing a Republican is a rare move for the Globe and the decision is based both in a familiarity and comfort with Tisei and with growing frustration over Democrat John Tierney’s increasingly difficult-to-believe protestations of innocence in his family’s illegal offshore gambling operation.

There’s longstanding evidence of Tisei’s willingness to defy his party and even public sentiment at key points; he voted against rolling back the state income tax from 5.3 percent to 5 percent because he didn’t think the state could afford to do so. He argues that, because he would be the only openly gay Republican to be elected to Congress, he would have a national profile of sorts. He would, and he should use it to press for tolerance and moderation among his fellow Republicans.

The other reason to support Tisei is to underscore the principle of accountability — to make clear that service in elected office is conditioned on leveling with the electorate, and in responding to legitimate inquiries, in a way that John Tierney has not done.

Neither his brother-in-law’s involvement in an offshore gambling operation nor the fact that his wife received significant payments for handling his brother-in-law’s money should, by itself, disqualify Tierney from further service. Yet his insistence that he knew nothing about the matter strains credulity. And his efforts to fend off inquiries into the subject — for instance, by trying to stage-manage how the issue might be discussed in debates — seem high-handed and disrespectful of voters’ legitimate concern.

Currently polls are slightly favoring Tisei and the Globe’s endorsement could carry weight. Should Tisei win, he will be the first non-incumbent Republican to be openly gay when elected to Congress.

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