Tisei Vows to Be an Independent Congressman


In formally announcing his candidacy yesterday for the 6th Congressional District seat currently held by Rep. John F. Tierney, Wakefield, MA resident Richard Tisei promised the crowd that packed the Heritage Room at the Americal Center two things.

“I will work hard for the people of this district,” Tisei vowed, “and I won’t disappoint you.”

Republican Tisei narrowly lost a 2012 bid to unseat longtime Democratic incumbent Tierney. Tisei said yesterday that he decided to run again due to the encouragement of people in the district and because “our country is in even worse shape and in greater danger at this moment than it was just two years ago.”

“I can’t give up the fight,” Tisei said. “Middle class families are falling further behind. We have the lowest workforce participation rate in 40 years. More people are struggling than ever before and the disconnect between our citizens and their government is greater than ever.”

But Tisei said that what troubled him most was that “more and more people are losing faith in the American Dream.” Tisei encouraged the crowd to be optimistic.

“I stand here before you today to tell you that the American dream is alive and well,” Tisei said. “I see it every day here in Wakefield, when I go to Brothers Deli or to the grocery store. People may be struggling, but they are struggling every day for a better tomorrow.”

Tisei took aim a federal government that he said has become too big and too unwieldy. He zeroed in on ObamaCare as “the biggest expansion of government in our lifetime.” He maintained that the Affordable Care Act had already caused millions to lose their health care coverage and left millions more with fewer choices and higher premiums.

tisei_crowdHe insisted that inflexible federal mandates had especially hurt Massachusetts, which already had a bipartisan law that resulted in 98 percent of the state’s residents being covered by health insurance. He warned that things will only get worse later this year when small businesses see their premiums skyrocket.

“Who was looking out for us?” Tisei asked. “Not our congressman.” He blamed Tierney for “blindly following the party line and demonizing anyone who spoke out against ObamaCare or even tried to fix the bill.”

Tisei said that Tierney “has been voting for all the taxes, all of the spending and all of the borrowing that has driven our nation to insolvency.” He added that Tierney’s votes had been hurting people in the district, resulting in higher energy costs and skyrocketing flood insurance. He pointed to Tierney’s support of a medical device tax that Tisei said “will cost this district countless jobs.”

He maintained that Tierney has voted with Nancy Pelosi 99 percent of the time. “When your vote turns into a rubber stamp,” Tisei insisted, “you stop representing the people who elected you.”

“It’s time we had a congressman who will think for himself,” Tisei said. “It’s time we had a congressman who will put his love of country before his love of party. I will be that congressman and I’ll never forget who I work for.”

Tisei said that when he served for more than two decades in the state legislature, he knew that the people of the district valued independence. He reminded the crowd that he had reached across party lines to work on education, welfare and health care reforms.

“When I served in the state legislature, not one person called me an extremist,” Tisei mused, taking a subtle jab at Democrat attempts to paint the pro-choice, pro-gay marriage Republican as a “Tea Party extremist.”

“We know that when people get together they can solve problems,” Tisei said, noting that people are “tired of the bickering, name-calling and demonization that goes on every day in Washington.”

tisei_kingResponding to media questions after his speech, Tisei said the labeling of political opponents as “extremists” was an example of why people are frustrated with government and politics.

“I have a record,” Tisei said. “I supported education reform and welfare reform. I supported the health care law here in Massachusetts. I was endorsed [in 2012] by the Boston Globe and almost every major newspaper in the district.”

Asked if he had a message for the people of Wakefield and Lynnfield, Tisei said that he would like to say “thank you for all the support you’ve given me in the past. People here know me better than anyone else,” Tisei added, and suggested that their word-of-mouth would counter the negative branding aimed at him.

“Personal testimonials will definitely make a difference,” Tisei said.

Rep. Donald Wong introduced Tisei at yesterday’s event and called his fellow Republican “the best person to represent us.” He said that when Tisei was in the state legislature he was not afraid to break with his party if it was in the best interests of his constituents.

“That’s something we need more in Washington,” Wong said.

mike_buetowTwo other speakers preceded Tisei at the podium. Mike Buetow, vice president of UP Media Group, said that he had always voted for Tierney since moving to Amesbury in 2007, and did so again in 2012.

“I’ve voted for Tierney for the last time,” Buetow said. He called Tisei a man of “unflinching principles and unquestioned ethics and compassion. He’s a listener. We have too many talkers in Washington. We need more listeners like Richard.”

erin_calvo_bacciReading resident Erin Calvo-Bacci talked about the impact of ObamaCare on her family and their small business, “Bacci Chocolate Design.” She said that soaring costs for an inferior health plan forced her and her husband to sell their family home in Wakefield and move their family of five into a two-bedroom apartment above their store in Reading.

“Our current federal government is detrimental to the health of my business and my family,” Calvo-Bacci said. “That’s why we endorse Richard Tisei.”

[This story originally appeared in the January 24, 2014 Wakefield Daily Item.]

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