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Local Mayors Rally to Support Tierney in Congressional Race

Tierney and North Shore mayors say Republicans Ryan and Tisei would make huge, devastating cuts to key federal programs to reign in spending.

A handful of North Shore mayors publicly endorsed incumbent Congressman John Tierney Monday during a conference call Tierney organized to discuss his track record in the district and critique the GOP’s federal budget plan, which he says his Republican opponent Richard Tisei supports.

The issue has been batted back and forth between the two men for months on whether or not Tisei supports the plan, which seeks to dramatically reign in federal spending.

Tierney said Monday there’s a lot at stake in this election, arguing voters have a choice between a candidate with a strong record of supporting local communities and important social programs or a candidate who will help lay waste to everything from Medicare and public education to local police and fire departments.

, saying it makes "huge cuts" that would devastate the middle class as Medicare would become a voucher system, taxes would rise for the middle class and cuts would be deep to Social Security. The proposal would trim millions – billions in some cases – from several areas in an attempt to systemically reduce spending.

He said “education would be eviscerated at all levels,” thousands of Bay State residents would be affected, thousands of jobs would be lost (especially in education) and federal aid cities and towns rely on to provide services to their residents would be sharply cut, affecting even public safety and transportation.

In comparison, Tierney said, is a balanced Democratic budget that helps pay down the nation’s deficit in a responsible way while still supporting those key services and programs.

“I have always made the needs of local cities in the 6th District a priority. The decisions made in Congress have a big impact on the day-to-day lives of the people in our communities," Tierney said, adding his goal is to help build a stronger middle class.

Among the five mayors calling in Monday afternoon were Peabody Mayor Ted Bettencourt, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll and Beverly Mayor Bill Scanlon.

"I am proud to support John Tierney because he has worked hard for his constituents and the city of Peabody,” said Bettencourt. “John’s focus on investing in local communities has helped working families across the North Shore and especially Peabody.”

Bettencourt said he's established a good working relationship with Tierney during both his first eight months as mayor and as a city councilor before that. He said Tierney’s office has always been forthcoming with information and assistance.

“I am committed to making constituent service one of the hallmarks of my administration and I appreciate having someone in Washington who shares this priority,” he said.

Bettencourt said he shared the concerns of his fellow mayors on potential cuts to programs for seniors or families in need, education, jobs, public safety and public infrastructure.

Bettencourt did not mention any specific examples in Peabody, although Tierney is no stranger to Peabody when it comes to supporting the city’s efforts to reduce flooding in the downtown and has earmarked a federal grant or two for that project over the years.

Over in Salem, Driscoll said, the city has had success in recent years because Tierney has come through on important initiatives and federal aid for local projects.

“Congressman Tierney has done great things for Salem. He has helped keep Salem State University on the cutting edge, secured investments for our city’s transportation infrastructure, and made sure our police and firefighters have the tools they need to keep our community safe,” Driscoll said.

She said that partnership also extends to the city’s public schools and other federal aid to help relieve stressed city budgets in challenging economic times. She said that's necessary to keep up with local infrastructure projects, serving seniors and other residents in need.

“The Ryan budget is a step backwards for cities and towns,” Driscoll said.

“The Republican budget would hurt Salem families, because it will mean fewer jobs, fewer investments in our future, and less help for the middle class,” she said, adding that Tierney’s efforts instead are to make communities stronger.

Scanlon, who has spent 15 years as Beverly’s mayor, said he has always known Tierney to be accessible, responsive, work hard, a good listener and compassionate.

“I think the Republican budget being discussed now is really a threat to the middle class,” Scanlon said, adding he sees it as just dumping the country’s fiscal problems on the middle class. He said cutting back on education aid under the plan is “a mistake,” which devalues one of the nation’s key resources.

Scanlon said Tierney has helped bring $5 million to Beverly for a parking garage and $9 million in federal stimulus funds.

“He’s been a guy who’s always delivered the goods and I hope he sticks around,” Scanlon said.

Driscoll said she wouldn’t support Tisei because she doesn’t know him like she knows and trusts Tierney.

“He’s proven that he’s done a good job and has a good record,” she said.

The other two mayors on Monday's call were Donna Holladay of Newburyport and Thatcher Kezer of Amesbury -- both made similar remarks.

Much of the talk Monday was about Tierney’s record and 16 years as a congressman and merely Tisei's support of the Ryan plan, according to Tierney. None of the commentary addressed Tisei’s record over 26 consecutive years in the state legislature.

Responding to questions on his continued sharp criticism of a plan Tisei says he doesn’t necessarily support, Tierney argues his opponent is just “backtracking” now.

Tierney again noted Tisei received a personal briefing from Ryan on his budget plan in Washington D.C., is being financially backed by Ryan’s Super PAC and had said he was “comfortable” with the GOP’s approach to the budget. Tierney said Tisei’s campaign was “connected at the hip” to Ryan.

“It’s a good start on what, destroying Social Security?” Tierney said. “[He] backtracks an awful lot on what he would or would not support when it comes to the budget.”

Saber Walsh August 14, 2012 at 11:21 AM
How sad -- I really liked Bettencourt, too.
Ann Landau August 14, 2012 at 11:55 AM
I was very gratified to see the North Shore mayors support John Tierney. I have always felt he represents us well but was not aware of how fully and in what detail he supports our local communities until I read the mayors' statements.
Lisa Harris August 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM
I am a strong Bettencourt supporter and I am extremely dissappointed that he is publically supporting Tierney. But let me offer you this, If one of these Mayors were to basically thumb their noses at Tierney and in typically dissappointing fashion the voters put the alleged crook back into office then you all know Peabody and the other cities are going to have a much harder time getting their needs met. I honenestly wished it was frowned on to ask governement officials that you have an undue influence over to make any public support for the sitting candidate. As I said in the begining I am EXTREMELY dissappointed with Bettencourt offering his support. I hope this does not come back to bite him in the future...He is up for re-election next year...
D Graf August 14, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Anyone seen what's happening with Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal lately? Entitlement spending cannot go on forever. Higher & higher local, state, and federal taxes to pay for everything to which people, cities, towns, states, and the federal government feel entitled means higher & higher costs to individual taxpayers and businesses in the form of more "investment" (i.e. taxes) required. Ever more imposition of government regulation, with resulting increased costs of goods and services for all. Trillions of $$$ in deficit--a real disaster for all of us. The true cost is our freedom, in many ways. A vote for Tisei is a vote for putting the brakes on this type of endless spending and government foolhardiness. Not an end to all reasonable programs and services, as Tierney's dishonest scare tactics would have us believe, just putting the brakes on and restoring some fiscal sanity and some integrity. The Democrats haven't passed a budget in over 3 years. Reckless, uncontrolled, and irresponsible is how I would describe that. I'm not voting for more of it.
Don August 14, 2012 at 04:30 PM
They will go down with Tierney. Anyone that supports him also supports his dishonest dealings. So folks take note, Tierney has as much chance of winning as an ice ball has of running through hell. So Mr. Mayors, how much did you pay him or vice versa?
Steve August 14, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Mr. Bettencourt you have lost my vote and my confidence. And after such a bright start.
Steve August 14, 2012 at 09:27 PM
You have not been following his votes in congress and his poor performance initiating positive change. You should follow what is going on in the house of representatives more closely. Mega vote is a good source of information. Mr Tierney is part of the problem not part of the solution.
Diane Bonagura August 14, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Pathetic. Well, I guess Tierney will get 5 votes. Maybe 6 if Patrice can still vote, (as a convicted felon).
Bob August 15, 2012 at 12:42 PM
I think I missed in the article the part where the mayors and Tierney call upon the Democrat controlled Senate to pass a budget. 1,000 plus days and counting... Good thing it isn't a requirement of their jobs... er, never mind!
Mike Schulze August 16, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Tierney has always been very accessible and he has long delivered for the district.That is what these mayors are saying.The last Republican congressman did not deliver.We need to keep our Democrats in the House and Senate. Fight for the middle class not the banks and insurance company's.Remember when healthcare was not privatized? Watch out for the "entitlements" theft.Banks got the entitlements. We built this country and the economy.Corporate scum has stolen it.Fight back! I am a proud supporter of Mayor Bettencourt! Scott Brown and Tisei are phony's ask them their positions and they dont answer. Check out Ryan's budget!Romney does not have one or a tax return.
D Graf August 16, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Where are the jobs under this Administration? Foodstamps at all-time high. Trillions in budget deficit under Dems; no budget from them in over 3 years. Obamacare = one of highest tax increases in US history. Obamacare waivers for cronies. Bailouts costing billions of $$$ in taxpayer losses, including auto companies and AIG insurance. TARP bank bailout. No prosecution of Corzine. Cronyism of the highest order. Solyndra scandal & others. Democratic congress passed bill forcing Freddie/Fannie/FHA to back housing loans to people regardless of whether or not they could afford. Barney Frank pushed. Subsequent housing collapse. Entitlement mentality has all of us in deep, deep trouble. "What's in it for me" has just about reached the end of the road. Continue on that same road, and it ends very, very badly for everyone. Even putting aside the fact that it defies belief that Tierney did not know about the millions of illegal dollars coming into his household, he has voted in partisan lockstep for Big Government and with failed Dem policies, all the way. The Democratics Socialists of America have endorsed him. He is a taxer and a spender. Has voted for billions of our $$$ towards bailouts, Tarp, etc. Disregarded constituents concerning Obamacare. Voted for Cap & Trade, yet another tax on all of us. And so on. Don't vote for more of the above.
TMR August 29, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Good work mayors!! If the Far Right Teaparty Republicans get control of the Senate it will be a laughing stock around the globe just like House....obstruction .... our economy will tank further due to obstruction ..... They've done nothing for the American people since 2010.....their first order of business for John Boehner's House was to redefine rape at time of 9% unemployment ....saying there is legitimate rape....the teaparty House got USA rating downgraded...8% job approval...worst congress in history on many different benchmarks. We got GOP candidates saying getting pregnant outside of marriage is like rape.... c'mon Massachusett these GOP candidates are too far right for us here in Massachusetts we elect fiscal conservatives not social conservatives nut cases that want to control women's bodies. Plus GOP actively supressing the vote ... disgraceful.
TMR August 29, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Take a good look at the sources of our debt. Hint: its not Obama... http://www.classwarfareexists.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Chart-Deficit-e1346201023388.jpeg
TMR August 29, 2012 at 09:43 PM
http://www.classwarfareexists.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Chart-Deficit-e1346201023388.jpeg

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