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What Happened With Tisei and the Tea Party?

Some confusion over Tisei and the Tea Party.

Did congressional candidate Richard Tisei diss the Tea Party? Did his schedulers mess up?

Those are questions people are asking after a mix-up with press releases and a no-show at the Tea Party Candidates Night.

First, on Aug. 8, the Merrimack Valley Tea Party listed Tisei as a confirmed speaker at the Aug. 15 event -- which was to host conservative candidates from state and congressional races in the region to discuss conservative ideas and raise money.

Then the day of the event, Congressman John Tierney's communications director Grant Herring sent out a media alert Wednesday afternoon mocking Tisei about the event.

"Richard Tisei will be explaining why he thinks the Tea Party is a “godsend” and why he is strongly supporting Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan," Herring wrote. "Tisei will explain why he thinks Ryan’s budget is a good start, why Medicare needs to change for people under 50, and why cuts to Medicare and Social Security should be on the table."

Almost immediately afterward, Tisei's campaign manager Paul Moore sent out a media alert titled, "Grant Herring: New Tisei Scheduler," mocking Herring's media release:

"Press advisories from Congressman John Tierney's campaign should always be taken with a grain of salt (or a stiff drink), particularly when they claim to know the schedule of Congressional candidate Richard Tisei."

What happened?

That's not exactly clear yet. Here's what we know:

  • Tisei was listed as a confirmed speaker on the Tea Party announcement.
  • Tierney spokesperson Grant Herring sent out an email alerting the media that Tisei would be there.
  • Tisei's team sent out an email effectively calling Herring a liar.
  • Tisei's communications director Christian Berle is quoted in the Eagle-Tribune as saying Tisei was unable to attend but was sending Moore to the event to speak in Tisei's place.
  • The Eagle-Tribune reported that no one from Tisei's campaign showed up.
  • Moore said he attended and was standing in the back of the room but didn't speak at the event.

So did Tisei bail on the Tea Party at the last minute?

That doesn't seem to be the case. Tisei's campaign says he had a fundraiser in Boston Wednesday night so couldn't attend the Merrimack Valley Tea Party event.

And the Tea Party is saying he was not a confirmed speaker.

"The Tisei scheduler was given the information a while ago. She did not confirm the date," said Jamison Tomasek of the Merrimack Valley Tea Party. "I followed up but as of a few weeks ago it was still unconfirmed. We had a place allotted on the schedule and kept him as unconfirmed. Yesterday [Wednesday] the Tisei campaigned contacted me about sending a surrogate and I discussed this with the leadership team. We are all about fairness, and we did not offer this to other candidates who could not attend, so we said 'no' to the Tisei campaign."

There is no word on whether Tisei plans to attend a Merrimack Valley Tea Party meeting inn the future. But it would seem that theories that Tisei suddenly bailed on them due to philosophical differences or in the wake of Paul Ryan being named Romney's vice presidential pick are likely not accurate.

salemst August 16, 2012 at 03:37 PM
As a conservative getting redistricted out of Tsongas' district into Tierney's this is a nightmare election. On one hand, Tierney is not only a far left wing loon Democrat party lapdog never showing a scintilla of independence but has that extremely troubling money laundering ethics issue around his wife (and his knowledge of it). On the other Tisei isn't exactly Heaven sent. To the cultural left of Democrats on abortion, homosexual marriage, and on into transgender rights it's hard to get politically lathered up to help him win. So my only choice seems to be to hold my nose for a prolonged time period and vote Tisei as he might get 30% of his votes right. I can count on Tierney to get 0% of his votes right.
Brandon Chapman August 16, 2012 at 04:00 PM
How is this even a story? Congressional candidates have busy schedules? You don't say....
Joe August 16, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Fiscal conservative and social liberal. i will take that all day!! In fact, it is high time conservatives start to embrace social issues. You can't have it both ways. You want small government and want government to keep their nose out of people's lives, but you want the government to make sure marriage is between a man and a woman and that abortion is illegal. Sounds to me like you don't know the difference between small government with limited powers and big government. Tisei is pro small government with limited powers!! Yes please!!!

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