John Tierney: Coward In The House

The definition of a coward is,

cow·ard n
somebody who is too easily or too greatly frightened
Encarta® World English Dictionary ©1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

His is the face of a coward, and isn’t it nice to know that in time of war, we have a bonafide coward residing in the House of Representatives…?

John F. Tierney, Congressman, Democrat, Massachusetts 6th District, is a coward.

Republican challenger Rick Barton has asked Tierney several times to debate prior to next month’s election. Outside groups have requested to host debates between Tierney and Barton. Barton has said yes to all requests, and Tierney has repeatedly said no.

There is no reason an incumbent need indulge a challenger and participate in a debate. Submitting to a debate has numerous potential pitfalls for an incumbent. With that, most in office do participate in at least one debate because to decline gives off the coward stank.

I’m glad I’m not downwind of John Tierney.

Barton is justifiably frustrated, Congressman John Tierney has refused to participate in any of the four debates that have been requested by The League of Women Voters chapters in Bedford and Cape Ann, B’nai B’rith of Beverly, and the Brooksby Village Retirement Community. In a move, clearly designed to hide from his voting record and position on the issues, Mr. Tierney is denying the voters of this district an opportunity to judge for themselves who would best serve this district in Washington. Furthermore, he has failed to live up to his stated positions prior to his election to office.”

Obviously, there are reasons that his constituents would like to see a debate. Some like the drama of it all, but some just like to see people stick up for their ideas, and how they react under fire. The voters of the Massachusetts 6th are being denied this opportunity.

In a nationally syndicated interview with columnist Sher Zieve, Barton has laid out his positions for public scrutiny. A debate would give Tierney an opportunity to explain his positions and votes. One would think a good presentation would seal the deal for his re-election. That is, unless there is a problem with those positions and votes”.

According to Barton, Since then he has refused to debate challengers, with one staff member telling the moderator of the local B’nai B’rith debates, now that we are in office we don’t have to debate. He is hiding from his stated positions prior to his election and his voting record since holding office.”

It would appear as though this may be the closest to a debate we’ll get.

From his Congressional website, on “Homeland Security” Tierney says, “All partners in homeland security — from federal agents to local first responders — must communicate with one another in a way that saves lives and protects civil liberties. All acts of terrorism are local, so each of our communities must be fully prepared for crisis response and consequence management. Whether the targets are ports, nuclear power plants, office buildings or landmarks, our local first responders need to know how they will receive intelligence communications and what resources they will have to help them act on this information in order to protect the American people.”

On Tierney’s national security record, Barton said, “The only promise Tierney followed through on was his position to greatly decrease Intelligence Appropriations. He voted to cut the Intelligence Budgets for FYs 1998, 1999, and 2000. This along with the reductions and elimination of Human Intelligence resources allowed the terrorist attacks of 9/11 to be planned and carried out right under our noses. Prior to this event, he continually voted against Defense Department Appropriations and in favor of cutting $20 billion from future spending. Since 9/11 he has voted against virtually every Defense, Intelligence and Homeland Security Appropriation.”

On Tierney’s website section on “Veterans” it says, “Congressman Tierney is a strong supporter of protecting and expanding military retiree benefits for our veterans. He is a co-sponsor of H.R. 515, legislation that seeks to provide health care coverage to all military retirees by making money available to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to meet the needs of the new veterans of our most recent wars. He is also an original co-sponsor of H.R. 2131, the New GI Bill of Rights for the 21st Century, which seeks to improve benefits for members of the Armed Forces, veterans, and their dependents and survivors.”

Barton responded, “Among those appropriations he voted against was the increase in death benefits for military family survivors from $12,000 to $100,000. Additionally, in a floor speech on June 15, 2006, he criticized the administration for sending troops into harms way without adequate body or vehicle armor. This was truly an amazing statement in view of his vote against $686 million for body and vehicle armor in March of 2005. His most recent votes against the Military Commission Act, Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act, Secure Fence Act, and Immigration Law Enforcement Act show a clear disregard for the security of our nation.”

When it comes to elections and campaign reform, Tierney’s site says he, “authored the most comprehensive proposal in Congress to provide a clear alternative to the current system of financing elections. His Clean Money, Clean Elections bill (H.R. 3099) creates a voluntary system that gives candidates an option to forego private funding without having to undermine their ability to run a competitive campaign. It also allows qualified candidates to run for public office without compromising their independence, since they won’t have to ask for money from those with a vested interest in public policy.

Congressman Tierney’s bill would ‘free candidates and elected officials from the burden of continuous fundraising; and shorten the effective length of campaigns (when the public is bombarded with broadcast ads and mass mailings) by defining the point at which candidates receive Clean Money, Clean Elections funding to pay for campaign expenditures.'”

I fail to see how that would help a challenger. Sure, incumbents wouldn’t need to raise all that money, thereby; they wouldn’t have to explain their views to the voters. A situation eerily similar to what we have here.

Forgoing private funding for campaigning may be noble for an incumbent, but any fool knows that would screw a challenger, but as we have a politician who doesn’t feel an obligation to campaign, one can clearly see through this bogus proposal.

Also, employees of the following organizations made campaign contributions to legislators who sponsored or cosponsored this bill. The top organizations are listed below. Note that the companies themselves did not make the contribution….

National Assn of Realtors: $332,500
Association of Trial Lawyers of America: $290,000
Laborers Union: $308,500
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers: $207,550
Auto Workers: $237,200.

Talk about hypocrisy.

Barton’s response: “His ultra liberal views and membership in the Congressional Progressive Caucus align him with organizations such as MoveOn.Org, The Hip-Hop Caucus, La Raza, Americans for Democratic Action, and the ACLU. The votes he has cast over the years, and the positions he holds on National Security, Border Security and Immigration Enforcement, and the economy pose a clear and present danger to future generations. It is apparent that he now believes in the liberal elitist attitude that once elected he has a job for life. It is time to demand Tierney hold himself accountable.”

More so than any other reason, cowardice and misplaced arrogance is probably the clearest motivation to throw a bum out. Unfortunately, with an incumbent too chicken to face an opponent or his constituents, the public may never know he even exists, and that may be just what he wants.

What’s truly scary is how many Tierneys there may be out there….

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