Facing the fight of his political life, scandal-plagued U.S. Rep. John Tierney has moved to block questions about his family’s illegal gambling ring from debates this fall, insisting on ground rules that bar panelists from asking about the controversy.Preparing for Streisand Effect in 3... 2... 1...
Sponsors of two of the four debates between Tierney and GOP opponent Richard Tisei told the Herald they have agreed to the congressman’s demand that they stick to questions about policy and steer clear of queries on what he knew about his wife and in-laws’ ties to an illegal offshore gambling operation.
Sorry, Rep. Tierney (rhymes with Tyranny!), it doesn't work that way. Questions about your wife's money laundering scheme with her brother - that you claim to know nothing about - are perfectly legitimate. Your side wants to tar Scott Brown with the Todd Akin brush - you brought up the "guilt by association" tag here. This is your wife breaking the law in your home, and you claim to be completely ignorant of what happened? And you not only expect the public to re-elect you despite your gross incompetence, but you'll agree to debates if the subject is forbidden?
Seriously, man, reconsider. If you pull out of a debate or debates because you can't be 100% certain they won't ask about the gambling issue, your campaign is toast. People are willing to forgive a lot - especially in Massachusetts - but you cannot stick your hands over your ears and yell "I CAN'T HEAR YOU" as part of a legitimate political debate. That's what you're doing here. If you try to control this, it is going to backfire badly - people are going to get curious why you're pushing so hard to silence this, and then they're going to do a little digging.
And you don't look good as it is, John. You'll look even worse if anyone does their homework. Look, it's one thing that you might have looked the other way. It's your wife and her family - you'd probably get sympathy if you came out and admitted, yeah, I wasn't paying attention because, well, it's my brother-in-law and another one of his wacky schemes. You're just a busy guy without the time to pay attention to every cockamamie idea that comes out of your wife's family. I think if you could pull that off, you'd see your poll numbers go up - there's a lot of folks out there who just roll their eyes and turn their ears off when it comes to their SO's family...
But hiding it? Trying to control the debate so that it can't come up? That's going to end badly. People don't like being told that they can't ask questions about certain things. It tends to increase curiosity. Your opponent is a smart man (and I urge all MA residents in this district to vote for Richard Tisei, by the way, in the interest of full disclosure...) and he won't let these questions go unanswered - nor will he be so eager to let the subject drop. You sweep this under the rug at your own peril.
Then again, why the heck am trying to help this guy?
That is all.