Richard Tisei Hub




Barney Frank: Don't Vote For Gay Republican Congressional Candidate Richard Tisei

Former Rep. Barney Frank has weighed in on one of 2014's tightest congressional races, that of his state Massachusetts' sixth district. 

1019_tierney-tisei-620x456It's a headline grabber — incumbent Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) versus Republican challenger Richard Tisei. While Rep. Tierney has been a staunch advocate of LGBT rights, Tisei may be poised to snatch votes from him. Rep. Tierney is staight, and Tisei is openly gay. If elected, Tisei would be the first openly gay Republican elected to Congress.

If this story sounds familiar to you, you're not wrong. Two years ago, the same two candidates were squaring off in the same district. That time around, the race wrapped up tight — Tierney's 48% to Tisei's 47. 

This year, things could shake out differently. In February, Tisei was endorsed by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, leading to a bump in his polling data.

Wednesday evening, former Rep. Frank assembled a group of LGBT donors on Capitol Hill to discuss the congressional race and voice support for the incumbent Tierney.

6a00d8341c730253ef017d3e260216970c-250wiWhile the donors acknowledge allure in the idea that a gay Republican who could shake up the party, many suggest that this is not realistic — that it's more important to reduce the influence of Republican leader and LGBT rights opponent Rep John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Former Rep. Frank expands on the core reasons to not elect Tisei:

"I do believe it is very important to support gay and lesbian candidates. But the notion that we will tell an incumbent who has been absolutely perfect on gay, lesbian, bisexual [and] transgender issues — absolutely perfect — that perfection will do no good because he has sex with the wrong person, [that] is the antithesis of what we should be fighting for."

Concise and whip-smart as ever, but that's Barney Frank for you.

Frank's sentiment is echoed by the incumbent Rep. Tierney. While he would like to have more pro-gay Republcans in Congress, Tierney points out that electing them in the current political climate would have little effect.

"[Pro-gay Republicans aren't] allowed to even vote on the matter [of LGBT rights]. They don't get an opportunity. So you need to change the majority to have the matter brought up," he said. "We have currently a Congress that is going nowhere, slowly, under John Boehner."

[h/t HuffPo]


Gay Congressional Hopeful Richard Tisei Boycotting GOP Convention Over Anti-Gay Platform

Gay Republican Richard Tisei, who is running for Congress and was the GOP’s nominee for Massachusetts lieutenant governor in 2010, says he's sitting out the state GOP convention because its platform is anti-gay, the Boston Globe reports:

Tisei“I don’t want to go and be seen in any way to be endorsing that,” said Tisei, who is gay and who got married last summer. “I don’t really feel comfortable being at a convention where the platform takes the party backward, rather than forward, as far as appealing to a large group of Massachusetts voters.”

The platform that was overwhelmingly approved by state committee members frowns on abortion and gay marriage, social issues that the GOP in Massachusetts had previously avoided addressing, for fear of alienating the state’s many liberal and libertarian-minded voters.


Social Conservatives Threaten To Pull Support From MA GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Over Running Mate's Stance On Gay Marriage

Polito

Massachusetts Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker is facing heat from social conservatives within his own party after his running mate, Karyn Polito, endorsed gay marriage this week. The Boston Globe reports that though Polito had originally agreed to moderate her stance on gay marriage by saying she would "not work to undo the progress achieved over the last decade,” in essence taking a play out of Mitt Romney's handbook, who in his 1994 run for Teddy Kennedy's senate seat "described himself as 'personally opposed' to abortion, but promised not to challenge existing abortion law," that more pacifistic plan went out the window after Baker and Polito announced their ticket:

BakerThe issue quickly came to a head after Baker and Polito appeared at a Shrewsbury diner to announce their ticket on Tuesday. A Globe reporter then inquired of a Baker campaign aide about Polito's position on gay marriage. The aide, who did not want to be quoted, replied that Polito favored the current gay marriage law.

In an e-mail exchange, the Globe asked whether it would be fair to say she favored gay marriage, and the aide replied that it would. That exchange was reflected in a Globe article Wednesday.

That clear-cut declaration eliminated the carefully designed nuance and set off a firestorm within social conservative circles, where Polito has been very popular.

Conservative activists, who oppose Baker’s socially liberal views on gay marriage and abortion, had been ready to support him for his fiscal conservatism and out of a desire to wrest control of the corner office from Democrats.

Social conservatives in the party are now urging their "ideological colleagues" to switch their support to Baker's only Republican challenger at this time, Mark Fisher.

Baker previously ran for governor in 2010 against current incumbent Deval Patrick, who has said he would retire after 2014. Baker also drew the ire of some Republicans for choosing Richard Tisei, a gay, pro-choice candidate as his running mate in 2010. Earlier this year the Baker campaign distributed a flier at the state's GOP convention that voiced opposition to a proposed "transgender rights" bill co-sponsored by Tisei, prompting speculation Baker was eager to win back social conservatives. Baker's response?

“'I think a guy who supports gay marriage and is pro-choice and has been pretty clear on those and picked a gay fella as his running mate is pretty much not pandering to much of anybody,' he said, placing a hand on Tisei's shoulder."


Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) Crusading Against Gay Republican Candidates

Politico reports this morning on conflict within the Republican party over backing openly gay candidates, specifically a campaign by Virginia Rep. Randy Forbes (pictured) to block the funding:

ForbesForbes has waged a lengthy crusade to convince his colleagues and the National Republican Congressional Committee brass they shouldn’t back some gay candidates. His efforts on Capitol Hill were described to POLITICO by more than a half-dozen sources with direct knowledge of the talks.

The issue is particularly acute because House Republicans have two promising openly gay candidates in 2014 vying for seats held by Democrats. Richard Tisei, who narrowly lost to Democratic Rep. John Tierney in 2012, is running again in northeastern Massachusetts. And in San Diego, Carl DeMaio, a former city councilman, is trying to knock off Democratic Rep. Scott Peters.

Towleroad obtained this statement from Log Cabin Republican Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo in response to the article:

"You either want Republicans to win, or you don't -- it's as simple as that. Apparently, Congressman Forbes does not. Thankfully, the real GOP leaders in the House know how to pick winners, and their money is on Richard Tisei and Carl DeMaio. Throwing solid conservative contenders under the bus in a cynical and hopeless attempt to gain a Chairmanship is beyond the pale; Congressman Forbes would do more to help his image by supporting efforts to grow the Republican House majority rather than undermine it."

Gay-Friendly Democrat John Tierney Defeats Gay Republican Richard Tisei in Massachusetts Congressional Race: VIDEO

Tisei

Representative John F. Tierney (D-MA) held on to his House seat from Massachusetts last night, defeating gay Republican candidate Richard Tisei, the Boston Globe reports:

TierneyTierney descended to the ballroom at Salem’s Hawthorne Hotel about 12:30 Wednesday morning to declare victory, holding his wife’s hand aloft and basking in the cheers of 100 remaining supporters. He made an elliptical reference to the family scandal that had dogged him throughout the campaign and provided ample fodder for challenger Richard R. Tisei...

...With all precincts reporting, Tierney held a nearly 4,000-vote lead, collecting 48.3 percent to Tisei’s 47.3 percent.

A late-arriving crowd at the Tierney party swelled to 200 at one point, spirits soaring, when it appeared he would ­retain his seat.

“We were all prepared for the worst given the lead-up to the race,” said Kim Driscoll, Salem’s mayor. “This is just phenomenal, and [we’re] very happily surprised.”

TiseiTisei is not ready to concede, NECN reports:

But, the Tisei team is testing the truth of Tierney’s win. Tisei’s campaign manager, Paul Moore, said he wasn’t able to speak to the town clerk of Lynn and believes there may have been foul play.

“I think at best we have a very incompetent official in Lynn...,” Moore said.

In a statement emailed to NECN, Lynn city clerk and elections chief Mary Audley responded:

"The allegations made by Mr. Tisei’s campaign are unfounded.  We were in City Hall from 6:30 a.m. yesterday morning until 9:30 p.m.  Our phones were extremely busy, but nobody came into the office to make any complaints.  We received no calls from the Secretary of State’s Office regarding any such allegations and no voters were challenged. Other than that, I really have no comment as to what he believes other campaigns did or did not do.  We are committed to running every election to the letter of the law and to allege otherwise is quite offensive."

Watch NECN's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay-Friendly Democrat John Tierney Defeats Gay Republican Richard Tisei in Massachusetts Congressional Race: VIDEO" »


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1NewsIcon In addition to endorsing President Obama and Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts gay paper Bay Windows has endorsed openly gay GOP congressional hopeful Richard Tisei. Perhaps tellingl, though, Obama and Warren both got specific blurbs, Tisei's name is just part of a general list of candidates the paper prefers.


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