Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fourth Time's a Charm for Tierney?

Both Dick Howe and the Lowell Sun noted today that a new face has entered the race to replace Marty Meehan (D-Lowell) in the fifth district. Perhaps, however, "new face" is not entirely accurate. Framingham Republican Tom Tierney has already run for this seat on three separate unsuccessful occasions, as a Democrat in 2000, losing the Republican primary in 2002 and losing to Meehan in the general in 2004. Dick witnessed him collecting signatures in Chelmsford for a fourth run, and the Sun caught up with him to confirm his entry. It had been thought that the Republican field would be cleared for candidate Jim Ogonowski, particularly after Lawrence Mayor Michael Sullivan and former New England Patriot Fred Smerlas dropped out shortly after Ogonowski announced his intentions. That no longer seems to be the case, although one wonders how much impact a three-time loser from outside the district will really have on the primary. If nothing else, he should be able to force Ogonowski to clearly define his positions on issues.

Tierney should not expect much support from institutional Republicans. The Lowell Sun explains one reason why:

After losing the 2004 election, Tierney sued the Massachusetts Republican State Congressional Committee and the Federal Election Commission for their lack of support.

He contends, in the ongoing suit, that the party violated federal campaign statutes by using its money and influence to back then-Gov. Mitt Romney's state Republican candidates instead of Massachusetts Republicans running for federal office.
I noticed the squirrely use of federal campaign dollars over two years ago when I pointed out that while the Massachusetts Republican State Congressional Committee spent over 3.6 million dollars in the 2004 election cycle only $385 managed to find its way to actual Republican Congressional Candidates. I'm glad I'm not the only one who found this curious.