(Lynnfield, MA) — Congressional candidate Richard Tisei’s campaign is calling for Congressman John Tierney to instruct his campaign “trackers,” who follow Tisei day and night, to end their bullying tactics, particularly at private events. Campaign “trackers” are a common feature of modern campaigns and involve employees or volunteers of campaigns and political parties who attempt to film the opposition’s candidate in the hopes of catching an unguarded or politically useful comment from the opposition’s candidate.
“John Tierney’s campaign is engaged in thuggish behavior,” said Paul Moore, Tisei’s campaign manager. “For many weeks, they’ve followed Richard into private and public events. They’ve even staked out his home and his elderly mother’s home in Wakefield. This evening at a private event at the Kowloon Restaurant in Saugus, Tierney’s trackers repeatedly got within inches of Richard’s face while he was sitting at a table speaking with young professionals. This is bullying that is clearly sanctioned by John Tierney and his campaign and it’s unacceptable.”
“It’s not uncommon for campaigns or their allies to track the opposition in this way. Both sides in this campaign have had such trackers,” said Moore. “I let it be known very early on that anyone who wanted to help Richard would not get within a close perimeter to Congressman Tierney and would respect a zone of privacy. We’ve tried to be very civil to John Tierney’s trackers. We gave them water throughout a recent parade. We’ve let them have considerable access to Richard, as we’ve nothing to hide.”
“A couple of months ago, I was informed that a person following Congressman Tierney was getting too close to Congressman Tierney,” said Moore. “I informed that person that if he was trying to help Richard’s race, he was engaged in unacceptable behavior. Tonight, I’ve asked John Tierney’s campaign manager, Matt Robison, to similarly direct anyone tracking Richard on behalf of Congressman Tierney to respect a zone of privacy (see email sent to Robison below).”
“Just last week at an event where the Chamber endorsed Richard at a private workplace in Lynn, a group of Tierney’s supporters appeared,” said Moore. “Sadly, the group nearly attacked a handicapped woman who dared to pull her car up in front of the facility so that she could attend the event. They yelled at her and screamed that she wasn’t handicapped – until they saw her limping along with her cane. Then, in shame, they disbursed – as well they should have done. This sort of bullying, thuggish behavior is apparently sanctioned by the Congressman. If not, we challenge he and his campaign to end these tactics – including the surveillance of Richard’s home and his mother’s home.”
Following is an email message sent from Moore to Robison on this matter this evening:
We all know the political game and the involvement in modern campaigns of campaigns or party entities tracking the candidates to catch them in unguarded moments.
I’ve given very strict and repeated instructions to a person tracking your boss that we do not sanction getting within a close perimeter of the Congressman. Frankly, I think that sort of strategy backfires and is both uncivil and stupid. If you are aware of ANY recent behavior that involves someone tracking the Congressman who is associated in any way with Richard’s campaign or any GOP entity, please tell me. I’ll see to it that they’re assigned to a broom closet.
Unfortunately, a number of people tracking Richard on behalf of the Congressman’s campaign have become extremely aggressive in recent days. I’ve given very clear instructions to eager volunteers that they’re to be completely civil to your trackers under all circumstances. That has led, regrettably, to real abuses of this civility. Tonight is, frankly, the last straw. You can check out the footage from your tracker at the Kowloon event and determine for yourself if you find that to be acceptable behavior. We did not.
Our civility has not been reciprocated, as it ought to be. From this point forward, we will not tolerate the presence of any tracker on private property. If there is resistance, the police will be called immediately. If it is on public property, the police will be called.
Another option is to restrain your trackers, as we have done. Please let me know your preference.