BOSTON (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) FOX 25 hosted two of the three candidates in the Sixth Congressional District race for a mini-debate on Thursday.
Republican candidate and Former Senator Richard Tisei participated in the debate against Libertarian Daniel Fishman, a developer who writes software to improve special education.
Incumbent John Tierney declined repeated invitations to join FOX 25 for a debate. The invitations date all the way back to Sept. 20. His campaign cited a full schedule as their reason for declining.
Both men began the debate by addressing why they felt Tierney declined the invitation.
"Maybe it was last time that he did a debate with you," said Tisei to FOX 25's Maria Stephanos. "I don't know, I've been out all around the district meeting people and I'm getting great reception and I do think a lot of people on the Sixth Congressional District think it's time for a change. Congressman Tierney has been in for a long time and I think people recognize that they can do better and have a more effective Congressman."
Fishman voiced his disappointment in Tierney's absence.
"I think it's unfortunate that the Congressman chose not to come because I think that his ideas deserve fair representation and without him being here to represent them they're not going to be heard. People are going to have to go to his website they're going to have to go to some alternative source rather than hearing them straight from him," said Fishman.
When asked about what he would discuss if Tierney were present, Tisei said he would focus on the issues and discuss the economy. He also said he would discuss who has the best plans and the best program to try to get people back to work on the North Shore.
Fishman said he'd like to discuss the fishing industry. He says the industry is in trouble and can saved by getting government regulations out of the way of fish farms. He adds that he would like to know what the Congressman would do or what he would be able to do to make that change if he were elected.
Tisei addressed Tierney calling him a hypocrite for commenting on his family troubles in light of a Boston Phoenix investigation into Tisei's family. His parents were accused of some misleading real estate deals. Tierney's wife pleaded guilty to tax fraud charges and her brothers have claimed that the Congressman knew everything. Tierney has never been charged for any alleged connections to the incident.
Tisei said that his father died of ALS and can't defend himself, but that he had nothing to do with it. He accused Tierney of trying to throw up a smoke screen with his comments.
The former Senator also addressed his failure to pay federal taxes in 2006 and 2008. Tisei said "you have to make money to pay federal taxes." He claims that he had to put his own money into his real estate brokerage company just to keep the doors open and compared himself to other small business owners trying to make it through a difficult fiscal crisis.
Fishman discussed the other candidates attacking each other in public. He comically said that he is at a disadvantage and has had to launch a website attacking himself.
"I'd like to say those photos of me and Derek Jeter are photoshopped," said Fishman jokingly.