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Readers react to Tierney conviction

Posted by Rob Anderson  October 12, 2010 09:36 AM

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Last week, we asked Globe readers if US Representative John F. Tierney should be held responsible for his wife's crimes, or if that would unfairly lump the two together. Earlier in the week, Patrice Tierney pleaded guilty to four counts of aiding and abetting the filing of false tax returns for her brother, a federal fugitive who has been indicted on charges of illegal gambling and money laundering. Here is what some of you had to say:

MarieOnCape argued that linking Rep. Tierney to the actions of his wife would be downright unAmerican:

"Should he be held at all responsible for his wife's crimes, or would that unfairly lump the two together?" If he had nothing to do with them then no, he shouldn't. After all his wife is not his property, nor his ward (thank goodness those laws were changed "a few" years ago). To think otherwise would fly in the face of American values and the Constitution.
So the point is whether you believe him when he says he had no involvement. And since the assumption is the all politicians (or least the ones one don't like) lie he must there be guilty because he must of known. But again, wouldn't he be responsible and guilty of his own crimes, not his wife's?

My feeling is that since they were able to convict his wife is there was anything they could find or prove against Tierney they would have charged him, or at least accused him.

So now the only option (unless more information comes to light) seems to be to try him in the court of public opinion. And there IS one big public opinion poll coming up in November that will give us the answer.

there-and-backagain pointed out that Rep. Tierney most likely knew about his wife’s illegal dealings, so at the very least he's guilty of lying to the public:

Husbands and wives may well have separate checking accounts, but surely at least look at each others taxes filings.. especially when one of them is an elected official. Even if Tierney didn't do anything, I suspect he is lying about being clueless.

Instead of turning her ire on the Tierneys, kgordon tweaked the Globe’s editorial board, which had called on Tierney to better explain his role in the ordeal:

The Globe's editorial asks Tierney to announce what he knew and when he knew it. Seems to me, he already did that, claiming he knew little of his wife's dealings. Here's a thought. Maybe the Globe can find some evidence that the congressman benefited in some way or had some knowledge of this. Or is insinuation enough for us now?

Razorback said the incident proves one of two things about Rep. Tierney, neither of which are very good:

Patrice Tierney's behavior says one of two things about John Tierney: crooked or stupid. Neither are good character traits for a US Representative.

worldcitizen urged Tierney to drop out of the race:

Tierney needs to resign and drop out of the race--to make way for a Democratic write-in candidate who doesn't reek of corruption and criminality.

And, to round things off, ednr brought up an interesting side note:

Tierney voted against the bill that made Internet gaming illegal in 2006. Why was that?
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ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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