Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Congressional Roundup: Niki Tsongas? "Voters hate her."

The four Republicans running for the chance to defeat Fifth Congressional District Rep. Niki Tsongas attacked her repeatedly in a debate in Methuen Monday night. From the Lowell Sun:

METHUEN -- The four Republican candidates running for 5th Congressional District didn't do much to put distance between themselves during a debate last night....

"Voters hate her," said candidate Robert Shapiro of Andover during a debate last night hosted by the Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence. "I think any one of the four of us has a decent shot."

Along with Shapiro, candidates Jon Golnik of Carlisle, Sam Meas of Haverhill and Tom Weaver of Westford tried to set themselves apart from the competition. They agree on several issues, such as the deficit being too high, job growth being low and government spending leading to problems.
The Eagle-Tribune has more on the debate. They have also posted video of the forum on their site (although I haven't been able to get it to play).

Third Congressional District
The symbolic issue du jour led the Telegram's coverage of a Congressional forum held in Worcester yesterday. Each of the candidates who attended the taping of Charter TV's "Hank Stolz Experience" weighed in on the proposed Islamic Center a few blocks from the former site of the World Trade Center in Manhattan:
Candidate Michael P. Stopa of Holliston said he suspects terrorists would use the center to plot attacks. He said he wouldn't oppose construction if he knew the mosque would be under FBI surveillance once it opened.

“If violence is being planned, we have a right to defend ourselves,” he said this afternoon at a taping of “The Hank Stolz Experience” on Charter TV3. All five Republican candidates for the district were invited to the forum; four attended.

Brian J. Herr of Hopkinton immediately disagreed with Mr. Stopa, saying there is no need to spy on a house of worship. But Mr. Herr opposes the plan to build the Islamic center because he feels it is insensitive to 9-11 families and to people who live and work near ground zero.

Robert A. Delle of Paxton, formerly of Westboro, said he was concerned about something bigger — the growth of Islam.
MetroWest Daily News columnist Rick Holmes calls out Delle and fellow candidate Robert Chipman (R-Holliston) for their contention that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim:
Anyone who says Obama is a Muslim is either ignorant or unprincipled. Either they don't know the truth, or truth means nothing to them.
The Telegram also caught up with Herr, who has admitted to twice missing campaign finance reporting deadlines. As could be expected, the missing forms earned a slap from the McGovern campaign.

First Congressional District
John Olver (D-Amherst) joined HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Gov. Deval Patrick to announce a $24 million project to renovate Gardner's former Heywood-Wakefield factory into an assisted-living facility.

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