Could there be an operation to plant a mole in Congressman John Tierney's campaign? Tierney's campaign manager Matt Robison certainly seems to think so.
Robison sent a letter to challenger Richard Tisei's campaign manager Paul Moore Friday morning detailing what Robison claims was an attempt at gaining access by a Tisei supporter.
Robison claims that last week a young man went into Tierney's campaign headquarters and wanted to apply to be a volunteer. He filled out the paperwork, but after he couldn't produce a student ID from Boston University or a driver's license, quickly left, Robison said. His name reportedly did not match the phone number he gave, and the mysterious young man was then seen driving away in a car with a Tisei bumper sticker on it.
"Paul, I sincerely hope that this is a case of an over-enthusiastic young activist taking it upon himself to embark on a foolish escapade, and not a case of a deliberate attempt by anyone in your campaign to engage to sleazy tactics," Robison wrote.
Paul emphatically denied the Tisei campaign's involvement in such activities.
"I dont know who that was, but it certainly wasn't a paid staffer," said Moore. "We have better things to do with our time."
Moore pointed out that Tierney staffers have gone to Tisei headquarters and taken photos before and claimed that Tierney's people have also taken photos in front of Tisei's house.
Moore also said that at Thursday's debate in Lynn, he heard Tierney supporters use anti-gay slurs about Tisei, who is openly gay.
"Things like 'Your candidate's a faggot,' I heard that five or six times yesterday," Moore said. "I dont necessarily hold Matt Robison and Congressman Tierney responsible for that."
Moore said he doesn't tolerate staffers or volunteers exhibiting inappropriate behavior in the race and suggested the Tierney campaign try for the same.
"Matt ought to write some letters to his own staff and volunteers," Moore said. "I think Matt may protest too much."
Below is the letter in full:
I am deeply concerned about an incident that unfolded in our office last Friday.
A young man entered our office in Peabody and told a campaign staffer that he wanted to volunteer. He was told that in fact there were both paid and volunteer positions available, and after expressing interest in a paid position, commenced a discussion with office personnel about it. He signed a preliminary form, and gave his name, address, and phone number. However, the office personnel were somewhat suspicious of the young man's presentation, especially when he claimed to be a student at Boston University but had no student identification, and also that he had driven to the office but could produce no driver's license. When asked for those documents, he quickly left the office. Upon subsequent checking, the phone number he had given under the name "John Robinson" also turned out to be false, as did the address he had supplied. Another staffer, upon leaving our office, witnessed this young man walking several blocks away and getting into his car, which had a Richard Tisei bumper sticker on it.
Paul, I sincerely hope that this is a case of an over-enthusiastic young activist taking it upon himself to embark on a foolish escapade, and not a case of a deliberate attempt by anyone in your campaign to engage to sleazy tactics.
Unfortunately, the previous behavior of some staffers linked to your campaign leaves me concerned. We have previously witnessed and photographed the young man who serves as the campaign "tracker" for your campaign in the parking lot for our office, writing down the license plate numbers of cars that are parked there. While I can't divine what possible purpose such an investigation into the license plates of campaign staff and volunteers here might serve, I need not point out that this is a gross invasion of privacy, especially as our office has young student volunteers, senior citizen volunteers, and abuts a church and several businesses that also use that parking lot. While it had not been our intention to raise this issue, and to hope that it was a serious though limited case, this newest incident raises additional concern. This is especially the case as we also have video of your staff bullying a woman who was peacefully holding a sign near your office, and of them verbally abusing another young man on the scene.
I am especially glad that the personnel in this office applied caution in this case last Friday, as it was ultimately protective of this young man, who, had he proceded further with this attempt, might have put himself in substantial legal jeopardy. He signed a standard non-disclosure agreement given to anyone who might handle campaign data. He provided a false Social Security number, one that comes up in a listing on a website selling fake identities. Had he proceded any further in the hiring process, he would have fraudulently signed federal and state forms. You must know that this campaign follows all applicable federal and state laws in the hiring process, and takes attempts by individuals to circumvent these regulations seriously.
We have no desire to disseminate further information about the true identity of this young man. And again, we sincerely hope that his actions yesterday were not directed by you or anyone working for your campaign. But I wanted to raise this not only because such activities will not be tolerated, but also because this marks a further incident of egregious behavior that we have recorded here.
Please take any and all steps necessary to ensure that such activities are not coming from your campaign, and if indeed any such activities were directed by your campaign, we hope that a formal apology will be forthcoming.
Tierney for Congress