[Originally published in the Salem News, 3/15/2014; written by Neil Dempsey.]
Remember when Congressman John Tierney pledged to go without pay during the government shutdown last October?
Seth Moulton does. Moulton, who is running against Tierney in the Democratic primary, tipped us off that, lo and behold, Tierney ended up accepting pay for the period during the shutdown, which lasted from Oct. 1 to Oct. 16.
When approached, Tierney’s people confirmed as much, but pointed to his Oct. 3 statement on the matter: “I am standing in solidarity with my hard-working staff. As long as they are not being paid, I will not take a paycheck.”
As it turns out, congressmen are paid once a month, on the last day of the month — not twice a month like their counterparts in the Senate. So, the shutdown ended before Tierney would have had to forgo his paycheck in order to stay true to his word.
Moulton’s people think that violates the spirit of what he said and pointed out that other representatives — Democrats and Republicans alike — ended up returning a portion of their October 2013 pay to the U.S. Treasury or donating it to charity.
“Congressman Tierney was only interested in painting the illusion that he stands with his constituents, instead of actually standing with them,” Moulton said.
Tierney said federal employees and his staffers received back pay, so there was no reason to give up his own.
What do you think?
Read the full article here.