John Tierney

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 15:47, 6 January 2014 by Jennifer S (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
John Tierney
John F Tierney.jpg
U.S. House, Massachusetts, District 6
In office
January 3, 1997-present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 18
PredecessorPeter G. Torkildsen (R)
Trustee of Salem State College, Salem, Massachusetts
Chamber of Commerce, Salem, Massachusetts
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 5, 1996
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$6,491,450
Term limitsN/A
High schoolSalem High School
Bachelor'sSalem State College
J.D.Suffolk University
Date of birthSeptember 18, 1951
Place of birthSalem, Massachusetts
Net worth$1,270,504
ReligionRoman Catholic
Office website
Campaign website
John F. Tierney (b. September 18, 1951, in Salem, Massachusetts) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives representing Massachusetts' 6th Congressional District. Tierney was first elected to the House in 1996. He was re-elected on November 6, 2012. He is currently serving his ninth consecutive term. [1]

Tiereny is set to run for re-election in Massachusetts' 6th Congressional District in the general election on November 4, 2014.

Prior to his congressional carreer, Tierney earned his law degree from Suffolk University and practiced over 20 years as a partner in the law firm of Tierney, Kalis and Lucas.[2]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Tierney is an average Democratic member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of bills.


Tierney earned his bachelor's degree from Salem State College and his J.D. from Suffolk University. He went on to be a partner in a law firm for two decades before launching his political career.[3] He was also a member of the Salem, Massachusetts, Chamber of Commerce from 1976 to 1996, and its president in 1995. From 1992 to 1997, he was a trustee of his alma mater, Salem State College.[4]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Tierney's academic, professional and political career:[5]

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Tierney serves on the following committees:[6]


Tierney was a member of the following House committees:[7]


Legislative actions

113th Congress


The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 224 out of the 3215 introduced bills (7 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[8] For more information pertaining to Tierney's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[9]

National security


Voted "No" Tierney voted in opposition of HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[10]

DHS Appropriations

Voted "No" Tierney voted in opposition of HR 2217 - the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 and was largely along party lines.[10]


Farm Bill
See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

Voted "No" Tierney voted against the Farm Bill on July 11, 2013. The bill passed in a 216-208 vote.[11] The bill passed included farm policy, but did not include food stamps.[12]

King Amendment

Tierney signed a letter sent to Collin Peterson in August 2013, asking him to keep Steve King's amendment out of the final Farm Bill.[13] The "Protect Interstate Commerce Act" amendment prevents states from applying their own laws on agricultural products to agricultural products from another state.[14]. King introduced the amendment in response to a law in California, requiring a larger size cage for egg-producing chickens. King represents Iowa, which is a large egg producer.

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "No" On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[15] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[16] Tierney voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[17]

Voted "Yes" The shutdown finally ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funds the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[18] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Tierney voted for HR 2775.[19]


Morton Memos Prohibition

Voted "No" Tierney voted against House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States.[20] The vote largely followed party lines.[21]


Repealing Obamacare

Voted "No" Tierney has voted against all attempts to repeal or delay the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[22]

Social issues


Voted "No" Tierey voted against HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The resolution passed the House on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 228 - 196. The purpose of the bill is to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[23]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Tierney voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was 1 of 172 Democrats that voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257-167 vote on January 1, 2013.[24]


A Washington Post investigation in February 2012 revealed that 33 members of Congress helped direct more than $300 million in earmarks to public projects in close proximity to commercial and residential real estate owned by the lawmakers or their family members.[25] According to the report, Tierney has helped direct about $3.5 million toward a 950-space parking garage and commuter rail station in Salem, Mass. The facility will be located roughly 1/4 mile from a commercial building Tierney co-owns.[26]

Campaign themes


On his campaign website, Tierney listed eight issues. They are:[27]

  • Economy

Excerpt: "John, along with his House Democratic colleagues, has led an unprecedented effort to prevent a devastating recession from turning into a depression, while restoring the fiscal policies of the 1990s that were responsible for the longest period of post-war economic growth on record."

  • Education

Excerpt: On his website, Tierney says, "A product of public primary and secondary schools, John later attended Salem State for his undergraduate and Suffolk University for law school. John is committed to ensuring our children receive a first-rate education and that they are prepared to compete in emerging industries and the new global economy."

  • Energy and Environment

Excerpt: "John recognizes the immediate, worldwide threat posed by global warming and the inherent threat to our national security spawned by our dependence on foreign oil. To this end he voted to pass the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454) on June 26, 2009. This landmark legislation takes steps to revitalize our economy by creating new jobs, increasing our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil, preserving our planet and protecting our delicate wildlife by reducing the pollution that causes global warming."

  • Health Care

Excerpt: "John believes that every American should have access to quality, affordable health care. He supported the passage of historic health insurance reform that will have a real, meaningful and immediate positive impact on millions of Americans. This new law will extend coverage to 32 million more Americans while lowering long term health care costs and providing real security for those who already have insurance."

  • Jobs
Excerpt: "Congressman Tierney voted in favor of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to jumpstart the economy, to create and save 3.5 million jobs, to provide 95% of workers a tax cut and to halt the recession and prevent it from slipping into a depression. ARRA, signed into law February 2009, provides billions of dollars for clean energy jobs, public schools, the rehabilitation of our decaying infrastructure and investing in the innovations that will lead our country forward. Seventy-five percent of this funding is invested within the first 18-months of the bill’s enactment."

John Tierney, "Opportunity"
  • National Security

Excerpt: "John Tierney is a proven leader in the Congress in the areas of national security and foreign affairs, and has developed an international reputation as a guardian of taxpayer funds. Through his service as Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs and as a member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, he has the vision and expertise necessary to push sensible national security policy during a time in which we are ensnared in two wars overseas and an economic crunch here at home."

  • Veterans

Excerpt: "John is committed to ensuring that our nation’s veterans receive the medical care, benefits, and other services that they have earned in exchange for their dedicated service to our country."

  • Equality

Excerpt: "John Tierney has been endorsed for re-election by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization." [27]



See also: Massachusetts' 6th Congressional District elections, 2014

Tierney is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program. The program is designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into the 2014 election.[28]

Tierney made Roll Call's "Ten Most Vulnerable" list for the third quarter. He narrowly won election in 2012, even though Obama had a wide margin of victory in the district. He has been plagued by ethics violations, some of which may come back to haunt him in 2014. [29]

Tierney ran in the 2014 election for the U.S. House, representing Massachusetts' 6th District. Tierney sought the Democratic nomination in the primary. The general election took place November 4, 2014.


See also: Massachusetts' 6th Congressional District elections, 2012

Tierney won re-election in 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Massachusetts' 6th District. He ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. He defeated Richard Tisei in the November 6th election.[30][31]

According to the website Daily Kos, this race was one of nine top-ballot 2012 races that contained Libertarian candidates who received more total votes than was the difference between the Democratic winner and the GOP runner-up. In this case, Daniel Fishman took in over 13,000 more votes than the number that separated Tierney and Tisei.[32]

U.S. House, Massachusetts District 6 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Tierney Incumbent 46.4% 180,942
     Republican Richard Tisei 45.3% 176,612
     Libertarian Daniel Fishman 4.3% 16,739
     N/A All Others 0.1% 514
     N/A Blank Votes 3.9% 15,045
Total Votes 389,852
Source: Massachusetts Secretary of State "Return of Votes"

Race Background

According to the Washington Post, Massachusetts' 6th was a battleground district in 2012, with redistricting making it less solidly Democratic. Furthermore, Tierney faced PR issues and Republican Richard Tisei was a strong candidate with the potential to be the first openly gay, non-incumbent Republican congressman.[33]

According to the Washington Post, John Tierney was also been the target of attack ads from YG Action Fund, a conservative PAC supergroup. This highlights a trend in which super PACs have attempted to swing vulnerable house seats through strategic advertising. These ads were not solicited by the Tisei campaign, but his spokeswomen voiced her support for them.[34]

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Tierney is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Tierney raised a total of $6,491,450 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 16, 2013.[44]

John Tierney's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 6) Won $2,133,195
2010 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 6) Won $901,893
2008 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 6) Won $735,813
2006 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 6) Won $654,168
2004 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 6) Won $743,803
2002 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 6) Won $583,528
2000 U.S. House (Massachusetts, District 6) Won $739,050
Grand Total Raised $6,491,450


Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Tierney’s reports.[45]

John F. Tierney (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[46]April 15, 2013$22,170.06$264,135.36$(60,416.24)$373,413.97
July Quarterly[47]July 16, 2013$225,889.18$214,317.05$(63,981.70)$376,224.53
October Quarterly[48]October 14, 2013$376,224.53$251,259.49$(66,328.56)$561,155.46
Year-end[49]January 31, 2014$561,155$228,408$(80,622)$708,940
April Quarterly[50]April 15, 2014$708,940$348,386$(80,608)$976,718
Running totals

In December 2013, Nancy Pelosi hosted a fundraiser along with the American Optometric Association PAC and the American Occupational Therapy Association to raise money for Tierney's re-election campaign.[51]


Breakdown of the source of Tierney's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Tierney won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Tierney's campaign committee raised a total of $2,133,196 and spent $2,299,261.[52]

Cost per vote

Tierney spent $12.71 per vote received in 2012.


Breakdown of the source of Tierney's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Tierney won re-election to the U.S. House in 2010. During that re-election cycle, Tierney's campaign committee raised a total of $901,893 and spent $1,996,269.[53]


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Tierney is a "rank-and-file Democrat," as of June 25, 2013.[54]

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[55]

Tierney most often votes with:

Tierney least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Tierney missed 281 of 11,058 roll call votes from Jan 1997 to Mar 2013, which is 2.5% of votes during that period. This is worse than the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving.[56]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Tierney paid his congressional staff a total of $1,064,260 in 2011. He ranked 114th on the list of the lowest paid Democratic representative staff salaries and ranked 99th overall of the lowest paid representative staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Massachusetts ranked 2nd in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[57]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Tierney's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $526,011 and $2,014,998. This averages to $1,270,504, which is a 99.76% increase since 2010. This is lower than the $5,107,874 average net worth for Democratic representatives in 2011.[58]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Tierney's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $331,015 and $941,000. That averages to $636,007.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2010 of $4,465,875.[59]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year, National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted, as compared to other members, in the previous year. More information about the analysis process can be found on the vote ratings page.


According to the data released in 2013, Tierney was ranked the 47th most liberal representative during 2012.[60]


According to the data released in 2012, John Tierney was ranked the 26th most liberal representative during 2011.[61]

Voting with party

June 2013

Tierney voted with the Democratic Party 91.1% of the time, which ranked 146th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[62]


Tierney and his wife, Patrice, live in Salem.[3]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term John + Tierney + Massachusetts + House

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

John Tierney News Feed

  • Loading...

See also

External links


  1. Politico, "2012 Election Map, Massachusetts"
  2. Congressman John Tierney, "John's Biography," Accessed July 18, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 Official House website, "Biography," Accessed December 2, 2011
  4. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress "John F. Tierney," Accessed December 2, 2011
  5. Biographical Director of the United States Congress "Tierney," accessed September 20, 2013
  6., "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress"
  7. Congressman John F. Tierney, Representing the 6th District of Massachusetts, "John's Committees"
  8. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  9. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 Project Vote Smart, "Representative John Tierney's Voting Records on National Security", accessed September 24, 2013
  11. Vote Smart, "Tierney on Farm Bill 2013", accessed September 23, 2013
  12. New York Times, "House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps", accessed September 17, 2013
  13. Vote Smart, "Letter to Ranking Member Collin Peterson, House Committee on Agriculture - Reject Rep. King's Provision on Farm Bill", accessed September 23, 2013
  14., "King Farm Bill Amendment Angers Animal Advocates", accessed September 18, 2013
  15. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  16. Buzzfeed, "Government Shutdown: How We Got Here," accessed October 1, 2013
  17. Clerk of the U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 504," accessed October 31, 2013
  18. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  19. U.S. House, "Final vote results for Roll Call 550," accessed October 31, 2013
  20. The Library of Congress, "H.AMDT.136," accessed August 28, 2013
  21. Project Vote Smart, "Representative John Tierney's Voting Records on Immigration," accessed September 24, 2013
  22. Project Vote Smart, "Representative John Tierney's Voting Records on Issue: Health and Health Care", accessed September 24, 2013
  23. Project Vote Smart, "Tierney on abortion", accessed September 24, 2013
  24. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," Accessed January 4, 2013.
  25. Washington Post, "Congressional earmarks sometimes used to fund projects near lawmakers' properties," February 6, 2012
  26. Washington Post, "Mapping the earmarks," February 6, 2012
  27. 27.0 27.1 John Tierney for Congress, "Issues" August 13, 2012
  28. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, "DCCC Chairman Steve Israel Announces 2013-2014 Frontline Members," March 5, 2013
  29. Roll Call, “Roll Call's 10 Most Vulnerable House Members Revealed”, accessed November 5, 2013
  30. Boston Globe, "Map changes incumbents’ terrain," Accessed January 22, 2012
  31. Associated Press, "Massachusetts Primary Results," Accessed September 6, 2012
  32. Daily Kos, "Libertarians provided the margin for Democrats and at least nine elections," November 15, 2012
  33. Washington Post blog, "The 10 House districts that might surprise you," May 11, 2012
  34. The Washington Post, "Conservative super PACs targeting blue-state Democrats," September 17, 2012
  35. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  36. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  37. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  38. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
  39. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  40. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
  41. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
  42. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  43. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1994," accessed March 28, 2013
  44. Open Secrets, "John Tierney," Accessed May 16, 2013
  45. Federal Election Commission, "John F. Tierney Summary Report," accessed July 25, 2013
  46. Federal Election Commission, "John F. Tierney April Quarterly," accessed July 25, 2013
  47. Federal Election Commission, "John F. Tierney July Quarterly," accessed July 25, 2013
  48. Federal Election Commission, "John F. Tierney October Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2013
  49. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 17, 2014
  50. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  51. Roll Call, "Pelosi Fundraises for John Tierney," accessed December 12, 2013
  52. Open Secrets, " 2012 Re-Election Cycle," Accessed February 15, 2013
  53. Open Secrets, "John F. Tierney 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed December 2, 2011
  54. GovTrack, "Tierney," Accessed June 25, 2013
  55. OpenCongress, "John Tierney," Accessed August 5, 2013
  56. GovTrack, "John Tierney" Accessed April 2013
  57. LegiStorm, "John Tierney "
  58., "Tierney, (D-Mass), 2011"
  59., "Tierney, (D-Mass), 2010"
  60. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
  61. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  62. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Peter G. Torkildsen
U.S. House of Representatives - Massachusetts, 6th District
Succeeded by