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Rep. John Tierney can keep running, but voters must weigh scandal

The scandal surrounding Representative John Tierney doesn’t implicate his responsibilities in public office and, barring fresh disclosures, shouldn’t oblige him to give up his re-election bid. But his close proximity to the illegal offshore gambling operation run by his wife’s brothers rightly raises questions about his judgments and motivation — and his constituents should feel free to make their own judgments in an admittedly complicated set of circumstances. Did Tierney fail to blow the whistle on misdeeds by his relatives? How much could, or should, he have done?

Until recently, Tierney sought to deflect questions by professing a near-total ignorance of his wife’s brothers’ activities. But the recent trial of one of the brothers-in-law produced some testimony suggesting he was in a position to know more. And after the trial, both brothers-in-law dropped bombshells by claiming that Tierney knew “everything,” without explaining what they meant.

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