Statement by Elizabeth Childs,
Candidate for Congress, on
Sean Bielat's Transparency Problem
Brookline, MA--Elizabeth Childs, M.D., candidate for U.S. Congress, has pledged to the voters of the 4th district to run her campaign in an open and accessible manner. Unfortunately, one of my opponents, Sean Bielat, has a history of running campaigns that fail on those fronts.
It is critical that the voters of the 4th district understand Mr. Bielat's record on a number of issues so they can go to the polls fully informed in September to improve GOP prospects for victory in November.
For many months, Mr. Bielat has ignored or outright rejected numerous invitations from third parties to debate, including GOP town and city committees and media outlets. Mr. Bielat has refused to accept offers to debate from the Taunton Republican City Committee, Norfolk County Republican Committee, Needham Republican Town Committee, Fall River City Committee, and others. Additionally, he has stalled in responding to high-level, media-sponsored debates and for weeks has failed to respond to calls from the Greater Boston broadcast on WGBH hosted by Emily Rooney.
He has recently agreed to debate on the Jeff Katz radio show on Tuesday, July 17--but only after months of putting off the invitation. The voters of the 4th district deserve to hear the positions of each of the three primary candidates on the GOP ticket side-by-side. Mr. Bielat, instead of welcoming the opportunity to share his views with the voting public, has done nothing but stymie the debate process.
On Campaign Finance
In 2010, Mr. Bielat, citing a commitment to campaign finance transparency, filed a public complaint with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) against his primary opponent, Earl Sholley. The Bielat campiagn accused Mr. Sholley of using campaign funds as a means of personal income. The FEC eventually dismissed the complaint, but not until after the primary election.
In a "pot calling the kettle black" move a few months later, Mr. Bielat quietly paid himself $10,000 in salary from his Congressional campaign account. He took the funds after the final Federal Election Commission reporting period but before the General Election-hiding the information from voters and the press until after votes were cast at the ballot box. Mr. Bielat's explanation for not disclosing this to the public before the election was that he "did not want that distraction."
On His Job
Last year while living in Pennsylvania, Mr. Bielat said he became CEO of a political start-up company that created a website to serve as a "platform for policy articulation and better representation." He said that the company was supported by private investors but refused to name any of them. In an interview with Emily Rooney on Greater Boston earlier this year, Mr. Bielat refused to even provide the name or location of the company. Although Mr. Bielat has chosen not to answer questions about his primary source of income, voters deserve open and honest answers about their candidate's business interests.
On His Decision to Run Again in 2012
In Spring of 2011, out of respect for Mr. Bielat's previous run against Barney Frank, the Childs campaign approached Mr. Bielat to determine if he planned to run again. The message back from the Bielat campaign was that Mr. Bielat was not planning to run, and he released his campaign staff. The Childs campaign interviewed several members of the Bielat 2010 staff and inner circle, some of whom are currently on the campaign.
Mr. Bielat and his family were living in Pennsylvania, and were no longer renting property in Massachusetts. Only after Barney Frank announced he was retiring did Mr. Bielat decide to return to Massachusetts and run for the 4th Congressional seat. In fact, he announced his candidacy in January before he moved into his new residence in Norfolk, Massachusetts.
Mr. Bielat has every right to run for office. My campaign staff and I have reached out to Mr. Bielat repeatedly to ask him to answer these questions personally. Although he has refused to discuss these matters with me, voters of the 4th District have a right to know before they go to the polls in September. Debates are opportunities for voters to really get to know all of the candidates, ask tough questions, and assess who is the best GOP candidate to face the presumed Democratic nominee, Joe Kennedy III. It is critical to answer these questions now, before November. Our party deserves an open and transparent nominee who can hold up to intense scrutiny by voters, the press and the public.
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Elizabeth Childs, MD, MPA is the former Massachusetts Commissioner of Mental Health under Governor Mitt Romney, member of the Brookline School Committee and Brookline Town Meeting. A practicing psychiatrist, Dr. Childs lives in Brookline with her husband and two children. For more information visit www.childsforcongress.com.