Mass. House candidates spar on debate rules

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(FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – Questions about family members proving to be a huge part of the congressional race between John Tierney and Republican challenger Richard Tisei.

Two debate sponsors confirmed to FOX 25 that Tierney's campaign had asked them to block questions about his family's troubles with illegal offshore gambling, but the congressman told FOX 25 cameras on Monday that he wants family issues to be the first subject of Thursday's debate.

There are a total of four scheduled debates between the two candidates. While two sponsors had initially agreed to the parameters, two other sponsors told FOX 25's Sharman Sacchetti they were not approached about limiting questions. And in fact, they would not agree to it if they had been.

One of Tierney's brother-in-laws was found guilty of racketing and other charges. Another is living as a fugitive in Antigua.

Tierney's wife served 30 days in jail for aiding her brother in filing false tax returns.