Congressman Neal makes North Adams visit
Congressman Richard Neal joined outgoing Congressman John Olver for a rail tour through North Adams. It's all part of Neal's campaign to represent the new First District. As our Brandon Walker reports, Neal's visit comes as his opponents question whether Neal should be taken to task for what they say is nepotism.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – Congress and the rail company are footing a $3 million feasibility study to lower parts of the track along the Troy and Greenfield railroad line to Boston.
"Rail transportation is actually making a comeback across America," Congressman Richard Neal said.
Neal was campaigning Thursday with outgoing First District Congressman John Olver.
The two, traveling with Pan Am Railways execs in support of lowering the track at Hoosac and Little Tunnels in North Adams so that double stacked freight cars can get through.
"Three foot additional in order to bring full or double stacking of freight into New England," said Olver.
The potential that has for economic development, Neal hopes to see through as he campaigns for office.
Neal said, "It's a significant investment from the federal government in terms of infrastructure improvement."
As Neal continues his campaign to stay in Washington, his opponents pointing a finger at his decision to hire his son as a campaign in two previous elections. To all of this, Neal explains this is just a ploy to keep voters’ minds off of the larger issues at hand.
"Is it illegal? No," Neal said.
This report, published last month by ethics firm Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics shows Neal paid his son, Brendan, $28,566 during election cycles 2008 and 2010 as a consultant.
“An individual who has been intimately involved in my campaigns since before his high school years. I couldn't be any happier than to have him in terms of his professional achievements helping out," Neal said.
In statements, challengers Andrea Nuciforo and Bill Shein say Neal should answer to voters for what they call a conflict of interest.
"It really is an issue I think that is highlighted by people who, in this instance, are kind of grasping for an issue," Neal said.
[All three democrats are running to represent the first district.
Neal currently represents the Second District, which has been re-drawn with Berkshire County to make up the new First District.