I received a letter recently signed by Wendy Wilton, the Republican candidate for state treasurer, soliciting a contribution to her campaign.
In it she criticized her opponent, incumbent State Treasurer Beth Pearce for the support she has received in the form of money spent on her behalf by one or more so-called super political action committees (super PACs). These super PACs, Mrs. Wilton wrote, are based in Ms. Pearce’s “home state of Massachusetts.”
Ms. Wilton’s message appears to be 1) that Ms. Pearce is to be faulted and therefore does not merit election because of the super PAC support she has received and 2) that being born in Massachusetts somehow disqualifies Ms. Pearce from holding high office in Vermont. Both assertions illustrate Ms. Wilton’s lack of candor rather than Ms. Pearce’s political deficits.
As the Herald reported last week in a front-page article, the inconvenient truth is that Ms. Wilton has received significant super PAC support from Vermonters First, whose funds apparently have been supplied entirely from the nearly $700,000 cash tsunami donated by Lenore Broughton of Burlington. This super PAC pays for television ads supporting Ms. Wilton.
The point Ms. Wilton desired to make by emphasizing that Ms. Pearce was born in Massachusetts is mystifying. What group of voters did she think would respond positively to this irrelevant factoid? If she truly believes that being born outside of Vermont is a factor important enough to be raised in a campaign and to be given serious consideration by Vermont voters, then shouldn’t Ms. Wilton be urging voters to oppose Randy Brock, her party’s Philadelphia-born candidate for governor, and Jack McMullen, its New York-born candidate for attorney general also?
The office of treasurer requires a more even-handed, rational, level-headed persona. It demands major league fiscal expertise, significant management skills, 24/7 attention to detail and a mindset free of pettiness.
Beth Pearce has spent a lifetime in public finance and eight years in the office of Vermont’s treasurer, much of it as the treasurer’s deputy. She has the skill set and the mindset to serve all Vermonters. Under her stewardship Vermont’s bond rating is the highest in New England — AAA/AA — and among the highest of any state in the nation.
In just the few words noted above Ms. Wilton has shown she is not equipped for the office she seeks. I will be voting for Beth Pearce on Nov. 8. I urge you to do so also.
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