To the Editor:
Political campaigns are tough. They are a great way to get out and listen to members of the community and share your values and priorities with voters but there are aspects to the endeavor that are humbling and dispiriting. Candidates and office holders, to different degrees, are vulnerable. That may not be obvious unless you've actually run for office. Those running know what I'm talking about. I hear people say we develop a thick skin. We don't. You don't want us to. If we were indifferent to criticism and personal attacks we wouldn't be the people you'd want serving in office. Which is why I find it seriously concerning when candidates feel entitled to attack their opponents, either personally or with dishonest spin. This tells me a lot about the character of the attacker. Run on your merits. Run on what you can offer. Run on your opponent's legitimate record. If you choose to be ruthless in order to win, I don't want you in Montpelier. Vermont politics are different and negative campaigns don't work here, which is why I chose to serve in Vermont.
Most of the legislators I work with, of all political leanings, are goodhearted and well intentioned. When we disagree, we do so with respect. This respect and dignity is reflected in our State House decorum and is a direct result of our voters' intolerance to negative campaigns. These candidates don't get elected. This is where most Vermonters agree and I assure you that you have an impact on our State House comportment, which has been noted by visitors from other states. We are unique because voters pay attention.
I am compelled to share these thoughts as the state's campaign season is upon us and I see national influence seeping into Vermont. Our Lt. Governor, Phil Scott is running to be our next Governor. I worked for Phil Scott through two of his campaigns and there is no person I know who holds our principles of respect, decency and integrity more dearly than Phil. His administration will be a reflection of these core values, Vermont values.
Phil Scott is the lone Republican state-wide leader, among a Democratic Congressmen, two Democratic Senators, a Democratic Governor, a Democratic Secretary of State, a Democratic Treasurer, a Democratic Auditor, a Democratic Attorney General, a Democratically controlled House and a Democratically controlled Senate. Any reasonable person, frustrated with this supermajority's actions, should be grateful and impressed that Phil Scott is making the sacrifice to run, and win for us all. He successfully ran for the Senate five times. He successfully ran for Lt. Governor three times, and is running now to be our next Governor. Phil gives me hope for our economic future. He has consistently spoken for constraint in state budgeting, constraint in taxation and working to grow our economy. Most Republican legislators are supporting Phil because they know he has the experience and ability to lead Vermont. Within the supermajority he's been the voice of another way. Now is our time to enable him to give action to that voice by supporting him on August 9th. Please join me in voting for Phil Scott for Governor, a positive, honest candidate who has a proven record of success.
Rep. Patti Komline