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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen


8.23.2006

 

Rainville takes to air

Republican congressional candidate Martha Rainville will start airing her first television ads today. The campaign is spending about $52,000 to air the 30-second television ad and a separate but similar radio ad over local airwaves for the next week and a half, campaign manager Nathan Rice said.

The ad, which shows Rainville in a dark wood office setting with the U.S. and Vermont flags behind her, emphasizes her appeal for a "clean campaign." She pledges to "set a new standard for the rest of America."

"I'm running a different kind of campaign that respects my opponent and respects you," Rainville says in the ad. "I've proposed and signed a clean campaign pledge. No negative ads or mail that tear down my opponent. And no guilt by association."

Rainville said she chose not to start with an introduction-to-the-candidate ad because she thinks Vermonters already know her from her role as head of the Vermont National Guard the last nine years. This clean campaign push, she said, is fundamental to her candidacy. "The first ad should reflect what I feel is fundamental to the campaign," she said.

Her Democratic opponent, Peter Welch, has maintained that the clean campaign pledge is flawed. The pledge included a commitment to spend no more than $1 million on the campaign, counting what others spend on the candidate's behalf. Rainville can't legally control what outside forces will do, Welch has said, so there is no way to ensure the national party, for instance, wouldn't drop a few hundred thousands dollars the last week of the campaign.

After seeing the ad Wednesday, Welch's campaign spokesman, Andrew Savage, said, "This ad shows a clear distinction in this race. Peter Welch believes the most important issue is whether we are going to take our country in a new direction and Martha Rainville thinks the most important issue is whether or not she runs a 'clean campaign.' Vermonters are looking for a real leader who will fight to take Congress in a new direction, not more boiler-plate political pledges to distract from addressing failed Republican policies."

Reaction was similar from Rainville's Republican opponent, Mark Shepard. "I've never been very impressed with that being the main part of the campaign," he said. "It's isn't something I hear people clamoring for. They want health care, jobs. They worry about the economy."

Defining negative could turn out to be a matter of disagreement as the campaign season goes on. Rainville said she will be talking about opponents' voting record and will feature fact-based statements about opponents. "That is all fair," she said.

Rainville said her opposition has been negative toward her. "I think there have been some pot shots," she said. She declined to specify or characterize those pot shots. The voters, she said, will define what is negative.

- Terri Hallenbeck

Comments:
What a couple of bonehead candidates. Zuckerman? Please?
 
Welch's greatest weakness is one that he cannot overcome, at least without big-time surgery: it's the fact that Vermont has never sent a woman to Congress. It's an embarrassment to our progressive little state, and it is Martha's ace in the hole.

The other four states that have only sent good ol' boys to D.C.: Mississippi, Deleware, Iowa and New Hampshire.

I already know many women in the Montpelier area who are more politically inclined towards Welch, but think that's it's time we break this embarrassing trend and elect a female to Congress.
 
I don't disagree that we need a woman in Congress... just not that woman! We need to look at much more than gender in choosing a representative to send to Washington. We should elect a representative in November who actually has legislative experience and understands that there is much more to policy-making than vague platitudes. We need to elect Peter Welch!
 
Yeah, we really need another ambulance-chasing trial lawyer in Congress.
 
Yeah, you can elect a woman to make a statement or you could elect a democrat to help obtain majority.

But, you probably should elect the person that has experience representing people and not the one who's experience is barking orders.
 
In the end, Vermonters elect someone they can trust to keep their interests in mind when representing us in DC. They do not elect a position paper -- anyone can spew position during an election which can be, and frequently are, forgotten immediately thereafter.

No one knows what issues will come up and require our rep's judgment (Iranian nukes, natural disaster, fiscal crisis, who knows) -- voters want someone with the character to do her best and represent Vermonters well. Otherwise, all we would need to elect is a kewpie doll holding a position paper which keeps repeating "I Hate Bush" in response to every question.
 
In the end, Vermonters elect someone they can trust to keep their interests in mind when representing us in DC. They do not elect a foregone conclusion, a feather in the GOP cap.

No one knows what issues will come up and require our rep's judgment (Iranian nukes, natural disaster, fiscal crisis, who knows) -- voters want someone with the character to do his best and represent Vermonters well. Otherwise, all we would need to elect is a unopinionated issue-blind marionette puppet, her strings pulled by outside extreme right interests.
 
"Her strings pulled by outside extreme interests." Nice line. Keep repeating it. Too bad it has no basis in fact.
 
Her strings aren't being pulled by outside extreme interests (like the lunatic Left seems to believe), just RINOs like those who work for national pro-choice PACs and the Ripon Society. Careful who you take money from, Martha...kissing the ring of some folks could carry with it a heavy price.
 
If the Left says she is beholden to the Right, and the Right says she is beholden to the Left, maybe she is has struck the right balance. That will be up to the voters to decide.
 
Sure it does. Money from PACs such as CPC, ERICPAC, etc is polluted with donations from outside extreme interests. She has donations from Hastert and other republican representatives. Even money from the current NRCC fits the bill. The bottom line is that she will have hard time being a representative and not voting party when these guys want payback.
 
Outside extreme interests? Hmmm, I wonder how many Nazis and Klansmen have given to Martha. Give me a break. She's in the pocket of the Northshire Mafia and their little coterie in D.C.
 
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