Republican Congressional candidate Martha Rainville has made her "clean campaign" pledge the centerpiece of her campaign for Vermont's House seat to date. It's even the subject of her only TV ad so far.
So it wasn't surprising earlier this week when, during her VPR Switchboard debate with GOP House primary rival Mark Shepard that host/moderator Bob Kinzel asked her what she thought about fellow Republican Rich Tarrant's controversial TV ads alleging that Bernie Sanders, had voted in the House in support of child molesters and drug dealers. To hear the debate, go to VPR's website.
Rainville is an adept public speaker, but she seemed particularly careful not to sound too critical of her fellow Republican who, along with his wife, happens to have made a not-too-shabby donation to her campaign recently. (More on that in a moment).
"I think Rich Tarrant has to highlight the differences between himself and Bernie Sanders," she said at one point. "That's what he's trying to do. Whether it's negative or not is really something the voters have the last say on." Later, she urged Tarrant to listen to feedback from the ads and "make adjustments if he needs to," but concluded, "his race is not my race. "
Maybe it was the farthest thing from her mind, but let the Federal Election Commission record show that on July 24, Tarrant gave $1,000 to her campaign. And that, on the very same day, Tarrant's wife, Deb, gave Rainville 's campaign $4,200.
-- Sam Hemingway