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



Fancy footwork

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

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Hey Sam, why don't you ask Welch why he won't sign Martha's Clean Campaign Pledge? That might make an interesting post.
That "pledge" has more loopholes than the US tax code.

Welch has already said that. Even the Freeps editorial page has ripped into the foolishness of that pledge.
The "pledge" is the most iron-clad clean campaign pledge ever signed and it makes the spending cap law that PETER WELCH ARGUED PRO BONO FOR IN THE COURTS look like a walk in sissy park.
Peter Welch is a hypocrite. Get over yourself one-vermonter.
Hey, Sam, when are we going to see some reporting on Welch's dump of politically incorrect, but lucrative, stocks just before his run? Or the source of his enormous income last year? In a millkion dollar campaign, do you really think $1,000 -- or even $4,200 -- is enough for somebody to sell their soul? Not everybody is willing to sell out so cheap.
Hey Sam, Barreboy wants you to do the work of the GOP dirty tricks committee.

Sounds like a good idea, right?

I mean, Welch made a bunch of money last year. He must be a bad guy right?
The pledge is simply PR trickery.
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