You knew it had to come back -- the fact that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gaye Symington
didn't fully disclose her family's income.
Jim Douglas, Republican incumbent, is taking the issue to the people with a television advertisement. You can see the clip here.
It's blistering with its reference to Symington's
release of "bogus" tax returns.Symington
, you will recall, released information about her own income, presenting the information on a tax form -- but not the actual forms she and her husband filed with the federal and state tax departments. Chuck Lacy, her husband, prefers to keep his income information confidential and Symington
is honoring his request.
The problem is Douglas released his complete tax return and so did independent Anthony Pollina
. The Douglas campaign charges "Speaker Symington
continues to withhold information that Vermonters deserve to know."
Why does the public need to know? "They deserve to know if any conflicts exist between her and her
husband's many business dealings -- and the state of Vermont," explains the Douglas campaign.
Democrats responded, steering clear of the substance of the ad, focusing instead on its negativity.
"When given the choice to promote his record or make personal attacks, Jim Douglas choice to take a page from the Karl Rove playbook," said Liz Saxe, spokesperson for the Vermont Democratic Party.
Saxe wondered, too, if the Douglas campaign would have the same standard for disclosure for the man the governor called his co-pilot on Tuesday morning -- Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie
. Shouldn't he release his financial information? Saxe asked.
"We are going to research the precedent of previous campaigns for lieutenant governor," said Susie Hudson, Dubie's
campaign manager, when asked if he would release his tax returns.
Tom Costello, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor provided the Free Press with his tax returns Tuesday afternoon -- without hesitation. "It seems to me a candidate for statewide office should disclose tax returns," Costello said. "I'm fully prepared to do so and I would think Brian would also and the other candidates, too. It shouldn't be an issue."
But it is and so is the advertisement that Douglas is running. Ian Carleton, Democratic party chairman, plans to complain about "Jim Douglas' negative campaign tactics" at a Wednesday morning news conference.
Meanwhile, the Symington
campaign was focusing on some nuanced change in the way outsiders perceive this gubernatorial race.
Report suggested that a race formerly seen as "currently safe" for the incumbent was now rated as "clear advantage incumbent." Do you see the difference there? In case you don't a # explained that this race "moved benefiting Democrat."Stateline
.org said Douglas was "still favored to keep his seat" but Symington
as "running a credible campaign." Her problem, Stateline
said, is Pollina
, who "has the endorsement of key labor groups and is poised to split the liberal vote."
Finally, there's a long assessment by Jessica Benton Cooney
of Congressional Quarterly. Cooney
hinted there was "at least some uncertainty
about the outcome."
These are all folks outside Vermont, who has you can see in the Cooney piece, got there information from folks here. So it's hard to believe they have any special insight. Still reports like these can boost or erode candidate confidence.Interesting
political day, wasn't it?
-- Nancy Remsen