Symington calls on Douglas to pull radio ads

09/08/08 5:50PM By Bob Kinzel
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(Host) Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gaye Symington is calling on Governor Jim Douglas to pull a number of radio ads that Symington says intentionally distort her record.

Symington says the ads represent Washington style politics at its worst.

The Douglas campaign says Symington is trying to hide from her record.

VPRs Bob Kinzel reports:

(Kinzel) The ads in question raise the issue of whether or not Vermont "can afford" to have the Democratic House Speaker as governor because, the ads claim, she's supported more than a dozen tax increases.

Speaking on VPRs Vermont Edition, Symington said some of the information simply isn't true and she thinks the Douglas campaign is engaging in a pattern of deceit. It's an approach that she thinks will be rejected by Vermont voters:

(Symington) "They do not want to see a campaign based on deception they're hearing ads already that are the same old same old that you see out of Washington D.C. and they're similar in tone to some of the ads that you see from the McCain - Palin camp. They make false claims they deceive my record ...and I think Vermonters should be demanding and will be demanding that Governor Douglas pull these ads from the air."

Dennise Casey is Douglas's campaign manager. She says the campaign has no intention of pulling these ads because she feels they accurately portray Symington's positions:

(Casey) "Vermonters deserve to know that they have a clear choice in this election between a governor who has advanced policies to strengthen our economy and help families prosper and the Speaker of he House who has a 12 year record of raising taxes on Vermont families at every turn."

The ads claim that Symington supported a tripling of the state's energy efficiency tax on home heating oil.

Symington says she did ask a House committee to look into this issue as a possible option but she says no action was ever taken:

(Symington) "I have allowed for a full examination of ways to invest more weatherization so we can save Vermonters money but while we examined different ideas that does not mean that we would have supported the home heating fuel tax."

Casey says even thinking about raising this tax at a time of higher energy prices is a bad idea:

(Casey) "So it's incredibly irresponsible for the super majority in the Legislature and the Speaker to consider tripling the tax on home heating oil at the worst time for Vermont families."

Casey says Symington's policies would make Vermont a less affordable place to live for many families and she says the Douglas campaign plans to highlight these issues in the weeks ahead.

For VPR News I'm Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.

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