Leahy Takes Dubie To Task For Ads
10/05/10 5:50PM By Bob Kinzel  Download MP3
(Host) Senator Patrick Leahy is getting directly involved in this year's race for governor.
As VPR's Bob Kinzel reports, Leahy accuses Brian Dubie of running a "smear campaign" against Peter Shumlin.
(Kinzel) Traditionally, the members of Vermont's congressional delegation don't get actively involved in the state's race for governor.
The delegation supports their Party's gubernatorial nominee and often helps in fund raising efforts.
But Senator Leahy says this year is different. He says he's frustrated and disappointed that Brian Dubie's campaign would run ads accusing Peter Shumlin of supporting a corrections reform plan that would result in the early release of drug dealers and child pornographers:
(Leahy) "Nobody believes that we ought to just acknowledge no Vermonters Republicans or Democrats are in favor of pornographers or child molesters or anything else. And to run an ad that suggests otherwise is one of these out of state kind of smear campaigns that frankly don't work."
(Kinzel) Leahy says Dubie is attacking Shumlin instead of addressing the real issues of the campaign.
(Leahy) "If that's what you have to run your campaign based on, you don't have much in the way of ideas. It's not truthful about anybody and I think we ought to have real debates about how we spend this $40 or $50,000 a year on people who are locked up. Are we getting our money's worth, are we doing the right kind of thing? But don't do a Willie Horton type ad - it's not the Vermont way."
(Kinzel) Leahy says he feels very strongly that Vermont campaigns should not succumb to the type of negative ads that are used in many other states.
(Leahy) "That's why I'm speaking out - I don't want to see negative ads like this done in Vermont."
(Kinzel) Corey Bliss is Dubie's campaign manager. He totally rejects Leahy's premise. Bliss says the Dubie campaign spent five weeks running positive ads highlighting the issue of creating new jobs and that the corrections ad only aired for a week.
Bliss says Leahy should take a closer look at the activities of the Shumlin campaign.
(Bliss) "Peter Shumlin's first commercial was a negative attack ad that distorted Brian Dubie's record with a bad frozen image of his face on the screen. The DGA has spent $350,000 attacking and destroying Brian Dubie's record on Vermont Yankee. So we are not running a negative campaign."
(Kinzel) Some of the ads in this year's gubernatorial campaign are paid for by independent groups and not the candidates.
Bliss says a new group of Dubie ads will focus on efforts to strengthen the Vermont economy over the next few years.
For VPR News, I'm Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.