Vermont Press Releases

Burlington Free Press, Herald of Randolph, Manchester Journal endorse Gibbs


“Voice of the Free Press: Recommendations for statewide offices”

Burlington Free Press, Editorial, Friday, October 22, 2010

“The most basic responsibility of any government official is to be accountable to the people of Vermont. That is hardly possible if government chooses — as it so often does at all levels in this state — to act in secrecy. People have a right to know what elected officials do in office and how they go about doing it. Without access to information, there is no meaningful civic engagement. That makes commitment to open government the number one issue in this campaign.

The Burlington Free Press editorial board recommends the following candidates running for statewide offices in the Nov. 2 election…

Gibbs for secretary of state

Republican Jason Gibbs of Duxbury made his mark in this campaign for secretary of state with his aggressive push for transparency, especially when it comes to money. Gibbs has proven administrative skills and a willingness to try different approaches to government. His tenure as commissioner of the Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation was marked by efficient management in the service of results-orientated change.

Gibbs has promised to pursue improved access to government records and meetings, essential to Vermonters’ ability to be engaged and keep their governments accountable. Open government is an important focus for the secretary of state because the office is the steward of the state’s records, overseer of elections and the regulator of professions licensed by the state.

Gibbs must keep his pledge to overcome those who would point to his service in the Douglas administration — no champion of openness — to doubt the candidate’s commitment to public access to government.

Gibbs combines an enthusiasm for innovation with an air of competence that would serve Vermonters well in the Secretary of State’s Office, especially in a time of budge austerity. His commitment to open government is exactly the right focus for the office.”

“Down the Ballot”

From the Herald of Randolph, Editorial, Thursday, October 21, 2010

“So far in this election campaign, we have not been persuaded that either of the top candidates for governor deserves our vote, but we are impressed by three candidates farther down the statewide ballot…

In the contest for Secretary of State, we are persuaded by Vermont’s association of town clerks and treasurers that the best bet would be Republican Jason Gibbs.

Asked to rate Gibbs and his principal opponent, Democrat Jim Condos, on five different criteria, the clerks, polled by the association, chose Gibbs in each case. (The criteria included their stands on the silly proposed amendment Proposition 5, which Gibbs opposes and Condos favors.)

Gibbs is an attractive, youngish man with a lot of energy and an eye for new solutions. He’s had political experience in the Douglas administration, so he knows Montpelier well, though he’s not held elective office.

After leaving the administration, he took a productive turn as Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation, where he bought efficiency and enthusiasm, especially to the State Park system.

(Full disclosure-Gibbs served several years as Douglas’s press secretary, so we are more acquainted with him than with his opponent. We always found him exceptionally helpful and sensible.) …”

Manchester Journal, Editorial, Wednesday, October 20, 2010

“Secretary of State: As we said about two months ago when the primary elections were being held, we have a very high regard for Jason Gibbs, the former Commissioner of the Forests, Parks and Recreation Department, and before that, a press spokesman for Gov. Jim Douglas. That hasn’t changed. Gibbs has talked a lot about transparency and open government during this campaign, as has his opponent, but Gibbs has lived it and done it. No phone call went unreturned, no matter was too small to be dismissed as unworthy of his time when he was the governor’s press spokesman. He is highly qualified, in our view, for this step up in the ranks, and Vermonters have an opportunity to enlist a real talent on their behalf. We hope they seize it.”

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