Herald of Randolph editor gives super PAC ad money to Randolph Area Food Shelf

Super PAC money has penetrated the airwaves for the last six weeks and more recently, in the final push toward Nov. 6, Vermonters First, the conservative group that has spent more than $800,000 on Republican campaigns is reaching down into one of the cornerstones community life.

As Dickey Drysdale, the editor of the Herald of Randolph, put it: “Super-PAC money has reached your community weekly newspaper.”

Drysdale ran two ads from Vermonters First in the last two editions of his newspaper. The ads support former Rep. David Ainsworth, a Republican, in his bid to beat out Rep. Sarah Buxton, a Democrat.

Drysdale wrote in his Oct. 25 editorial:

Because of the rule against consulting with campaigns, Ainsworth wasn’t asked if he wanted support, nor did he have any input into what the ad actually says. In fact, it’s likely that the people running Vermonters First don’t know David Ainsworth from a hole in the ground—except that he lost to Buxton by just one vote two years ago and therefore might be a good bet to win this year.

The Herald of Randolph received $504 for the two ads.

Drysdale, who is known for his independent views and commitment to unbiased reporting, doesn’t have a dog in this political fight, but he has a strong opinion about super PACs.

As for The Herald, we’re glad anytime when we see politicians realize the value of weekly newspaper advertising. However, we deplore the entire super-PAC mechanism, which directs unrestricted gobs of money, from people who can afford it, into our precious political process.

And so, the Herald, which depends on advertising revenue, is donating the money to the Randolph Area Food Shelf.

Whether other media outlets will follow Drysdale’s lead is anyone’s guess.

Nonprofit news organizations like VTDigger and VPR cannot accept campaign advertising.

Anne Galloway

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13 Comments on "Herald of Randolph editor gives super PAC ad money to Randolph Area Food Shelf"


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Paula Schramm
4 years 2 months ago

Good for Mr. Drysdale and the Herald !

That’s been my overwhelming feeling too…. our local, small town way of campaigning is a precious political process. Having five state-wide mailings targeting individuals whom the Super PAC doesn’t even know, with the money spent on each mailing surpassing the money raised by all candidates at the county level put together, doesn’t seem to be about democracy.

Kelly Cummings
4 years 2 months ago

Yes! Yes! Mr. Drysdale! This is the way we push back! This is the way we stand together! I hope others join you! What a brave and courageous kind act!

This is truly…..Citizens United!!!!

4 years 2 months ago
Congratulations to Mr. Drysdale for publicly declaring his newspaper’s independence from Super PAC money! This is one of the rare positive messages this election election season. This positive message trumps all of the Super PAC messages (mostly negative) of 2012! By donating the Super PAC proceeds to the Randolph Area Food Shelf he is further supporting his local community. A sum of $504 is not much in the grand scheme of things. But the people that the Food Shelf helps are the folks that are sometimes ignored by the politicians and the parties, via demographic micro-targeting campaigns and their search… Read more »
walter carpenter
4 years 2 months ago

“This is truly…..Citizens United!!!!”

Right on, Kelly. This is us standing up against these superpacs. Mr. Drysdale made an incredible statement. It is because of the people behind these superpacs and what they do that local foodshelves are so urgently needed.

4 years 2 months ago

That’s an excellent observation, Walt, on the link between the need for food shelves and the subversion of our political system by the ultra-wealthy. Dick Drysdale made just the right statement.

Walter Carpenter
4 years 2 months ago

Thanks so much, Tom. I appreciate it. The idea to put that link together came as I read the piece and then the comments from Kelly, Paula, and Ron above mine. You said it correctly, though, with “Dick Drysdale made just the right statement.”

Mari Cordes,
4 years 2 months ago

Put People First – wisdom and compassion in action!

4 years 2 months ago

Go ahead and make it political as always. He did a good thing for whatever motivation he had and leave it at that.
BTW, how much did you people donate to your local food shelf?

walter carpenter
4 years 2 months ago

“Go ahead and make it political as always. He did a good thing for whatever motivation he had and leave it at that.”

We did not make it political. It was political to begin with. What Mr. Drysdale did was to reject the VF super pac and that is a political statement if there ever was one.

Moshe Braner
4 years 2 months ago

What Mr. Drysdale did was NOT to reject the ad, but to let it run. What happens to the money afterwards makes no difference to that. If he could not legally reject the ad, perhaps he could have forwarded the money to Rep. Buxton’s campaign to balance things out? Or, if that’s legally blocked too, offer Buxton free ad space?

kevin ellis
4 years 2 months ago
I am for a Digger one-day conference on this issue. Invite Dick to be a panelist. As a partner in a firm that created a Super Pac, I am torn on this issue. Dick refers to our “precious” political process that is being polluted and destroyed by monied outsiders. Really? Thomas Jefferson hired a journalist to slander John Adams. I am wary of a “precious” political process. It is rough and tumble and not for the faint of heart. It weeds out the weak and second rate. But it also rewards those with the money to run. At the very… Read more »
Paula Schramm
4 years 2 months ago
” I am wary of a “precious” political process. It is rough and tumble and not for the faint of heart.” Kevin Ellis – Yes, let’s thoroughly discuss & debate this issue of big, and rather anonymous money pouring in on our political campaigns now….I think with this season’s Vermonters First example it’s clear we will need to address this in Vermont as well as in the rest of the country. When I echoed Dick Drysdale’s use of the word “precious” for our political process, it was not in the more perjorative sense of rare and delicate….I mean it in… Read more »
Tim Cansfield
4 years 2 months ago
So, all of you who are congratulating each other over what you see as a “victory” over some monster, what do you have to say about Bernie Sanders receiving nearly all of his campaign donations from out of state contributors, including countless PACs? What’s comical about your overtly injured sensibilities is that you have let the liberal media stir you up into a frenzy about a local woman donating a bunch of money to influence politics in her own state, but you apparently don’t mind at all that out-of-state organizations buy your senator. I bet that’s different, right? 😉
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