Letters to the Editor

Democratic ethical standards

Nov 22 2022, 6:14 AM

The recent decision of Congresswoman-elect Becca Balint and Senator-elect Peter Welch to free themselves of campaign contributions from a disgraced cryptocurrency tycoon, and direct those contributions to charitable organizations chosen by themselves,  adheres to what I take to be the long-held Democratic ethical standard.

In 1992, a large national tobacco company made modest unsolicited contributions to both candidates for Vermont governor, me and Gov. Howard Dean.

I returned their check without cashing it, politely (and privately) explaining that, as an advocate of thoroughgoing health care reform, I really couldn’t accept a campaign contribution from Big Tobacco.

Neither could Gov. Dean. But instead of quietly returning the contribution, he announced that he was instead righteously donating it to the Vermont Lung Association.

John McClaughry