Shumlin ad stirs controversy in lt. governor’s race

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(Host) A new radio ad in the lieutenant governor’s race is stirring up a lot of controversy in the final days of the campaign.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports:

(Kinzel) The ad, which was produced for Democratic candidate Peter Shumlin, has drawn strong criticism from both of Shumlin’s opponents – Republican Brian Dubie and Progressive Anthony Pollina.

The ad quotes recent newspaper endorsements and articles to discuss two key issues. The first highlights the issue of abortion:

(Sound from advertisement)
(Narrator) “And here’s another concern: The Free Press quotes Dubie as saying, “In an ideal world, I would like to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

(Kinzel) Dubie says it’s a negative ad and is an effort by Shumlin, who represents Windham County, to divert attention from the real issue of their campaign. Namely, the creation of new good paying jobs:

(Dubie) “Even though today is Halloween, Senator Shumlin is trying to scare people. There’s going to be 800 jobs that have been lost in the next few months in total in Windham County and that’s similar to what’s going across our state, and that’s scary.”

(Kinzel) Shumlin says Dubie is upset because many voters don’t realize that Dubie has a pro-life position on abortion:

(Shumlin) “Even Ruth Dwyer never said that she wanted to see Roe v. Wade overturned this is an important issue last year the Vermont House sent over numerous bills to weaken a woman’s right to choose I helped to defend a woman’s right to choose women in Vermont understand that this is an incredibly important election.”

(Kinzel) The second part of the ad, which quotes an endorsement from the Rutland Herald, has drawn strong criticism from Anthony Pollina:

(Sound from advertisement)
(Narrator) “Backing Pollina could actually end up allowing the Legislature to elect Dubie. Pollina is playing the role Ralph Nader played in presidential politics.”

(Kinzel) Pollina says the ad is an effort by Shumlin to scare voters:

(Pollina) “I think he is trying to use the same strategy that Howard Dean used two years ago to make people afraid of voting for the candidate that they most want to support. I think the tactic is even more misguided this time because, in fact, this particular campaign for lieutenant governor is right now a tie, according to the polls.”

(Kinzel) Shumlin says the ad is fair because recent polls indicate that Polllina’s support is slipping and that the race has come down to a contest between Shumlin and Dubie.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.

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