Shepard says Welch favors big government

The Associated Press | August 12, 2006

WILLISTON — Republican U.S. House candidate Mark Shepard is criticizing Democrat Peter Welch for supporting big government.

"Some government is a good thing, but too much government is a bad thing," Shepard said at a Thursday news conference. "Peter Welch does not know how or when to stop growing government, and his appetite for more government seems to never be satisfied."

As examples, Shepard, a state senator from Bennington, used Welch's support for Vermont's new health insurance program, called Catamount Health, and the education finance law, Act 68.

"The so-called health care reform bill that passed this year was political compromise, allowing politicians to claim reform, when in reality it continues heading Vermont in the wrong direction, and is financially unsustainable," Shepard said.

He also criticized his opponent in the Republican primary, Martha Rainville, for not providing specific positions on the range of issues confronting Vermonters and for her promise to run what she has called a "clean campaign."

"Martha has confused running a clean campaign with a refusal to get her hands dirty at all," Shepard said. "You must be willing to engage in a discussion of the issues."

And Shepard criticized Rainville for refusing to participate in a series of meetings with the other candidates called "Conversations on the Green."

Welch's campaign manager, Carolyn Dwyer, dismissed Shepard's criticism.

"That's nothing more than recycled Republican rhetoric," she said of Shepard's remarks about Welch. "The voters would be better served if Mark Shepard encouraged Martha Rainville to share her positions on the issues."

Rainville spokesman Brendan McKenna said she had been clear about her positions. "Martha has spent the summer out around the state talking with Vermonters, listening to them about the issues and outlining her ideas," McKenna said.

"... many politicians talk the talk about doing something tangible about new jobs and it doesn't go much further. Sen. Shepard walked the walk."
"Sen. Shepard's big accomplishment, and it is a significant one, lies in the major role he played in bringing the Bennington Microtech Center into being."

Bennington Banner State Senator Endorsement Editorial, October 29, 2004

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