, Newburyport, MA

October 29, 2012

Candidate's girlfriend's letter was misleading

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the Editor:

As an independent voter who is supporting Barry Fogel, I am writing to express a serious concern about the letter from Cindy Vachon, “Difference between Mirra, Fogel are night and day,” that was published in this paper on Oct. 11. The letter was nothing more than an unpaid campaign ad for Mirra while presenting negative and inaccurate attacks on Fogel.

But there is a more significant problem with the letter that I think my fellow voters ought to know: although Vachon and Mirra both state on their personal Facebook sites that they are in a relationship, she did not disclose this fact in her letter.

Vachon even listed South Boston as her residence, despite having identified her residence as West Newbury in a letter on a different topic that she sent to the Gloucester Times in September. All of this clearly was intended to give us the false impression that the letter was being presented by an unbiased person who lives outside the 2nd Essex District. In a posting on his campaign’s Facebook page in September, Mirra promised Fogel: “Let’s have a good clean fight.” So, voters are left to wonder – if Mirra wanted to be credible as a candidate who complains often about corruption and lack of transparency in government, why would he run this kind of campaign?

Earlier in October, Joe D’Amore of Groveland wrote a letter that supported Mirra, but at least he admitted his bias and identified himself as a campaigner for Mirra. Which makes more important the following statement from Mr. D’Amore: “Barry Fogel has the experience and skill set to produce, navigate and evaluate legislation that will deliver services and resources to our district.” While that is more than enough to qualify Fogel for the job, what could be more important than that?

Honesty and transparency.

Gernot Buerger