by Christopher Maidment
Unlike most other towns, Peterborough doesn’t hold their annual town meeting until May. That means that we are currently in the thick of local politicking season, and things are starting to heat up!
Now, the old “sign stealing” part of politics is certainly nothing new. It’s a tried and true tactic by many, mostly on the left, so it’s really rich to find an LTE in today’s local paper, the Monadnock Ledger Transcript, authored by husband of Jeanne Dietsch (State Senate 9, covering Peterborough,) Bill Kennedy – who is a candidate for selectman.
It’s highly unsurprising that the Peterborough Democrats rallied together to select their replacement for outgoing selectman Barbara Miller. What IS surprising is that the town has rallied behind Kennedy’s opponent, Bill Taylor. Both are long time Peterborough residents, both are well known in town, and both seem to be liked well enough. Trouble is, Bill Taylor represents a drastic change to how Peterborough operates and an upending of the apple cart, so to speak.
Mr. Taylor, a local real estate agent, must really scare the Peterborough Democrats. They usually own local politics, and they own local spending (which is exorbitant, to put it mildly.) That such an “outsider” can win over support from “both sides of the aisle” with “common sense” approaches must just put bees in their bonnets, for they’ve taken to their normal Democrat big-money machine politic tactics.
It’s worth noting as an aside, that during the Democrat primary for State Senate, Jeanne Dietsch lost Peterborough, the town she lives in, to an out-of-towner who wanted to “Axe the Property Tax.”
Today’s Ledger-Transcript featured the following LTE from Mr. Kennedy:
“Sign Stealing? Sad
To the editor:
Several of my supporters have had my campaign signs stolen off their front lawns. And I have noticed that some of my signs have disappeared from various intersections around town, too. Is this the kind of campaign that my opponent’s supporters are running? Sad.
(Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, April 26, 2019)
Naturally, featured directly below that LTE is another one, from sitting Selectman Barbara Miller, endorsing Kennedy.
Then, the same day that his LTE showed up with baseless attacks on his opponent and their supporters – his facebook page declared the following:
“From the beginning, my intention in running for selectman has been to act with dignity and respect to everyone in Peterborough, both with old friends and new residents I meet along the way. I strongly believe that preserving civility is critical in honoring what we stand for as a community.
While I cannot control others’ actions, I would ask that we take a step back and remember that we are united in our goals to preserve inclusivity in our town and foster friendly debate about the best way for us to move forward.
In that spirit, I would like to take this opportunity to strongly discourage any attacks on my opponent through social media or other means. My campaign has no part in this behavior and does not condone it. Actions like these don’t represent my values and don’t respresent the values of the Peterborough community I’ve known for the last four decades. Going forward, I hope we can strive towards a friendly and issues-oriented campaign on both sides. BK”
Maybe it’s just me (it’s not) – but taking to the paper to publicly slander the supporters of your opponent doesn’t qualify as civil issues-oriented campaigning.
Naturally, I commented on Dr. Kennedy’s post, with a screen shot of the LTE. It was promptly deleted.
My follow up was also promptly deleted, and commenting was turned off (at least for me.)
We have a choice in May, here in Peterborough, on who to best serve this community on the Select Board. I hope that the town will agree with me that Bill Taylor is the best choice. He brings fresh ideas, stays issue focused (to an annoying degree, sometimes,) and plays nice with others.
The Big-Money Machine Democrat Party here in town needs to be shown that we, as townspeople, cannot be bought, lied to, slandered, and expected to follow orders.