I noted with interest your editorial of Dec. 10 (“Our View: Time to shed light on ‘dark money’ ”), since I was involved in one of the five most expensive state Senate campaigns in the last election cycle.

While I spent less than $30,000 on my campaign (about what my opponent spent), outside groups spent many times that amount. The difference is that there were no complaints that the outside groups who supported me engaged in negative campaigning – unless you count the complaint of Steve Cartwright of Waldoboro, who thought that describing my opponent as a “liberal” constituted negative campaigning (he, by most measures, was considered the most liberal candidate in that election cycle).

I have been able to mute negative campaigning on my behalf since 2002 when I experienced an awful campaign and wound up complaining to the Ethics Commission about the activities of outside groups who supported my candidacy. Any candidate who thinks this is impossible lacks experience, intelligence or honesty.

We currently have a group of officeholders who owe their election to negative campaigning by outside groups. They vote with these groups in the Legislature to ensure that they will get the same level of negative campaigning they think they need to win in the next election cycle. They more resemble puppets than leaders.

How I was able to stop my outside supporters from using dirty campaign tactics will be the subject of a future op-ed piece where I am not tied to your 300-word limit for letters to the editor. Meanwhile, I challenge your readers to use their imaginations. I suspect more than one of them will come up with the answer.

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