Letter to the editor: Incumbent senator allegedly misleads on legislation

I recently read Ivan St. George’s letter to the editor regarding questions he posed to candidates for office about where they stand on certain issues. According to Mr. St. George, Sen. Claire Ayer (D-Addison) answered his query regarding a carbon tax and expanded background checks for gun purchases by writing, “I have not seen either of the proposals you mention. Without taking testimony on all sides of an issue, I cannot commit to action one way or another. To do so, would circumvent the legislative process.”
Mr. St. George expressed frustration at the unseemly evasiveness of a slippery politician, and rightly so. But it’s worse than that. At least on the issue of gun control Senator Ayer flat out lied. She is, in fact, one of just three senators to have sponsored S.31, An act relating to possession and transfer of firearms. This bill calls for the very expansion of background checks Mr. St. George was asking her about.
For her to baldly state to a constituent that she had not heard of an issue or formed an opinion about it when she herself sponsored the legislation at the center of its discussion tells me that she does not have the character or the integrity to serve the people of Addison County in an honest and forthright way. An honest question deserves an honest answer. Claire Ayer does not deserve our votes.
Dan Monger
New Haven
Editor’s note: Given that this letter will appear in the last edition that our subscribers get before the election, we asked Sen. Ayer if she wished to answer the letter writer’s charge. Ayer said that Monger had a point, but she seemed more focused on legislation while Monger seemed more interested in the overall concept. Ayer also included the email thread between herself and Ivan St. George that Monger’s letter refers to. Our reading of it was that St. George wanted a simple yes or no answer to the broad question of does she support a carbon tax and gun control and Ayer wanted to address specific pieces of legislation, not generalities, because any law is based on the actual content of the bill. In a back-and-forth with the Independent, Ayer pointed out that there have been dozens of gun control bills before the Legislature, some of which had good points and some bad points. The fact that she sponsored a gun control bill makes it self-evident that she supports some form of gun control, so why wouldn’t she want to carry the conversation further and address specifics and not the broad concept. To us, it seemed symptomatic of a society where people want a quick answer to a simplistic question, rather than a conversation about a complex issue where they can learn why the other takes the stands they do. — John McCright, news editor

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