Editor’s note: former House and Senate member David Deen served with both Sen. John Rodgers and Sen. Becca Balint. In this letter, Deen criticizes a letter written recently by Rogers. Former Sen. Rodgers is welcome to submit his letter for publication.
by David Deen
John Rodgers had some politically off color things to say about Becca Balint. I would like to add some perspective on his rant. I served with John while he was in the House and during his Senate tenure and served with Becca during her Senate tenure and I would like to set a few things straight about John’s little letter writing temper tantrum.
First, there is an old Vermont bromide that goes, “just cause a cat has her kittens in an old abandoned oven, don’t make those kittens biscuits.” Based on my years of service at the same time as John served, John could call himself a duck and he would be neither a duck nor based on my experience with him in the House and Senate, could he be called a democrat.
As to how people react to anyone serving in the legislature, what I found in 30 years of service is that people treated you as you treated them. If you showed respect for them regardless whether or not you supported their positions they would respond, meet with you, talk with you with no rancor if you did not agree and part until the next time an issue warranted a conversation. But let me tell you If every time you met with someone, that someone was woofing in your face, you found ways to avoid that person and the reaction was/is the same whether they were a newbie or in leadership. Pointless confrontation is a waste of your legislative time.
I know John to be a hard worker and good business man but his legislative style reaped what it sowed and I question his relevance to give advice about who should or should not be our next US Congressional representative.
With lessons learned over the years of my legislative experience, I recognize effective legislators not by what they say but by what they do and how they do it. Becca takes time to understand Vermonters, understand their issues, work with others to craft effective responses and knows how to reach across the aisle to get the votes to make those responses real.
Becca knows how to legislate and that’s who we are hiring, our next national legislator.
The author is a Westminster resident and, like Sen. Rodgers, a former member of both the Vermont House and Senate.