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I'm proud to be Don's brother-in-law but I'm not in his back pocket

To The Daily Sun,

In response to John Funk & Chums' letter to the editor on March 6, I can only say that he does a great job of molding his "facts" to suit his own agenda. Tucked into an otherwise well-reasoned argument in favor of their candidate is mention that current Selectman Don Guarino and I are brothers-in-law. This is the sort of tactic used by people who, deep down, don't believe their own candidate is good enough to win on his own merit; therefore they trot out some mud or whitewash in an effort to tear down the opposing candidate and prop up their own. Such drivel is the stuff of fools. It does nothing more than reveal Mr. Funk and his pals for what they really are — people who add little to the discussion other than the misrepresentation of information.

Mr. Funk (and cronies) state that "the town benefits when there are three independent voices bringing a variety of perspectives...." They assume that, because Don's wife and my wife are sisters that I either can't think for myself, or that my perspective mirrors Don's, or in the darkness of the hierarchy of our family I am somehow subject to the rule of the Stevens Clan Chieftain. What a stupid notion.

The topic of Don's and my family relationship didn't come up at the Candidates Night until I mentioned it. Neither Mr. Funk nor his posse brought it up. I find it interesting that they did not mention it in an open meeting, choosing instead to snipe away later from the safety of a campaign endorsement letter. I brought it up because I felt it was important for the voters to hear it from the horse's mouth and not from the opposite end of the animal. And I will answer today with the same answer I gave at Candidates Night: "My brother-in-law has as much influence over me as yours has over any of you. Figure it out for yourself." And that is what I ask you to do. Decide for yourself if such a "family relationship" should be avoided in the selectmen's office.

More importantly, Mr. Funk and friends fail in their letter to report that, at the Candidates Night I came out in strong support of Article 30 — the very same article that Don so strenuously opposes. If that does not demonstrate independent thinking, I don't know what does.

But far be it for Mr. Funk and friends to want you to have that piece of information, because it would destroy their argument. They wouldn't want facts to get in the way of their opinion. Now, to be fair, perhaps their letter was written and submitted prior to the Candidates Night. They would have had no way of knowing that my position was in opposition to Don's. In that case they are guilty of talking through their collective over-sized hats and stuffed shirts, spouting off with no facts to support their off-the-mark assertion.
It's the old, tired notion of, "I'll tell you what I want you to know, whether it's true or not." It's unfortunate that some people consider this a valid way to promote their agenda and push for a candidate that they otherwise can't support with 100 percent of their effort. Mr. McCormack deserves better. As the saying goes, "with friends like that....."

Mr. Funk and friends either chose not to share all of the information with you or they shot from the hip and demonstrated their ignorance for all the world to see. Whichever shoe fits, I hope they put it on and wear it with the shame it deserves.

I'm not in Don Guarino's back pocket, nor in the pocket of anyone else, but I respect and admire the work that he has done on behalf of Gilmanton. I am proud to be his brother-in-law. If you, as voters see our family relationship as problematic, then vote your conscience. At least now, however, you know the truth and not just the "pick and choose" inaccuracy of John Funk and Company.

Jim Barnes
Gilmanton

 
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