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To the Editor:

In the October 12 edition of the Times-Herald, there was a letter to the editor from a Mr. Robert Clifton attacking me. Obviously, Mr. Clifton has every right to do that, but I thought I’d share my perspective on his letter. Mr. Clifton is proudly a long-time very partisan Republican. That’s fine. But I fear that he sometimes lets his disdain for anyone who is not a Republican get the better of him.

For example, when I first ran for the legislature in 2002, Mr. Clifton, despite not knowing me, sent a particularly nasty and personal attack letter to the people in our neighborhood. Despite that, when I was elected I did my best to put that unpleasantness behind us. Aside from being unfailingly polite to him and his wife, I helped him out with some research he was doing on occasion. I also invited him to come with me on my veteran’s trip to Washington. He did in fact come and told me I was doing a “great job”. I worked with him on some issues relating to Colonial Village, the neighborhood where he lives. And he has come up to Harrisburg, I believe on several occasions, to join me on a personal tour. When his wife was ill, I did my best to offer comfort and any assistance that might be helpful. In fairness, Mr. Clifton was always polite to me and seemed appreciative.

Now, we are in an election year and suddenly I’m a really, really bad guy. I’m apparently terrible on every issue, although Mr. Clifton never once, in 4 years, wrote to me, phoned me or spoke to me about any objection he had to any vote I cast. He says that I was a “ringleader” of the unpopular pay raise. But surely he knows that as a sophomore in the minority party, I have sadly not yet achieved “ringleader” status. In fact, the true ringleaders of the pay-raise were the leaders of the Republican majority, who Mr. Clifton supports enthusiastically.

Finally, he says I lack integrity and ethics. That’s truly unfortunate. People can disagree with me on issues, but personal insults are uncalled for. No other person has ever accused me of being unethical or lacking integrity. Regrettably however, this is part of the orchestrated, entirely negative campaign that my opponent and her team are running. I refuse to be a part of that. I have promised my constituents that I will always run a 100% positive campaign, and I have kept my word. If anyone is looking to vote for whoever runs the ugliest campaign, I am not their candidate. Since I’ve made my pledge I can’t tell you how many people have called or written to say that they were grateful. And I doubt Mr. Clifton would write the sort of letters he does if he knew how much it turned people off to his cause.

Representative Daylin Leach
149th District