Dr. Sherman a staunch defender of women’s health
By Nancy F. Stiles
Negativity has reached rock bottom in this year’s general election for many candidates in both of the parties up and down the ballot. I guess someone figured that dropping misconstrued information on the opposition makes the sender look like the superior candidate.
When you receive many candidate flyers on the same day you don’t always pay close attention to all of them if you get the gist of the message before it hits the round file, but one caught my special attention Thursday. That was one in opposition to Dr. Tom Sherman seeking election to Senate District 24. Why? Because my name was clearly included in the message on the front even though I’m not seeking election in 2016. I really couldn’t tell whether it was a criticism of me, of Dr. Sherman or intended to be both. Apparently I stopped the passage of the bill by my single vote — of course that vote was one of 12/12 so I’m not sure just which one of the 12 it was that should actually get the credit for the vote that “killed” the bill.
Copying language spoken by others in this case, especially by those who are supporters of Tom Sherman, like Sen. Molly Kelly and Lee Nyquist, when taken out of context can infer a different message than that intended by those speakers. But I will tell you here that Tom Sherman being a medical doctor is probably the last person of the 424 legislators that would put any road blocks interfering with adequate health care for any of New Hampshire’s citizens. Probably this proactive positive attitude played a big role resulting in he and both being recognized this year as supporters of women’s health issues.
The true story of HB629 was a bill that came before his House Committee. The prime sponsor of the introduced bill was a pro-life Republican. Courtesy, which you will find in the Legislature if you look hard enough, drove then subcommittee member Rep. Sherman, who did not like the bill in the first place, to find some common ground that would be acceptable to both the sponsors and those who felt differently – those who believe a person’s medical needs are a personal matter. This compromise in the amendment (#2015-2661H) identified on the flyer protected the privacy of both the patient and the provider, similar to legislation found in other states. The amended HB629 passed the floor of the House on a voice vote. It was the floor vote of the Senate – by that “single vote” – that killed the bill.
Many times negative campaigning is done by a third party or super PACs, which by all accounts are not supposed to have any communication with the candidates running for election. Most disturbing to me is that this flyer was paid for by the Senate District 24 candidate’s own PAC. Comparative voting is one thing but misconstrued information to negatively influence the voter does nothing to inform the voter that the sender has any qualities to offer. It has not escaped my notice that Tom Sherman’s messaging that I have received has remained positive and focused on the issues.
For my part, I have worked closely across party lines with Rep. Sherman over the last four years. I have come to know him as a staunch defender of women’s health rights. I have also found him to be one of the legislators who is willing to work with other legislators no matter which party to find common ground that actually produces better legislation. I am so sorry that campaigning has taken such negative tones.
Nancy F. Stiles, R-Hampton, served as Senate District 24 senator from 2010-2016.
Source: Seacoast Online