Welch is ‘selling access and connections, pure and simple’

SOUTH NEWFANE — U.S. Rep. Peter Welch tries to talk a good game about serving the people. But his performative puffery, like bragging about not taking PAC contributions while still raking it in from trade associations that are nothing but PACs with another name, shows that he is as at the heart of the problem that the U.S. Congress has become.

Welch is very popular in Vermont. His Republican opponent faces an extreme uphill battle to get traction in the race, and any challengers from outside the two main parties are marginalized by the media.

Yet Welch is not satisfied with the more than $2 million he already has in campaign funds. He's still been shamelessly working the phones begging for more from those who know a good investment when they see one.

Because what Welch is selling here is not a chance to help him beat a tough rival. He is selling access and connections, pure and simple.

All the trade associations and wealthy donors know that he will take their calls, consider their pleas and, ultimately, vote in their favor when push comes to shove.

Those without the cash to buy access will be left to watch and wonder as the U.S. Congress continues to cater to the whims of the wealthiest while the country sinks ever lower into the abyss of inequality, division, and anger.

The trade associations and the rich were so concerned about Welch's chances that they ponied up over $800,000 in the first quarter alone. That they would purchase their new Senator makes perfect sense, if you have no sense of civics or a concern about the commonweal, but Welch's shameless begging and eager acceptance of the influence buying is a disgrace.

This man needs to be sent back home, not to the U.S. Senate. He embodies all that has gone sour with America's experiment in democracy. He will be part of what leads to its downfall.

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