Editorial: Fighting words

Note: This editorial ran in the July 30th edition of the Trumbull Times.
Week one of the 2015 Trumbull campaign season looms large after this week’s caucuses, and the gloves are already off.
The candidates for first selectman offered each other congratulations in their respective acceptance speeches earlier this week, but the peace didn’t stick around for too long.
Democratic challenger Vicki Tesoro questioned the integrity of First Selectman Tim Herbst’s campaign in a letter Monday  after the Republican official used his town email account to send a proposed slate of five debates in the fall.
“You are using the email system paid for by Trumbull taxpayers,” she accused her opponent.
Herbst said the attack was both amusing and unfortunate. He added that the Democratic Town Committee’s campaign strategy lacked a “willingness for public exposure” in its attempt to limit the debates to three face-to-face forums.
The moral rightousness of the letter and the response to it is nebulous, at best.
Yes, the lesson here is as clear as a cloudless summer sky, politics is still politics.
Will there be a reprieve from this back-and-forth? That remains to be seen, but an end to the squabbling shouldn’t be penciled in as an expectation any time soon.
While the Democrats may say they want to change the town’s political landscape and the Republicans say they want to guide it toward a bright future 10 years from now, each party couldn’t resist exchanging jabs this week — and this was just the preseason.
With both parties relying on football rhetoric in their speeches this past week, it’s pretty obvious there’s much more to come in this scrap as the 2015 election picks up steam.
Herbst, who championed himself as a “fighter” in his acceptance speech Monday, said Tuesday that he expects his opponents will try to win the campaign on social media and through letters attacking his resume that will be placed in residential mailboxes. He acknowledged he’d prefer to discuss any claims against him and his party in open debate, but he’s not going to back down from the challenge.
And thus, we have The Great Fight for Trumbull’s Future.
While the battle for Trumbull’s political gridiron awaits voters later this year, there must be some maintenance done to the field before anymore can begin packing the stands for either side.
For now, quarreling rhetoric isn’t helping improve anything and the scoreboard is showing an old-fashioned 0-0 tie.
Does either side have the willpower to keep this fight clean and push the ball across that goalline they keep talking about?
Check back in next week to see if the fighting has stopped.