A Vermont businessman has dropped a lawsuit against Republican Brian Dubie and his campaign manager Corry Bliss after the pair wrote letters of apology for statements made during the heat of the gubernatorial campaign.
David Blittersdorf, who founded NRG Systems and AllEarth Renewables, filed a lawsuit in the waning days of the 2010 election, alleging that Dubie and Bliss were defaming his character by repeating unproven allegations that he made campaign contributions in order to receive tax credits.
Blittersdorf was a major supporter of now Governor-Elect Peter Shumlin. He donated thousands of dollars to his campaign personally and through the businesses he controls. Recently, Blittersdorf donated $5000 to underwrite Shumlin's inaugural ball.
In the week before the election, Blittersdorf personally asked Dubie to drop repeated claims that Blittersdorf provided campaIgn contributions to Shumlin in exchange for a seat on a board that eventually provided his firm with $4.3 million in tax credits. Instead, Dubie's campaign released a letter from Blittersdorf's attorney and repeated the accusations. It was then that Blittersdorf filed his lawsuit.
On Tuesday, both Bliss and Dubie submitted letters of apology to Blittersdorf.
"I am sorry that in the heat of the closing days of the campaign I did not find time to sit down with you as you requested to address your concerns," Dubie wrote. "We have known each other for many years and I sincerely hope you understand that it was never my intention to suggest you acted unethically in any way."
In his letter, Bliss noted, "My intent as to those statements was only to raise concerns relating to our opponent as Vermonters decided who would be their next governor, not attack you personally. I appreciate, however, that you are upset with the statements and any inference that you acted unethically. I never intended to suggest that you had done anything unethical and I want you to understand my actions were neither malicious nor aimed at you."
Bliss says that now, but here's what he had to say in one campaign missive in late October 2010: “If David Blittersdorf was able to write himself $4.3 million in tax breaks in exchange for giving $8,000 to his campaign, we can only imagine what Peter Shumlin plans to do for him in exchange for his latest $20,000 contribution."
The $20,000 contribution is reference to money Blittersdorf gave to a 527 political action fund that was running ads against the license extension of Vermont Yankee and highlighting Dubie's support for the nuke plant.
But, Blittersdorf has decided to let bygones be bygones now that he has the apologies. In a statement, Blittersdorf said he was happy with the end result.
"I am pleased with this outcome and to be able to move forward. My hope is that Vermont continues to preserve the type of elections we can all be proud of. I look forward to continue working with Brian on our shared interest in advancing renewable energy and creating jobs in Vermont," said Blittersdorf.
Letter from Brian Dubie: Download 2010-12-23 Dubie to Blittersdorf
Letter from Corry Bliss: Download Corry_Bliss_letter 12-30-10