Rosenberg’s career shouldn’t be tarnished by another’s actions

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

I was astonished by recent political discourse and news coverage concerning Stanley Rosenberg. I am disturbed by innuendos that his decisions have been improperly influenced by (his spouse) Mr. Hefner or anyone else. Mr. Hefner and Mr. Rosenberg are two different people and allegations against the former should not automatically call into question the integrity of the latter.

Even assuming for argument’s sake that Mr. Hefner really did claim to hold special sway over Senator Rosenberg, there remains a difference between claim and truth. Mr. Rosenberg cannot be held responsible for someone else’s conduct or words. History is filled with examples of people exaggerating their influence over others.

My first meeting with Senator Rosenberg was decades ago, when he was an aide to then State Sen. (later Congressman) John Olver. Since then, I have followed his career all the way to his present position. His ethics and respectability have always been unquestionable.

My experience with him, including during my many years as a town official, has always shown him to be fair, helpful and sensitive to the needs of all his constituents. That does not mean I have agreed with him on every occasion, but I do respect him tremendously. I find it extremely hard to believe anyone could improperly influence his decisions.

My husband and I have been married 54 years and neither influences, or could influence, the other in the manner that is now being suggested about the senator. If Mr. Hefner actually believed he had the power to improperly influence such a fine and honest, political figure — and I might add, this remains unproven — then that belief would, in my opinion, have been delusional.

We should not allow anonymous, triple-hearsay to destroy the political career of a man who has done so much for western Massachusetts.

Sarah J. Rich

Former Hawley Selectboard member