To the editor:

I would like to address something that greatly concerns me about my friend who is often the recipient of false accusations. His name is Tony Barton. Now, before you go off in either direction, please read what I have to say.  

Tony is like a brother to me. I count it an honor and a privilege that he has introduced me to others as “family.” He has been there for me through numerous hard times. He consistently makes himself available to assist others when they are in need as well. That’s simply who Tony Barton is. Alternatively, a person with a sinister plan will go out of his way to avoid helping others in need and only put forth effort for himself. I have watched Tony go through his own rough seasons in 20 years. None of them have ever changed who he is. They just made him even stronger than he was before.

My theory is that the lies about this good man are originating from his political opponent. I have to wonder at his motive, as well as truly question someone who lies and spreads those lies on purpose. From one point of view, he seems to obsess about Tony and his family. From another, the endless rumors and accusations seem to be aimed at maligning Tony’s character, which is impeccable. 

This opponent doesn’t seem to know what to do with Tony’s impeccable character, which is typical for someone who completely lacks it himself.  From all that I have seen in the last several years, character is a foreign concept for this opponent and his team. For some in a political race, it is characteristic to stoop low. A smear campaign is what they typically resort to. Tony’s opponent seems to be in that category. Those who operate that way clearly reveal their lack of integrity.  

Perhaps Tony’s opponent is using the tactic of painting a bad picture of Tony to sway voters to the other side. It has worked before in other campaigns. However, I return to the same issue regarding that person’s true character. A politician who would stoop that low is not the kind of person I want representing me in any governmental seat.  

One quote reinforces what I have stated in this letter to the editor:  

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit,” wrote Aristotle.

Tony has made excellence a habit. His opponent? Not so much.