Vermonters will be asked to choose between two very different gubernatorial candidates this fall, and two different visions of Vermont.
But at least along the way, we can be assured of some laughs.
Republican Brian Dubie sees a state imperiled by high taxes, anti-business sentiment and wasteful education spending. He’s against reproductive choice and gay marriage.
Democrat Peter Shumlin sees a state that has made great progress on gay marriage while also defending reproductive choice, but that now needs single-payer health care.
Doug Hoffer’s penchant for accuracy when talking about state policy is one reason he would be an outstanding state auditor. For too long misleading comments and positions by our state leaders have gone unchallenged and have been allowed to take root in the state’s psyche. The misperception around the state’s tax rankings is one area in which the Douglas administration — and now lieutenant governor candidate Brian Dubie — has distorted the facts and reality.
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson nailed it on the head last Friday when he wrote of the current political mood to toss out Democrats and put Republicans back into control of Congress that “this isn’t an ‘electoral wave,’ it’s a temper tantrum.”
Last week in this space my esteemed colleague Trent Campbell told a sad story about his personal alienation from one of the high art forms of 20th century suburban life: lawn mowing. He thought he fell in love with mowing while in college. Sitting in class he heard the grounds crew outside soaking up the sun and plugging away at the vast expanse of collegiate lawn with ne’er a care in the world while he slogged through a calculus lesson.
But what the love soured and Trent now despises the task.
Over the past few years, our little homestead has started to look like a real old-fashioned farm, complete with all the standard barnyard animals. But if you’re thinking things are all E-I-E-I-O around here, think again.
Nowhere in that classic children’s farm song do I recall a verse in which Old McDonald had some rats.
It started about a month ago. Early one morning while opening up the turkey house, I spied a shadow slipping away from the feeder.
“Perhaps it’s a little Beatrix Potter field mouse,” I said. “I’ll call him Cuddly Wumpkins.”
There is much that could be said about the Lt. Governor’s economic development plan and his recent press event announcing his economic plan, but for now I want to comment briefly about one of Mr. Dubie’s statements. He said that Vermont’s state income tax was higher than Maine, Massachusetts or Rhode Island.
This statement is terribly misleading and should be corrected.
When Barack Obama ran for president in 2008, he pledged to end the war in Iraq responsibly, if elected. Tuesday night, the young president — who, in his first two years in office, has also faced an economic crisis not seen since the Great Depression and has had to work mightily to restore the nation’s financial industry and auto industry, as well as making significant steps to reforming health care — declared America’s military action in Iraq officially over.
And, as an opponent of the Iraq invasion from the start, he was gracious in his comments.
The last time I remember actually wanting to mow the lawn was 1983. It was the second semester of my freshman year in college and I was sitting near an open window in my Calculus II class. As the professor discussed derivatives and anti-derivatives I watched as the grounds crew fired up some lawn mowers. After a few minutes the smell of freshly cut grass wafted under my nose and I was overcome with the urge to leap from the window and take over the mowing job. I pictured myself whistling happily as I spent the rest of the day cutting a swath across acres of academic quad.