Opinion: Some lawmakers avoid firearms, carbon tax issues

I recently contacted all Addison 3 (Vergennes area) House candidates as well as Addison County Senatorial candidates to ask them whether or not they would support the proposed carbon tax, which would add 88¢ to every gallon of gasoline, $1.02 to heating oil, etc. I also asked for their positions regarding expanded background checks for gun purchases, a policy which has also received considerable attention for several years, and especially recently as the gubernatorial candidate of the Democrat party has made it her number one policy priority issue if elected.
Republicans Thurston, Van Wyck (House) and Peter Briggs (Senate) all responded promptly with a resounding no to both. Meanwhile Republican Lynn Dike, and Democrats Diane Lanpher, Fritz Langrock, and Chris Bray did not respond to any of the questions, But Sen. Ayer did. Ayer’s response to me by email was, “I have not seen either of the proposals you mention. Without taking testimony on all sides of an issue, I cannot commit to action one way or another. To do so, would circumvent the legislative process.”
In short, what a crock. Does she really expect anyone to believe that as a prominent senator she has not been privy to the arguments of VPIRG and GunSense Vermont on one side, and the Fuel Dealers Association and Gun Owners of Vermont on the other. Has she not read any of the countless articles written on these topics in state and local news sources? The House has been taking testimony on the carbon tax for two years, and her Addison County Senate seat mate is Chris Bray, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee. Have the two really not broached this subject of a carbon tax at some point to discuss how it might impact their constituents?
If Senator Ayer and every other candidate for House and Senate is not willing to be honest about their positions, they have no business representing us in the Statehouse. I hope other constituents will contact not just Sen. Ayer but all of our representatives, senators and challengers and press them for answers on where they stand on issues that are important to us. They want to represent us. We deserve straight answers, or they don’t deserve our vote.
Ivan St. George, Vergennes

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