Letter to the editor: Independents stand for what?

Recently two well-known Democrats used this space to endorse the two independents running for the Vermont State Senate from Addison County. It would be a mistake for voters to assume in any way that this means Audet and Ralston are running on a progressive, forward-looking platform.
In fact, when politicians run without party label it is hard to know just what they do stand for. And Audet and Ralston’s advertising does not help much. Their ads are full of feel-good rhetoric and criticism of the political process, but they don’t have much in the way of constructive policy initiatives. We are left to guess what they would do if elected.
One broad hint is that their campaign has been embraced by our Republican governor, Phil Scott, who hosted an elaborate fundraiser in Middlebury on their behalf.
This is the same governor who twice vetoed a state budget that had overwhelming legislative support, even from many of his fellow Republicans. It is the same governor who vetoed at least 10 other bills, including ones that would have increased the minimum wage, protected children from toxic chemicals, countered systemic racism, and regulated toxic substances and hazardous materials.
Do Audet and Ralston agree with these damaging vetoes? Aren’t Addison County citizens looking for positive policy initiatives, not just a series of vetoes, from their elected representatives?
I am sticking with our excellent Democratic ticket. I will be voting for Senator Chris Bray and Ruth Hardy.
Spence Putnam

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