Friday November 2, 2012

Support for Pearce, Gekas, Shumlin, etc.

Editor of the Reformer:

Beth Pearce was appointed to the office of Treasurer by Peter Shumlin during this past term, and is running a spirited campaign for the office despite the fact that she has not done so before. I had a chance to meet Beth during Brattleboro’s August Gallery Walk. I sit on Brattleboro’s Finance Committee, and so I took the opportunity to ask Beth many pertinent questions about public sector finance and indebtedness. She impressed me with her knowledge and command of the facts, and also with her high principles. I understand that Peter could have appointed any number of other qualified individuals to this position, but chose Beth because of her superlative expertise and deep principles. The governor made the right choice, and it is up to us to ratify his choice by electing Beth Pearce as Vermont state treasurer.

I am also very impressed with Cassandra Gekas, the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor. Cass is a veteran of many activist campaigns, but this is also her first run for public office. Cass’ dedication on health care issues for Vermonters is unmatched, and she is also strong on renewable energy and other excellent causes and issues. Cass is a brilliant woman, very well-spoken and charismatic, and I trust enough of us will see that to vote her into the lieutenant governor’s position.

Peter Shumlin has done an excellent job as governor, and he deserves a second term. Peter stood by us during the disaster and duress of Irene and has helped keep Vermont’s economy resilient and recession-resistant. I worked briefly for one of his projects, administered through the Agency of Public Service, which helped assess the need for broadband internet service in many parts of Vermont. Peter is committed to extending broadband service to all of Vermont and has made significant strides in that direction. We can count on Peter to serve us as governor with great vision and foresight.

I will be voting for Peter Welch and Bernie Sanders. Bernie in particular has brought great accolades upon himself for being willing to say things about how the government is run that no one else dares utter. He is our number one bastion against corporatism and the rule of the 1 percent, and the whole country knows it.

Last but not least, Barack Obama richly deserves a second term in the presidency. His tenure in that office is revolutionary, and has brought an historic tide of healing, washing over this country like a cresting ocean wave. He has taken us out of the expensive and unnecessary war in Iraq, and during his second term, he will get us out of Afghanistan. It will take nothing less than Barack’s two terms, plus probably decades of additional reconciliation, before we recover from his predecessor’s mis-steps. Give Obama the chance to stand before us for another four years; once he is retired from the presidency, I am sure he will have unprecedented impact as an elder statesman for peace and international understanding.

John Wilmerding,

Brattleboro, Oct. 19

Support for Dunbar

Editor of the Reformer:

I’m writing this letter urging voters in the mountain towns to vote for Emmett Dunbar for state representative.

Emmett is thoughtful and dedicated in all that he pursues, and his enthusiasm and energy is sorely needed in this district as we move toward a difficult future. Emmett’s involvement in the community is extensive. His interests in agriculture and education, energy and health will be needed in Montpelier as we face the need for new solutions in all of those problematic areas.

Vermont’s movement toward sourcing food and energy locally is a trend that will become increasingly important as source of jobs in the years ahead, and will contribute to a sustainable economy in a climate and energy challenged world. Emmett understands this better than most. Similarly , Emmett will be a valuable voice in Vermont’s movement toward a more equitable health care system. Progress in all of these areas will demand an ongoing commitment to high quality education as well and Emmett understands this also.

We cannot afford to continue on the agriculture, energy and health care paths which favor the status quo. We need new solutions, and Emmett is the best candidate to help us find them.

Please vote for Emmett Dunbar for state representative on Nov. 6.

Rob Macgregor,

Londonderry, Oct. 27

Support for Illuzzi

Editor of the Reformer:

There should be broad based support for Sen. Vince Illuzzi, who is running for State Auditor, a position requiring "a no-nonsense numbers guy," who can conduct a "thorough and clear analysis of economic issues."

Vince Illuzzi’s service crosses partisan lines. In his 32 years in the Vermont Senate he has received the Democratic nomination in the 1998, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008 and 2010 elections from write in votes on the Democratic Party primary ballot.

On WPTZ on Oct. 23 Vince said: "My career has been marked with independence regardless of who the Governor is; regardless of who is in political power." This year, Vince pushed back on the administration in an attempt get CVPS ratepayers their $21 million refund in connection with the CVPS/GMP/Gaz Metro merger. He successfully sought public representation on VELCO, the state’s electric transmission grid, now controlled by Gaz Metro.

In 2002 and 2003, he led the effort to purchase the hydrodams on the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers.

On Oct. 16 Seven Days columnist Paul Heintz observed: "Illuzzi ... staked out a role in the Senate as a champion of the working class and has received backing from all but one major labor union in his race for auditor." In another Seven Days article on October 17, Illuzzi said, "I have supported seniors, the disabled, the homeless and the working people of this state . . . . ‘I can’t support someone who doesn’t support them."

Sen. Illuzzi did not "vote .. against health care reform." He opposed three aspects of the health care exchange in 2011 and made clear he did not oppose the single payer study. The bill he co-sponsored with the assistant Democratic leader of the Senate contained provisions to address issues with the exchange; Gov. Shumlin this year agreed to two out of three of those provisions.

It has been stated that Vince would continue in his position as Essex Co. State’s Attorney while serving as Auditor. The sole state’s attorney without deputies in a rural area, he is responsible for seeing cases through to their appropriate resolution. On the WCAX program "You Can Quote Me" he explained he would transition out of the office due to pending complex cases. The transition would be a subject of discussion with Gov. Shumlin. Those who know Vince know that he would give his all to the job.

Vince received endorsements from major labor unions in the state. He has been endorsed by the Vermont NEA (Teachers), Vermont State Employees (VSEA), Vermont Professional Firefighters, Vermont Troopers Association and Teamsters Local 597 (UPS drivers).

He is endorsed by the Vermont Working Families Party.

Vince was also named Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility Legislator of the Year in 2010.

The race for State Auditor is about demonstrated independence and conviction -- and if the candidates are judged on those issues, Vince should win. We ask for your vote for Vince Illuzzi for State Auditor.

Kate Anderson,

Cynthia Baldwin,

Dan Brush,

co-chair,

Vt. Working Families Party,

Joe Bushey,

Hilary Cooke,

Terry Martin,

Bob Oeser,

Daryl Pillsbury,

Dan Yates, Oct. 31

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Editor’s Note: With Election Day fast-approaching (Nov. 6), we are aware that many letters in support of a candidate or from candidates will be sent to us. We will run as many as space allows before the election. Please note that support letters will not run after the Nov. 3-4 Weekend Reformer publishes.