Saturday November 3, 2012

Leave polling
in the booth

Editor of the Reformer:

The only thing that really counts in an election is when each person is guaranteed the right to vote. When eligible voters cast their votes, the end result should be vox populi, the people have spoken.

However, long before voters get to voice their choice they are robbed of the chance to vote impartially by a blitz of media polls. It isn’t that everyone is influenced by election polls. Some certainly vote independent-minded and many with their minds already long made-up.

Unquestionably, though, pre-election polls must have by their very nature a potential undue influence on voting patterns. Likewise, the more frequently poll results appear in the media increases the possibility of undue influence.

In one sense, you could say that the opinion takers, as it turns out, are also the opinion makers.

Is it possible that a steady stream of seesaw election polling could sway an uncomfortably significant margin of people by the time they ever get to cast their ballots?

While elections are about awareness and choice, polling should be left in the voting booth.

Vidda Crochetta,

Brattleboro, Nov. 1

Support for Goodwin

Editor of the Reformer:

With the election next week, voters in Jamaica, Londonderry, Stratton, Weston and Winhall will have a clear choice for state representative. In my mind, Tim Goodwin is the best candidate to be our next state representative. It really boils down to three factors: experience, knowledge of the issues, and a commitment to our community.

When it comes to being an effective representative, there is simply no substitute for relevant experience. Prior to my appointment to the House of Representatives, I had chaired my local selectboard and planning commission, and had previously served on other civic boards. From that experience, I learned the ins and outs of Vermont’s legal framework and system of governance, while developing skills that enabled me to bring people together on difficult issues. This experience proved critical to my success as your state representative, and it’s the kind of experience that will make Tim Goodwin equally effective as our next representative.

Tim isn’t one to shoot from the hip or speak off the cuff without having his facts straight. He is a thoughtful person who takes the time to study all sides of an issue, sticks to the facts, and endeavors to learn more about what he doesn’t know. This thoughtful and even-handed approach has earned Tim the support of more than half a dozen legislators from both sides of the aisle. In fact, Tim is the only candidate in this race with bi-partisan legislative support.

As someone who has been an active participant in civic affairs for many years, Tim has demonstrated his commitment to our community. Whether it was helping with the Irene recovery effort, lending his skills as a CPA to various non-profit organizations in the area, representing us on the regional planning commission, or working quietly and selflessly to help a neighbor in need, Tim has been there for us -- for over 30 years.

Let’s put Tim’s experience and skills to work for us in Montpelier. On Tuesday, Nov. 6, I would encourage you to cast your vote for Tim Goodwin.

Rep. Oliver Olsen,

Jamaica, Nov. 1

Support for Stein

Editor of the Reformer:

On Oct. 30, Dr. Jill Stein (MD) of the Green Party was scheduled to debate Libertarian Party candidate, former New Mexico Gary Johnson.

Readers can watch their debate at www.freeandequal.org .

As I write, Sandy the "Frankenstorm" bears down on us, and neither major party candidate nor their running mates has even mentioned the phrase "climate change," in any of their four debates.

I will vote for Dr. Stein as a write-in candidate for president, and urge readers to visit her website, jillstein.org .

Of all the critical issues facing our country, global warming is the most profound and urgent. The physical, chemical, climatological window in which we can act effectively is closing rapidly.

Our children, grandchildren and further descendants will have to deal with the consequences of our inaction, as the oceans rise, severe weather events worsen, and tropical diseases move northward.

If you have children or grandchildren, or hope to, vote for Dr. Jill Stein.

Because of the Electoral College of course, my vote for either of the major party candidates would be essentially meaningless. Vermont’s electoral votes have long ago been "accounted for" by the duopoly major parties.

By writing in Dr. Jill Stein, I at least get to vote based on my authentic hopes, and fears, for my children.

Bill Wood,

Brattleboro, Oct. 29

Support for Dunbar

Editor of the Reformer:

I welcome the good choice to endorse Emmett Dunbar for state representative.

I have come to know Emmett as thoughtful person with a very constructive history contributing to the continued positive evolution of the agricultural sector, a true bright spot in the Vermont economy both in his own business and his role creating farmers markets.

I am disturbed at his opponent’s apparent dismissal of climate change. This issue must figure prominently in public policy from now on, Emmett is clearly qualified to participate in the collaborative effort the legislature must continue to mitigate this and other problems.

Emmett has a strong grasp of other areas of importance including education policy and finance which are critically important.

I urge support for Emmett Dunbar for State State Representative and look forward to the opportunity to work with him.

Sen. Bob Hartwell,

Bennington Senatorial District, Oct. 25

FDR knew today’s Republicans

Editor of the Reformer:

In uncertain times, President Franklin D Roosevelt was the shepherd of a massive economic recovery, Social Security, Medicare and elevated worker and middle class rights. In the face of Republican obstruction, FDR knew what it was like to deal with Wall Street’s cynical Republican Party. Safe to say he has some credibility on the subject of Republican campaign propaganda as evidenced in one of his 1936 campaign speeches:

"Let me warn you and let me warn the Nation against the smooth evasion which says, ‘Of course we believe all these things: we believe in social security; we believe in work for the unemployed; we believe in saving homes. Cross our hearts and hope to die, we believe in all these things; but we do not like the way the present Administration is doing them. Just turn them over to us. We will do all of them -- we will do more of them we will do them better; and, most important of all, the doing of them will not cost anybody anything!’"

President Roosevelt spoke for most of us then, and his words speak to us now. Please, don’t be suckered by today’s Romney, Ryan and Company flim-flam.

Oh, and please remember what the last President Bush left us when you vote.

Jim Moulton,

Spofford, N.H., Oct. 30

On choosing
a president

Editor of the Reformer:

In response to Robert Page’s letter of Oct. 31, ("On Democratic millionaires"), please let me remind him that this is not an election about who has more fat cats in their party. This is an election for the president of the United States. One candidate has core values and that would be President Obama. The other candidate, Gov. Mitt Romney, is a man without principles running a campaign of lies and innuendos. Who would you rather have as your president?

Selma Schiffer,

Wilmington, Nov. 1

Combating
global warming

Editor of the Reformer:

The bold speech the president and his challenger never made:

My fellow Americans, I want to talk with you tonight about a significant danger facing our country. The incredible devastation caused by hurricanes Sandy, Irene and Katrina coupled with unprecedented drought in the Midwest, extreme wildfires in the West, record high land and ocean temperatures and the melting of the polar icecaps have convinced me beyond a shadow of doubt that global climate change is real and, further, that it is a clear and present danger to the social and economic well-being of the United States, our allies and all of the people on this small and wondrous planet. Therefore, I am announcing a bold initiative to combat catastrophic global climate change.

This initiative will be every bit as strong as the amazing mobilization of government, business and private citizens we witnessed in WWII. We will each have to do our part. As a first step I am convening a panel of the best minds in the country in government, the military, business, and in our great colleges and universities to outline a national mobilization plan to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere to 350 ppm, the level considered to be a "safe maximum" by most climate scientists. This panel will report back to me in six months with key legislative recommendations. I will then work tirelessly with the Congress to enact these recommendations into law by the end of the year. At the same time I will be working with the leaders of the nations of the world to craft a carbon treaty which respects the rights of all nations to develop within the carrying capacity of the planet. I will have this treaty ready for Senate ratification at the same time as they are considering our own national mobilization program so they know that the United States is not alone in this effort. These initiatives will be the primary focus of my (next/first) term in office. If Congress fails to act, they will be answerable to the American people for the devastation each region of the country is experiencing in different forms.

No doubt there will be personal sacrifice for each of us in this effort, just as our parents and grandparents sacrificed at home and on the front in WWII. In the end, however, this effort will create millions of new jobs, launch new technologies and establish a better standard of living for all while at the same time giving us a friendlier more habitable planet. I am certain that you, the American people, will rise to the challenge. Good night. God bless the United States of America and God bless this wondrous planet we all call home.

Greg Moschetti,

Dummerston, Oct. 30

Who will take the pledge?

Editor of the Reformer:

There is a new way to get the corporate corruption out of the control of a majority of members of Congress. It is remarkably simple: Voters should insist members of Congress agree with the Vermont Pledge: If elected to public office, neither I nor my staff will have a conflict of interest or a seeming conflict of interest with any for-profit corporation or their representatives starting when a majority of members of Congress agree with this pledge.

Who would be against this pledge? To prove to their constituents in order to get or stay in office, they should have to agree with it.

George Whitney,

Brattleboro, Nov. 2

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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 today’s Weekend Reformer publishes.