Next Tuesday is one of the most important primary elections in Vermont’s recent history. Of the six state offices, four have competitive races. Five Democrats are vying for the right to confront Republican Brian Dubie in gubernatorial race. Two Democrats and two Republicans are in a party run-off in the lieutenant governor’s race and the secretary of state race; two Democrats are vying for the state auditor of accounts position to confront Republican incumbent Tom Salmon. Add to that a competitive three-way race among Republicans for the congressional seat held by Democrat incumbent Rep.
What do the times require?
What critical crossroads loom that Vermont must not miss in the upcoming decade?
Which gubernatorial candidate will best be able to meet the demands required to lead the state forward?
The District Environmental Commission’s quick denial of an Act 250 permit for the proposed Lathrop gravel pit near downtown Bristol laid out the basic issues in clear detail, but seemingly with the assumption that an appeal was likely. That’s just being smart. Appeals often follow on the heels of such a significant denial. After all, the applicants have been battling with citizen-opponents for going on seven years, and it’s hard for the losing side to simply admit all that effort was for naught.
In Vermont’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, the challenge voters face is two-fold: determining which candidate can best fulfill one’s own political priorities and goals, and determining which candidate has the best chance of beating Republican Brian Dubie.
With Vermont’s Aug. 24 primary coming into sharper focus, it’s interesting to observe the public’s reluctance to change.
As Vermont candidates face questions about how to grow our local economy, in Washington the consequences of Bush-era policies — particularly the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, and the rapid escalation in defense spending — are coming home to roost, making it all the more likely that Washington can no longer provide additional stimulus to jumpstart the economy, putting more of an onus on states to provide visionary and bold visions of their own.
President Obama and congressional Democrats passed an extension of unemployment benefits over the objections of Congressional Republicans with a 60-40 vote in the U.S. Senate. On the surface, the battle was about how (not whether) to approve the unemployment benefits: Republicans said they wanted to pay for the expense upfront to avoid adding to the deficit; Democrats said not only would an extension help a struggling national economy, but that it was simply the right thing to do.
House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, met with business leaders in the Capitol last Friday and issued this warning to the nation: Until businesses and wealthy individuals know if the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 will be allowed to expire or be extended, they won’t invest in new jobs.