Letter to the editor: Siegel running for Lt. Gov for the right reasons

What does Vermont want from its Lieutenant Governor?

We all know the Vermont’s Lt. Governor job is pretty easy. Presides over the Senate, only votes on ties, sits on the Committee for Committee, get $62k per year with benefits.

Our past Lt. Governor, now Gov. Scott, gave us all a tutorial on how to lever that position into a bonanza of media exposure for his next political goal: Governor!

So why do we have four very different candidates for that position?

Tim Ashe is giving up his very powerful Senate Pro Tem position! Why? He was not very successful, even with a super majority, in getting a livable minimum wage passed, or getting paid family leave passed and played a significant role in killing the Universal Primary Care bill. Does he see this move as a cushy, paid role to get more exposure for a run for some higher office? I can think of three he might want. Is that a good enough reason to vote for him?

Molly Gray is a fresh new face. From what I can tell has had no public service experience, local school board, JP, Lister, town board or even any attempt for election for local legislator. Just straight to Lt. Governor. Talk about unvarnished ambition. Her resume sparkles with accomplishment, well managed, checking off many boxes. The elite Democratic establishment loves her, has provided her with a lot of money, very slick ads (are they made in VT?).

She says the right things, but debates show her understanding of Vermont issues is shallow, which is not a surprise with all the other things she has done out of state. Do we want to give her a paid platform for a run for Senator Gray at this time?

Debbie Ingram has a long history of public service. Knows the ins and outs of the legislature. She has been effective in accomplishing good legislation. So why step back away from accomplishment to a more ceremonial role? I don’t know. The money, does she also think this is a stepping stone?

Brenda Siegel has been a strident voice for the 30 or 40% (over 200,000) Vermonters who are struggling and often forgotten. The ones who would benefit from a livable wage, paid family leave, Universal Primary Care, etc. These working Vermonters are the people who don’t really have time for politics, money for donations, they don’t have time for much except working to keep their families afloat. These are the people we called Covid heroes a couple of month ago in the crisis, keeping the grocery stores open, driving trucks, doing the basic jobs of elder care, keeping our hospitals clean and functioning, and all those other necessary services. We seem to have forgotten these people now. They still have their same problems … little more has been done.

Brenda will use the Lt. Governor position to be a strong spokesperson for these hard-working Vermonters. She has been tireless in doing this in the past with essentially no money. Just think how much more effective she can be with the Lt. Governor bully pulpit. She is just what we need to give voice to so many Vermonters and keep the rest of us honest in truly honoring the heroes we thanked such a short time ago.

Let’s be the quirky Vermonters we think we are and support Brenda to help working Vermonters and not people who see the Lt. Governor job as a personal stepping stone.

Bob Zeliff

Bridport

 

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100