Forum, May 20: Patricia Preston for Vt. lieutenant governor

Published: 5/21/2022 11:30:16 AM
Modified: 5/21/2022 11:29:58 AM
Patricia Preston for Vt. lieutenant governor

I recently watched the Windsor County Democrats’ candidate forum for lieutenant governor. I came away incredibly impressed by Patricia Preston. As I looked more into Ms. Preston’s qualifications for the role, I liked what I found.

She does not come from a political background, which makes her story and views very intriguing. A native of Randolph Center and a graduate of the University of Vermont, Patricia has been the president and CEO of the Vermont Council on World Affairs. The Council is a non-partisan organization that brings international leaders together with Vermonters to help solve some of the Green Mountain State’s most pressing issues.

In this toxic political environment, Ms. Preston struck me as a consensus builder — someone who would work with the governor and legislature, no matter the party affiliation. Her views on problems like climate change, affordable housing and rising consumer costs are seen through the lens of what is best for Vermonters, not political expediency. This mentality is needed in Montpelier.

With proud enthusiasm, I support Patricia Preston as the democratic candidate for Vermont lieutenant governor.

Joe Major

White River Junction

Free State Project doesn’t end with Croydon

What a disrupting scenario for the Free State Project (FSP) to have two of their members in Croydon elevated to leadership positions in the community: Ian Underwood as a member of the selectboard and Judy Underwood as chair of the school board. Further investigation, I’m sure, would reveal that there are MANY other FSP members who have quietly insinuated themselves into other New Hampshire communities as local leaders (their plans all along). This definitely bears following up to make sure there are not similar efforts underway at the local level as there are at the state level, where some of the FSP members’ other secessionist and public undermining efforts have either been beaten back or borne fruit.

The message sent to Croydon residents by Leslie S. MacGregor’s May 14 letter (“Croydon’s successful stand against Free Staters”) should be taken to heart and evaluated by voters in all other New Hampshire towns! The FSP’s goals and objectives should be rejected by every New Hampshire community that cares about the inclusive meanings of the words “community” and “democracy.”

Herb Moyer


Difference between protests and violence

In response to a reader who claims that “Democrats ... are beginning a campaign of intimidation and violence aimed directly at the U.S. Supreme Court and its judges” (“Article glosses over Democrats’ failings,” May 14), let me remind you that Democrats were not the ones storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, threatening the safety of elected members of Congress. In a democracy, protesting with signs is an appropriate response to a decision one doesn’t like. Breaking into a government building and going on a rampage is not.

Americans against Americans is not what we want as a nation. This is America, the greatest nation on earth. We have the right to vote for who we want, and we have to accept the outcome and move on. We can protest peacefully, but we can’t let this country fall apart.

Mark Fields


Religious organizations should be scrutinized equally

Steve Nelson’s May 1 opinion piece, “Bremerton doesn’t stand a chance in court,” revisits much familiar territory in the debate over the “separation of church and state” issue that purports to be about the establishment and free exercise clauses of the First Amendment. The case argued before the High Court involves a Washington State football coach fired for silently praying on the 50-yard line at the conclusion of each game, win or lose. No one yet knows how the Court will rule on this issue, although the draft opinion will undoubtedly be leaked. Nelson frames the issue as the “tyranny of the majority” because the majority of Americans supposedly identify as “Christian.” To this I reply that the percentage of “nones,” currently at around 30%, is steadily climbing, and the majority of those professing Christianity would probably lack enough evidence to be convicted if tried for their faith.

I doubt there would have been raised eyebrows if a high school, college or professional athlete had decided to take a knee on the 50-yard line to promote racial or social justice or to protest climate change, all of which have achieved quasi-religious status in America. Certainly public schools and local governments enthusiastically promote Black Lives Matter. BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors called it “triggering” that 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations must annually file IRS Form 990, which identifies how funds raised are spent. In Cullors’ case, Washington State took exception to part of $60 million raised being spent on a $6 million mansion.

What needs to happen is the filters need to be revised. Currently they single out theistic religions such as Christianity and Judaism, while unconventional, non-theistic religions slip through the cracks. The Freedom From Religion Foundation selectively goes after traditional religions with cease-and-desist letters while others more often than not are untouched. Clearly the playing field needs to be leveled so all religions in America, especially “stealth” ones, undergo similar scrutiny.

William A. Wittik


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