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Forum, Aug. 4: Seek the Good in Politics; Reveal the Bad About the Clintons

Published: 8/3/2016 10:00:04 PM
Modified: 8/3/2016 10:00:10 PM

Seeking the Good in Politics

I don’t know about you, but I am glad the conventions are over. I am stepping back from all the noise and darkness to try to make sense of our special and curious nation at this moment.

One under-reported event that is resonating with me began quietly on day two of the Democratic gathering in Philadelphia, when I noticed folks in the New York delegation waving signs that said “Do the Most Good.” What was this about? For one thing, the message for me echoed the Quaker alarms in 1846 to one another and to non-Quakers in England and America during the first harsh winter of the Great Irish Famine (1845-1852). Quakers in Dublin sent urgent pleas for humanitarian aid: “Do the largest amount of good,” they implored. On day three in Philadelphia, Tim Kaine repeated the New Yorkers’ message: “Hilary and I share this belief: Do all the good you can.” But it was on Thursday night during Hilary Clinton’s acceptance speech that we heard the longer phrase and began to understand its importance. Her late mother, Clinton said, “made sure I learned the words of our Methodist faith: ‘Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.’ ” Might this be the transformative lesson from this political season?

Jack Shepherd


What Have the Clintons Sacrificed?

Donald Trump blew an opportunity when asked by Khizr Kahn at the Democratic National Convention what he had ever sacrificed for his country. Trump should have responded by asking Kahn what the Clintons have ever sacrificed. He could have pointed out that Bill dodged the draft in his youth, and that both Clintons, in fact, have taken advantage of every public office they have held to amass a personal fortune. That would have knocked it out of the park!

Jeff Lehmann

Lyme Center

Briglin Is Effective Representative

In his first term as a state representative, Tim Briglin has drawn on a wealth of experience to become an effective leader in the House for the towns of Norwich, Thetford, Sharon and Strafford. Briglin’s background in business, public policy, community service and politics has served our four towns well. As a member of the Health Care Committee, Briglin has developed expertise in the area of health care policy; his focus on Act 46 and education policy has been of great benefit to me as a Norwich School Board member. When our four towns entered into discussions to understand what we might be able to do to address the requirements of Act 46, Briglin attended every one of our committee’s meetings (many during the busiest times of the legislative session) to keep members apprised of how we might work within the law. He helped — and continues to help — our boards navigate the challenges and opportunities inherent in Act 46 and other education-related matters. On Tuesday, Aug. 9, citizens of our towns will go to the polls to choose two state representatives in the Democratic primary. Please join me in voting to re-elect Tim Briglin.

Tom Candon


Check Record on Spending

Hartford voters will go to the polls shortly not knowing how their representatives have voted on tax increases. This newspaper could provide a valuable service by printing a weekly roll call so we have some idea of what is brewing in Montpelier.

For example, Rep. Gabrielle Lucke, D-Hartford, voted for $37 million in new miscellaneous taxes (H. 873), voted for $11 million in motor vehicle fee increases (H.877) and voted for $7.9 million in property tax increases.

I believe Democrats are looking forward to majority control in the Statehouse so they can vote for a carbon tax that would add an additional 89 cents per gallon at the pumps plus additional taxes on home heating fuel and propane.

Rep. Lucke will be under pressure to vote for the carbon tax. Can Hartford voters afford to re-elect her with such a bad voting record?

Dan Hillard


The writer is Republican Party chairman in Hartford.

Get Vermont Back on Track

In the primary elections on Tuesday, Aug. 9, I plan to vote for Bruce Lisman for the Republican nomination for governor, and I urge you to do likewise.

For too many years, Vermont has lived beyond its means and Vermonters have suffered with higher taxes, a stagnant economy, a rising cost of education with a diminishing student population, and the flight of our young and brightest to states offering higher-paying jobs. Overregulation has hurt small business.

Bruce Lisman will reverse this, for he is a beholden to no one. Born, raised and educated in Vermont, Bruce went from a highly successful employer of 2,500 to philanthropist to public servant. He served on the board of trustees at UVM for eight years, two as president. Now he wants to use these talents to get Vermont back on track.

He plans to limit spending increases to 2 percent per year to avoid costly tax increases. He will shut down the failed health care exchange, secure personal files, transition to the federal exchange and, most importantly, offer insurance options and choices. He recognizes Act 46 must be repealed to return control of our schools to parents, school boards and towns. He will enact long-overdue ethics standards, and attract quality jobs to retain our young people.

While Bruce Lisman’s agenda is lofty and challenging, it would move Vermont to a brighter and more prosperous future. As governor he can get this done. For these reasons, I will vote for Bruce in the primary and support him in November.

Jim Bulmer


Kimbell Is a Pragmatic Leader

I am supporting Charlie Kimbell in the Democratic primary to represent Woodstock, Reading and Plymouth. While I encourage others to do the same, I don’t recommend going running with Charlie (he does not understanding the meaning of “fun run”).

Kimbell is a pragmatic, intelligent leader who is willing to consider all sides of an argument before making a decision. He supports restorative justice and alternatives to incarceration that produce better outcomes for the community and reduce the caseload for our strained judicial system. Kimbell has dedicated himself to our community through his involvement with the Covered Bridges Half Marathon, the Road to the Pogue, as a village trustee and as president of the Economic Development Commission, to name just a few. Kimbell’s three children graduated from WUHS and his spouse is a small business owner in Woodstock. In this time of heightened partisan rancor, Kimbell has just the right temperament for the job. I urge voters to support Charlie Kimbell in the Democratic primary for state representative on Tuesday, Aug. 9.

Bobby Sand


Masland Gets Things Done

I’ve often heard veteran legislators say about Vermont that “It’s remarkable how much you can get done if you don’t care about getting credit for it.” Jim Masland lives by that maxim, so I’d like to highlight some of his quiet, effective hard work to make rural communities economically sustainable.

Masland helped form ECFiber as a community- owned nonprofit because he understood that every Vermont home, no matter how rural, needs a full-speed reliable internet connection to participate in the modern economy. As Thetford’s delegate and an executive committee member since 2008, he has kept us on track and on task, building the fiber-optic infrastructure that is essential to attract, support and retain entrepreneurs and young families alike.

Last month, ECFiber started the engineering work to build 250 new road-miles of fiber in 2017, including essentially all of Thetford and Strafford, plus four other towns. That work is funded by $9 million in revenue bonds issued this April after reorganizing as a Communications Union District under last year’s Act 41. Masland sponsored that legislation, persuaded his House colleagues to support it, and worked with Sen. Mark MacDonald to do the same in the Senate. Our progress is a direct result of Masland’s leadership.

That’s why in the Tuesday, Aug. 9 primary I’ll be voting for Jim Masland to represent Norwich, Sharon, Thetford and Strafford once again in the Vermont House.

Irv Thomae


Dunne Has the Right Experience

This year, one candidate, Matt Dunne, stands out in the campaign for governor. Dunne is a former state senator from Windsor County with private and public sector experience at high levels. Dunne was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as the national director of Americorps VISTA, where he demonstrated not only his ability to administer a budget and lead an organization, but also his commitment to social and economic justice.

Dunne also has worked in the private sector as the national community outreach coordinator for Google. The company sufficiently valued his leadership in corporate involvement in local communities that it allowed Dunne to work from his Vermont home. Dunne knows the importance of corporate responsibility in an age of corporate greed. He has the contacts in the private sector to deliver on his commitment to bring jobs to Vermont that will sustain our citizens and our state economy. Dunne is the only candidate with the depth of experience and proven success in the private, public and nonprofit sectors to defeat the Republican candidate in the fall. Please give him your vote in the Democratic primary on Tuesday, Aug. 9.

Scott McGee




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