I’m responding to a column by Louise McCarren, the new head of Campaign for Vermont (CFV) in the May 6 Banner (Vermonters protecting their roots).
Unfortunately, McCarren continues CFV’s practice of speaking only in terms of general goals that absolutely everyone endorses, particularly "a stronger, more economically sustainable Vermont." I’d love that, too. Just as I would love to decrease crime and increase prosperity and defeat poverty.
But what does a "more economically sustainable Vermont" mean to CFV? How does CFV think we can get there? You won’t find that in the McCarren column. In fact, more than half of that column is taken up with a history of CFV’s founder and McCarren’s predecessor as head of CFV, Bruce Lisman. He certainly has been successful in the world of finance. He certainly did come back to Vermont. Other than that ... what is the point of this recitation? And isn’t it odd that the new head of CFV introduces herself by focusing on the old head of CFV?
McCarren says that "CFV is not about party politics or labeling who its members are." Whether she wants to talk about it or not, there’s an awfully strong connection between the leadership of CFV and the Republican Party. Among CFV’s 12 board members are a few who I believe have sought election to, or served in, the Vermont legislature as Republicans, including McCarren, who I believe was a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor; one who worked on Republican Jim Jeffords’s campaign; and a couple who were Democrats for Brian Dubie in Republican Dubie’s run for the governorship.
According to the organization Open Secrets, Mr. Lisman contributed $10,000 to the Vermont Republican Federal Elections Committee in January of 2014.
Add in the fact that opposition to Vermont’s healthcare reform efforts is one of the few concrete positions that CFV has ever taken, and it’s easy to see why so many people suspect that CFV is free market Republicanism in sheep’s clothing.
If this is untrue, CFV can easily set the record straight by telling all of us in Vermont what it supports in specific enough terms for individual Vermonters to know if they want to support CFV.
Response to Joyce Davis
Joyce Davis writes in her letter that smoking pot causes "increased crime, increased drug trafficking, increased substance abuse" and a host of other medical problems. Since pot is illegal to possess it logically follows that having it causes increased crime and, since it is considered a drug, causes increased drug use. Whether this is drug abuse is the debate at hand.
The drug trafficking part is also due to the illegal issue. Therefore, to resolve some of Ms. Davis’ issues: Make pot legal. That would resolve most of her issues. The rest are really subjective and not based on fact. Is Ms. Davis in favor of bringing back prohibition? Alcohol causes much more harm then pot.
Ms. Davis’ statements about pot causing medical problems are out of context to the facts. Is she in favor of people having synthetic pot or THC instead of smoking it? It sounds that way, as she is no doubt against smoking tobacco. By the way, what does this have to do with the environmental prevention which she claims to be co/chair of in N.Y.? Does pot cause pollution or is Ms. Davis sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong? Now that’s really pollution of the worst and most dangerous kind!