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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Pollina takes issue with Obama

On St. Patrick's Day, Gov. Jim Douglas will host one of five health care forums the Obama administration is holding around the country. Mind you, this was the Obama administration's idea, and they turned to their new best Republican friend, Jim Douglas.

So how is this going over among those who've never seen Douglas as much of a health-care reformist? Funny you should ask, because Anthony Pollina has some thoughts on that:

“The irony here is far too great to ignore.

While Vermonters are fighting to maintain health care services, even in hard times, Douglas is leading the charge to throw people off health care programs and raise costs for lower income and middle class working families. So, a health care summit convened by Douglas on behalf of Obama has to be seen as a farce by anyone who knows Douglas’ record on the issue.

The fact is, Vermonters have been sending their message of universal
health care to Jim Douglas for years and he has ignored it.

Vermonters have made it clear they believe health care is a right. Jim Douglas does not. Vermonters support real universal health care and a single-payer type system. Jim Douglas does not.

Obama wants to instill hope. Douglas turns his back on Vermonters in
need and ignores the solutions Vermonters support.

Sure, Obama wants to showcase Douglas as a Republican political ally and Douglas is more than eager to be seen with the popular Democratic president. But, when it comes to health care the charade just goes too far.

While we all appreciate Obama’s efforts to tackle this issue and appreciate efforts to be non-partisan, this summit can only be a farce if Jim Douglas is running the show.”

You can just picture the letters he and some others might be drafting:

Dear Barack:
Please stop being friends with Jim Douglas ... .

- Terri Hallenbeck

Tony -- you lost (again). You represent nobody. What you say has no impact on politics or policy.

Terri -- why do the media report on this guy? Clearly, Vermnters do not support him or his ideas.
Jim Douglas is great at speaking out of both sides of his mouth!

And now Dennise Casey as his spokesperson - the venom will fly!
Pollina who?
We all want Anthony to run for Governor again - lets go Pollina!!
Pollina has gotten so much more known around the state he would have a great chance if he ran for Governor in 2010.
Pollina is just trying to stay relevant and most Vermonters don't pay attention. This kind of rhetoric is designed for the consumption of the political/media classes.

This is the same message Pollina delivers on his radio show two days a week to his loyal audience of 20. Apparently, the grueling 4-day work week was proving too much for Pollina, so he cut back.

Douglas is just doing what any smart politician would do and using any opportunity he can to help the state -- and by extension himself.
Pollina can start giving advice to Obama when he gets elected to something himself-- which he never will.
Come on Pollina prove them wrong - run!
What a surprise that Terri would miss the point.
Who are you kidding - Pollina would have NO Chance in 2010!

He's had his opportunity - Doug Racine gives the Dems the best opportunity to beat Douglas - who by the way is not looking so good these days, and that's why he is cozying up to Obama with his hand out!
No problems with Pollina per se, but he may want to run for a lower office before taking over the top position in the state. Try running as a state rep or state senate, heck even try justice of the peace.

In order to be elected as a governor, VT-ers generally enjoy someone who knows the ins and outs of policy and knows how to legislate, not some guy who ran a milk company into the ground.
The only people who want Pollina to run are:
1) Progs - Namely Zuckerman
2) GOPers- Namely Douglas and Roper
Apparently there are others who agree with Pollina.

Noon Rally at March 17th Obama/Douglas Healthcare Reform Event

What: Healthcare Is A Human Right Rally at Obama Regional Forum on Health Reform
When: 12 Noon, Tuesday, March 17th
Where: Davis Center, University of Vermont, Burlington

Background: The Obama Administration has asked governors to host regional forums on health reform. On March 17th the 2nd of five such forums will take place at the Davis Center, UVM, hosted by Governor Douglas and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

The President has promised an open, transparent process, with all proposals considered. But we’re told by a Douglas spokesperson, “the session may have a limited guest list” and there’s no information about how to participate.

So the Healthcare is a Human Right campaign is joining with Vermont Health Care for All, Labor Campaign For Single Payer and others to organize a peaceful protest in front of the summit meeting at noon - hopefully in support of healthcare human rights activists inside the meeting. This is our opportunity to expose the Douglas administration’s attacks on the right to healthcare with his cuts to the state budget and demand healthcare is a human right.

We need to speak up now to ensure that our voice is heard. The stakes are too high to allow special interests to hijack a discussion whose outcome affects Vermonters lives and livelihoods. Millions are losing their healthcare, joining the 46 million already lacking coverage while even those with insurance struggle to pay their co-pays and deductibles (download “Voices of the Vermont Healthcare Crisis”) We call on Governor Douglas to give the right to healthcare the fair and open hearing that it deserves.

Let us know if you have questions and want to find ways to help build for this event. Call the VWC Burlington office at 861-2877 or email kate [at] workerscenter.org

See Times Argus article: Douglas in middle on health care
Join the Healthcare Is A Human Right Organizing Committee, work with people in your community to build a grassroots network to change what is politically possible for healthcare reform. Click here (http://www.workerscenter.org/node/37 ) to learn more about getting involved and pledging to help mobilize for major Statehouse rally at 12 noon, Friday, May 1, 2009.
I am not either on of those but I think he should run.
Earth to Pollina: you've run for high statewide office 4 times already. Once as a Dem in the 80s and three times as a Prog in the 2000s. You've been soundly rejected 4 times. We know you quite well already, and we don't want you. Get it now?
Unfortunately, Pollina's ego is in his way!
Let it go people. Anthony should be the Progresive candidate for Governor in 2010. The Democrats just cna't handle it.
Pollina for Governor in 2010
That is true - the Democrats just can't handle it.
Pollina needs to run in 2010 to hold up the banner for third party candidates - they need to be heard.
"Healthcare is a human right.." That's true in every developed country except Turkey, Mexico and ...the United States.
Anthony Pollina for Governor - 2010!
Oh, yeah - go anthony
We need that third party representation
Yeah, Anthony. I'm sure 5 times is a charm. Keep running til they have to pro you up!
Pollina - hold up that third party banner and run for Governor!
Yeah, like that nut on Church Street who holds up the sign that says "Nader Lives."

Go, Anthony, go.
Pollina 2010
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