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



Your take on the forum

If you were a slacker and didn't listen live to the Democratic gubernatorial candidates at environmental forum tonight, you can still watch it at www.burlingtonfrreepress.com.

Do tell, what did you see/hear that either impressed or turned you off?

- Terri Hallenbeck


I am an independent and I watched the whole thing. Afterwords I felt like I was the most likely to vote for Deb Markowitz.
I didn't know anything about Bartlett, but now I am impressed by her experience & grasp of the issues. She's less bombastic and ditzy than the other four.
It really was about as exciting as watching paint dry. Shumlin seemed to be the most uninteresting.
Deb Markowitz made lots of good points but where was Pollina? He should be running.
Bartlett was really good.
I'd have to say Bartlett seemed to have the best performance.
This is a sad atate of affairs. Each of these characters have been around way too long and a contributor to the mess the State is in today.

Facing a $100 million budget gap next year, why would we give any one of these guys more responsiblity. We need a fresh, outside face ?ith some new thoughts.

Vote for none of the above.
After watching it on my computer I would think it is going to be hard for me to choose one of them - they are all saying the same thing.
Way too early for a campaign
It is way too early - I am sick of it already.
All these candidates have been in the mix far too long and contributed too much already to the financial mess the State is in. Yet each has the nerve to ask us to give them even more responsibility.

Why do you think that the same old crowd is (a) going to sound different one versus the other or (b) offer insight on how to right the ship now that we have wrecklessly overspent our way to an expected $100 million budget shortfall before the 'gifts' Congress will be sending our way if their health care reform passes.

They all sounded the same. None offer a solution just more talk.

Vote for none of the above.

Captain America
"they are all saying the same thing."

Of course they're all saying the same thing -- exactly what their audience (the League of Conservation Voters) wants to hear. This wasn't a "debate." This was a environmentalist love-fest.
It's not too easy for a campaign.

Racine: Same old and same old. He said the same thing over and over again.

Dunne: All rhetoric and no substance. He should be running for Lt. Governor.

Shumlin: Certainly, the strongest performance of the lot. Showed knowledge and understanding.

Bartlett: A very strong performance. Very knowledagble and seemed to get it.

Markowitz: She somewhat rambled and didn't really nail down any policy positions.

-- My Take is that Bartlett and Shumlin won this forum hands down. Dunne has an ego the size of Vermont's property tax burden and used rhetoric as prudence for him being in the race. Racine was seriously just rehashing everything he was saying. I wasn't too happy with Markowitz' performance although she has won statewide before.
Hey Captain America...

I guess that you also oppose Dubie since he is been in office during this whole mess as well?

Throw all the bums out. It's time for some new blood that understands the meaning of fiscal restraint, the value of small government and the fact that we all need to take personal responsibility for our lives. The thing that made us a great country was our love of independence and individual liberty. It's a sad state of affairs when you are ready to allow government to increasingly regulate what you do, when you can do it and then tax you for it.

We need to get back to a legislature that exercises common sense and understands they are there to serve the people, not dicate to the people.

Captain America
GOP ops must be salivating at the thought of Shumlin being the candidate. You can run from past indiscretions but you can't hide.
What past indiscretions?
I wish Jeb Spaulding was running. We need a Democrat, but one with fiscal discipline. I'll be trying find the candidate who seems the least like a typical tax and spend Vermont Democrat.
I know right, if we had Republicans in office in Vermont all this time we would only be in a $90 million deficit due to the national economic collapse!!

Please people, at least be honest about why we are where we are. You may not like the spending programs that D's and P's have supported but give it a rest with the nonsense that somehow that's why we are in a budget deficit.
The Democrats have been in charge of the state budget for the last 4 years - give credit where credit is due.
".....You may not like the spending programs that D's and P's have supported but give it a rest with the nonsense that somehow that's why we are in a budget deficit."

Finance 101
Rule 1: If you can't afford it, don't spend it.

Rule 2: If you really need to spend it and don't have the money for it, cut spending on something you need less.

Pollina for Governor
Zuckermann for Lt. Gov.
RE:Finance 101
Rule 1: If you can't afford it, don't spend it.

Rule 2: If you really need to spend it and don't have the money for it, cut spending on something you need less.


Are you saying Duh! to yourself since you clearly have reading comprehension issues?

1. The state is not nor is any gov't like a household. Just ask Henry Kissinger if you don't like a liberal saying so, you can turn to your trusted conservative hacks for the same advice.

2. It was corrupt capitalism that played a major role in the NATIONAL financial collapse which in turn caused ALL, that's REPUBLICAN and DEMOCRATICALLY controlled states to have a financial melt down.

If you care to deal in the truth at all, you should recognize and admit that the state of Vermont's financial mess is NOTHING compared to states that were lead by Republicans and NOTHING compared to other states lead by Democrats. My guess is that you aren't interested in the TRUTH just your partisan politics.

The fact that you and others like you continue to use a NATIONAL financial crisis as an indicator that somehow VT leaders failed us is just idiotic.

Oh, I don't know, maybe I need to rethink that last statement. Maybe, just maybe, the 48th smallest economy in the country really can dictate what happens to the national economy.

Talk about Duh! You are the epitome of "DUH!"
Tell me the size of the State's unfunded liabilities and its plan to meet the obligations it has committed to.

Oops, that's right there isn't one. Isn't that their job? Oh yeah, it is. Now how well have they managed the State's affairs?

Pollina should run, It is a good alternative. He did come in second last time and Douglas is not running.
With the exception of this year - and that is only for political grandstanding - GOP Gov Douglas has signed every one of those previous budgets.

Furthermore, he submits a budget plan to teh legislature and then teh legislature responds to it - with fiscal updates before revising.
Pollina is a joke - he is done!

It's time for Pollina to step aside and let people who can be elected run!

Pollina's ego is bigger than anyone in the state of vt!
The state decides (the legislature) how to respond to financial crisis. The fact that they did not is just plain sad.
The biggest egos are already running
Deb Markowitz did well and will be a great campaigner.
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