Vitriol in Vermont politics
The news that candidate for state representative, Deserae Morin, received a vulgar, hate-filled letter saddled me, but did not surprised me. As someone who has ran for the same office, I can tell you these types of mean-spirited tactics have been brewing for decades in our community. While running during the Vermont civil union debate I was the target of hate speech to my face, threatening phone calls at my home, and at the polls, where protesters shouted profanities at myself and supporters. The protesters were so disruptive, they were removed by the justice of the peace. My wife was even told by a local dog groomer to bring our dog somewhere else, because I was a Republican. I can assure you our little dog was bipartisan and would have accepted treats from anyone.
Our state has felt the trickledown effect of political discord before the election of our current abrasive president. Since the 2016 election some Democrats and Progressives have refused to accept the results. Many have taken the cue from the leaders in their party to be on a mission of “in your face” personal attacks on Republicans in office or running for office. I realize slime politics can happen on both sides. During the 2016 election for the local House Rep. seat in which I was a Republican candidate someone wrote a letter to the editor in this paper. Even though the letter attacked Democrat Rep. Jim Condon on his voting record and wasn’t personal I was compelled to write a letter defending Jim (a friend and fellow legislator). Sure, I caught some flak from a few of my Republican friends, but it was the right thing to do.
Local and statewide Democrats, Republicans and Progressives should step up and denounce these sleazy threats and tactics when they occur within their party. As a community and nation we need to take a step back and understand that our own God-given morals should guide us back to a time of civility.
Joey A. Purvis
Former House Rep., Colchester
I am writing to support Curt Taylor’s re-election as Colchester’s Representative to the Vermont House for the following reasons:
Curt is a good listener. He solicits opinions from constituents and listens attentively. He thinks carefully before he speaks. He is committed to transparency, and through written and electronic media, provides regular and accurate information to his constituents about what is happening in Montpelier.
Curt is a diligent worker. He is not afraid to attack budget spreadsheets full of numbers or read lengthy committee reports to gain a solid understanding of a complex issue. As an example, he often visits the Joint Fiscal Office on days when the legislature is not in session to quiz the financial experts about the costs and benefits of specific proposals. It is easy to make broad statements about how one problem or another should be “fixed,” but determining what is feasible and best for the greatest number of people is usually complicated.
Curt truly cares about people’s welfare. He has knocked on many doors in Colchester over many campaign seasons, and he knows about the problems that his constituents face – the challenges of providing a safe environment and good education for our children, the scourge of opiate addiction, the difficulties of finding affordable housing and health care.
I may be a bit biased because I have been married to Curt for 38 years. However, I can attest that he is a person of integrity and commitment who will continue to work hard for the citizens of Colchester and of Vermont. Re-elect Curt Taylor!
Ruth “Dr. Ruth” Blauwiekel,
Austin has fresh set of eyes
A fresh set of eyes and an intelligent voice is sorely needed in our government at this time. I am encouraging the Colchester residents to consider voting for Sarita Austin who is running as a candidate for the Vermont State House of Representatives, District Chittenden-9-2.
I have had the pleasure of working with Sarita as a colleague in the Essex School District prior to her retirement. Sarita worked in the very difficult role of a middle school guidance counselor, tirelessly working to focus on students, their families and staff to navigate solutions to their problems. Issues that have motivated Sarita to run for office include working to maintain a responsible budget that helps Vermont students thrive from a great education, the quality of our waterways and lakes, helping to build a strong economic infrastructure, all while helping Vermonters throughout the state have a livable wage with manageable taxes.
I have the utmost confidence that Sarita will be a fresh and incredibly smart asset for Vermont, advocating for the things that residents of Colchester depend on to continue to live in this community. Sarita earned the respect of her colleagues and friends for continuously considering everybody’s perspectives and emerged as a leader to build consensus among people initially far apart on issues. I believe Sarita will work well with legislative members from various political parties to come together and help to continue to more our wonderful state forward.
Plain and simple, Sarita is known for her strong work ethic and her “no drama” approach to problems (a person who we are desperate for in government right now). Women are running in record numbers this year for government positions. Sarita is one of those women who can most effectively represent our community and bring the skills of consensus building to our Statehouse while tenaciously advocating for our community needs. Sarita does not need giant political signs littering our Colchester streets. What she offers is substance, intelligence and a level head when it comes to working in our government. It is time for a fresh look and a fresh voice coming from our community to the Vermont Legislature, and Sarita Austin is the person who is capable of this job. Take the time to read about her, or better yet contact her and have a conversation with her about what is important to you.
A vote for Curt
I met Rep. Curt Taylor about six years ago due to work he was doing on the town’s Governance Committee. He has consistently demonstrated his ability to work with other and put forth the effort needed to really understand issues of concern.
I’ve spoken with him about subjects as diverse as the state’s environmental policies, education funding, mushroom hunting and algebra. He has always shown a sincere interest in learning and a willingness to understand other perspectives and points of view. Because of that, he has done well representing the town of Colchester. I’m sure he will continue to do so.
Please re-elect Curt Taylor to the Vermont House of Representatives.
Lisa Liotta, Colchester
A fresh voice for Colchester
I am writing in enthusiastic support of Sarita Austin, who is running for the Vermont House of Representatives in Colchester District 9-2.
Sarita has always contributed to her community by serving on school boards, community/school safety committees, and as a volunteer EMT on the Williston Fire Department. She is currently a member of the Colchester Planning Commission.
Sarita thoughtfully supports economic growth, quality education for all students and preservation of our natural resources. She is not afraid to ask tough questions and to work diligently for answers. She cares deeply about our community and the issues facing everyday Vermonters. You may have met or seen Sarita already in your neighborhood, as she has made it a goal to meet as many voters as possible and hear firsthand about their concerns. She will listen, and work tirelessly to represent us with a new, fresh voice.
Please join me in supporting Sarita on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
I encourage everyone to go out and vote at Colchester High School on Election Day. If you haven’t registered yet, you can do it right at the high school when you go to vote. You can even vote before Election Day by visiting the town clerk’s office now during normal business hours.
Support Pat Brennan and Pam Loranger
Vermonters are at a precipice of selecting representatives that will fashion and influence all aspects of how the state will be run for the next two years. Important strategies for spending, taxation, schools, environment, transportation, etc., require focused attention. Constantly we hear that Vermonters are dissatisfied and fed up with the free wheel spending, new taxes and fees being incorporated year after year by the legislature without spending controls. People are leaving the state due to unaffordable high property taxes, taxation on retirement income and a focus on social issues before putting real emphasis on fiduciary issues that impact every Vermonter in their daily lives.
The legislature went into overtime this last session because of the emphasis on marijuana legalization and gun control for an extended period of time at the beginning of the session. The legislature appeared to be in somewhat of an unproductive tailspin as these two matters dominated the agenda. The Progressive ideology promotes an “our way or the highway” environment. Unless, and until, more balance between opposing parties in the legislature occurs, this will get much worse before it gets better. Every day I hear people complaining about the state of the state. I submit that it is time for a change. We found out in the 9-2 primary this year that a single vote was the tipping point, again demonstrating that every vote truly counts.
Progressives, for next year, are proposing a carbon tax on auto and home heating fuel. They want to impose an income tax to pay for education and health care. How much of your hard earned income will you have left to pay for food, transportation, mortgage, college tuition, or even a night out to relax? We need changes in Montpelier, and we need them now. We need a team that has a realistic perspective and can properly prioritize what is important and realistic for Vermonters.
In District 9-2, we have two outstanding candidates running for the House. They are Pat Brennan and Pam Loranger. They are proven, solid citizens that have given an abundance of their time in supporting and representing Colchester. We have all seen their accomplishments and dedication to fiscal responsibility, town planning, environmental issues, transportation and more.
Please support Pam and Pat with your vote to begin changing the legislature to be a true “for the people, by the people” enterprise.