The Issues for Vermonters

by Jerry Trudell for Senate

The number 1 issue for Vermonters is the economy, according to statistics and surveys of voters.  Lets start with the problems of survival with long winters as well as more reliance on automobile ownership.  I am advancing specific policy proposals to address these economic issues, First, I am advocating that Vermont homes, farms and small businesses be supplied with grants to finance the  installation and retrofit of solar thermal heating, to greatly reduce fuel bills as well as greatly reduce our carbon footprint. 

 Second, I am proposing that we create a statewide public transportation system, by connecting existing public transportation systems. This would be extremely cost effective, as well as a tremendous economic benefit for Vermonters, especially senior citizens, and other people who are transportation challenged. The cost of transportation is the second largest expense of the average household, and the cost per mile is an average of .57 cents per mile or 713 dollars per month, according to statistics compiled by the AAA.  I am also proposing that we fix our dangerous roadways as a priority instead of building boondoggle highway projects that accomplish nothing except a large waste of tax dollars.  The cost per mile of new highway construction is exorbitant, and instead we need to fix the highways we already have, as this is a public safety hazard. 

 Third, I am proposing that we build a 21st century energy infrastructure that is distributed, or decentralized, and community based, instead of centralized and utility based.  This would solve problems of siting of large scale solar farms, and industrial scale wind turbines, at the same time that this approach would greatly reduce greenhouse gasses, as well as having a much greater economic benefit directly to Vermonters and the Vermont economy.  

The number 2, 3 and 4th issues for Vermonters in this election cycle have to do with Senator Leahy.  So here is the breakdown of the Senator Leahy campaign issues. 

Issue number 1 in this category is Senator Leahy's betrayal of the voters trust with his (I believe) sabotage of Bernie Sanders campaign. This process of sabotage is easy enough to understand. The good Senator endorsed his friend and political crony, Hillary Clinton, and effectively led the entire flock of 500 super-delegates to fly to Hillary's side.  As we all know, 86.1 percent of Vermonters voted for Bernie, and they have been let down by their senior pork barrel Senator.  I spoke to hundreds of voters, and I can tell you that the natives are restless, and many have said that they will never vote for Senator Leahy again. 

Number 2 is the Jay peak EB5 ponzi scheme (as reported by the Wall Street Journal ) Senator Leahy has historically been the EB5 visa program's strongest supporter, and has been a champion of this program since its inception in 1990. Now he says that "It is a shame for the Northeast kingdom" and distances himself from the entire issue, except to say that he is going to reform the program or eliminate, it, as if he were a detached but responsive observer. The simple fact is that there was absolutely no oversight on the part of Governor Shumlin or Senator Leahy!  Senator Leahy as much as admitted this fact when he claimed that the first time he know anything about this, possibly the largest scandal in Vermont history, was earlier this year. when he read the articles in the Vermont Digger.  Personally I find it hard to believe that he knew nothing about this until earlier this year. But even if you take his statement at face value, it is a supporting fact to my larger claim of no oversight whatsoever! And this is the real crime on top of the ponzi scheme itself, the fact that no one was looking at the books at least once a year!!  What kind of a situation do we have here when the Senator, and the governor, pal around and globe-trot together, pitching this program, and telling potential investors that "We take a look at the books once a year"

Senator Leahy is a 20th century pork barrel power broker who needs to be removed from office.  He has outlived his usefulness, and should step aside and retire before his reputation is tarnished any more by the largest scandal in Vermont history, the EB5 Jay Peak Ponzi scheme. He also betrayed the voters trust for the sake of good old fashioned political cronyism in his sabotage of the Bernie Sanders campaign with his endorsement of his "friend" and political crony, Hillary Clinton. In addition, his lack of a comprehensive energy plan and his support of the destruction of fragile ridge line habitat to construct industrial scale wind turbines has to be challenged.  Facts support the position that these large scale industrial wind farms do not actually reduce Vermont's carbon footprint according to a recent report by the Vermont  Law school. They only benefit the developers, and financiers , who are on the Senators Gravy train.

I think that we should consider term limits as the ultimate solution to the problem of corrupt pork barren 20th Century politics, and instead spend our money wisely for things that are actually beneficial to their stated purpose.

Jerry Trudell for U.S. Senate