By Alice Dubenetsky
Addison County District 4 voters will have a clear choice – for the first time in several years – to change their representation in Montpelier. Two Republican candidates have announced their intention to take on Dave Sharpe (D Bristol) and Mike Fisher (D Lincoln) in the November mid-term elections. Both Fisher and Sharpe ran unopposed in 2012.
Valerie Mullin of Monkton and Fred Baser of Bristol are ready to take up the challenge to steer Vermont toward more sound economic policy, lower taxes and the retention and creation of jobs to revitalize Vermont’s stagnant economy. Both are concerned about the lack of career possibilities for Vermont’s high school and college graduates. The current economic policies have resulted in an out-migration of talented, educated young people seeking economic opportunity security elsewhere.
Neither Baser nor Mullin support Green Mountain Care, the state’s current proposed, yet unfunded, “single payer” health system due to take effect in 2017. Both Fisher and Sharpe have supported Green Mountain Care since it’s inception. Fisher is the Chairman of the House Healthcare Committee and is a long-time champion of “single payer” health care. However, as of Town Meeting day earlier this month, neither Fisher nor Sharpe were able to explain to their constituents how Green Mountain Care will be funded, even though GMC will need an estimated $2.2 billion dollars in revenue. Fisher is the Chairman of the House Health Care Committee and he admits he has no idea how this program will be funded. None.
Baser is a financial planner by profession, the founder of Bristol Financial Services. He served on the Bristol Selectboard for nine years, six years as chairman. He is a co-founder of the Addison County Economic Development Corporation, and has served on Hannaford Center Career Board. Baser has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity Addison County, the United Way of Addison County and the Bristol Revolving Loan Fund. His experience makes him sensitive to the problems created by Vermont’s high taxes.
In a recent interview with the Addison County Independent newspaper Baser said of Green Mountain Care: “I would work to revise the current (health care) strategy so that it is something that Vermont can afford and get right.” That’s a refreshing departure from Addison 4’s current legislators, who are hell bent on dragging the state willy-nilly into a fiscal and healthcare delivery nightmare.
Mullin is also a fiscal conservative. As a small business owner she understands the relationship between economic prosperity and sound tax policy. Although she is a newcomer to the political scene, she has a wealth of real-world experience in life and in business. As a mother, she is concerned about the opportunities here in Vermont for our high school and college graduates. In a recent speech, Mullin addressed tax issues in her signature, straightforward manner. “The United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the world and I’m sure Canada and other nations thank us for that. Vermont’s all around taxes, including property, are among the highest in the United States. New York and New Hampshire are courting business with tax incentives. What if we were to just create a regulatory environment where business will want to come, grow and stay? This can be a least a first step to have a more business friendly state.”
It is indeed refreshing to hear these messages here in the Green Mountain State, and it would certainly be a huge step in the right direction to send common sense, grounded people to Montpelier to represent working Vermonters and their interests. Currently, we have a large group of political, social engineering ideologues who are so caught up in their utopian dreams that they willfully refuse to recognize what they are doing to the state, and worse, they don’t care. Politicians like Mike Fisher and Peter Shumlin are all too anxious to turn Vermont into a laboratory for social experimentation, and in the case of single payer, they are willing to cause real harm to Vermont and Vermonters at the most basic, personal level.
Hopefully Mullin and Baser aren’t the only challengers out there this year, because Montpelier needs a clean sweep with a broad broom, and it’s going to take more than two people to accomplish that. But two is a good start, and the people in Addison 4 should take a good look at the future and vote accordingly.