The first issue on the Vermonters First website is titled, “The Money Imbalance: Vermonters are getting shut out of their own state government.” It goes on to point out,
“For a long time now, Vermont has been seen by the out-of-state political Left as a place to spend and experiment. From issues ranging from radical and unconstitutional campaign finance laws to a healthcare system that average Vermonter cannot afford, it has reached a point where many Vermonters feel we no longer have a voice in how we are governed.”
A protest outside the home of a Vermonters First supporter by the single payer advocacy group Vermont Leads, which is funded mostly if not entirely by the SEIU, a union with no members in the state and no ties to Vermont, did more to prove this point than anyone else possibly could. Headlining the protest was a single payer advocate, Kathie McClure and her purple bus, from Georgia. The episode was a brazen attempt by out-of-state activists to silence a Vermonter attempting to spread the truth about single payer. (Even Vermont Digger an Seven Days, hardly right-wing sympathy publications, rated Vermonters First’s healthcare ad as “TRUE”)
This thuggish intimidation tactic has sparked outrage across Vermont’s political spectrum. Ed Adrian, a former Democratic Burlington city councilman, posted on the Burlington Free Press comment’s page, “…protesting in front of someone’s house is absolutely bullying. Write letters, post blogs, attend civic meetings, send the person letters or emails… but someone’s house should be off limits…. Actions like these will have a severe chilling effect on peoples’ willingness to engage in the political process….” Adrian’s sentiments are widely shared.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars have come into Vermont to push for a government takeover of the healthcare system (Vermonters First lists some of them HERE), replacing what we have with a single-payer experiment that even its most ardent supporter, Governor Peter Shumlin, has admitted hasn’t worked anywhere it’s been tried. As such, the people behind the money advocating for this will not have to pick up the $5 billion price tag, nor will they have to live with the consequences of such a plan. Others – namely us – get to be the lab rats in this social science project while they sit back and watch. This is patently unjust, and as Vermonters First points out, there at least needs to be balance in this debate. Vermonters need and deserve a voice.
Lenore Broughton deserve praise for standing up to these people and their tactics. And Vermont Leads, their out-of-state union bankrollers, and out-of-state activists deserve thanks for showing the Green Mountain State just how vile this whole situation and the people behind it are.
* Note. An earlier version of this story referred to Ed Adrian as a Progressive. He is a Democrat. Apologies to Mr. Adrian for the error.