By Alice Dubenetsky
When Republican primary voters examine their ballots on August 28th, many might wonder: Who the heck is Republican U.S. Senate candidate H. Brooke Paige? Does he really have a shot of taking the Senate seat from Bernie Sanders, who has upwards of $4 million dollars in his campaign war chest?
Paige believes he does have an outside chance to win, but more importantly, perhaps, an obligation to offer Vermonters a choice. During a visit to the Republican National Committee offices in Montpelier in January he discovered that Vermont did not at that time have a Republican candidate running against Sanders. Paige said Marty Searight, former secretary to Governor Douglas and currently the party’s volunteer Operations Director, challenged him to run. “You can’t beat somebody with nobody,” said Searight. “Why don’t you run?”
Not one to back down from a challenge, Paige discussed the idea of a Senate run his wife, Donna, and they agreed to bring a petition to the upcoming Washington (VT) Town Meeting Day and test the waters. When he received 100 out of 120 signatures, he decided to make it official.
In his position paper Paige states, “While I am sure that there are many who are better prepared for the task – I would consider it a rare honor and privilege to run for such an important position. I have for years watched as the all powerful Federal Government has seized ever increasing control and authority over every aspect of our lives.”
Before Paige can tackle Bernie Sanders, however, he must first best his Republican primary opponent John MacGovern. MacGovern is a seasoned politician and has an extensive resume in state government, having served four terms as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Since moving to Vermont he has made two unsuccessful bids for the Vermont State Senate. Like Paige, MacGovern is also a strong fiscal conservative.
H. Brooke Paige is an engaging and voluble man, and, while he might seem somewhat eccentric at first, it soon becomes apparent that he possesses a keen mind, an insightful grasp of economics, history and politics, and a sharp wit. He is a history buff, an observer of national politics and economics and he overflows with enthusiasm and ideas about how to move the nation away from excessive government control and back to a more citizen and state centered government structure, as the founders intended. A conversation with Paige is like a roller coaster flowing over ideas, history, politics and media; and his listener had better be an active listener because he will suddenly toss out a tough question and wait patiently for a reply.
Paige is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business and Administration. While at the University he was heavily influenced by economist Dr. Herman Edward Michl. Paige said he was rigorously schooled by Michl in the defects in our national condition; especially those aspects relating to taxation, finance, Social Security and the Federal Reserve based banking system.
Paige understands business. He has served as District Sales Manager for National Laboratories, and Director of Sales and Marketing at Advance Paper and Chemical Company. A golden parachute from Advance gave him the opportunity to start his own business, Remington News Service, where from 1987 to 2009 he operated news stands and coffee shops in the subway system of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in Pennsylvania. During that time, he purchased a home in Washington Vermont and commuted back and forth.
Paige agrees with Thomas Jefferson’s assertion that “Government is best which governs the least, because its people will discipline themselves.” Today, he says, the opposite is true, with government intruding into every realm of American’s lives and business, limiting personal freedom and placing excessive and onerous burdens on business that make expansion – or even survival in many cases – difficult or impossible.
Paige believes the federal budget could be reduced by 25% by eliminating waste, fraud and duplication. He would like to see many governmental responsibilities returned to the individual states. He cites the Department of Education, where mandates have made education too expensive for the states to finance, penning them in with one-size-fits-all federal regulations. He believes that a slow transition back to the states will eventually leave them in a position to raise the funds they require to achieve their own education goals.
As for military spending, Paige says the government has cut the fighting reserves too low, forcing the military to rely heavily upon the National Guard and requiring the Guard to serve multiple tours overseas, even though that is not their primary mission.
Paige would like to see our current tax system replaced with a National Sales Tax to resolve inequities. As for unemployment, Paige says, “We need a plan to get America back to work in real jobs, not phony make work schemes that only worsen the problem. These jobs must come from the private sector where labor creates wealth – the public sector creates nothing and the expansion of government employment only worsens our economic crisis.”
Page is unquestionably a serious candidate with an extensive grasp of the problems facing the nation, and he also offers viable solutions. That is something that is noticeably missing from our current Senators, who unabashedly pander to special interests, and often make matters worse to suit their own agenda. He is deeply concerned about the problems facing the nation and hopes to be a part of a solution. “I’m a business guy and have been all my life. I solve problems and move on. Many politicians believe their jobs are dependent on having the government in a constant state of crisis, allowing them to portray themselves as guardians of their constituents. In fact, they are the creators and perpetuators of the destructive conditions they feign to resist.”