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. True North Archives 08/14/06

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Are Vermont's Pensions Funding Terror?
By Frank Mazur
"…. The Center for Security Policy released a study in 2004 about "Terrorism Investments of the 50 States".  It revealed that Twenty percent of Vermont's public pension portfolio is in companies with ties to terrorists sponsoring states.  According to this report the Vermont State Retirement System has invested $235 million in companies that have business operations in or with countries that sponsor terrorism…." Frank Mazur is the Advisory Council Chairman for FreedomWorks-Vermont, and is a former State Representative from South Burlington


No Taxation Without Realization
by Martin Harris
"….This modern-day No Taxation Without Representation would require that unrealized (paper gains) in property value not be taxable, and that property Fair Market Value be determined not by a questionable appraisal process but by an actual sale, at which time a new FMV is set by the marketplace. California has been on this form of NTWR since the mid-70's, and it works…." Martin Harris is the former President of Vermont Citizens for Property Rights.

America's Pastime and America's Future
By Phil Kiver
"…. I shared my opinion with one man who, grumbling under his breath, said the war is the reason why schools don't have enough supplies. Now try as I might I couldn't resist the opening he had left for me…. If not for the war on terror there would be no schools like we know them today…." -- Phil Kiver is a soldier and a journalist. He is author of "182 days in Iraq."

The Underhanded Wilderness Grab of 2006
By John McClaughry
"….Unlike all the other land in Vermont's Green Mountain National Forest, the uses of wilderness areas are not reviewed and adjusted every 10-15 years as part of the Forest Service's recurring planning process. No Vermonter, nor any Vermont legislature or Governor, will ever again have any say over the use of the wilderness areas. The wilderness restrictions and prohibitions are forever, until the sun burns out…." -- John McClaughry is President of the Ethan Allen Institute

Vermont Week in Review

Wind developer says wind power is dead in Vermont
By The Associated Press, August 10, 2006
"….The developer of a wind project that has been rejected by the Vermont Public Service Board says wind power has no future in Vermont right now. "Wind power in Vermont is dead," Matthew Rubin said…." 

Committee: City must borrow $5M
By Brent Curtis, Rutland Herald, August 9, 2006
"Rutland officials are poised to borrow $5 million to avoid going broke at the end of the month…."

Goshen tax hike blamed on flaw in law
By Gordon Dritschilo, Rutland Herald, August 5, 2006
"….While town officials say Goshen's actual per-pupil spending has essentially remained constant, the formulas used to calculate the statewide property tax make it look otherwise, and those formulas drove the town's homestead tax rate up roughly 35 percent.
"There's some crazy stuff that gets in here," Rutland Northeast superintendent William Mathis said Thursday…."

Tax dollars floated Union Station
By Kristi Ceccarossi, Brattleboro Reformer, August 4
"BRATTLEBORO -- The town's general fund is owed $190,000 for work done on Union Station, a project sold to residents years ago as one that would come at no cost to taxpayers or town coffers…. Federal funding that has been allocated for Union Station, but not yet released to the town, will be used to pay back the general fund, Remillard assured the board. But when that will happen is unclear…. Earlier this year, municipal staff discovered a $184,000 deficit in the general fund and, later, a series of other shortfalls due to poor bookkeeping and chronic overspending…."

Related: Brattleboro Reformer Editorial, 8/8, Gouging the Poor

Editors Notes: That these two pieces from the Brattleboro Reformer appeared in the same paper, just days apart is quite illuminating about how liberal ideologues think – or rather don't think. The news article illustrates how irate Brattleboro residents are that a loan of their money was made, and it's not clear when it will be paid back. They have every right to be upset. However, here comes the Editorial, Gouging the Poor, excoriating banks for expecting loans to be repaid, in time and in full! Yes, it's very easy to be liberal and "compassionate" – with other people's money. I suspect the liberal and compassionate citizens of Brattleboro will get "hyper-aggressive," and engage in some "predatory" practices themselves in order to protect their own cash. Everyone else is just a big meanie.

Campaign ‘06

Small group questions candidates
By Nancy Remsen, Burlington Free Press, August 7, 2006
"….The Welch and Shepard campaigns worked together to organize the conversations. Stern and Morrisseau gratefully participated. Martha Rainville, Shepard's opponent in the Sept. 12 Republican primary, declined to attend. Organizers provided an empty seat with her name on it for Sunday's event…."

Shepard blasts Welch, Rainville
By Sam Hemingway, Burlington Free Press, August 11, 2006
"….Peter Welch does not know how or when to stop growing government, and his appetite for more government seems to never be satisfied." Shepard cited as examples Welch's support for a health coverage program for Vermont's uninsured called Catamount Health and for Act 68, an education finance reform law…. Shepard also… said Rainville has not been specific enough on the issues and let herself be "propped up" by other Republican leaders, including first lady Laura Bush and Gov. Jim Douglas…."Martha has confused running a clean campaign with a refusal to get her hands dirty at all," Shepard said. "You must be willing to engage in a discussion of the issues." 

Seeking re-election, Brock promises 'agenda of accountability'
By Ross Sneyd, AP, August 9, 2006
"State Auditor Randy Brock promised an 'agenda of accountability' Wednesday if he is re-elected to a second term. The 62-year-old Republican said he had succeeded in returning the auditor's office to its central function as a government watchdog, not a forum for scoring political points. Along the way, he said, his audits have found shortcomings that have saved state government money and made it more efficient. ... ' We found hundreds of thousands of dollars of waste, fraud and abuse,' said Brock…." 

Tarrant ad criticizes Sanders for cutting U.S. intelligence budget
By Shay Totten, Vermont Guardian, August 4, 2006
"In perhaps the most hard-hitting ad yet of the 2006 campaign season, Republican senatorial hopeful Rich Tarrant launched this week a three-minute Internet ad that criticizes his chief opponent 's record of seeking cuts to U.S. intelligence budgets over the past decade…. "I think most Vermonters will be surprised when the see this web ad," said Tim Lennon, Tarrant's campaign spokesman. 'They are probably not aware of these facts. [Sanders has] repeatedly voted for cutting the budget of the intelligence community at the same time that Americans are being attacked around the world….'"

Related: To view the ad, click here. You must have Windows Media Player.


Romney vetoes universal prekindergarten in state
By Associated Press, August 5, 2006
"Governor Mitt Romney vetoed a bill yesterday that would require the state to develop prekindergarten education programs for every Massachusetts child age 2 to 4, saying the proposal was too costly and unproven….'Before we create an expensive new burden on Massachusetts taxpayers, one that could lead to future tax increases, we ought to await the results of the pilot program, particularly as it relates to the cost of a large scale expansion,' he said in a statement….'It's another expensive entitlement which by some estimates will cost taxpayers upwards of $1 billion a year. By passing this bill, the Legislature is laying the groundwork for future tax increases.'"

Republicans' Best Hope? Stop Imitating Democrats
By Kevin Hassett, Bloomberg, Aug 7
"….The Republicans may be behind, yet the race is far from over. Democrats have shown themselves more than able to blow a lead in the past. A comeback is pretty easy to plot. The first realization Republicans need to make is that America is equally divided, and they can put themselves back in the middle of the race if they can activate their conservative base. If they are losing now, it is because their base is dispirited…."

Free speech is not corruption
By David Keating and Carl Pope, The Hill
"…. Free speech is the way to stop corruption when it threatens the system or to rid the system of it where it is entrenched…. The specter of silencing opponents is a far greater threat to citizen confidence in our system of government….Under the 527 bill, for-profit corporations, like those that donate to the CED, could continue to spend unlimited amounts on speech about politicians without disclosing a cent to the public, and wealthy individuals could still spend unlimited amounts to urge voters to support or defeat a candidate. How is that fair? It is not…."

Editor's Note: The authors of this article are not conservatives by any stretch. Keating is executive director of the Club for Growth, and Pope is president of the Sierra Club. They are, however, dead on in their analysis.

Why the Republicans Are Loving the Lieberman Loss
By Mike Allen, Time
"At a time when the GOP should be back on its heels, Connecticut voters' rejection of a centrist Senator gives the party a potentially powerful new weapon to use against the Democrats this fall."

Juan Williams Challenges the Establishment
By Ruben Navarrette, August 13, 2006
"…. my friend has written a provocative and immensely important book…. Titled Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America -- And What We Can Do About It, the book is a good read. But it's also a good deed. And you can bet it won't go unpunished…. He's particularly incensed that you don't have more black leaders getting in the faces of black youth and telling them that -- in order to be a success -- you have to stay in school, study hard, speak proper English, stay away from crack and stop defining what it means to be authentically black as someone who is acting like a thug and 'dressing like a convict."







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