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. True North Archives 08/28/06

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Featured Articles

Answering the Vermont NEA Questionnaire
By John McClaughry
"It’s election season, and the interest groups are sending out their questionnaires to candidates…. Candidates content to turn $1.2 billion over to Vermont’s public schools without asking much in the way of accountability will rate high on the Vermont-NEA scorecard." -- John McClaughry is President of the Ethan Allen Institute

No Taxation Without Realization -- Part 3
By Martin Harris
"…In 1978, California voters adopted Proposition 13, a property tax management system whereby taxes didn’t go up just because theoretical appraised values went up; a home-owner’s Fair Market Value would be the basis for his property tax (with, at most a 2% annual inflation adjustment) as long as he owns it. When he sells, a new FMV is established by the new sale price. Proposition 13 has been challenged, legally, again and again by politicians and edu-crats, but has won every court case…" – Martin Harris is the former president of Vermont’s Citizens for Property Rights.

What are we at war with anyway?
By Kevin Ryan
"…. I feel that we are facing a choice: Either define what a War on Terror means more carefully, or risk that effort becoming a pejorative to demonize any activity with which we have a political problem…" .-- Kevin Ryan resides in Burlington. He can be contacted at

Why Karen Kerin Is Running For Attorney General
By Karen Kerin
"….I hope people will support me in my efforts to correct the course of the attorney general’s office by voting for me in the primary and demanding that there be a series of televised debates between Sorrell and myself…" -- Karen Kerin is a candidate for Attorney General 

Campaign ‘06

Politicians talk taxes with voters
By Nancy Remsen, Burlington Free Press, August 24
"….Republican Gov. Jim Douglas, who is seeking re-election and trying to break Democrats' stranglehold on the state Legislature, outlined proposals Wednesday he said would reduce property taxes by $35 million a year…."

Coalition to target legislators
By Terri Hallenbeck, Burlington Free Press Staff, August 25
"Several business organizations have tallied up scores and labeled 57 members of the Vermont House of Representatives as 'bad for business.' The group plans to spend some $100,000 campaigning against 10 to 15 of those legislators in this fall's election…. said Joe Sinagra, executive director of the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Northern Vermont, whose organization is one of 12 members of the coalition." 

Related: The list of 57… "They're making a list, and checking it twice....   Under the banner "Bad for Business" the Vermont Business Coalition and Political Action Committee today released a list of candidates for the state legislature that they will seek to defeat at the polls this November."

Parker says he'd focus on early education
By ROSS SNEYD, Associated Press, August 24 
"Democratic gubernatorial candidate Scudder Parker said Wednesday he'd focus on early childhood care and education if elected, although he did not offer any concrete proposals on how he would make them more affordable or better for young families…"

D.C. veteran looks to take on Montpelier
Andrew McKeever, Manchester Journal, August 25
"When incumbent state senator Mark Shepard announced his intention to run for Vermont's lone seat in the U.S. Congress last January, his decision set Bennington County Republicans scrambling to find a new candidate to hold onto his former senate seat in Montpelier…. party officials are pinning their hopes on Alan M. MacDougall, 63, of Wilmington, a retired consultant, legislative assistant and career intelligence officer with the federal Defense Intelligence Agency…"

Webster Confirms Run For the State Senate
Herald of Randolph, August 24
"Stephen Webster confirmed this week that he is a candidate for election as a Republican to the Vermont State Senate from the Orange senatorial district…:"

Vermont Weekly News Round Up

Restaurants spurn room, meals tax
By CATE LECUYER, Brattleboro Reformer, August 24
"Restaurant owners objected to a 1 percent rooms and meals tax…. Pete Kerber, owner of New England House, said the extra tax will discourage people from eating out in Brattleboro, and will hurt his business…. 'Let's tax all fine art galleries,' he said. 'Let's tax all health clubs. How would they feel?'"

Bright and early: Private funding collaborative aimed at jump-starting pre-K programs
By Shay Totten, Vermont Guardian, Posted August 25
"Come this fall, several new early-education programs will be in place throughout Vermont, thanks to a unique collaborative of philanthropists, education experts, and private foundations…. [The national organization] Pre-K Now has provided Vermont groups with some technical assistance, but no funding. That could change soon, however. Pre-K Now is coming to Vermont in late September to meet with members of the preschool collaborative funded through Child Care Fund of Vermont to determine what the national organization will bring to Vermont…."

VT Court sends stormwater question back to state
Times Argus, August 27, 2006
"The Vermont Supreme Court has reversed a Water Resources Board decision that would have required developers and homeowners near polluted streams to get a federal permit before being allowed to discharge stormwater…."


Dark Corners: On the Web, Pedophiles Extend Their Reach
By Kurt Eichenwald, New York Times, August 21 
"...Today, pedophiles go online to seek tips for getting near children — at camps, through foster care, at community gatherings and at countless other events. They swap stories about day-to-day encounters with minors. And they make use of technology to help take their arguments to others, like sharing online a printable booklet to be distributed to children that extols the benefits of sex with adults..."

On Low-Tax Economy, Bush Has the Story Right
By Lawrence Kudlow, August 22
"….Following a meeting with his economic advisors at Camp David, the president let 'er rip, stating that: "The foundation of our economy is solid, and it's strong. Because of the tax cuts we passed, American workers and families and small businesses are keeping more of the money they earn. And they're using that money to drive this economy of ours forward." Could he be any clearer?..."

A tax that lands like a meteor
Editorial, Seattle Times, August 27
"…Voters can expect a sharp campaign over Washington's new death tax. The tax hurts family business and raises an amount of money that is tiny…. The supporters of this tax argue that it is OK because it applies only to estates over $2 million. But this is a tax on assets, not cash in hand. There is scarcely a block in Seattle that does not have $2 million worth of houses on it, and in business, $2 million is fairly small change…." 

Poll: GOP up after terror arrests - Dems' advantage in fall vote narrows
By Susan Page and David Jackson, USA TODAY 
"WASHINGTON — The arrest of terror suspects in London has helped buoy President Bush to his highest approval rating in six months and dampen Democratic congressional prospects to their lowest in a year. In a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday, support for an unnamed Democratic congressional candidate over a Republican one narrowed to 2 percentage points, 47%-45%, among registered voters." 

Rearranging The Deck Chairs
"...In 2000, Lieberman was the Democrats' choice to balance the ticket, both geographically and ideologically. A mere six years ago he was the man the Democrats wanted to be the proverbial heartbeat away from the presidency. That was then. This is now. And now Lieberman is politician non grata for actually believing that politics should stop at the water's edge, that our enemies are the Osama bin Ladens and Hassan Nasrallahs of the world, not Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove..."







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