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. True North Archives 09/04/06

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Sibling Rivalry: New Hampshire vs. Vermont
By Frank Mazur
"....The rest of the country view Vermont as a political rogue state, inhabited by socialists and radicals who take their living from government programs, grants, non-profits or, baring that, selling organic food by the roadside.  New Hampshire on the other hand is home to right wing ideologues, ambivalent to the environment, and maniacally pledged to 'Live Free or Die'...." -- Frank Mazur, a small business owner and former state representative, is chair of the advisory board of Vermont FreedomWorks.  Other columns can be found at

"Universal" preschool’s real-world record
By Rob Roper
"In the debate over whether or not Vermont should expand the public school system to include taxpayer funded preschool for all 3 & 4 year olds regardless of special or financial need, the editorial page of the Rutland Herald rightly reminds us all that the goal is, and should be, to do what’s best for Vermont’s children. So, let’s ask some hard questions about the real-world impact of "universal" programs...." -- Rob Roper is the State Director for FreedomWorks-Vermont and the editor of the Vermont Education Report.

The Enviro Wish List
By John McClaughry
"....To ordinary, practical people trying to make a living and pay their taxes, much of the 2007 VLCV legislative agenda probably looks a bit pricey, a bit foolish, and even a bit threatening to the prospects for Vermont's economy….Vermont still needs intelligent and practical environmental advocacy. What we don't need is a fanatic desire to regulate, require, prohibit, tax, and subsidize everybody and everything...." -- John McClaughry is President of the Ethan Allen Institute (

Senators’ obstruction of Childhood Custody Protection Act hurts young girls, helps sexual predators, & disrespects citizens.
By  Mark Shepard
"....At play here is a complete lack of respect for America’s moms and dads, and a dangerous misunderstanding of what’s happening to young girls in these situations. By robbing parents of their right and responsibility to be involved in the medical decisions of their young daughters, these Senators are allowing a considerable amount of unnecessary physical and psychological damage to occur, they are allowing the crimes of sexual predators to go undetected and unpunished, and they are undermining the parent/child relationships that are necessary for strong, healthy families....". – Mark Shepard is a State Senator and Republican Candidate for the U.S. House

Campaign ‘06

Primary colors: Vying to wear the party label
By Shay Totten, Vermont Guardian, September 1, 2006
"....Every campaign takes on the character of its candidate, and the campaigns of [Mark] Shepard and [Martha] Rainville are no different. For Shepard, his shoestring, grassroots campaign is evident in the small recreational vehicle (RV) he bought and is using to crisscross the state with his wife and four sons on board. Meanwhile, Rainville went on the air Aug. 23 for a weeklong run of television ads, and also launched radio ads trumpeting her "clean campaign" pledge. In all, she is spending more than $50,000 on this first ad blitz...."

Two vie for hearts of Republicans in House race
By Terri Hallenbeck, Burlington Free Press, September 3, 2006
"....No difference is more telling between the two Republican candidates than the nature of their campaigns. Rainville has 10 paid staffers, roomy offices in Williston, television ads and access to national Republican money and advice. Last week, her campaign had $234,836 in the bank. Shepard…. travels the state with his wife and four sons in a 1993 recreational vehicle, making as many radio talk show appearances as he can...." 

Shepard: Feds should help enforce state parent notice bills
August 31, 2006
"....Republican congressional candidate Mark Shepard called Thursday for passage of a bill that would make it a federal crime to cross state lines for an abortion to avoid one state's parental notification law..."

Welch, Sanders press for minimum wage boost
By John Curran, Associated Press, August 30
"....U.S. Rep. Bernard Sanders and fellow congressional candidate Peter Welch said Wednesday they would push for legislation boosting it to $7.25 per hour if elected. ...Rich Tarrant, said he supports the proposed boost to $7.25 but said Sanders recently voted against a boost in the minimum wage, as part of a bill dealing with the estate tax. 'He could've voted for the bill and helped the poor and helped the wealthy,' Tarrant said in an interview. 'He chose to hurt the wealthy and he hurt the poor in the process...'"

Vermont Weekly News Round Up

City sets tax rate: Homeowners hit with average 22 percent hike after revaluation
By Brent Curtis, Rutland Herald, September 1, 2006
"Property taxes for Rutland City homeowners will rise by an average of 22 percent, under municipal and school tax rates the Board of Aldermen approved Thursday. Business owners can expect a smaller increase.... The school tax burden on residences will increase by almost $1 million under the new rate..."

Business owners worry about impact of tax hike
By Brent Curtis, Rutland Herald, September 2
"....Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce Executive Director and CEO Thomas Donahue said some city businesses noticed a drop in business long before Thursday, when city aldermen approved the new tax rates. Sales at one local delicatessen declined recently by 20 percent, Donahue said. Stanti's Restaurant on North Main Street closed last month, in part, Donahue said, because nervous Rutlanders were bagging lunches and eating at home instead of frequenting local eateries… Now that taxpayers know what to expect on their tax bills, Donahue predicted many of them would curb spending on luxury items, hoping to save enough money to be able to cover the additional tax expense...."

Fretting over Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood takes offensive
By John Curran, Associated Press, August 31
"Gearing up for a state-level fight over abortion, Planned Parenthood staged a pledge-signing ceremony Thursday to rally its legislative supporters and take aim at pro-life Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie…. '"It's a red herring to rally up their base and dance away from legislation that's really before the Vermont legislature, which is parental notification,'" said [Mary] Beerworth [of Vermont Right to Life].

Court: Student's rights violated in T-shirt censure
By Lisa Rathke, Associated Press, August 30
"A public school's censure of a student's politically charged T-shirt violated the student's right to free speech, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. The three-judge panel overturned a federal court ruling that said the middle school had authority to ban pictures of drugs and alcohol on the shirt that was critical of President Bush...."


Back to the Congressional Future
Let's think about how the Democrats would govern.
Thursday, August 31, 2006 12:01 a.m.
"....While Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi would be a new Speaker of the House, the 19 primary committee chairmen who would dominate hearings, issue subpoenas and write legislation are agents of change only in the sense of going back to the future. They represent the same liberal priorities that bedeviled Bill Clinton's attempt to govern as a New Democrat from 1993-94, and before that Jimmy Carter in the 1970s. To pick one example, 13 of the 19 voted against the welfare reform that Mr. Clinton signed in 1996...."

Schools Need Competition Now
By John Stossel, August 30, 2006
"This week's back-to-school ads offer amazing bargains on lightweight backpacks and nifty school supplies. All those businesses scramble to offer us good stuff at low prices. It's amazing what competition does for consumers. The power to say no to one business and yes to another is awesome. Too bad we don't apply that idea to schools themselves. Education bureaucrats and teachers unions are against it. They insist they must dictate where kids go to school, what they study, and when...." 

Facts Drown In Press Coverage
"Media: With the one-year anniversary of Katrina behind us, the media-fed myth that New Orleans was destroyed due to federal negligence has congealed in the public's mind. It's not true...."

Rearranging the Deck Chairs
"In a quest to recapture the White House, Democrats will shake up their primary calendar. But after Gore and Kerry, what they really need is a new message…. Americans will not put in power a party that accepts the proposition that global warming is a greater threat than terrorism, that thinks Wal-Mart is a plague on the poor and that wants to repeal the job-creating, economy-boosting and deficit-cutting Bush tax cuts...."







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