As part of the Vermont Guardian's pre-election coverage, we have asked candidates standing for election in some of the statewide races to answer questions to show readers where they stand on various issues.
To date, we have not heard from everyone, but we will keep adding names, and responses, as they come in.
To start, we've heard from a few of the candidates for US House and US Senate. We hope to hear from more, and extend this list to include candidates for other offices, both statewide, county and local, as the election nears.
Each candidate has provided a 750-1,000 word statement of candidacy. Why are you a candidate, and what are some of the ideas upon which you are basing your candidacy?
Then we asked them the following 10 questions of the US House and Senate candidates:
- The War in Iraq. Should the U.S. establish a timetable to withdraw troops from the country, and if so what should that timetable be? Do you believe we were wrong to invade the country, and if so, why? If not, why?
- Middle East policy. Our ongoing presence in Iraq is seen by some as the first step toward bringing stability to the region, and by others as the first of several efforts to topple governments in the region. Describe what policy(ies) you would like to see the US undertake in the Middle East.
- Energy policy. Offer your analysis of the current administration's energy policy, and would you support investments in wind power and other renewable sources? Should nuclear power be part of the nation's energy future?
- Federal spending. The federal budget deficit remains at record highs, what would you propose the Congress do to bring the budget back in line, if anything? Would you reduce existing spending, repeal tax cuts?
- Health care. Should the US follow other industrialized countries and adopt a single-payer style health care system? If so, why? If not, are there changes you would encourage in the current system to make health care either more affordable or more accessible.
- Border security. In recent months, there have been votes in Congress to build a 700-mile fence along the southern border, and require people entering Canada to present passports to border officials. Do you agree with these efforts, if not why? If so, why?
- Minimum wage. Should the federal government raise the minimum wage, if so to what level should it be raised and why? If not, why?
- Immigration policy. There have been bills in Congress that would do a variety of things to curtail immigration into the US. What do you think should be a sound immigration policy, and is there a bill out there now you would support?
- Farming & agriculture. Vermont's family farms continue to dwindle in number and size. Should the federal government continue to offer direct aid and price supports to farmers, or is there a better way to ensure that agriculture remains a component of the state's economy?
- Education. In recent years, the federal government has approved the No Child Left Behind Act, which some critics call another unfunded mandate (similar to Special Education). In addition, there have been efforts to cut loan and grant programs for higher education. Do you support these efforts, if so, why? And if not, what would you propose?
- Pete Diamondstone — Liberty Union
- Cris Ericson — Independent
- Craig Hill — Vermont Green
- Peter Moss — Anti-Bushist Candidate
- Bernard Sanders — Independent
- Rich Tarrant — Republican
- Chris Karr — We the People
- Bruce R. Marshall — Vermont Green
- Dennis Morrisseau — Impeach Bush Now
- Jane Newton — Liberty Union
- Martha Rainville — Republican
- Keith Stern — Independent
- Jerry Trudell – Independent
- Peter Welch — Democrat
For non-federal candidates, we've been asking candidates to answer these following 7 questions, where appropriate for their office.
If a question doesn't pertain to their particular office, we are simply asking them to let our readers know what perspective and qualities they will bring to the office, if elected.
We will post answers as we get them, and encourage candidates for all legislative offices (House and Senate) to send us their answers.
- Health care. What work do you believe remains to be done in the way of health care reform — continued movement toward a single-payer system, expansion of health savings accounts, performance contracts for doctors, purchasing insurance from other states?
- Environment. The debate over wilderness designation and what to do about cleaning up Lake Champlain, and many other waterways in Vermont, are connected as they touch a wide variety of ways in which Vermonters enjoy the outdoors. What are the environmental challenges facing Vermont and how do you propose we address them?
- Energy. Offer your analysis of the current administration's energy policy, and would you support investments in wind power and other renewable sources? Should nuclear power be part of Vermont's energy future? What other sources should we explore?
- Property taxes. Ditching the current way in which we fund education — largely through the property tax — is being talked about. Do you think this is a good idea, and if so, what taxes would you propose we put in its place to fund education. If you think this is a bad idea and the current system could be improved, tell us how.
- Farming & agriculture. Vermont's family farms continue to dwindle in number and size. Should the federal government continue to offer direct aid and price supports to farmers, and what role should the state play in this equation. And, is there a better way to ensure that agriculture remains a component of the state's economy?
- Government spending. Pressures on the state budget continue at a time when Vermonters' pay isn't increasing. Are there programs in state government you believe could be run more efficiently, and where, if any place, would you cut spending. And, where would you increase spending (if you think a program needs more money).
- Is there an issue that we didn't ask about that you think voters should be thinking about, and if so what is it and what are your ideas on it.
- Benjamin Clarke — Vermont Localist
- Jim Douglas — Republican
- Cris Ericson — Independent
- Jim Hogue — Vermont Green
- Scudder Parker — Democratic
- Bob Skold — Liberty Union
- Brian Dubie — Republican
- Matt Dunne — Democratic
- Mary Alice "Mal" Herbert — Liberty Union
- Marvin Malek — Progressive
SECRETARY OF STATE
- Deb Markowitz — Democratic
- Cheryl Moomey — Republican
- Boots Wardinski — Liberty Union
- V. Murray Ngoima — Liberty Union
- Jeb Spaulding — Democratic/Republican
- Martha Abbott — Progressive
- Randy Brock — Republican
- Jerry Levy — Liberty Union
- Thomas M. Salmon — Democratic
- Dennis Carver — Republican
- Rosemarie Jackowski — Liberty Union
- William H. Sorrell — Democratic
VERMONT HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
- Christopher Pearson — Progressive (Chittenden 3-4)
- Jean Szilva — Progressive (Chittenden 3-6)
- Hardy Machia — Libertarian/Republican (Grand Isle-Chittenden-1)
- Hinda Miller — Democratic (Chittenden)
STATE'S ATTORNEY (CHITTENDEN COUNTY)
- T.J. Donovan — Democratic
- Paul Charles Duprat — Independent
- John St. Francis — Republican