by Peter Freyne
A shot we took at sundown Friday of the first winter storm moving our way. Am I showing my age by expressing the view - winter sucks!
Then we wake up this morning to find another storm on the editorial page of Vermont's largest newspaper. The Burlington Free Press made a surprising endorsement in the Lite-Gov race:
Matt Dunne has sparked an unusually spirited race for lieutenant governor, reminding Vermonters of the potential for the second-in-command's role when enthusiasm and fresh thinking are brought to the office.
This Democratic legislator from Hartland who has served in the Vermont House and Senate has earned the vote of Vermonters on Nov. 7.
Dunne is a whirlwind of community action, service politics and ideas on the campaign trail. He comes by that civic-mindedness naturally.
His father, a civil rights activist, was jailed in North Carolina for resisting arrest during protests while he was in college. Upon returning home to Vermont, he helped establish a program to bring inner-city youths to this state. Matt Dunne's mother, Faith, was among the first women on staff at Dartmouth College.
Dunne ran successfully for the Vermont House at age 22, serving four terms. He was then appointed by former President Bill Clinton as director of AmeriCorps/Vista, returning to Vermont in 2002 and spending two terms in the state Senate.
His campaign for lieutenant governor was modeled on the AmeriCorps experience, bringing together supporters in communities throughout the state to work on local projects. Dunne and his supporters have volunteered to paint the Boys and Girls Club in Bellows Falls, repair food shelves in Brattleboro, and other civic projects. He calls that service politics, and it will surely attract young people looking for a hands-on way to get involved.
The job of lieutenant governor, which pays $61,000, is traditionally a part-time position. Dunne has committed to working full time for that salary.
Dunne's positions are clear and well articulated. The focus has been on economic development, including expansion of broadband services to rural areas, cleanup of contaminated industrial sites for business development, tax incentives for downtown projects, and a move toward bringing environmental companies to Vermont. He has also been among state leaders who have embraced the concept of the "creative economy," a link of business, culture and community...
But what about Republican Brian Dubie, the guy who's had the job for four years?
During this campaign, however, Dubie has seemed disengaged. That's too bad because the state faces challenges that will require enthusiastic participation by all leaders.
It is Dunne who has won the Free Press Editorial Board's recommendation, however. His energy and creativity are needed in the fight to bring jobs to Vermont and strengthen the state's dairy industry.
Vote Dunne for lieutenant governor on Nov. 7.
Wasn't expecting that, were you?
Here - read the whole editorial.
I mean, the scuttlebutt of the moment is that Ol' Scudder, the Dems gubernatorial candidate, has kind of faded into the background. Ol' Matt, however, has been picking up steam, but the conventional wisdom has been that's it's just too late in the game. Too much ground to make up. Too much lack of name recognition to overcome.
However, Young Dunne has stirred up a hornet's nest in the last week over how much time Lt. Gov Doobie-Doo, the airline pilot, actually puts in to earn his annual $61,000 state pay. Matt is on TV with a snappy spot in which he's standing in the hallway outside the Lite-Gov's empty office making it the hot issue.
Today's surprising endorsement by the Freeps gives Young Dunne a big boost. We anticipate more Dunne endorsements to follow, eh?
P.S. Yesterday I couldn't post a photo. Computer was slow and spotty with Internet stuff. Adelphia dude in Tuscon says my modem is getting a great signal. Got a repair-visit appointment for Monday afternoon. I know - Burlington Telecom.