Two of Vermont’s statewide newspapers just endorsed Democrat Sue Minter for Governor – over competitors Republican Phil Scott and “Spaceman” Bill Lee of the Liberty Union Party. The Burlington Free Press and The Barre-Montpelier Times Argus/Rutland Herald (Phil Scott’s hometown paper and its sister publication in the Republican enclave of Rutland) came down solidly for Minter to be elected as Vermont’s next governor.
Alright, I know, I know conventional wisdom is that newspaper endorsements don’t carry much weight, but in an election as close this one is, two solid thumbs up from two newspapers in the final days before Election Day sure can’t hurt.
Both papers praise Minter’s “well articulated agenda” and her considerable hands-on experience in the legislative and executive branches – her full-time, every-day job. Her public-service history makes a notable contrast to Scott’s years as part-time Lt. Gov. Scott. In that capacity he had enough spare time to “work” at other people’s jobs as a publicity stunt on a regular basis.
The Democratic nominee offers a vision for an activist administration that harnesses the power of government to tackle the big jobs, such as rebuilding the state’s highways and bridges.
Minter presents a policy portfolio built on the principle of investing in Vermont and Vermonters, from a plan to offer two years of college tuition-free, to help for parents who need childcare while attending classes, to expanded early childhood education. – From the Free Press
And in no uncertain terms The Times Argus assures voters they believe Minter doesn’t play politics, “… she does government.” Minter, the editorial boards say, has the capability to oversee an affordable to-do list that will manage to move Vermont forward at the same time.
In closing their endorsement of Sue Minter, the Free Press says: A too-narrow focus on controlling increases in the state budget today without clear, explicit priorities about where and how Montpelier should spend money amounts to inaction. This is no time for Vermont to stand still.
Significantly, both papers agree budget and tax priorities will be the greatest challenge for the next governor, a signature issue for Scott and the VTGOP .Yet they favor Minter’s approach to address these concerns and move forward.
The Times Argus graciously says Vermont would not be “steered wrong” under a Scott administration, and I guess that might be so. But do we really want progress, or do we want another GOP governor to drive us around and around their circular track, waving scissors at any ribbon-cutting, like Jim Douglas did?