Vermont Public Radio Commentary
Announcer: Recently commentator Rick Hubbard had knee surgery. His doctor suggested walking as therapy and since early September, he’s been walking about Vermont, taking his own informal opinion poll.
Whenever I take a break from my walking, which is pretty often, I try to talk to those around me. As you might expect, since September 11th, the main topic of conversation has been “How can we bring those responsible to justice and most effectively reduce the threat of future terrorist attacks?”
I’ve spoken with a lot of people. 4 older hikers who’d gotten off the Long Trail at Cuttingsville to hear more of the news over dinner at a local restaurant, storekeepers in Peru and Mt Holly, a salvage dealer from Chester, a waitress and a shopkeeper from Ludlow. People in Landgrove, Londonderry, Windham.
On the afternoon of the attack, a Shrewsbury land planner had just given me permission to camp overnight in her pasture. As we stood outside on a brilliant fall day, she worried that it would be a mistake to feed the cycle of violence with an overly aggressive or too broad response.
Later the next day in Proctor, I sipped tea on a sunny front porch with a retired minister. He passionately argued that many of our international policies have been too self-centered and thus perceived as unfair by many throughout the world. This must change he stated, to effectively reduce future terrorism. Continue reading
Vermont Public Radio Commentary
“Today is the 4th of July when we celebrate America’s Declaration of Independence, and commentator Rick Hubbard is thinking about 91 year old Doris Haddock, a neighbor in Dublin, New Hampshire.”
You may remember Doris as Granny D, the great grandmother who, in her 90th year, walked over 3000 miles, coast to coast, to promote campaign finance reform.
A year ago on February 28th, Granny D reached the steps of Congress where she presented petitions from thousands of Americans calling for comprehensive reform of the way we finance our political process. A few months later, on April 21, Granny D again mounted those steps and made her way into the Capitol’s rotunda.
There she began speaking about The First Amendment to our Constitution which says Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble to petition the Government for a redress of grievances which is just what she and 31 others accompanying her were doing. Continue reading
Aired February 12, 2001
INTRO: Rick Hubbard is concerned about recent proposals to empty Vermont’s campaign finance fund.
Have you heard about the current proposal to take all the money out of Vermont’s campaign finance fund? Some of our politicians want to use up to $1.2 million to meet other recession-era budget needs.
But without public financing, we’ll be right back where we started on campaign finance reform, with 96% of us not contributing a dime to any candidate or political party and with the vast bulk of the campaign cash coming from less than 3/10ths of 1% of us.
And lately, we’ve been getting an earful from Washington about what that represents. How many more Enron scandals do we want? Enron played the game the way most big corporations play it today. Spread lots of campaign cash around. Get much better access so you get your lobbyists in the door to help rewrite legislation, cut new tax breaks and generally have an edge to turn things your way. Enron was so effective at it that in spite of up to one hundred billion dollars in revenues, it avoided paying any taxes in 4 of the last 5 years. Enron, like many big corporations, even got millions more in tax rebates. Wouldn’t we all like that kind of access and influence? Continue reading