Magazine article In These Times

In Vermont, Shades of McCarthy

Magazine article In These Times

In Vermont, Shades of McCarthy

Article excerpt

AT A SEPTEMBER 23 debate, Republican candidate for Vermont governor Brian Dubie waved a sheaf of 8.5 ? p printouts in the air. He announced he was holding a "list" of inmates "who need to be incarcerated," and said his Democratic rival Peter Shumlin's proposed corrections reform plan would free the criminals. Fanning the papers, Dubie charged:

"These are the 780 individuals that are on that list. On this list there are people that deal with pornography with children. There are drug dealers. There's a comprehensive list of who these people are. That's what my ad says. That's what the list is."

Sixty years earlier, another man waved papers, declaring: "I have here in my hand a list of 205-3 list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who are still working and shaping policy in the State Department."

Sen. Joseph McCarthy never made his list public, but repeatedly insisted it was real, and named card-carrying communists who threatened America's security. History guesses, hut cannot prove, that McCarthys list never existed.

But soon after Dubie 's iist maneuver, it emerged that the papers he brandished were not what the candidate claimed. The document did not contain 780 inmate names. It was not a list. H was simply a printout explaining state statutes.

The race to replace Vermont's retiring moderate Republican governor is tight and the sides well drawn. Dubie, the current lieutenant governor, is a conservative in the pre-Tea Party Republican mold. He calls for lower taxes, less regulation and more business-friendly policies. In socially moderate Vermont, he has steered questions away from his anti-gay marriage stance.

Shumlin, the former state Senate pro-tern, is an acerbic and witty liberal with a reputation for playing hard-ball politics. He has promised to close down the state's leaky nuclear power plant, promote green energy, and implement single payer healthcare in Vermontno matter what the feds do. …

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