Progressive candidate for Congress Thomas Hermann is an Iraq War veteran and a strong critic of how Congressman Peter Welch has cast some votes on funding for the war. Host Bob Kinzel talks with Hermann in our ongoing series of one-on-one interviews with candidates for Vermont’s top offices.
Also in the program, VPR’s Ross Sneyd analyzes developments in the race for governor. Observers have been commenting on the candidates’ performances in recent debates, and the first poll numbers were out this week. And we listen back to some of the voices in the week’s news.
Comments from listeners:
Steve in Barre:
As a Progressive who lived and worked in Washington DC for 20 years before returning to Vermont, I can’t remember a congressman getting off to such a fast paced start as Congressman Welch. He has garnered major committee appointments and an incredibly hard worker. I am not impressed with someone who has lived in Vermont less than a year running for a federal office. Although I will admit I am amused by Congressman Welch also having won the Republican Primary.
Diana in Fairfield:
I am a Franklin County voter. I am very thankful for your candidacy. I believe the need to end the War in Iraq is paramount to our nation’s security. It is a war based on greed and deception and determined to bankrupt the country, and destroy our youth. I also thank you for putting the spotlight on the right of citizens to impeach their elected officials. The Democrats ignored the mandate given them in the last election. Thank you for standing up for the US Constitution. My question is how would you stay true to your principles while fighting for Vermonters while in Washington? Lastly, please come to Franklin County.
Carla in Cabot:
I am and always have been against the war in Iraq; it’s a terrible waste of resources, including human lives and our national reputation. But I can’t imagine that our sole representative in the House would be someone who hasn’t even spent a whole winter here! Vermont has a very specific identity, which is more than the number of teats (watch the pronunciation) on a Holstein. I have been here for just 40 years, and I’m still learning. I advise spending a few years becoming acquainted with this state before thinking about representing us nationally.
I know that we have several third party or unaffiliated candidates who are running on the sole platform of ending the war in Iraq. While I agree with that task, I think that such a single issue candidacy will not address the other major issues we face. I want to know about where this candidate stands on other issues besides the war. What would he do with the current credit crisis? What about funding LIHEAP? Simply saying that "I will vote to end the war" is admirable, but in D.C. it is not that easy. I think people support Welch because he has a wider platform and is focusing on issues that are of real concern…. not to say that the war is not, but the war is not the only concern that we have in this country.
Sean in Colchester:
Tom Hermann, I like what I’m hearing you say about the issues so far and I’m inclined to vote for you as a third-party alternative. However, do you think there’s really enough time left before the election to get your message out to the people?