(Host) State Treasurer Jim Douglas stood on the steps of the Statehouse on Thursday afternoon to formally launch his campaign for governor. Douglas backed a number of proposals that are designed to improve the state’s economic climate.
VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.
(Sound of gathered crowd.)
(Kinzel) With roughly 100 cheering lawmakers standing behind him at the Statehouse, Jim Douglas outlined his gubernatorial priorities for the fall election.
It is very clear that Douglas, who is seeking the Republican nomination, plans to make Vermont’s business climate the key issue of his campaign. Douglas promised to provide new energy and optimism to help revitalize Vermont’s economic development efforts:
(Douglas) “There’s a sinking feeling among the people of our state that something is not right, that the promise of a brighter tomorrow has been dimmed and even on a sunny day like this clouds of uncertainty linger on the horizon. Each week it seems another plant closes or a different company announces a major layoff. Last year, more than 5,100 Vermonters lost their jobs, in the past several months hundreds more have joined the unemployment rolls.”
(Kinzel) In the case of possible layoffs at IBM, the Dean administration has said that there is very little the state can do at this time because IBM’s problems stem from an international slowdown in demand for computer chips. Douglas is not convinced by this argument:
(Douglas) “With each new announcement of job losses, officials in Montpelier act surprised and helpless. They say we do not control our own destiny and that our future is beholden to the whims of a global economy. Well the jobs we’re losing aren’t just heading south to Mexico, they’re heading south to Massachusetts, east to New Hampshire, west to New York and to other states right here in America. It’s time to stop making excuses and start making a difference.” (Sound of cheering crowd.)
(Kinzel) Douglas vowed to cut taxes and streamline the state’s regulatory process for new business development if he’s elected governor in November.
For Vermont Public Radio I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.