Recently, a Vermont Republican Party e-mail announced that Florida Congressman Allen West will visit Vermont to raise money for his re-election effort.
Over the past few months, it has become common practice for the most radically conservative national GOP figures to visit our state either for lofty fees or to campaign with Vermont Republicans. What they bring to our state are demagogic speeches that consistently make news across the country for their characteristic offensiveness and insensitivity. It begs the question - why is the Vermont Republican Party welcoming this level of dialogue to our state? Vermont isn't well known for partisan politics. In Montpelier we routinely reach across the aisle on issues ranging from education to energy efficiency. We do this because we know that it's more important for us to serve all of our constituents than to bring in the out-of-state and out-of-touch views of polarizing political extremists.
I know that the Republicans I serve with in Montpelier don't share the views of Tea Party Congressman West or extremist Maine Governor Paul LePage. That's why it is disheartening when the Vermont Republican Party fails to state their firm opposition to the prejudicial language and policy choices of their invited guests.
Campaigns are about values. The anti-equality, anti-women's rights, anti-labor, anti-middle class values of Congressman West have no place in Vermont. How long will Vermont republicans be willing
While speaking to the conservative group, Women Impacting the Nation, Congressman West argued that women who support Planned Parenthood are, "neutering American men and bringing us towards the point of incredible weakness" (April 25, 2011 "VIDEO: Allen West: American Men Neutered by Liberal Women. '" The Roots). Anyone that can proliferate such sexist and appalling remarks should not be welcomed into our state's political debate. Anyone who fails to speak up against their rhetoric continues to give it credibility.
As we get closer to election day, we should be spending time on the issues that will continue to move Vermont forward, not the national figures who pull us apart. We don't need Florida Tea Party politics here in Vermont. If anything, Congressman West should be taking notes on our bipartisan approach.
Assistant Majority Leader
Addison - Ripton, Cornwall, Hancock, Goshen, Salisbury, Leicester