Posted by Charity on April 19th, 2006

I was driving out to Sam Mazza’s yesterday to see if they had any strawberry plants in yet and I passed a “Tarrant for Senate” lawn sign. That got me thinking about the whole Tarrant vs. Sanders race.

Two things came up. First, it’s funny how the Sanders supporters are constantly criticizing Tarrant for spending his own money, but the same people are all over Martha Rainville for taking donations. You can’t win with these people. They won’t be happy unless the GOP candidate has no money at all and they can just skate into office unchallenged. Real champions of democracy, these folks are.

Sanders takes the majority of his money from out-of-state. He also has special interest groups and the Democratic Party establishment financially backing him.

Tarrant, on the other hand, is not taking any money from out-of-state, special interest groups, or the Republican Party, from what I have read.

It does not sound like a bad thing that Tarrant is using his own money. At least we know he won’t need to compromise his principles for the people who financially backed him.

The other thing I was thinking about is how this race really is one of the few races I have seen in a while where you can really differentiate the positions of the candidates. There seems to be no need to squabble over irrelevant things when the candidates present clearly diametrically opposed philosophies.

Tarrant is a self-made business man. Sanders is an anti-corporation zealot, who has made his money as a career politician. You can’t get any more opposite than that. Tarrant is a proponent of the private sector; Sanders a champion of socialism. I challenge anyone to find a problem they would solve the same way.

There is really no need for either camp to go on about things that have nothing to do with each man’s views on the role of government or the policies they would support. They are doing a disservice to the voters to keep the focus on other things that bear no impact on what kind of senator either man would make.

I would love to see this be a campaign about the issues and political philosophies of each candidate and let the voters choose which one they like better.

46 Responses to “Thoughts on the US Senate Race”

  1. Why? Sell it. If you can convince me, I’ll vote for him.

  2. I saw Tarrant speak recently. He understands the economic and health care situation in this country at a level that Bernie is intellectually incapable of. He’s also more than willing to break ranks with the Repubs on a national level, he was very critical of the Bush administration on several subjects in front of a politically neutral audience.

    Like Peter Freyne, I can’t wait for the debates to start. Unlike Peter Freyne, I’m pretty sure I’ll look forward to more after the first one.

  3. Bernie got funding for Vemont’s Veterans’ hospitals restored when Bush cut it. I hope we can all agree that was a good thing.

    http://www.wcax.com/Global/story.asp?S=2794750

  4. Bernie has an excellent environmental voting record, too.

    http://capwiz.com/lcv/dbq/vote.....azip=05401

  5. “Bernie got funding for Vemont’s Veterans’ hospitals restored when Bush cut it.”

    Taking credit for a one-time, 1/2 mil slice of a DoD appropriations bill is not quite the same as “restoring” funding that Bush cut.

    Tarrant brought hundreds if not thousands of jobs and millions in tax revenue to VT – money and jobs that would not have otherwise come here.

  6. Sorry, you’ll have to do better than providing a high rating from an environmental group. They have their own agenda, which may or may make someone with a low score “anti-environment.” For example, if you voted for CAFTA, it was considered an anti-environment vote by them.

    I can produce plenty of scorecards that rank Sanders low.

    2005 Representative Sanders supported the interests of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce 33 percent in 2005.

    2004 Representative Sanders supported the interests of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce 30 percent in 2004.

    2004 Representative Sanders supported the interests of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council 20 percent in 2004.

    2003-2004 Representative Sanders supported the interests of the Information Technology Industry Council 10 percent in 2003-2004.

    2003-2004 Representative Sanders supported the interests of the Center for Security Policy 0 percent in 2003-2004.

    2003-2004 Representative Sanders supported the interests of the American Security Council 0 percent in 2003-2004.

    Maybe we should stick to issues and policy positions instead of special interest group scorecards.

  7. Anonymous said:

    “…Tarrant brought hundreds if not thousands of jobs…”

    Tarrent also sold IDX to GE Healthcare which is now sending a lot of those jobs to India. But regardless, having created jobs doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be a good senator. The man has no experience in government. What’s his plan?

    Charity said:

    “Maybe we should stick to issues and policy positions instead of special interest group scorecards.”

    There’s a lot of overlap. Special interest groups rate leaders based on their positions and actions on issues. It’s not like they are totally seperate things.

    That list you ticked off sounds about right. Getting poor ratings from those groups is what I expect from Sanders and part of why I vote for him. Screw the US chamber of commerce and screw the center for security policy.

    But like y’all I look forward to the debates. I hope they have as many as possible.

  8. “Tarrent also sold IDX to GE Healthcare which is now sending a lot of those jobs to India.”

    That is absolutely untrue. Less than ten positions have been cut from IDX since the merger, all of which were simply redundant between the two companies.

  9. “Screw the US chamber of commerce”

    Brilliant. Keep going.

  10. “That is absolutely untrue. Less than ten positions have been cut from IDX since the merger, all of which were simply redundant between the two companies.”

    And you would know that because…?

    I got the India thing from talking to a woman that works at IDX. That’s just what she told me.

  11. “Brilliant. Keep going.”

    Thanks for the encouragement, anonymnous 1. I will keep going. It’s not going to help or hurt either of our causes, though. Nothing anyone here says will. We’re all just a bunch of political dorks who like to hear ourselves type.

    It’s fun though. So let’s all keep going!

  12. “And you would know that because…?”

    I have friends who work there as well. IDX tried outsourcing a handful of jobs to India a few years ago and it didn’t work, so they stopped doing it altogether.

    You’ll know if they ever start doing this because Bernie’s campaign will talk about it for weeks. They sure made a big deal about those few redundant HR jobs. It’s not surprising that a guy who’s never had a real job would be confused by a corporate merger.

    I’m reminded of the ‘04 governor’s race, Clavelle’s supporters were all hyper-excited for the debates to start, but once they did, the enthusiasm dropped off dramatically. Sloganeering doesn’t convert voters in a debate format, and we haven’t seen Bernie forced to think in public very often. Should be VERY interesting.

  13. I’ve debated Peter Clavelle eight times. He’s no Bernie Sanders. I wouldn’t let Clavelle’s performance in the governor race lull you into a false sense of complacency about what’s going to happen to Tarrant. It won’t be pretty.

  14. I think Bernie’s had real jobs. Wasn’t he a house painter or something before winning mayor?

  15. “It won’t be pretty.”

    I agree. Anyone who’s heard both men speak knows that Tarrant’s intellectual capacity and knowledge of specifics behind the issues makes Bernie look like a screeching schoolboy.

    The one area that he could have gotten nailed on is a “Rich=George” play, but as I said, Tarrant made it clear when I saw him speak that he diverges from his party and the current administration on many issues, so I don’t think that will work at all. The audience that I was with were all pretty shocked, actually.

    It gets back to the advantages of self-financing that Charity spoke of in her post – Tarrant isn’t beholden to anyone, and isn’t forced to adopt any positions that he can’t justify. Whenever the debates get into economic and healthcare issues, Tarrant is going to destroy.

  16. So, Haik, basically you support letting anyone who wants to come here for “free” healthcare and all the government handouts they can handle, while simultaneously being against commerce, small business and entrepreneurship, information technology. How does that work? When you drive out business, who the heck is going to pay for all your government programs?

  17. “I’ve debated Peter Clavelle eight times.”

    ??? In pursuit of which position?

  18. If CEO competency is the reason we should vote for Tarrant, then how do you explain Bush? He was the CEO of a failed oil company. And Cheney (Halliburton)? Under their competence, government spending has grown more than any Democrat in modern history, the national deficit continues to climb, and the trade deficit continues growing unabated.

    I wonder how many other CEOs/millionaires already “represent” us in Congress. Maybe it’s easier to ask if there any exceptions? Good for them for being model capitalists, but to think that success translates into representing the best interests of the average constituent is not logic that sits well with most Vermonters.

  19. “I wonder how many other CEOs/millionaires already ‘represent’ us in Congress.”

    “Bentley mansion Bentley.” You’re going to have to do better than that.

    Tarrant’s decades of experience as the CEO of a company working in the healthcare industry have given him a deep understanding of the fundamental economic and healthcare-related issues facing this country, in both domestic and global contexts. The class warfare thing is not going to survive past the first debate.

  20. “The class warfare thing is not going to survive past the first debate.”

    Whatever you say, Nostradamus….

  21. “Whatever you say, Nostradamus”

    Just keep flogging it if you don’t believe me. It’s going to be hilarious watching the Sanders campaign trying to retrain their army of drones ones the debates start.

  22. Charity Said:

    So, Haik, basically you support letting anyone who wants to come here for “free” healthcare and all the government handouts they can handle, while simultaneously being against commerce, small business and entrepreneurship, information technology. How does that work? When you drive out business, who the heck is going to pay for all your government programs?

    I just said free healthcare. You threw in the ‘handouts’ part yourself. Also, I never said I was against commerce, small business and entrepreneurship, or information technology. That’s silly. I’ve run two small businesses myself and my current job (and this hobby) depends heavily on IT. I just said ’screw’ a couple of lobbying groups. You made a rather large and rather false leap from that to charactarize my positions as such.

    Anonyous: I debated Clavelle five times when I ran for mayor in 1991 and three times (I think three- maybe it was just once or twice) when I ran for mayor in 2001.

    What I remember from the channel 17 debate in 2001 is Kevin Curley telling Clavelle he would debate him “any time, anywhere, anyplace” which was meta-redundant as it was during a debate that he was challenging Clavelle (with a redundancy) to debate him. Very weird.

    Anonymous Said:

    Tarrant’s decades of experience as the CEO of a company working in the healthcare industry have given him a deep understanding of the fundamental economic and healthcare-related issues facing this country, in both domestic and global contexts

    That sounds like such total bullshit. If Tarrant knows how to fix healthcare, where are his position papers on it? What are his specific proposals and where has he been during every public hearing on the subject for the last thirty years?

    He just happened to be the one who applied computing to the medical field. Computers revolutionized every industry, not just healthcare. He might as well take credit for inventing the internet. If Tarrant hadn’t done it for doctors’ offices, somebody else would have. Just because he rode one good idea to big money doesn’t mean he knows how to fix healthcare in America.

    So far from his ads I’ve learned Tarrant likes to walk around listlessly in gymnasiums, spends money he doesn’t have and buys pencil sharpeners at garage sales.

    From my own research I’ve learned he ran for South Burlington’s select board once in the 1960s and lost. That’s his only political experience. I asked his campaign about this and someone replied months later with some jive about a lack of political experience being good. When I replied and said I hoped he got crushed in November, I got some bullshit ’server problem’ message, which I believe was employed purposely to make me think they didn’t get my message. I know they got it. Mr. IDX can’t make his f*ckin’ email work? Pleaze!

    Regardless. He’ll get the message loud and clear in November. Get this people: Tarrant’s gonna lose.

  23. “If Tarrant knows how to fix healthcare, where are his position papers on it?”

    It’s April. The election is in November. I heard a preview during his talk, and if you’re a Sanders supporter you should hope the debates steer clear of healthcare as much as possible.

    “He might as well take credit for inventing the internet.”

    What are you implying that he’s taken credit for?

    “Just because he rode one good idea to big money doesn’t mean he knows how to fix healthcare in America.”

    No, the fact that he’s been knee deep in the healthcare industry for 35 years, both here and abroad, means he knows how to fix healthcare in America.

    “When I replied and said I hoped he got crushed in November, I got some bullshit ’server problem’ message, which I believe was employed purposely to make me think they didn’t get my message.”

    Because… they’re obligated to respond to every immature nutjob that emails them?

  24. Because… they’re obligated to respond to every immature nutjob that emails them?

    Uh…Hello?! That’s exactly what what public service is all about! Hells-yeah he’s friggin’ obligated! You don’t think Bernie’s been dealing with whackos, crackpots and nutjobs like me from the right, left and outer space for friggin’ twenty-five years straight?!

    To quote Megadeth: “It’s still We, The People…Riiiightt?!!”

    A public servant can’t pick and choose his weirdos. He works for us all.

  25. PS- I hope the debates focus squarely on healthcare. Who are you to say what Sanders’s supporters should hope for? For all I know, you are Richard Tarrant himself, or one of his fake blogger surrogates, “anonymous.”

  26. “Hells-yeah he’s friggin’ obligated!”

    So “I hope you get crushed in November” was posed in the form of a question, or was it just the implicit request for a mental health referral that you were hoping for a response to?

    BTW, you really shouldn’t post when you’re drunk.

    “Who are you to say what Sanders’s supporters should hope for?”

    Hope for what you want, but your guy’s going to look like a stammering fool whenever it goes there. Bernie has no first-hand experience whatsoever to draw on, unless you count his bus ride to Canada, and hasn’t even hinted at a plan to fix the current situation. His drug reimportation mantra is easily dismantled, and I haven’t heard much else from him on healthcare. There’s certainly nothing on his site, and his archives draw from years of articles and interviews. Face it, it’s a losing subject for him and I’m sure he knows it.

  27. HA! THAT’S your response?! I LOVE IT!!

  28. “HA! THAT’S your response?! I LOVE IT!!”

    You love it so much you can’t muster a reply? Still haven’t sobered up yet, eh “comment deleted”?

  29. Why would I bother? You got nuthin’ to respond to. Your thesis is that Tarrant can beat Bernie in a debate about healthcare. I disagree. I think Tarrant’s political inexperience is betrayed by his cheap tricks on the internet and his campaign’s slow response to my question about that experience. It was my reply to his campaign’s tardy response in which I told them I hope Tarrant will be crushed in November. Bernie will never sound like a stammering fool. I’ve never seen Tarrant speak extemporaneously- but I look forward to it.

    That’s about all I have to say to you on this, Mr. or Ms. paid-fake-blogger-for-Tarrant.

    You may have the ‘last word.’

  30. “You got nuthin’ to respond to.”

    Oh come on, I wouldn’t *quite* call your comments “nuthin’.” It is interesting, though, how you won’t even attempt to defend Bernie on healthcare, or point out why Tarrant won’t clean his clock on the subject in a debate.

    “I’ve never seen Tarrant speak extemporaneously- but I look forward to it.”

    Somehow I doubt that.

  31. Go Haik! Even drunk you’re beating that blog-head….

  32. “Go Haik!”

    Supporting yourself anonymously? You’re plumbing new depths.

  33. “perhaps you’ll realize the irony of it.”

    I’ve never cheered myself on anonymously. Denying it makes it even more pathetic.

  34. Oh yeah, that’s my MO exactly. Stop embarrassing yourself.

  35. “You stop embarassing YOURSELF!”

    Oh, touche!

    Gotta be a bit quicker on that delete button, son!

  36. “Can’t you just be happy with losing the Bernie-Tarrant debate to me?”

    Good question, I’ll let you know if that ever happens.

  37. Haik won that one. That other Anonymous boob – although he/she and I have something in common (in name only) – is like the unibrowed bully on the playground who throws dirt in kids faces just to see the reaction.

    The kid later goes on to be the nameless actor who gets his ass kicked in Steven Segal movies….

  38. I’m Marked for Death, but I’m Hard to Kill, I’m Out for Justice and I believe that no one is Above the Law.

  39. “Haik won that one.”

    You just can’t let it go. SO sad.

  40. BTW, the next time you try this, you might want to make sure that both of your personas don’t misspell “Seagal” in exactly the same way.

  41. Haik, I’m going to start posting things as anonymous just to mess with you. (Kidding!)

  42. “Somebody else and I mispelled segal the same way”

    Ever hear the expression “quit while you’re behind?”

  43. “See- My father didn’t raise me to use benign insults like ‘blog-head’”

    If I remember correctly, your favorite was “blog-tard.” A nearly equivalent and uniquely ridiculous “insult” that made it obvious that it was you.

    “That’s isn’t proof of shit.”

    Wow, you’re just going to keep going. This is like watching someone punch themselves in the face over and over.

  44. Blog-Tard and Blog-Head are totally different. I’m sick of this.

    Now, except for this one, I’m gonna delete all my comments since the actual debate.

    Why? Because I’m an artist.

  45. “I’m gonna delete all my comments since the actual debate. Why? Because I’m an artist.”

    Haven’t heard “artist” used to mean “person who is justifiably embarrassed by things that they wrote” before. It’s good that you’re finally copping to it though.

  46. “I’m gonna delete all my comments since the actual debate. Why? Because I’m an artist.”

    Haven’t heard “artist” used to mean “person who is justifiably embarrassed by things that they wrote” before. It’s good that you’re finally copping to it though.