Keith Stern campaigns on transparency in the Legislature

Dear Editor,

My wife and I were at Fort Number 4 two Saturdays ago to watch a reenactment of a Revolutionary War battle; and while I was waiting for it to start, I started thinking about the major reason for the war which boiled down to taxation without representation. I thought these brave people were willing to sacrifice everything for a cause they believed, and here we are now letting these so-called leaders keep taking more and more from us and seldom actually representing us.

Cases in point are two very drastically different bills that have been passed without informing the voters what they really mean and the resulting effects of them. First is the tax and regulating of marijuana. The majority of Vermonters are in favor of it, but at least let people know what studies have found from states that have already legalized it. For instance, how many know that samples tested in the legalized states contain molds? People are inhaling mold without being aware of it, and that will be happening here. Should that be something our legislators should be publicizing? Or should they keep it secret because they don’t want to decrease their revenue stream?

The Global Warming Solutions Act seems like such a worthy bill – after all, we all want clean air. But this will be detrimental to our economy and hurt many people struggling just to hold on here. Is this a case of the greater good outweighing the harm to many or is it that they just don’t care about individuals?

And if the environment is so important to these people, then why are sewerage dumps into Lake Champlain still going on unabated?

Finally, why during such hard economic times for so many and the state was facing a massive deficit, did our legislators decide it was the right time to vote themselves a pay raise? Is it arrogance, or that they just don’t care anymore?

So if the majority decide I would be the better choice to represent our state, I can promise you this: I will not vote for any bill that will negatively affect fellow Vermonters, and I will treat the money taxed from you responsibly. Even though you may disagree with my vote sometimes, you will always be told why I voted that way and I will keep you informed about every bill before it is passed and let you know the benefits and the negative consequences beforehand.

If our current legislators followed this, you wouldn’t be facing a major shock and hardship unexpectedly in the very near future.


Keith Stern

Springfield, Vt.

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