I was in Vermont over the extended Labor Day weekend. Before I left I contacted Senator Patrick Leahy via email. Here is what I sent:
“You apparently do not conduct town hall meetings.
However, I would like to take part in any discussions with constituents
or interview you if you will be anywhere near Burlington over the Labor Day weekend.
I received no response.
When I was in Burlington, VT, I called both senator’s offices and they were closed. However I discovered that Senator Bernie Sanders was going to speak at a Labor Day celebration. Here is part of the announcement:
“Burlington Labor Day Celebration & Benefit Concert
September 7, 2009 – 12:00pm – 3:00pm
WHEN: 12 noon – 3pm, Monday, September 7
WHERE: Battery Park, Burlington
WHAT: Senator Bernie Sanders will join hundreds of working families for the 8th Annual Burlington Labor Day Celebration sharing in a community potluck, music, street theater and ice cream. This year’s celebration is being sponsored by the Vermont Workers’ Center, a community-based workers’ rights organization who has been building a statewide grassroots organizing campaign called the “Healthcare Is A Human Right Campaign””
Senator Sanders, considered by many to be an open socialist, has been regularly featured on CNN and other MSM outlets. The video below has some exerpts from his speech, obviously crafted to appeal to a radical, “government owes me”, agenda. I was able to quickly ask Senator Sanders a question about tort reform before he departed.
The next day, as luck or whatever forces, would have it, I was in the Capitol building in Montpelier when State Auditor Tom Salmon, switched from the Democrat to Republican party. Tom Salmon’s father was a former Vermont governor. I present on video part of Salmon’s announcement as well as a question about his thoughts on healthcare reform.
I was also fortunate to obtain an interview with Vermont Republican Chairman, Rob Roper, regarding healthcare reform. Roper provided an opinion about Senator Patrick Leahy which may explain one of the reasons he was unavailable.
I was treated with courtesy, for the most part, at the Sander’s speech. However, I had the distinct impression that they were surprised that I was there and would be recording the speech. Senator Sanders has embarked on a new video campaign for Youtube and other outlets. Gee, I hope that I did not spoil any plans to control presentation or quoting of this speech.
The complete Senator Bernie Sanders speech can be viewed here: