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Dubie challenges Shumlin, Racine to 12 debates; attacks Dems as “pro-tax”


CONTACT: August 31, 2010 Kate Duffy

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Citing Major Differences, Dubie Challenges Eventual Opponent to 12 Debates

Essex Junction, VT – While the recount of the primary vote gets underway, Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie said he is eager to debate the eventual Democratic nominee, challenging his opponent to a series of debates throughout the state.

“Whether my opponent ends up being Peter Shumlin or Doug Racine, our plans to address the economic challenges that face Vermont could not be more different,” Dubie said. “I look forward to letting Vermonters decide who they think best represents the interests of Vermont families, workers and job creators.”

Twelve debates over seven weeks, as well as several joint appearances, will make increasingly apparent to Vermonters the many differences between Lt. Gov. Dubie and either Peter Shumlin or Doug Racine.

“It does not matter who is chosen to be my opponent,” Dubie said. “They both want to raise taxes on Vermont families and both have a long history of voting against the interests of our state’s job creators. These debates will clearly show that their pro-tax, job-killing agendas are out of touch with the interests of Vermonters.”

Dubie vs. Shumlin:

Shumlin has a history of raising taxes on Vermont families: As Senate President Pro Tem, Peter Shumlin in 2009 led the charge to override the Governor’s veto of the state budget, increasing taxes on struggling Vermonters by $26 million, even after he said on multiple occasions that Vermonters have no more tax capacity. The $4.5 billion budget increased spending by 3% despite a huge decline in revenue. He later called his charge to raise millions of dollars in new taxes during a recession a “fluke” (WCAX, 8/18). “I stood with the Governor to adamantly oppose tax increases on families and workers,” Dubie said. “Calling a tax increase on hard-working Vermonters a ‘fluke’ is offensive. Maybe to a millionaire, a tax increase is no big deal, but to the average Vermonter who is already overtaxed, it could break the family budget. That just shows how out of touch he is.”

This year, when other lawmakers considered rolling back the tax increases, Sen. Shumlin opposed it, telling the Burlington Free Press the state couldn’t afford to lose the revenue (February 5, 2010). He even voted to increase taxes on manufacturers and farmers by blocking the pass-through of the domestic production tax deduction. As Governor, Dubie will cut taxes to create jobs and rebuild the economy. “I’m running for Governor to make Vermont more affordable,” Dubie said. “As Vermonters pay more and more in taxes, they have less money to devote to other priorities such as housing and utility costs, a college education for their kids, and saving for retirement.”

Shumlin has a history of voting against the interests of job creators: In a legislative scorecard released two weeks ago, Sen. Shumlin earned a 0% rating from the National Federation of Independent Business/Vermont, the “Voice of Small Business” in Vermont. “This means he voted against the interests of job creators not once or twice, but every chance he got,” Dubie said. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of Vermont’s economy. As Governor, I will do everything I can to support them. You cannot be pro-employee but anti-employer.”

Shumlin seeks dozens of new government-funded programs: Sen. Shumlin has proposed dozens of new publicly financed programs, including free child care, a government-run health care system; and a laptop computer for every 6th to 8th grade student. Even his primary opponent, Sen. Doug Racine, said it would be impossible to pay for all of these programs without raising taxes. “We are already facing a budget deficit of $112 million,” Dubie said. “It would require the biggest tax hike in state history, and Vermonters are already overtaxed. We need a Governor who understands the only way to sustainably support worthy state programs is to grow jobs and expand our tax base.”

Dubie vs. Racine

Racine seeks even higher taxes on overtaxed Vermonters: In 2009, Sen. Racine voted against $26 million in tax increases because the bill didn’t raise taxes enough.

Racine has a history of voting against the interests of job creators: In a legislative scorecard released two weeks ago, Racine earned a dismal 11% rating from the National Federation of Independent Business/Vermont, the “Voice of Small Business” in Vermont.

Racine will raid the state’s Rainy Day Fund to back government-funded programs: Racine said he would expand government-run services and raid the state’s “rainy day fund” to pay for them. He was on record opposing the bipartisan effort to find efficiencies in state government known as Challenges for Change. “Raiding the rainy day fund, especially during a recession, is simply irresponsible,” Dubie said. “Doug Racine would risk our strong bond rating and put Vermonters in the dangerous position of having no reserves rather pursue more efficient government.”

Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie has committed to the following debates, and invites the Democratic nominee to join him in discussing their differences in a public exchange of ideas. The twelve debates represent a range of issues important to voters. They will be held in diverse geographic locations, including Bennington, Chittenden, Franklin, Orange and Washington counties, to enable more people to attend debates in person. Eight of them will be hosted by broadcast media, which will allow the highest number of Vermonters to see or hear the exchange of ideas.

“Voters have been waiting patiently to compare the candidates while the Democrats determine their nominee,” Dubie said. “I propose the first debate be held as soon as possible – at 8:00 a.m. the day after the nominee is confirmed.”

Vermont’s top-rated morning radio program, the “Charlie, Ernie & Lisa Show” on WVMT Newstalk 620, has agreed to host the first debate and broadcast it live the day after the Democratic candidate is officially named.

Date TBD WVMT Newstalk 620, WVMT studio, Colchester
Sept. 15 Vermont Public Radio, VPR studio, Colchester
Sept. 17 WDEV Radio, Tunbridge Fair
Sept. 21 Franklin County Business & Prof. Women, St. Albans
Sept. 23 Manchester Journal/Bennington Banner, Bennington fire station
Sept. 26 AARP/VPT live broadcast, Sheraton Hotel, Burlington
Oct. 1 Renewable Energy VT, Montpelier
Oct. 3 Vermont Press Assn., St. Michael’s College
Oct. 5 Vt. Chamber of Commerce/NECN, Champlain Valley Expo
Oct. 7 Vermont Public Television, VPT studio, Colchester
Oct. 19 WPTZ-TV, Echo Center, Burlington
Oct. 23 WCAX-TV, Location TBD

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