Challengers say Leahy has been in D.C. too long - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Challengers say Leahy has been in D.C. too long

Burlington, Vermont - July 2, 2010

Two men who want to replace Sen. Patrick Leahy say the Democrat has been in Washington, D.C., too long.

The passing of Sen. Robert Byrd from West Virginia leaves Leahy in line to head the powerful Appropriations Committee-- a post that could mean big money for a small state like Vermont.

But challengers Len Britton and Daniel Freilich say that's not a good reason to re-elect Leahy.

"And the appropriation situation-- this country's broke. We're running on almost $14 trillion deficit and to keep throwing pork at things is not the way to go 'cause it's gonna saddle our kids with debt they'll never be able to repay," said Britton, a Republican.

"There is no room, in my mind, for a professional politician moving to Washington for 30 or 40 years," said Freilich, who is running as an independent Democrat. "I think the framers of the Constitution and our founding fathers never expected that. Their expectation that you are a citizen legislator, did your duty, kind of like being in the military or in the Foreign Service or whatnot, and then you come home and do what you're doing so you understand what people are really going through."

As for the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings, neither Britton nor Freilich have any complaints. They both say Leahy did a fine job and that Kagan seems very bright and capable and is likely to be confirmed to the Supreme Court.

Christine Hinkel - WCAX News 

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