YCQM - Pat McDonald - Nov. 13, 2012 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM - Pat McDonald - Nov. 13, 2012

November 13, 2011 -- Vt. GOP Chair Pat McDonald joins Kristin Carlson of WCAX and Shay Totten of Seven Days to discuss the future of the Republican Party.

>>> FROM WCAX BRINGS YOU YOUR NEWS MAKER. YOUR NEIGHBOR. THIS IS YOU CAN QUOTE ME.

>> GOOD MORNING TODAY ON YOU CAN QUOTE ME WE ARE TALKING TO PAT McDONALD THE CHAIR OF THE GOP. WE HAVE SHAY TOTTEN HERE ALSO. THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME. LETS START WITH RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX, THIS PAST WEEK WE HAD THE ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF LAST YEAR'S ELECTIONS AND NOW WE'LL HAVE THE NEXT ELECTIONS, LOTS OF QUESTIONS OUT THERE. WILL BRIAN DUBE ASK FOR A REMATCH AGAINST THE GOVERNOR PETE AND ARE WE GETTING CLOSER, THE DEADLINE SEEMED LABOR DAY AND THEN OCTOBER AND NOW WE ARE IN NOVEMBER AND WILL IT BE GROUNDHOG DAY OR CHRISTMAS DAY?

>> I THINK IT'S RIGHT NOW.

>> IT'S THE SAME KIND OF CONVERSATION, WE ARE WAITING FOR BRIAN TO STEP FORWARD AND MAKE UP HIS MIND FOR WHAT HE WOULD LIKE TO DO. WE ARE IN CONSTANT CONTACT WITH HIM THAT WOULD BE INTERESTED DEPENDING ON WHAT BRIAN DOES. WE ARE GETTING MUCH CLOSER BECAUSE WE ARE HAVING A LOT OF DISCUSSIONS AROUND THE STATE AND WITH DIFFERENT PEOPLE. I THINK WE ARE GETTING CLOSER, WE'LL LET YOU KNOW FOR SURE, BUT WE ARE HOPING THAT AS SOON AS WE HAVE OUR FALL DINNER THAT WE'LL BE A LOT CLOSER. THAT IS REALLY WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR ANY WAY.

>> THAT GROUP THAT MET BACK IN AUGUST, DID THEY CONTINUE TO MEET AND TALK ABOUT RECRUITMENT, I KNOW THAT SPARK SNELLING AND TOM SALMON THE STATE AUDITOR WAS INTERESTED.

>> THEY TALK AMONGST THEMSELVES AND OBVIOUSLY WITH ME, I THINK TOM ROSEN SAID HE WAS NOT INTERESTED IN GOING FORWARD FOR SEVERAL REASONS, PERSONAL REASONS, TOM SALMON IS RUNNING FOR AUDITOR, AND ONCE BRIAN MAKES UP HIS MIND THEN OTHERS WILL DECIDE THE OTHER POSITIONS THAT ARE STATEWIDE AND WE'LL HAVE A FULL SLATE OF CANDIDATES, AND MOVE FORWARD.

>> ARE YOU RUNNING FOR OFFICE?

>> I WAS ASKED TO RUN FOR OFFICE, IT'S BEEN COVERED IN THE PAPER AND I AM GIVING IT SOME CONSIDERATION BUT AS WE TALKED ABOUT WE HAVE GREAT CANDIDATES TO FILL THE SLOTS AND FILL THE GOVERNOR'S POSITIONS. WE'LL SEE.

>> SO YES OR NO?

>> THINKING.

>> NOT A NO THOUGH?

>> NOT A NO BUT CLEARLY WAITING TO SEE WHAT THESE FOLKS ARE THINKING. ANYONE OF THEM COULD TAKE ON THE TASK AND TO BRING IT TO A SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION.

>> IF THE CANDIDATE IS BRIAN DUBE, WHAT MAKES YOU THINK HE WILL BE MORE SUCCESSFUL THIS TIME AROUND. VERMONTERS RARELY KICK OUT AN INCUMBENT, EVEN WORKING WITH PEOPLE.

>> HAVING GONE THROUGH THE PROCESS, I RAN TWICE FOR THE LEGISLATURE AND THE SECOND CAMPAIGN WAS CERTAINLY RUN BETTER THAN THE FIRST, AND YOU JUST LEARN THINGS. HE WILL LEARN DIFFERENT THINGS AND FOCUS THE MESSAGE BETTER AND THERE IS AN ENTHUSIASM AND I DISAGREE WHAT YOU ARE SAYING WITH THE GOVERNOR, THERE IS OPPORTUNITIES HERE BECAUSE OF DECISIONS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE. WE ARE LOOKING AT HEALTH CARE AND ENERGY AND WE ARE LOOKING AT THE ECONOMY BEFORE IRENE. IT WAS CLEARLY VERY STAGNANT. I THINK WE HAVE SOME GREAT OPPORTUNITIES TO PROVIDE ALTERNATIVES AND OPTIONS. WHOEVER IS THE CANDIDATE, I BELIEVE, WILL HAVE A VERY GOOD CHANCE OF MAKING THE CASE.

>> YOU JUST MENTIONED HEALTH CARE. WHEN YOU LOOK AT WHAT THE GOVERNOR IS SETTING FORTH SO FAR, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST CONCERNS THAT YOU ARE HEARING FROM PEOPLE, IT SEEMS THAT REPUBLICANS DO THINK THAT THEY ARE PUSHING THROUGH HEALTH CARE. AND YOU MENTIONED ENERGY, WHAT SPECIFICALLY ON ENERGY? JUST CLOSING DOWN VERMONT YANKEE?

>> WELL, CLEARLY SHUTTING DOWN VERMONT ENERGY. WE HAVE TO LOOK AT WHAT WE CAN DO AS A STATE AND THERE NEEDS TO BE OTHER OPTIONS, WITH GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER HAVING CONTRACTED WITH A NUCLEAR PLANT, THAT KIND OF SHOWS THAT NUCLEAR POWER HAS A PLACE IN OUR ENERGY FUTURE AND GIVEN THE ISSUES GOING ON IN TOWNS AROUND VERMONT WITH REGARD TO WINDMILLS AND TURBINE, HOW DO WE PROVIDE ENOUGH ENERGY AT AN AFFORDABLE RATE FOR OUR BUSINESSES AND FOR OUR VERMONTERS. WE ARE, I THINK, IN A UNIQUE POSITION, WITH QUEBEC AND CANADA AND THE NEW ENGLAND STATES. AND WE CAN PERHAPS POSITION OURSELVES WITH HYDRO QUEBEC AND OTHERS, BUT NUCLEAR HAS TO PLAY A BASIC ROLE IN THAT PACKAGE, THAT PORTFOLIO.

>> DO YOU THINK THAT THE GOVERNOR IS WRONG TO THEN FIGHT TO KEEP AND NOT CLOSE DOWN VERMONT YANKEE, DO YOU THINK THE STATE HAS A ROLE WHEN IT COMES TO GOVERNING VERMONT YANKEE OR DO YOU THINK IT'S A FEDERAL ROLE?

>> I THINK WE HAVE THE ISSUE OF SAFETY RIGHT NOW AND THAT IS IN THE COURTS AND FEDERAL JURISDICTION WHETHER IT IS SAFE. WE HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE DECISION FROM THE COURTS, AND BOTH SIDES WHETHER THEY WIN OR LOSE WILL PURSUE THE NEXT STEP IN THAT PROCESS. I THINK WE FELT CLEARLY THAT THAT DECISION SHOULD HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ON THE PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD, WHICH IS WHAT IT WAS ALWAYS INTENDED TO BE. WHEN I WAS IN THE LEGISLATURE, WE FOUGHT TO KEEP THAT DECISION WITH THE PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD.

>> THAT VOTE IN THE SENATE, THAT WASN'T EVEN CLOSE. HOW CAN YOU KIND OF SQUARE THE FACT, THAT IT SHOULD HAVE GONE TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD, THAT WAS BROUGHT TO THE STATE SENATE AND THERE WERE REPUBLICANS THAT VOTED, ALLOWING THE STATE TO SAY NO, IT CAN'T GO FORWARD?

>> I KNOW THAT IN THE HOUSE THERE WERE QUITE A FEW OF US THAT WOULD HAVE ARGUED BACK AND VOTED WITH THE FOUR SENATORS THAT VOTED TO HAVE THAT GO FORWARD. IT'S A BIG DECISION BECAUSE WE JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUTURE WILL BE AND IF YOU LOOK AT THE ALTERNATIVES THAT ARE AVAILABLE TO FILL THAT VOID. YOU LOOK AT WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE IN VERMONT, THE REACTION TO THE WIND TOWERS AND OTHER RENEWABLES, I DO THINK THEY HAVE A PLACE IN THAT WHOLE PACKAGE BUT WITHOUT NUCLEAR WE WOULD BE STRUGGLING. THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES ALSO SUPPORTS NUCLEAR, HE CAME OUT IN SUPPORT OF THAT AS WELL AND SEES A PLACE FOR IT AND THE PLANT OBVIOUSLY HAS TO BE SAFE AND WE ARE LOOKING AT HOW MANY JOBS IF YANKEE CLOSES DOWN, WHAT HAPPENS TO THAT COMMUNITY? THERE ARE DECISIONS ON OPENING OR CLOSING IT.

>> AND THE BURLINGTON MAYORAL RACE, A HOT CONTEST BETWEEN THE DEMOCRATS, AND WE DID A TAPING, AND THE CAUCUS IS TAKING PLACE AND THERE SEEMS TO BE ENERGY AMONG DEMOCRATS TO TAKE BACK THE MAYOR'S SEAT. WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THE CHANCES, AND DO YOU THINK THE REPUBLICAN KURT HAS A SHOT?

>> YES, HE DOES, HE HAS A GREAT CHANCE, HE HAS PROVEN HIMSELF ON THE COUNCIL AND AS A LEGISLATURE.

>> HE LOST TOO?

>> HE LOST IN A VERY CLOSE RACE AND IF IT HADN'T BEEN FOR INSTANT RUNOFF, HE WOULD HAVE BEEN THE MAYOR, IF I HAVE THE NUMBERS CORRECT. HE HAS GREAT IDEAS AND PUT SOME THINGS ON THE TABLE ALREADY AND THINKS WHAT TO DO FOR THE FUTURE OF BURLINGTON. I THINK THAT KURT HAS A GREAT DEAL TO OFFER TO THE CITY. WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT ENERGY, WE SEE A GREAT DEAL OF ENERGY IN OUR PARTY AROUND THE STATE WITH REPUBLICANS TO GET INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS. IT'S GREAT TO WATCH BURLINGTON AND HAVE ALL OF THAT ENERGY AND IT'S EXCITING AROUND THE STATE TO SEE REPUBLICANS REALLY CALLING AND GETTING INVOLVED AND STEPPING UP.

>> I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THAT, AS YOU KNOW THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAS REALLY SEEN ITS NUMBERS DWINDLE AS FAR AS PUBLIC OFFICES. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE LEGISLATURES, THE DEMOCRATS CONTROL THE HOUSE AND THEY CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT. WHEN YOU GO DOWN, THEY CONTROL THE STATEWIDE OFFICERS, WHERE DO YOU THINK THE PARTY WENT WRONG AND HOW DO YOU SORT OF TURN THAT AROUND OR IS VERMONT JUST A DEMOCRATIC STATE NOW?

>> I PERSONALLY THINK THAT PEOPLE ARE BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANT OF HAVING BALANCE IN MONTPELIER, WHEN YOU HAVE SUCH A MAJORITY. YOU DON'T GET THINGS DONE, YOU NEED BALANCE TO THE TABLE. WE TALK ABOUT THE BEST BILL BEING THE THIRD BILL. TWO COMPETING SIDES BRINGING A BILL TO THE TABLE AND IF YOU ARE WILLING TO NEGOTIATE, YOU GET A BILL AT THE END OF THE DAY THAT WORKS FOR EVERYBODY. THAT ISN'T IN THE STATE HOUSE, I ARGUE THAT THE PROCESS HAS NOT BEEN FOLLOWED AS IT SHOULD BE. THE WAY THAT THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS WORKS AS FAR AS BILLS ON CALENDARS, BUT NONETHELESS AN INDICATION OF WHAT IS HAPPENING IN MONTPELIER. WE TALKED ABOUT THIS A LITTLE BIT AGO, WE ARE PUTTING OUT A MESSAGE THAT TALKS ABOUT VERMONT GOP, GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY AND PROSPERITY. OUR IDEAS REGARDING A COMMON MESSAGE AND GETTING THE ECONOMY BACK TO WHERE IT SHOULD BE. GROWING THE ECONOMY AND GROWING OPPORTUNITIES FOR INDIVIDUALS, WITH THAT MESSAGE, AND WE STICK TO OUR MESSAGE AS FAR AS ALL OF OUR CANDIDATES, WE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND YOU'LL SEE THE NUMBERS INCREASE IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE AND HOPEFULLY SOME OF THE STATEWIDE OFFICES.

>> DO YOU THINK THAT THE VERMONT REPUBLICAN BRAND HAS BEEN DAMAGED BY THE MORE SOCIALLY CONSERVATIVES THAT HAVE RUN NATIONALLY AND BEEN ELECTED NATIONALLY. YOU THINK OF GEORGE AIKEN, AND IT SEEMS AS IF TODAY'S REPUBLICANS ARE MORE APT TO BE DEMOCRATS IN THE STATE. HOW DO YOU CAPTURE, I'M INTERESTED, HOW DO YOU GET THOSE FOLKS BACK INTO THE PARTY WHEN THEY LOOK NATIONALLY AND DON'T SEE THEIR VALUES?

>> I HAVE GONE AROUND THE STATE TALKING TO JUST ABOUT EVERY GOP GROUP IN ALL THE COUNTIES AND SOME TOWNS, AND WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT THOSE ISSUES ABOUT WHAT IS OUR FOCUS? AND OUR FOCUS IS GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY AND PROSPERITY AND TO MAKE THAT MESSAGE A LOT MORE BALANCED, A LOT MORE CENTRIST IF THAT IS THE WORD. WE HAVE NOT NECESSARILY, ALIGNED WITH WASHINGTON, I THINK THAT FOLKS IN WASHINGTON PERHAPS DO NEED TO WORK BETTER AT GETTING THEIR COLLECTIVE ACT TOGETHER FOR HOW THEY HAVE BEEN ACTING IN WASHINGTON. AND WE LOOK AT IT AS A VERMONT GOP AND WHAT WORKS IN VERMONT. WHAT WE DO SO FAR HAS BEEN RESONATING WITH VERMONTERS AND REPUBLICANS. WE HEARD FROM REPUBLICANS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN INVOLVED OVER THE YEARS AND WE ARE DOING WELL ON FUNDRAISING AND GETTING PEOPLE INVOLVED AND LOTS OF CONVERSATIONS WITH GOOD CANDIDATES, PEOPLE THAT ARE INTERESTED IN RUNNING AND BEING CANDIDATES, THEY WANT TO SEE A CHANGE AND A BETTER BALANCE IN MONTPELIER.

>> LETS TAKE A BRIEF BREAK AND THEN CONTINUE OUR DISCU

>>> WELCOME BACK WE ARE CONTINUING OUR DECISION WITH PAT McDONALD THE HEAD OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND SHAY TOTTEN IS ALSO JOINING IN ON THE PROGRAM. I WANT TO LET YOU KNOW THAT AN UPCOMING PROGRAM OF YOU CAN QUOTE ME WE ARE TALKING TO THE HEAD OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AS WELL.

>> WELL, LEGISLATURES WERE BACK FOR A SPECIAL SESSION TO TALK ABOUT FISCAL PROBLEMS IN THE NEXT SESSION. DOES THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAVE THEIR OWN AGENDA FOR POST IRENE AND NOT JUST THE BUDGET SHORTFALL BUT HOW TO STRUCTURE AFTER IRENE. WHETHER IT BE ROAD RECONSTRUCTION OR BUILDINGS?

>> WE PUT OUT A FIVE-POINT PLAN WE WERE ASKING THE GOVERNOR TO CONSIDER POST IRENE TO TRY AND FIGURE OUT HOW WE CAN RECOVER, SUCCESSFULLY RECOVER FROM IRENE AND MOVE THE ECONOMY FORWARD. ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT WE HAD PUT DOWN WAS ASKING FOR A SPECIAL SESSION AND WHILE THEY DID NOT CALL A SPECIAL SESSION, I THINK THIS INFORMATIONAL MEETING IS EXACTLY WHAT WE HOPED FOR, WE ASKED THEM TO PUT A FREEZE ON ANY SPEND THAT IS NOT SEE EXCEPTIONAL SPENDING TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE MONEY SET ASIDE THAT COULD BE USED FOR IRENE. WE ALSO ASKED THAT PERHAPS THE STATE EMPLOYEES NOT BE THE ONES THAT ARE CONSTANTLY BEING ASKED TO TAKE THE HIT. THE ADMINISTRATION PUT OUT THE BUDGET MEMO AS THEY DO EVERY YEAR, AND ASKED THEM ONE AGAIN FOR A 4% CUT ACROSS THE BOARD. WE TALKED ABOUT PERHAPS TAKING A LOOK AT EDUCATION, FOR A POTENTIAL AREA FOR SAVINGS AND FUNDING TO BE USED. IT'S $1.4 BILLION THAT WE THINK IN THAT FUNNING THERE -- FUNDING THERE IS SAVINGS RATHER THAN CONSTANTLY THE STATE GOVERNMENT. THE ACROSS THE BOARD CUTS DON'T WORK ANYMORE, THINGS ARE LEAN, AND UNLESS YOU LOOK AT PROGRAM INEFFICIENCIES IT WILL BE MORE HURTFUL.

>> SINCE YOU BRING UPSTATE EMPLOYEES, YOU ARE A COMMISSIONER OF LABOR AND SERVED IN OTHER CAPACITIES IN STATE GOVERNMENT AS A MANAGER. DO YOU THINK THAT THE ADMINISTRATION SHOULD RESTORE THE 3% PAY CUT THAT THE STATE EMPLOYEES TOOK FOR TWO YEARS OR AS IT RUMORED THE ADMINISTRATION IS ASKING FOR THE WAGE CUTS TO BE CONTINUED. YOU SAY THEY SHOULD NOT TAKE THE BURDEN OF THESE CUTS. SHOULD THEY REMAIN IN EFFECT?

>> I DISAGREE WITH WHAT THE GOVERNOR HAD DONE AND HIS COMMENTS THAT WERE MADE ABOUT THE INDIVIDUALS, I THINK THERE WAS LESS THAN 90 OR 100 INDIVIDUALS THAT REQUESTED THE DOUBLE PAY UNDER THEIR CONTRACT. I DON'T AGREE WITH THEIR DECISION TO PURSUE THAT, BUT THE PROCESS IS IN PLACE UNDER THE CONTRACT AND THAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU BRING THE STATE EMPLOYEES TO THE TABLE TO HAVE THAT DISCUSSION. THAT IS PART OF THE BARGAINING PROCESS. BUT WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT THE 4% IS ACROSS THE BOARD CUTS IN EACH DEPARTMENT TO REALLY TAKE THOSE HITS. AS FAR AS THE UNION THAT IS A BARGAINING ISSUE, I DON'T THINK THE GOVERNOR HANDLED THIS SITUATION WELL AT ALL AND IT WAS ALMOST TO SET THAT UP FOR PRETTY CONTENTIOUS BARGAINING.

>> THAT IS WHY I ASKED THE QUESTION.

>> THAT IS NOT HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE. WE FEEL THAT STATE GOVERNMENT IS TOO BIG, WE ALWAYS TALK ABOUT THAT, BUT THERE ARE WAYS TO DO IT THAT MAKE SENSE BUT THAT IS NOT RIGHT NOW. THE UNION TOOK A TOTAL OF 3% AND 5% SALARY CUT AND IT EQUATED TO 5% AND THEY WITHHELD FOR THE TWO-YEAR PERIOD AND THAT IS A BARGAINING ISSUE, BUT WHY JUST THE STATE EMPLOYEES, WHEN YOU HAVE AN ENTIRE EDUCATION SYSTEM SPENDING $1.3-1.4 BILLION. WITHOUT IMPACTING THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION.

>> THERE DOES SEEM TO BE A RISK WITH THE ADMINISTRATION AND THE UNION. AND IT SEEMS THE PROGRESSIVES ARE TRYING TO WOO THEM. IS THIS SOMETHING THAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS LOOKING AT AS WELL?

>> I WAS THE HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER TWICE AND I HAD A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH THE VCA, THEY WERE REASONABLE IN SOME CASES AND SOME CASES NOT. THAT IS CALLED BARGAINING, THAT IS WHAT YOU DO. I THINK THE WAY THIS WAS HANDLED WAS VERY BAD. 99% OF THE STATE EMPLOYEES WERE JUST DRAMATICALLY HIT BY IRENE, THEY HAVE DONE YEOMAN'S WORK AND THEY ARE DISLOCATED AND WORKING IN OTHER PLACES AND WE NEED TO CONSIDER THAT WHEN WE ARE SITTING HERE, WHEN THE ADMINISTRATION IS SITTING ACROSS THE BARGAINING TABLE FROM THEM.

>> WE FOCUS ON THE DAMAGE AND WE ARE SORTING THROUGH THE RESPONSE FROM THE STATE BUT CAN GIVE ME ONE EXAMPLE OF ONE THING THAT YOU THINK THE STATE DID WRONG POST IRENE THAT THEY CAN LEARN FROM IF OR WHEN THE NEXT DISASTER HITS?

>> THAT IS HARD BECAUSE UNLESS YOU ARE FACED WITH THE DAILY ISSUES OF WHAT IS RIGHT OR WHAT IS WRONG, THIS WAS A DISASTER THAT HIT THE ENTIRE STATE. I THINK THERE WERE FEW AREAS THAT REALLY ESCAPED, I DON'T KNOW IF I WOULD DO RIGHT OR WRONG BUT THERE WAS A LOT OF LESSONS TO BE LEARNED. WHEN WE HEARD THE PRICING ON REBUILDING THE ROADS AND BRIDGES AND WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR STREAMS, THERE IS A QUESTION ABOUT DREDGING IN THE LEGISLATURE IN A WEEK OR SO, ON THE 15th TO TALK ABOUT THE RIVERS, THERE ARE LESSONS TO BE LEARNED. PROJECTS WERE DONE QUICKLY ON THE HIGHWAYS, AND WHILE YOU DON'T WANT TO EVER STEP BACKWARDS FOR WHAT WE ACCOMPLISH ACCOMPLISHED FROM AN ENVIRONMENTAL PERSPECTIVE, THERE ARE LESSONS TO BE LEARNED THERE TO USE THE PROCESS MORE EFFECTIVELY. WE CLEARLY SAVED MONEY BY JUST DOING AND LET VERMONTERS AND OUR AOT FOLKS AND OTHERS GET IT DONE. AND I THINK THEY NEED TO TAKE A LOOK AT THAT.

>> YOU ARE SAYING BECAUSE WORK WAS STREAMLINED DURING IRENE --

>> ABSOLUTELY AND THE OTHER ISSUE WILL BY WATERBURY, THAT IS A HUGE DISCUSSION TO HAVE, BECAUSE DO YOU WANT TO REPLACE THE BUILDINGS IN WATERBURY, BUT ON THE OTHER HAND ARE YOU LEAVING WATERBURY WITH 1500 EMPLOYEES THAT USE ALL THE SERVICES THAT ARE IN WATERBURY AND THE STORES AND IT'S A BIG DECISION TO MAKE. TO MAKE SOME OF THE STATEMENTS THAT WERE MADE DEFINITIVE, IT NEEDS TO BE MORE THOUGHTFUL, WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN.

>> CAN THE PARTY ACHIEVE THE ACTION, YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE PERMANENT PROCESS AND CHANGING THE HEALTH CARE REFORM, IF DEMOCRATS CONTROL 94 OUT OF 150 SEATS IN THE HOUSE AND 23 OUT OF 30 IN THE SENATE, JUST FROM A NUMBERS PERSPECTIVE IT'S DAUNTING TO WOO THE DEMOCRATS, BECAUSE IT HAS BECOME MORE OF A LIBERAL LEGISLATURE THAN IT HAS BEEN IN THE PAST. HOW DO YOU LOGISTICALLY ACCOMPLISH WHAT YOU SET OUT TO DO?

>> FOR THE NEXT ELECTION WE ARE LOOKING FOR EXCELLENT CANDIDATES AND TO REALLY GET PEOPLE INTERESTED IN RUNNING AND TO PRESENT THE IDEAS. FOR THE HEALTH CARE ISSUE WE ARE PUTTING ALL THE EGGS IN THE SINGLE PAIR BASKET AND WE HAVE THE BILL ITSELF AND THE LATEST REPORT THAT CAME OUT, REALLY WHEN YOU LOOK AT IT IT HAS AN AWFUL LOT OF CAVEATS, AND WHAT IS BEING COVERED AND WHO IS PAYING. WENDY WILLTON WAS JUST ON THE SHOW WITH HER COMPETING NUMBERS AND WE HAVE NUMBERS FOR JUST HOW MUCH. IT SEEMS WE ARE HEADED DOWN THIS SINGLE PAIR PATH WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING OR WILLINGNESS TO LOOK AT WHAT WORKS. WE HAVE GREAT PROGRAMS WITHIN OUR OWN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM THAT WORK AND WORK WELL. WE HAVE THE BLUE PRINT FOR HEALTH, THAT HAS GOTTEN SOME SAVINGS AND HAS BEEN EFFECTIVE. WE HAVE TO LOOK BETTER HOW TO DO HEALTH CARE. PERMITTING REFORM AND TAXES, WE CONSISTENTLY BROUGHT FORTH IDEAS ON HOW TO LOWER OUR TAXES AND GIVE INCENTIVES TO BUSINESSES AND CREATE GOOD, PAYING SUSTAINABLE JOBS. AND HIGHER ED COULD BENEFIT NOR THESE DAYS, AND WE HAVE IDEAS, AND WE'LL PUT THEM FORWARD IN A FOCUSED AND UNIFIED WAY SO WE CAN GET THE MESSAGE OF MODERATE COMMON SENSE SOLUTIONS.

>> YOU SAID THERE IS POSITIVE ENERGY LAST ELECTION AND WE WOULD GET SOME SEATS IN THE SENATE, BUT THAT IS NOT HOW IT TURNED OUT. WHAT IS DIFFERENT NOW?

>> PEOPLE LOOKED AT ALL THE PROMISES MADE, AND WE DON'T HAVE ANSWERS FOR THE HEALTH CARE AND IT WILL BE YEARS BEFORE WE DO. WE PUT TAXES IN THE HEALTH CARE FIELD AND WE HAVE A FEW YEARS TO GO IF SINGLE PAIR WERE TO HAPPEN. IT KEEPS BUILDING AND BUILDING AND TAXES ARE OUT OF SIGHT AND IT'S ONE OF THE WAYS TO GET OUT OF IRENE IS TO INCREASE TAXES, THAT IS GOING TO BE A REAL SERIOUS ISSUE IF WE DON'T DO ALL THE THINGS FIRST LIKE LOOK AT EFFICIENCIES AND LOOK AT PROGRAMS AND MAKE SURE WE LOOK UNDER EVERY ROCK, WE'LL HAVE A STRONG OPPORTUNITY IN THE DIRECTION WE ARE GOING.

>> SPEAKING OF MOVING IN THE SAME TRAJECTORY, GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER WANTS TO BUY VERMONT PUBLIC SERVICE AND THAT WOULD CREATE A LARGE UTILITY. 70% OF THE MARKET WOULD OWN IT. DO YOU HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT THIS, I KNOW A MEMBER OF YOUR PARTY HAS RAISED CONFLICT OF INTEREST BETWEEN THE ADMINISTRATION AND GREEN MOUNTAIN POWER AND CONFLICTS AND HER PARTNER. DO YOU HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT IT AND DO YOU THINK IT'S A GOOD IDEA? ARE WE MOVING INTO A TOO BIG TO FAIL SITUATION IN THE POWER MARKET?

>> WE HAVE SPOKEN ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS AND I HOPE PEOPLE WILL LISTEN TO HIS CONCERNS AND THINK ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING AND DO WE HAVE A CONFLICT OF INTEREST HERE AND CAN WE MAKE THE DECISION WITHOUT THE CONFLICTS FOR THE BETTERMENT OF VERMONT. I DON'T KNOW. THERE ARE CONVERSATIONS THAT HAVE TO HAPPEN AND THE SENATOR BROUGHT UP GOOD POINTS.

>> I'M STORY WE HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE. PAT McDONALD, THE HEAD OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND SHAY TOTTEN, WE'LL BE TALKING TO THE HEAD OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

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