You Can Quote Me - July 22, 2012 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

You Can Quote Me - July 22, 2012

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE, I'M KRISTIN CARLSON.

>> I'M DARREN PERRON. VOTERS HAVE A CHOICE ON ELECTION DAY WHEN IT COMES TO THE OFFICE OF LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR.

>> THE INCUMBENT, REPUBLICAN PHIL SCOTT, BEING CHALLENGED BY A RELATIVE POLITICAL NEWCOMER, CASSANDRA GEKAS, OUR GUEST THIS MORNING, BUT FIRST, THE CANDIDATE PROFILE.

>> I THINK IT WOULD BE INCREDIBLY HELPFUL TO SOLVE THAT PROBLEM.

>> AT 30 YEARS OLD, CASSANDRA GEKAS IS ONE OF THE YOUNGEST CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR OFFICE. SHE HAS SPENT THE LAST TWO AND A HALF YEARS WORKING ON POLICY FOR HEALTHCARE REFORM AS A LOBBYIST FOR VERMONT PUBLIC INTEREST RESEARCH GROUP. SHE MADE THE DECISION TO RUN FOR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR JUST DAYS BEFORE THE FILING DEADLINE, RAISING EYEBROWS AND QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW SERIOUS A CANDIDATE SHE WOULD BE.

>> I AM THE TYPE OF PERSON WHO, YOU KNOW, ISN'T SCARED TO TAKE A LEAP. WHEN I LOOKED AT WHERE WE ARE IN VER MONTH, I THINK WE HAVE SOME DOCTOR VERMONT, WE HAVE SOME REALLY BIG ISSUES TO TACKLE. I AM COMMITTED TO MAKING SURE THAT 2013, WE ARE MOVING FORWARD ON HEALTHCARE.

>> GEKAS GREW UP IN PENNSYLVANIA, AND GRADUATED FROM PENN STATE UNIVERSITY. MAJORING IN WOMEN'S STUDIES AND POLITICAL SCIENCE. SHE MOVED TO VERMONT IN 2004, AND IS WORKING ON HER MASTER'S DEGREE FROM UVM, IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND APPLIED ECONOMICS. SHE LIVES IN MONTPELIER WITH HER TWO DOGS. WHILE HER MAIN FOCUS HAS BEEN ON HEALTHCARE, SHE IS ALSO CONCERNED ABOUT WORKING FAMILIES.

>> I GET IT. I GET THAT VERMONTERS ARE FACING DAY-TO-DAY, BECAUSE I PERSONALLY KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE TO LIVE PAYCHECK TO PAYCHECK, TO HAVE STUDENT LOAN DEBT, TO HAVE CAR PAYMENTS, YOU KNOW, I HAVE PARENTS WHO DON'T KNOW HOW THEY WILL AFFORD RETIREMENT.

>> SHE CONSIDERS THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR'S JOB TO BE FULLTIME. WHEN NOT IN LEGISLATIVE SESSION, GEKAS SAID SHE WANTS TO HELP COMMUNITIES SET UP SO-CALLED INCUBATOR SPACES TO WORK ON SOCIAL ISSUES OR ECONOMIC ENDEAVORS. SHE USED THE EXAMPLE OF PINE STREET IN BURLINGTON, WHERE EMPTY WAREHOUSES ARE NOW HOME TO ARLT GALLERIES, SHOPS, AND THE DOLT COM BUSINESS.

>> I DON'T HAVE AN INTEREST IN SAYING THERE NEEDS TO BE A PINE TREE IN EVERY TOWN IN VERMONT, BUT IT REALLY NEEDS TO BE LED AT THE LOCAL LEVEL, BASED ON THE CHARACTER OF THE COMMUNITY.

>> LIKE WHAT'S HAPPENING IN HARDWICK, WHERE THE EMPHASIS IS ON LOCAL FOOD.

>> AT THE STATE LEVEL I THINK IT IS OUR JOB TO MAKE SURE THAT LOCAL NEEDS ARE ENCOURAGED AND SUPPORTED, AND I IT IS TAKING THAT CHARACTER ACROSS THE STATE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IS A PIECE OF THAT.

>> GEKAS FACES A TOUGH CAMPAIGN AGAINST POPULAR REPUBLICAN LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR PHIL SCOTT.

>> I UNDERSTAND THAT HE'S A REPUBLICAN.

>> PART OF LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR'S JOB IS TO TAKE OVER FOR THE GOVERNOR WHEN NEEDED. GEKAS VOWED SHE WOULD CARRY ON WITH THE DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR'S AGENDA.

>> I THINK THAT THE GOVERNOR IS ON THE RIGHT TRACK AND VERMONTERS SUPPORT THAT AGENDA. ONE PROCHL IGS I CAN MAKE, I THINK -- PROMISE I CAN MAKE THAT DIFFERENTIATES ME, IF CALLED TO THAT SERVICE, I WILL CONTINUE THOSE MAJOR PARTS OF THE GOVERNOR'S AGENDA WHICH I THINK IS REALLY IMPORTANT.

>> GEKAS ADMITS SHE HAS A LOT OF WORK AHEAD OF HER TO GET HER NAME OUT THERE, AND WOO AS MANY VOTERS AS SHE CAN BETWEEN NOW AND THE NOVEMBER ELECTION.

>> WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU WANT PEOPLE TO THINK ABOUT WHEN THEY SEE YOUR NAME, WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO THINK. OH, SHE'S THE ...

>> I WOULD SAY DEDICATION IS A GOOD WAY TO PUT IT FOR ME. THAT I THINK I COME ACROSS IN A GENUINE WAY, THAT MY ENTHUSIASM IS THERE, AND I WANT PEOPLE TO SEE ME AND KNOW THAT I AM THERE FIGHTING FOR THEM EVERY DAY.

>> CANDIDATE GEKAS PLANS TO TRAVEL THE STATE CAMPAIGNING, AND HOPES TO HAVE A SERIES OF DEBATES WITH LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR SCOTT SO VOTERS CAN SEE THERE IS A CHOICE COME ELECTION DAY. CHANNEL 3 NEWS, BURLINGTON.

>>> AND CASSANDRA GEKAS JOINS US THIS MORNING. THANK YOU.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR HAVING ME.

>> WAS IT A SURPRISE TO SOME PEOPLE WHEN YOU ANNOUNCED YOU WERE RUNNING? YOU NEVER RAN FOR STATE OFFICE BEFORE. RELATIVELY NEW TO VERMONT. WHY LAUNCH INTO RUNNING, YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE SECOND MOST POWERFUL POSITIONS IN THE STATE? WHY START THERE?

>> THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION. AND FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, I HAVE BEEN AN ADD VOTE FOR TEN YEARS, I'VE WORKED IN A VARIETY OF ADVOCACY ISSUES, SO ACCESS OF TRANSPORTATION, ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE, FOOD FOR FAMILIES, ALL THOSE THINGS IN VERMONT. AND I AM AT THE PLACE WHERE I THINK THE CHALLENGES WE ARE FACING ARE HUGE. I WORKED ON THE SIDE LINES, IN THE STATE HOUSE, AND FOR ME, TIME TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE, I THINK THAT WHEN I LOOK AT DECISIONS THAT WE'RE FACING IN JANUARY OF 2013 ON HEALTHCARE, I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE CLEAR THOSE HAD YOU EVER HADL -- HURDLES AND MOVING TO A PLACE THAT WE MAKE SURE EVERY VERMONTER HAS ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE, BUT THE COST OF HEALTHCARE IS OFF THE BACKS OF OUR SMALL BUSINESSES. I WANT TO PLAY A LEADERSHIP ROLE IN KEEPING YOUNG PEOPLE IN VERMONT AND CREATIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AT THE LOCAL LEVEL, AND SO TO ME THE CHALLENGES WE'RE FACING ARE HUGE. CAN'T WAIT ANOTHER 20 YEARS TO TACKLE THOSE CHALLENGES.

>> DO YOU THINK THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR ISN'T FOLLOWING THOSE CHALLENGES?

>> I THINK WE ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK. ONE OF THE MAJOR REASONS I MOVED HERE, I MOVED HERE IN 2004, I HAD VISITED ONCE BEFORE AND FELL IN LOVE THE MINUTE I STEPPED IN VER MONTH. IT IS NOTHING LIKE ANY OTHER PLACE I'VE BEEN. AND I CONSIDER THIS MOMENT -- THIS HOME. SO IN MANY WAYS WE ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK. WHEN I LOOK AT HEALTHCARE, FOR INSTANCE, EXTREMELY SUPPORTIVE OF THE GOVERNOR'S AGENDA ON HEALTHCARE, WE ARE MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. WHAT I WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE IS THAT THE DECISIONS WE'RE FACING IN JANUARY, THAT IS THE POINT IN THE HEALTHCARE DEBATE THAT'S HAPPENED BEFORE IN VERMONT, BUT IN DC, IN OTHER STATES WHERE WE LOSE OUR COURAGE, WHERE WE HISTORICALLY HAVE LOST OUR COURAGE. SO WHAT I WANT TO DO IS EVERYTHING THAT I CAN TO HELP GET OUT THERE, GET THE MESSAGE OUT THERE, TALK TO VERMONTERS ABOUT WHERE WE ARE HEADING, WHY IT IS A GOOD IDEA, AND GET THEIR FEEDBACK AND BRING IT BACK TO THE PEOPLE. SO THAT WE CAN MAKE THOSE TOUGH DECISIONS, WE ARE ABLE TO MAKE THE VOTES IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION IN JANUARY. SO ON HEALTHCARE SPECIFICALLY, I WANT TO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT HIS AGENDA MOVING FORWARD.

>> YOU'VE SET YOUR SIGHTS PRETTY HIGH, THOUGH, AS CHRIS CONTINUE MENTIONED -- KRISTIN MENTIONED, THE NUMBER TWO SPOT IN THE STATE, YOU ARE A YOUNG WOMAN, RELATIVELY NEW TO POLITICS. WILL YOU -- WERE YOU ENCOURAGED BY THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY? DID THE SHUMLIN ADMINISTRATION SAY YOU SHOULD BE DOING THIS? WHO URGED YOU TO RUN FOR THE NUMBER TWO SPOT?

>> SO ACTUALLY I STARTED THINKING ABOUT THIS, ABOUT WANTING TO RUN FOR OFFICE BACK IN FEBRUARY, I THINK, OF THIS YEAR, THAT THIS IS SOMETHING AT THAT I WANTED TO DO. BUT DIDN'T HAVE MY SIGHTS SET ON THIS PARTICULAR OFFICE. I JUST KNEW THAT I WANTED TO TRANSITION FROM THE ROLE OF ADVOCATE TO ELECTED OFFICIAL. AND SOME OF MY CLOSEST LEADERS AND MENTORS IN THE STATE HOUSE, COLLEAGUES, REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS PEARSON, I STARTED DISCUSSIONS WITH THEM INITIALLY ABOUT WANTING TO RUN FOR OFFICE. SO THE IDEA REALLY CAME OUT OF THOSE DISCUSSIONS. AND YOU KNOW, CONTINUED TO CONSIDER THEM. FOR ME IT WAS KIND OF LOBLG IS PARTICULAR -- LOGISTICALLY, I AM THE KIND OF POLITICIAN WHO UNDERSTANDS WHERE THE ISSUES ARE GOING, I NEED TO MAKE IT WORK LOGISTICALLY AND FINANCIALLY TO BE ABLE TO JUMP INTO THE RACE.

>> PROGRESSIVES, THEN, URGING YOU?

>> PROGRESSIVES WERE URGING ORIGINALLY. CONTINUE TO THINK ABOUT IT, THEN THE DEMOCRATS CAME TO THE TABLE AS WELL AND SAID WE'LL UNITE BEHIND YOU. WE THINK YOU HAVE A STRONG TRACK RECORD, YOU CAN DRAW A SHARP DISTINCTION TO THE CURRENT LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, BUT WE FEEL THAT YOU CAN GET THINGS DONE, YOU CAN CONNECT WITH VERMONTERS, WE'RE BEHIND YOU, WE ANT YOU TO DO THIS, AND I STEPPED UP FOR THAT.

>> YOU TALKED ABOUT PETER SHUM BIN ABOUT THE CANDIDACY? -- SHUMLIN?

>> NO. I HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH HIS SUPPORT STAFF AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY VERY CLOSELY. SO HE IS, YOU KNOW, THE GOVERNOR AND I AM KICKING OFF MY CAMPAIGN. SO RIGHT NOW WE'RE BOTH FOCUSING ON THE JOB AT HAND.

>> IS HE WANTING TO CAMPAIGN WITH YOU? IS HE GOING TO ENDORSE YOU?

>> I THINK THAT WOULD BE A GREAT QUESTION FOR THE GOVERNOR. MY JOB RIGHT NOW IS TO GET OUT THERE, TO TALK TO VERMONTERS, TO SHOW THEM WHERE I'M COMING FROM, CONNECT WITH THEM, LISTEN TO THEM, THAT IS WHAT I'M DOING 100%, FOCUSED ON 100%. AND FOLKS ARE IN SUPPORT OF ME. I SEE THAT ALREADY.

>> DO YOU THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE THE GOVERNOR SUPPORT AND ENDORSE YOU?

>> I THINK THE GOVERNOR AND I HAVE A STRONG WORKING RELATIONSHIP. WE WORK TOGETHER ON HEALTHCARE VERY CLOSELY. BUT I THINK LET'S NOT FORGET IN VERMONT, VOTERS ELECT THE GOVERNOR AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR SEPARATELY. IT IS MY JOB TO GET OUT THERE AND SPEAK TO VERMONTERS, AND GET THEM, YOU KNOW, TALK TO THEM ABOUT CHOOSING ME IN NOVEMBER. SO TO ME, YES, THE MORE SUPPORT, THE INTETER. I WOULD LOVE TO -- THE BETTER. I WOULD LOVE TO SHARE THE STAGE WITH THE GOVERNOR, HAVE HIM CAMPAIGNING FOR ME OR WITH ME. BUT MY FOCUS RIGHT NOW IS ON THE VOTERS WHO WILL BE MAKING A DECISION ON ELECTION DAY, AND THAT'S THE RESPONSIBILITY OF RUNNING FOR THIS OFFICE, BECAUSE IT IS A SEPARATE DECISION.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT HAVE COME UP IN THE LAST FEW WEEKS. ONE OF THEM IS THE USE OF TASTERS -- TASERS, AFTER THE PERSON WAS TASED AND DIED, THE INVESTIGATION INTO WHAT HAPPENED THERE EXACTLY. WHAT SHOULD HAM WITH TASER POLICY IN VERMONT?

>> I WAS AWARE OF THE NEWS STORY, I HAVE HEARD SOME. DISCUSSIONS, PARTICULARLY THAT HAVE GONE IN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S RACE AROUND THIS. I KNOW THEY CAME OUT CALLING FOR A MORATORIUM. IN HEARING THE NEWS STORY, I WAS INITIALLY CONCERNED, AS MANY VERMONTERS ARE. I THINK THAT WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE TO ME, ALTHOUGH I AM NOT AN EXPERT ON THIS ISSUE CERTAINLY, IS THAT THERE'S GOOD POLICY IN PLACE AT THE STATE LEVEL, AROUND STATE TROOPERS' USE OF TASERS, AND TRAINING THAT IT SOUNDS TO MOO LIKE WE WANT TO MAKE SURE IT IS HAPPENING IN A COORDINATED WAY ON THE LOCAL LEVEL. SO WHAT'S MORE IMPORTANT TO ME, THOUGH, THAN WHETHER OR NOT WE USE TASERS, I THINK THIS IS INDICATIVE OF MIGHT HAVE LARGER APPROACH -- MY LARGER APPROACH TO POLICY, IS TAKE A STEP BACK AND LOOK AT WHAT THE PROBLEM IS. AND THE FACT IT IS THAT WE HAVE A LOT OF FOLKS, YOU SEE IT AROUND THE STATE, WHO NEED MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT, WHO NEED A BETTER SUPPORT FROM THE COMMUNITY. SO, YOU KNOW, IN A LOT OF WAYS, THE STATE -- THE DIRECTION THE STATE IS GOING, WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO ON THE GROUND, MAKE SURE THERE'S MORE MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDERS IN THE COMMUNITY, TALK ABOUT EITHER HELPING POLICE OFFICERS, MAKING SURE THEY HAVE SUPPORT STAFF, MAKING SURE THEY ARE TRAINED IN HOW TO DEAL WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES, THAT'S THE KIND OF WAY THAT WE SOLVE THESE PROBLEMS, BY TAKING A STEP BACK AND NOT JUST FOCUSING ON TASER USE OR NOT.

>> DO YOU THINK THERE SHOULD BE A TIMEOUT WHILE THERE'S A REVIEW AND PERHAPS A POLICY PUT IN PLACE?

>> AT THIS POINT I THINK WHEN I HAVE HEARD WHAT GOVERNOR SHUMLIN HAS BROUGHT TO THE TABLE, I THINK IT IS A SMART IDEA. THIS ISN'T SOMETHING THAT I'M DRAWING A LINE IN THE SAND ON. THERE'S A LOT OF GREAT PEOPLE ACROSS THE STATE THINKING ABOUT IT. WHAT I'VE SEEN MY STRENGTH IS A CANDIDATE, I AM OFFERING TO VERMONTERS, WE WILL TAKE A STEP BACK AND LOOK AT WHAT THE PROBLEM IS WE'RE TACKLING AND WHAT I BRING TO THE TABLE IS FOCUS ON MENTAL HEALTH, COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH, I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THAT. AND I THINK THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT, THE GOVERNOR, ALL HEAVILY INVOLVED IN THIS. THEY CAN MAKE A DECISION BASED ON THOSE FACTS.

>> AS YOU WELL KNOW, IF ELECTED, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, YOU ARE ONE STEP AWAY FROM BEING GOVERNOR.

>> UM-HUM.

>> YOU TALKED TO HOWARD DEEN, HE FOUND OUT SURPRISINGLY THAT HE WAS GOVERNOR. IF YOU'RE ELECTED LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, YOU COULD BECOME THE GOVERNOR AT ANY MOMENT. YOU KNOW, YOU JUST SAID, YOU KNOW, YOU WANT TO TALK THINGS MORE, LEARN ABOUT THINGS, IT IS UP TO THE GOVERNOR, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. AFTER NOVEMBER, IF YOU'RE ELECTED, IT COULD BE UP TO YOU. SO WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU ARE PREPARED TO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT A MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR BUDGET, WHAT MAKES YOU PREPARED TO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT TEAMSTER USE. WHEN YOU ARE GOVERNOR, YOU CAN'T ALWAYS CHOOSE WHAT ISSUES ARE THE NEWS OF THE DAY.

>> THE THING TO UNDERSTAND IS THAT NOBODY -- THE GOVERNOR OR ANYONE ELSE, WALKS IN AS AN EXPERT ON EVERY ISSUE DAY ONE, OR, YOU KNOW, DAY 25, OR DAY 75. I MEAN, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT LEADERSHIP QUALITIES, ABILITY TO LEAD THE STATE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, THE ABILITY TO BRING THE RIGHT PEOPLE INTO THE ROOM SO THAT THE GOVERNOR IS FULLY BRIEFED ON THE ISSUES, BUT THAT WE'RE SURROUNDED BY THE RIGHT PEOPLE, A TEAM OF EXPERTS TO MAKE THESE KIND OF DECISIONS. I AM NOT GOING TO WALK INTO A ROOM AND SAY, OKAY, I HAVE LIST BED TO THE -- LISTENED TO THE NEWS, I'VE HEARD WHAT PEOPLE HAVE SAID, I AM AN EXPERT ON TASER POLICY. I WANT TO HEAR, SIT DOWN WITH THE TROOPERS, I WANT TO SIT DOWN WITH OTHER LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT, I WANT TO TALK TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. SO TO ME, IT'S MUCH MORE ABOUT THE LEADERSHIP QUALITIES THAT YOU NEED TO HAVE IN ORDER TO BE GOVERNOR. IT IS NOT HAVING THE ABSOLUTE EXPERTISE ON EVERY ISSUE POSSIBLE, ALTHOUGH I THINK I HAVE CERTAINLY PROVEN MY ABILITY TO JUMP IN ON A BRAND NEW ISSUE AND DEVELOP A LEVEL OF EXPERTISE, THAT I THINK IS EVEN ATYPICAL FOR A LOT OF POLICYMAKERS OR LOBBYISTS AT THE TABLE, I DID IT ON HEALTHCARE, YOU KNOW, DAY ONE, YOU KNOW, I HAD LIMITED AMOUNT OF INFORMATION ABOUT HEALTHCARE, BUT I STAYED UP UNTIL 1:00 IN THE MORNING READING, YOU KNOW, THE INSURANCE COMPANY ANNUAL STATEMENTS AND READING ALL THE LEGISLATIVE HISTORY AND COULD COME IN THE NEXT DAY AND, YOU KNOW, WAS A PART OF SIX DIFFERENT BILLS IN TWO AND A HALF YEARS, SPEAKS TO ITSELF IN TERMS OF MY ABILITY TO WADE INTO THE DEPTHS OF POLICY. BUT IT IS SMART TO LISTEN AND HOLD BACK WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE AN ANSWER RIGHT OFF THE BAT. I THINK THAT'S GOOD POLICY, GOOD LEADERSHIP.

>> DO YOU THINK THAT YOU ARE READY TO BECOME GOVERNOR?

>> YES. ABSOLUTELY. WITHOUT A DOUBT. WHEN I LOOK AT WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN SOMEONE WHO IS GOING TO STEP IN AND FILL AT THAT ROLE, IT IS, LIKE I SAID, ABILITY TO LEAD, TO CONTINUE -- REMEMBER, FROM DAY ONE IT IS MAKING SURE THAT EVERYONE IN THE STATE IS OKAY, THAT GOVERNMENT IS FUNCTIONING. SOMETHING LIKE THAT IS A SIMPLE TRANSITION. THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS THAT YOU MUST REACT TO, AND BE A PART OF. BEYOND THAT, THOUGH, LOOKING IN TERMS OF MY FUTURE, I THINK -- I WANT TO MAKE SURE HEALTHCARE IS CONTINUING TO MOVE FORWARD, BUT I'M MOVING FORWARD ON SMART ENERGY POLICY, SMART ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES, SOME OF THE THINGS THAT THE GOVERNOR HAS ALREADY LAID OUT. I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT DIFFERENTIATES ME FROM MY OPPONENT IS THAT I CAN MAKE THAT PROMISE TO VERMONTERS RIGHT NOW THAT THAT I AM WITH THE GOVERNOR AND WITH THEM ON THAT AGENDA, AND WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE THAT FORWARD. I THINK THAT IS CRITICAL IN THIS STATE.

>> AND SPEAKING OF ENERGY POLICY, JUST THIS PAST WEEK THERE WAS A MAJOR PROTEST AT LOWELL MOUNTAIN, TURBINES ARE ARRIVING ON THE SITE AT THE RIDGE LIEJ THERE. -- RIDGE LINE. THERE IS SIGNIFICANT OPPOSITION TO THE PROJECT, WHICH IS MOVING FORWARD. DOTTIE SCHNORR FROM GMP SAID THIS PROJECT WILL NOT BE STOPPED. WHAT IS YOUR POSITION ON WIND IN VERMONT AND THAT PROJECT IN PARTICULAR?

>> WIND IS CERTAINLY A HOT BUTTON ISSUE. I THINK WE ARE SEEING IT IT ON SOLAR A LITTLE BIT, TOO. I'VE SEEN SIMILAR DISCUSSIONS HAPPENING IN CHARLOTTE. SO BIG PICTURE, I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, I THINK CLIMATE CHANGE IS HAPPENING, WE'RE SEEING IT IN THE EFFECTS OF THE DROUGHTS THAT ARE HAPPENING ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, AND IN VERMONT, AND WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING. I THINK MOST VERMONTERS SHARE THAT SENSE OF URGENCY, I THINK VERMONTERS HAVE A HISTORY AND AN ETHIC OF WANTING TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR ENERGY USE, TO KEEP THE DOLLARS IN THE STATE THAT WE'RE SPENDING ON ENERGY, TRANSITIONING FROM FOSSIL FUELS TO RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS IN THE STATE. I THINK THIS IS PART OF THE BIG PACKAGE, AND I AM A HUGE SUPPORTER OF RENEWABLE ENERGY AND THE GOAL FOR THE GOVERNOR IS LAID OUT. THAT BEING SAID, THE OTHER HAT THAT I WEAR IS CONSUMER PROTECTION, IT'S VERMONT'S VOICE, ITS BUT I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT VERMONTERS HAVE A FAIR SAY IN THE PROCESS. AND SO I THINK WE'LL SEE THIS UNFOLD A LITTLE LATER IN MY CAMPAIGN, INTERNAL DISCUSSIONS I'M HAVING WITH PEOPLE THAT WHEN I LOOK AT SOMETHING A LIKE THE WIND PROJECTS IN LOWELL, I THINK THE FOLKS IN LOWELL SHOULD, YOU FOE -- YOU KNOW, NOT HAVE TO PULL TOGETHER 15 OR $20,000 TO PAY A LAWYER TO JUMP INTO PUBLIC SERVICE FOR THE PROCESS, I THINK IF YOU ARE A LOCAL COMMUNITY BEING IMPACTED BY AN ENERGY PROJECT, LET'S SEE WHAT WE CAN DO TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A FAIR DAY BEFORE THE PUBLIC SERVICE BOARD WITHOUT HAVING TO SCRAPE THAT MONEY TOGETHER.

>> DO YOU THINK THEY WERE STEAMROLLED, THEN, THE FOLKS IN LOWELL, IN GETTING TO THE POINT WHERE NOW THE TURBINES ARE ARRIVING?

>> YOU KNOW, I AM GOING TO TAKE A STEP BACK, YOU KNOW, THERE IS A LOT OF THE PROCESS THAT HAS BEEN FAIR, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE HAD THE CHANCE TO WEIGH IN. WHAT I'M INTERESTED IN IS HOW, WHAT CAN WE DO BETTER. I THINK WHEN YOU LOOK AT -- IF PEOPLE -- PEOPLE CARE WHAT HAPPENS IN THEIR BACKYARD, THAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE. NUMBER ONE. PEOPLE TWO, PEOPLE WANT TO FEEL HEARD. SO THIS WILL CONTINUE TO BE A HOT BUTTON ISSUE IN VERMONT, WE WON'T GET AWAY FROM IT. MY INTEREST IS IN FIGURING OUT HOW WE CAN HAVE PRODUCTIVE DISCUSSIONS WHERE PEOPLE FEEL LIKE -- HOW WE CAN DO BETTER --

>> HOW?

>> THERE'S LOTS OF MODELS IN OTHER STATES. WE WERE LOOKING AT A MODEL IN NEW YORK YESTERDAY, WHERE THERE WAS A CONSUMER ADD VO -- ADVOCACY CENTER COMPLETELY SEPARATE FROM THE UTILITIES, AND THEY REPRESENT THE POPULOUS IN JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS OR THINGS LIKE THAT. SO LET'S SEE IF WE CAN FIND THE FUNDING FOR THINGS LIKE THAT. AGAIN, MODELS THAT I'M LOOKING AT, BUT GETTING BACK TO THE PRINCIPLES OF THIS, WHAT I WANT -- I THINK WE'RE MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION ON RENEWABLE ENERGY, BUT I WANT TO MAKE SURE THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES AT THAT ARE BEING IMPACTED IN THIS PROJECT FEEL LIKE THEY'VE HAD THEIR VOICES HEARD. THAT'S DIFFERENT FROM AGREEING WITH THE OUTCOME, I MEAN, THAT'S UP TO THE PUBLIC SERVICE LAWYER, THINGS LIKE AT THAT.

>> WE'LL TAKE A BRIEF B

>>> WELCOME BACK. WE ARE CONTINUING OUR INTERVIEW WITH CASSANDRA GEKAS, A DEMOCRAT RUNNING FOR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR AND A PROGRAMMING NOTE, NEXT WEEK OUR GUEST WILL BE THE INCUMBENT LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, PHIL SCOTT. HE IS A REPUBLICAN REPUBLICANING FOR -- RUNNING FOR REELECTION. CASSANDRA, ONE THING THAT'S TOUGH TO IGNORE IS THE ISSUE THAT YOU TALKED ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE, AND IT SEEMS LIKE YOU TALKED ABOUT SOME DIFFICULT TERMS, COMMUNICATION BEING A CLEAR COMMUNICATOR, AND IT SEEMS LIKE THERE WASN'T CLEAR COMMUNICATION, AND HOW THAT ENDING HAPPENED WITH VPURG. HOW CAN PEOPLE BE SURE YOU ARE BRINGING CLEAR COMMUNICATION TO THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR'S ROLE?

>> THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION. IT IS AN UNFORTUNATE THING THAT, YOU KNOW, THAT INTERNAL DISCUSSION ENDED UP IN THE NEWSPAPER. THAT'S JUST THE WAY IT IS. AND -- WHEN I THINK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO VPURG, IT IS A PRIVATE AND PERSONAL MATTER BETWEEN MY EMPLOYER AND I. AND WHAT I THINK PEOPLE SHOULD FOCUS ON AND WHAT IS VERY CLEAR IS MY TRAFFIC, NOT JUST AT VPURG -- TRACK RECORD AS AN ADVOCATE OF GETTING THINGS DONE AND GETTING OUT THERE AND TALKING TO VERMONTERS. BEYOND THAT, I AM FOCUSED ON MY CAMPAIGN RIGHT NOW, SO I KNOW THAT IT IS SOMETHING THAT -- IT IS A JUICY ISSUE THAT PEOPLE WANT TO TALK MORE ABOUT, BUT I HAVE HAD FOUR MONTHS TO SPEAK TO VOTERS, SO I WANT TO TALK ABOUT MY TRACK RECORD. SO I LOOK AT WHAT ARE THE BILLS THAT I HELPED PASS, AND REALLY THE IDEAS ON THE TABLE HAD TRI-PARTISAN SUPPORT. THE BILL WE PASSED THIS PAST SESSION WAS SPONSORED BY SENATOR BILL DOYLE AND OTHERS, AND I THINK THOSE ARE THE KINDS OF THINGS THAT MATTER AND ARE IMPORTANT IN THE POLICY UNIT, THAT SHOWINGS MY ABILITY TO -- SHOWS MY ABILITY TO TRANSCEND PARTISANSHIP, TO COMMUNICATE ACROSS LINES, SO, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE MIGHT DISAGREE EYED YOL OJ IKLY OR HAVE DIFFERENT INTERESTS, THAT'S THE TRACK RECORD VERMONTERS ARE INTERESTED IN, NOT DIVING INTO THE DETAILS OF AN EMAIL THAT --

>> AND I DON'T WANT TO GO INTO THE EMAIL. I AGREE I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE JUICY DETAILS. I MORE CARE ABOUT COMMUNICATION.

>> UM-HUM.

>> AND, YOU KNOW, YOU MENTIONED SEVERAL TIMES COMMUNICATION IS KEY, YOU WILL BECOME AN EXPERT, TALK TO PEOPLE WHO KNOW. AND I'M JUST WONDERING HOW THE COMMUNICATION BROKE DOWN. BECAUSE YOU WERE PART OF IT. WE DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. AND PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT IT.

>> ABSOLUTELY. BUT, AGAIN, WHAT I THINK IS IMPORTANT TO VERMONTERS IS WHAT I'M DOING FROM HERE ON OUT. I HAVE A TRACK RECORD OF VPURG. THE WAY I WILL BUILD TRUST WITH VERMONTERS IS BEING OUT THERE, FACE TO FACE, COMMUNICATING WITH THEM AND LISTENING. YOU KNOW, THIS ISN'T MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACKING, IT IS OBVIOUSLY AN ISSUE AND AN INTERPERSONAL ISSUE, SOMETHING THAT PAUL AND I HAVE HAD DISCUSSIONS ABOUT, AND NO MATTER WHAT, PEOPLE ON THE OUTSIDE ONLY HAVE ONE SMALL PIECE FOF THE STORY, AND HONESTLY, I THINK PART OF COMMUNICATION IS BEING ABLE TO RESPECT THE BOUNDARIES OF THAT COMMUNICATION, AND THAT'S WHAT I'M INTERESTED IN DOING. SO THE AVERAGE VERMONTER, YOU CAN PULL THINGS OUT OF PEOPLE'S LIFE, A DISAGREEMENT THEY HAD WITH SOMEBODY HERE OR OVER THERE, TO ME, THAT'S NOT INDICATIVE OF AN OVERALL THEME OF COMMUNICATION. YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE DIGS AGREEMENTS WITH PEOPLE ALL THE TIME. IT HAPPENS IN THE STATE HOUSE -- DISAGREEMENTS, IT HAPPENS IN THE STATE HOUSE CONSTANTLY. IT IS WHETHER OR NOT YOU CAN HAVE THOSE DISAGREEMENTS AND MOVE FORWARD AND IN A RESPECTFUL WAY AND CONTINUE TO FIND COMMON GROUND, AND WITH VPURG, WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO DO THAT, WITH FOLKS AT THE STATE HOUSE, WE'LL CONTINUE TO DO THOSE THINGS.

>> DO YOU STILL HAVE A RIFT WITH PAUL BURNS, THE HEAD OF VPURG?

>> YES. WE CARE ABOUT THE SAME ISSUES, WE ARE ON THE SAME PAGE, BUT THEY ARE NON-PARTISAN. IRESPECTING THAT PART OF THE RELATIONSHIP -- I AM RESPECTING THAT PART OF THE RELATIONSHIP. THIS IS ABOUT COMMUNICATION AND PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS, AND TO THE EXTENT THAT ANY OF THE RELATIONSHIPS ARE DISCUSSIONS THAT I HAVE, OR COMMUNICATIONS THAT I HAVE WITH PEOPLE THAT IMPACT POLICY DECISIONS, I HAVE AN INCREDIBLY STRONG TRACK RECORD ON THAT.

>> YOU FACE A PRETTY BIG UPHILL BATTLE THIS UPCOMING ELECTION. PHIL SCOTT, VERY POPULAR. CHANNEL 3 TEAMED UP WITH THE COLLEGE FOR A POLL EARLIER THIS YEAR. THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MASS 57 -- HAS 57% APPROVAL RATING, JUST 4% DISAPPROVAL. BASICALLY WHAT EXPERTS SAY, IF YOU KNOW PHIL SCOTT, YOU LIKE HIM.

>> UM-HUM.

>> HOW DO YOU COMPETE WITH THOSE NUMBERS?

>> I LIKE PHIL SCOTT. BUT HE IS NOT THE RIGHT GUY FOR THIS JOB. THAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE. WHAT VERMONTERS KNOW HIS NAME, EGGS A NICE GUY, WE HAVE GOOD RELATIONSHIP IN THE STATE HOUSE, BUT THIS IS ABOUT THE BIG ISSUES THAT VERMONT IS FACING. MY CHALLENGE IS GETTING OUT THERE, GETTING VERMONTERS TO KNOW WHO I AM, BECAUSE PEOPLE INSIDE THE BUBBLE OF MONTPELIER AND OTHER NETWORKS THAT I'VE WORKED IN, THEY KNOW ME, THEY KNOW MY TRACK RECORD, THEY ARE EXCITED ABOUT THIS IT. I HAVE BEEN REALLY ENCOURAGED BY A NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT HAVE REACHED OUT, AND THEY ARE SUPPORTIVE OF MY CAMPAIGN. BUT THIS RACE, AND BEING ONE FROM THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE HAS TO BE ABOUT THE ISSUES VERMONTERS ARE FACING, AND THAT'S WHAT I'M FOCUSING ON, AND IT IS AN UPHILL BATTLE, BUT, YOU KNOW, I'M AN ADVOCATE IN MY HEART, AND I WANT TO RISE TO THE CHALLENGES BEFORE ME. I AM NOT SCARED OF THEM. I FEEL CONFIDENT, I AM CONFIDENT WITH THE LANGUAGE I'M SPEAKING IS THE LANGUAGE VERMONTERS ARE SPEAKING. THAT'S WHAT I NEED TO FOCUS ON. I KNOW I AM TIRELESS WHEN IT IT COMES TO THIS.

>> AND ANY CALLS FOR DEBATE, YOU'VE ASKED THAT PHIL SCOTT DESCRIBE YOU -- JOIN YOU IN SIX DEBATES.

>> UM-HUM.

>> WHAT DO YOU AN TIGGS PATE AS YOU RESPONDED TO -- ANTICIPATE AS YOU RESPOND TO THE CHALLENGE?

>> WE HAVEN'T HAD ANY FORMAL COMPLUN INDICATION WITH THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR'S -- COMMUNICATION WITH THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR'S CAMPAIGN. I WAS ON THE RADIO LAST WEEK ASKING THE SAME QUESTION. I THINK DEBATES ARE VERY IMPORTANT, BECAUSE, AGAIN, THIS IS ABOUT POLICY ISSUE STANCES, IT IS ABOUT THE DIRECTION OF THE STATE, AND SO I WANT ISSUE-DRIVEN DEBATE. SO WE NEED TO HAVE A DEBATE CENTERED ON HEALTHCARE, AND LET'S TALK ABOUT OUR APPROACHES TO SOLVING THE HEALTHCARE CRISIS, YOU KNOW. WE'RE IN TROUBLE, WE'RE SPENDING OVER $5 BILLION A YEAR, YOU KNOW, 160,000-PLUS VERMONTERS ARE UNINSURED OR UNDERINSURED. THIS IS A PROBLEM WE NEED TO SOLVE. VERMONTERS SHOULD HAVE THE CHANCE TO HEAR WHERE BOTH CANDIDATES ARE CLEARLY ON THOSE ISSUES. HEALTHCARE, I THINK TAXES, EDUCATION, ENERGY POLICY, AND THESE ARE THINGS THAT WE SHOULD BE AT THE TABLE DISCUSSING. VERMONTERS SHOULD HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO UNDERSTAND WHERE WE ARE ON THOSE ISSUES, SO THAT'S THE CHALLENGE I WANT TO ISSUE TO THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR.

>> A FEW SECONDS LEFT. WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY BETWEEN NOW AND NOVEMBER?

>> I AM GOING TO BE ON THE ROAD, ON THE ROAD, AND ON THE PHONE SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, 12 HOURS A DAY.

>> DOES IT SURPRISE YOU ABOUT -- WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN SO FAR?

>> I THINK THE LEVEL OF SCRUTINY WE ARE UNDER WHEN, YOU KNOW, IS INTERESTING. IT IS A LITTLE CHALLENGING. I AM USED TO WORKING BEHIND THE SCENES. I WANT TO FOCUS ON THE ISSUES, AND I THINK THE OTHER PIECE IS HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE JUST PICKED UP THE PHONE AND CALLED TO OFFER THEIR EP COURAGEMENT FROM DAY ONE -- ENCOURAGEMENT FROM DAY ONE.

>> CASSANDRA GEKAS, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME.

>> THANK YOU.

>> I WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW NEXT WEEK OUR GUEST WILL BE THE REPUBLICAN RUNNING FOR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, PHIL SCOTT. UNTIL THEN, HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY. TAKE CARE. Captioning provided by Caption Associates, LLC captionassociates.com

>> Announcer: THE FOLLOWING IS A PAID PRESENTATION FOR INSANITY, BROUGHT TO YOU BY BEACHBODY. [BANG, CRACKING...] [...] ASK SOMEONE WHO'S HEARD OF INSANITY WHAT THEY THINK OF IT AND CHANCES ARE THE ANSWER WILL BE...

>> THIS PROGRAM IS NOT EASY.

>> IT WAS SO HARD.

>> I'VE NEVER DONE A WORKOUT AS HARD AS THAT.

>> IT WAS INSANE.

>> Announcer: THAT'S TRUE. INSANITY IS EXTREMELY HARD, BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN IT'S CRAZY. IN FACT, IF YOU ASK ANY OF THE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE DONE INSANITY, THEY'LL TELL YOU IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE. BECAUSE WHEN YOU LOSE THE WEIGHT YOU NEED TO LOSE IN ONLY 60 DAYS...

>> I USED TO WEAR A SIZE 12 AND NOW I'M WEARING A SIZE 6.

>> IN THE FIRST 60 DAYS, I LOST 38 POUNDS.

>> Announcer: WHEN YOU SEE RIPPED ABS IN ONLY 60 DAYS...

>> I'VE NEVER SEEN MY ABS.

>> THESE ARE THE SHOW MUSCLES, RIGHT?

>> I FEEL LIKE I HAVE SOME PRETTY GOOD ABS.

>> Announcer: GAIN SUPREME CONFIDENCE...

>> I'VE BEEN SKYDIVING.

>> I GAINED BACK THE ABILITY TO DO THIS.

>> Announcer: AND GET THE BEST BODY OF YOUR LIFE IN ONLY 60 DAYS...

>> BEFORE I KNEW IT, THE BODY FAT WAS JUST MELTING OFF MY BODY.

>> I DIDN'T LOOK LIKE THIS 60 DAYS AGO.

>> Announcer: WHAT'S SO CRAZY ABOUT THAT?

>> TAKES REAL WORK, TAKES REAL EFFORT, AND GUESS WHAT? THAT'S JUST THE WARM-UP. AND I'M SMILING 'CAUSE I LOVE IT. [...]

>> AAH...! PUSH, COME ON, DIG! THIS IS WHERE IT HURTS. DON'T GIVE UP, YOU CAN DO IT-- COME ON. I CAN'T HEAR YOU.

>> I'M HURTING, BABY.

>> THERE YOU GO! THAT'S IT! THAT'S IT, GIRL!

>> Announcer: INSANITY IS THE HARDEST WORKOUT EVER PUT ON DVD, BUT IT'S THE ONLY ONE THAT WILL GIVE YOU A YEAR'S WORTH OF RESULTS IN ONLY 60 DAYS.

>> I STARTED OUT AT 205, I'M 168... A LEAN, MEAN INSANITY MACHINE.

>> Announcer: YOU DON'T NEED TO DRAG YOURSELF TO THE GYM DAY AFTER DAY. STEP OUT OF BED... YOU'RE IN THE GYM. YOU DON'T NEED TO BUY A BUNCH OF EXPENSIVE EQUIPMENT. USE YOUR BODY TO TRANSFORM YOUR BODY. YOU DON'T NEED TO FIND HOURS OF FREE TIME TO GET YOUR WORKOUT IN. INSANITY'S ONLY 40 MINUTES A DAY.

>> INSANITY IS A SHORTCUT TO THE BODY YOU WANT. YES, THE ROAD IS ROUGH, BUT IT'LL GET YOU THERE SIX TIMES FASTER. I DESIGNED INSANITY TO GIVE YOU A YEAR'S WORTH OF RESULTS IN 60 DAYS. YOU WANT TO TAKE A WHOLE YEAR OR YOU WANT TO TAKE TWO MONTHS? I THINK YOU'RE CRAZY NOT TO TRY INSANITY. [BANG, CRACKING]

>> I AM THAT PERSON THAT WAS SITTING ON THE COUCH WHEN INSANITY CAME ON AND I SAID, "NO WAY."

>> GO, PUSH, KNEES UP, ABS TIGHT! GO!

>> Heather: I KNEW THAT I NEEDED TO CHANGE SOMETHING ABOUT MYSELF AND I KNEW THAT I WANTED TO BE A HOT WIFE WHEN MY HUSBAND GOT BACK FROM AFGHANISTAN, ORDERED IT RELUCTANTLY AND THEN

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