YCQM: November 24, 2013 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM: November 24, 2013

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

FROM VERMONT'S MOST TRUSTED NEWS SOURCE, WCAX BRINGS YOU YOUR NEWSMAKERS, YOUR NEIGHBORS. THIS IS "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."

>>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE. THANKS FOR JOINING US, I'M KRISTEN CARLSON. OUR NEWSMAKER THIS SUNDAY MORNING IS DAVE SUNDERLAND, THE NEW CHAIR OF THE VERMONT REPUBLICAN PARTY. MR. SUNDERLAND, THANKS FOR BEING HERE.

>> GOOD MORNING. THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

>> SO YOU WERE JUST ELECTED. WHAT IS YOUR GOAL AND VISION FOR THE PARTY?

>> WELL, OBVIOUSLY WE'VE COME OUT OF AN ELECTION CYCLE IN 2012 THAT WASN'T AS SUCCESSFUL AS WE HAD HOPED, AND SINCE THEN, I THINK WE'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR OUR IDENTITY A LITTLE BIT, VERMONT REPUBLICANS, AND MY MAIN GOAL IS TO GROW OUR PARTY, BROADEN OUR APPEAL AND TO UNITE THOSE VERMONT REPUBLICANS WHO HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS ON SOME ISSUES, BUT ON MANY AGREE AND WANT TO MOVE OUR STATE FORWARD ON THOSE ISSUES.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THE ELECTION. YOU SAY NOT THE RESULTS THAT THE PARTY WAS HOPING FOR. I THINK THAT'S AN UNDERSTATEMENT. THERE'S ONLY ONE REPUBLICAN ELECTED STATEWIDE AND THAT, OF COURSE, IS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR PHIL SCOTT AND IN THE LEGISLATURE, THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS STRONGLY IN THE MINORITY IN BOTH THE HOUSE AND SENATE, SO MUCH SO THAT THERE'S REALLY NOTHING THEY CAN DO TO SORT OF BLOCK OR STOP LEGISLATION, SO WHEN YOU SAY THE PARTY IS LOOKING FOR AN IDENTITY AND YOU WANT TO HELP IN THAT PROCESS, WHAT IS THE PARTY'S IDENTITY? BECAUSE I THINK THAT IS PART OF THE PROBLEM.

>> WELL, I THINK VERMONT REPUBLICANS ARE VERY UNITED ON THE ISSUES OF AFFORDABILITY IN VERMONT. I THINK THERE'S STRONG CONCERNS ABOUT THE DIRECTION WE'RE HEADED FISCALLY. YOU KNOW, WE HAVE A BUDGET DEFICIT NOW THAT IS GROWING AND IS VERY CONCERNING. I THINK THE STEADY STREAM OF TAXES WE'VE SEEN COMING OUT OF MONTPELIER IS A RESULT OF A SUPERMAJORITY THERE NOW THAT DOESN'T HAVE A STRONG OPPOSITION AND I THINK EVERYDAY VERMONTERS AND PEOPLE RUNNING SMALL BUSINESSES, PEOPLE RAISING FAMILIES IN OUR STATE, THEY FEEL THAT PINCH AND THEY WANT A STRONG VOICE IN MONTPELIER THAT WILL OFFER A DIFFERENT OPINION OF THE DIRECTION FINANCIALLY OUR STATE IS HEADED IN.

>> YOU TALK ABOUT SOME OF THESE AFFORDABILITY, THE FISCAL AND THE TAXES. WHAT THE SOCIAL ISSUES THOUGH? YOU DIP MENTION THOSE AND THOSE SOMETIMES CAN BE DIVISIVE WITHIN YOUR OWN PARTY, DIFFERENT ISSUES, SAME SEX MARRIAGE AND ABORTION AND THOSE ISSUES.

>> CERTAINLY, THERE'S A DIFFERENCE IN THE VERMONT REPUBLICAN PARTY AND THAT'S THE WAY THINGS ARE. I THINK IT'S FINE AND HEALTHY.

>> WHAT IS YOUR VIEW?

>> I DON'T THINK IT'S SO MUCH ABOUT MY PERSONAL VIEWS. I WAS IN THE LEGISLATURE AND I CERTAINLY HAVE A PUBLIC RECORD THAT I STAND BEHIND, BUT I THINK THE ISSUES THAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY NEEDS TO FOCUS ON ARE THOSE FISCAL ISSUES THAT WE CAN ALL UNITE ON. THERE'S GOING TO BE ISSUES THAT WE DISAGREE ON, SOCIAL ISSUES AND OTHER ISSUES AS WELL, BUT I THINK WE CAN ALL AGREE ON FISCAL ISSUES THAT WE NEED TO FOCUS ON AS A STATE THAT WILL MOVE OUR STATE AND OUR PARTY FORWARD.

>> YOU MENTIONED THOSE FISCAL ISSUES SO IMPORTANT TO THE PARTY, BUT SOME POLITICAL SCIENTISTS ARGUE THAT SOCIAL ISSUES IN PART HELPED DERAIL THE CAMPAIGN OF BRIAN DUBEY WHEN THEY WERE UP FOR THE OPEN SEAT AGAINST, OF COURSE, PETER SHUMLIN WHO BECAME GOVERNOR. DO YOU THINK SOCIAL ISSUES AND THE STANCE IN PARTICULAR ON ABORTION HURT HIM IN THE GENERAL ELECTION?

>> I WAS NOT DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN BRIAN'S CAMPAIGN. I THINK THAT'S PROBABLY A BETTER QUESTION FOR BRIAN DUBEY, BUT I THINK THE ISSUES THAT WILL BRING US BACK TO RELEVANCE IN THE LEGISLATURE AND BROADEN OUR APPEAL AMONG VERMONTERS ARE THOSE ISSUES THAT ARE THREATENED IN VERMONT, WHICH IS THE LIVEABILITY AND THE AFFORDABILITY, THE ABILITY TO RUN A SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESSFULLY IN VERMONT. AND THE LEVEL OF TAXES AND THE TAX INCREASES THAT WE'VE SEEN OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS.

>> YOU TALK ABOUT RELEVANCY AND I THINK THAT'S A PHRASE THAT'S BEEN TOSSED AROUND A LOT WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE REPUBLICANS IN THE VERMONT HOUSE AND THE VERMONT SENATE. THE HOUSE LEADER SAID WE WORK IN COMMITTEE AND THAT'S WHERE WE EFFECT THE CHANGE, BUT WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY MOVING FORWARD? HOW DO YOU IN A CONSTRUCTIVE WAY AFFECT POLICY TO MAKE LIVES BETTER FOR VERMONTERS WHEN THERE ARE SO MANY DEMOCRATS AND SO FEW REPUBLICANS? HOW DO YOU NOT BECOME THE PARTY OF NO?

>> THE LEGISLATURE IS ALWAYS A NUMBERS GAME AND OUR GOAL IS GOING TO BE INCREASE OUR NUMBERS IN THE LEGISLATURE. WE CAN'T --

>> BUT THAT'S BEEN THE GOAL FOR SEVERAL ELECTION CYCLES. I WAS TALKING TO THE PREVIOUS REPUBLICAN PARTY CHAIR, JACK LINDLEY, WHO SAID YOU WERE GOING TO COME BACK IN BIG NUMBERS AND THEY LOST A FEW SEATS.

>> BUT THE ABILITY TO REGAIN SEATS IN THE LEGISLATURE IS DIRECTLY TIED TO OUR ABILITY TO BROADEN OUR BASE AND TO BROADEN OUR APPEAL WITH VERMONTERS AND I THINK WE DO THAT BY FOCUSING ON THE ISSUES THAT VERMONTERS ARE MOST CONCERNED ABOUT AND FROM THE PEOPLE I TALKED TO AND THE PEOPLE THAT REACH OUT TO ME, THOSE ARE THE ISSUES OF AFFORDABILITY IN TAXES AND THE ABILITY TO RAISE FAMILY AND RUN A BUSINESS IN VERMONT.

>> YOU TALK ABOUT UNITING THE PARTY AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT I THINK A LOT OF, AGAIN, POLITICAL OBSERVERS WILL SAY NO NEED TO FOCUS ON BECAUSE THERE'S BEEN DIVISIVENESS WITHIN THE PARTY ABOUT THE DIRECTION OF THE PARTY. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT EXISTED? IT SORT OF SEEMED THAT THERE WERE TWO CAMPS ABOUT HOW THE PARTY SHOULD PROCEED.

>> I THINK WE'VE, ESPECIALLY ON THE FISCAL ISSUES, I THINK WE'VE ALWAYS AGREED ON THOSE ISSUES AS A PARTY. I THINK IN THE PAST, WE MADE SOME, SOME DECISIONS WITH THE TONE THAT WE USED AND WITH THE RHETORIC THAT WE USED THAT MAYBE WAS NOT NECESSARILY AS CONSTRUCTIVE AS IT COULD HAVE BEEN.

>> YOU MEAN HOW?

>> I THINK ON THE ISSUES WE CHOSE TO TAKE ON AND THE ISSUES -- THE WAY THAT WE TOOK ON THOSE ISSUES AS A PARTY IN THE CANDIDATES THAT WE PROMOTED AND THE CANDIDATES THAT WE RECRUITED, I THINK OUR MESSAGE CAN GET BETTER AND I THINK OUR IMAGE CAN GET BETTER AND I HOPE TO DO THAT.

>> IS THIS JUST, THOUGH, SORT OF A DUSTING OFF OF THE IMAGE OR IS IT A CHANGE TO THE CORE?

>> WELL, I SUPPOSE THAT IS A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE ON A CERTAIN LEVEL, BUT I MEAN, WE ARE LOOKING TO BROADEN OUR APPEAL TO INDEPENDENTS IN VERMONT AND THERE'S MANY OF THOSE IN VERMONT, EVEN MODERATE DEMOCRATS I THINK COULD AGREE WITH US ON THE BUDGETARY AND THE FISCAL ISSUES THAT WE'RE LOOKING TO INFLUENCE.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT LESSONS LEARNED BECAUSE A LOT OF POLITICIANS HAVE ALWAYS SAID YOU LEARN FROM MISTAKES, SO WHAT MISTAKES -- YOU MENTIONED SORT OF THE ONES THAT THE PREVIOUS PARTY HAD MADE, THE PARTY CHAIR. WHAT WERE THOSE AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THEM?

>> WELL, I MEAN, FIRST OFF, I DON'T WANT TO BE CRITICAL OF JACK LINDLEY. HE STEPPED FORWARD AT A VERY IMPORTANT TIME FOR OUR PARTY AND OUR STATE AND I THINK HE DID -- HE WORKED VERY HARD IN A VERY THANKLESS JOB, SO I DON'T WANT TO BE OVERLY CRITICAL ABOUT THE DECISIONS HE MADE. HE WAS THE CHAIR AND HE DID THE BEST HE COULD AND I THINK THE PARTY IS VERY THANKFUL FOR HIS SERVICE. BUT I THINK THAT WE NEED TO CONTROL OUR IMAGE AS MUCH AS WE NEED TO CONTROL OUR POLICIES AND I THINK THE IMAGE THAT WE'VE PROMOTED IS ONE THAT WE CAN MAKE MORE POSITIVE GOING FORWARD, THAT WE CAN RE-ENGAGE PEOPLE WHO MAY HAVE BEEN DISENGAGED AS A RESULT OF THE TONE THAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY USED OR THE WORDS THAT WE CHOSE TO DESCRIBE OUR POSITIONS.

>> GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE OF TONE, WORDS.

>> WELL, YOU KNOW, I THINK IN VERMONT, WE'RE CERTAINLY MUCH DIFFERENT THAN WE ARE IN WASHINGTON, D.C. I THINK THE CIVILITY OF POLITICS IN VERMONT DEMANDS A DIFFERENT CONVERSATION THAN WHAT HAPPENS IN WASHINGTON. I'M CERTAINLY NOT INTERESTED IN LEADING THAT WAY, AND I THINK WE CAN WORK TOGETHER RESPECTFULLY ON ISSUES, EVEN ON ISSUES THAT WE DISAGREE, AND I LACK FORWARD TO DOING THAT WITH THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION AND WITH DEMOCRATS AND INDEPENDENTS IN VERMONT AS WELL.

>> IS THE PARTY TRYING TO MOVE, THEN, TO BE DEMOCRAT-LIGHT THEN?

>> NO, WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE DIFFERENCES. IN PART, OUR RESPONSIBILITY WILL BE TO HOLD THE DEMOCRATS' FEET TO THE FIRE WHERE WE THINK THEY'RE GOING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION AND I THINK THERE'S SEVERAL AREAS, EVEN NOW, THAT WE NEED TO ADDRESS AND WE HAVE ADDRESSED IT OVER THE PERIOD OF THE LAST COUPLE WEEKS WITH REGARD TO HEALTHCARE AND CERTAINLY THE FISCAL ISSUES IN OUR STATE. SO, NO, WE'LL BE A STRONG OPPOSING PARTY AND I THINK THAT'S A RESPONSIBILITY WE HAVE TO OURSELVES AS REPUBLICANS IN VERMONT AND ALSO TO VERMONTERS WHO WANT THAT STRONG VOICE IN MONTPELIER.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT HEALTHCARE. THE ROLLOUT HAS GONE INCREDIBLY -- I GUESS IT DEPENDS ON HOW YOU CHARACTERIZE IT, HASN'T GONE WELL. THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF UNFORESEEN PROBLEMS WITH THE ROLLOUT, A DELAY IN IMPLEMENTATION FOR THREE MONTHS TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE HAVE MORE TIME TO SIGN UP AND EXTEND THEIR COVERAGE FOR THREE MONTHS. BUT A LOT OF DEMOCRATS ARE SAYING WE'RE NOT HAPPY ABOUT HOW THIS IS GONE AND, IN FACT, WE'RE GOING TO REVIEW IT IN THE LEGISLATURE, BUT WHEN IT COMES TIME FOR THE ELECTION CYCLE, THIS WILL BE WORKING AGAIN. THIS IS A SHORT-TERM PROBLEM, BUT IT WILL BE FIXED IN THE LONG TERM. DOES THIS ISSUE HAVE LEGS FOR THE REPUBLICANS?

>> I THINK THE CONCERN IS -- A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT FRONTS. I THINK THE LEADERSHIP HAS BEEN SHOWN IN TERMS OF ASSURING THAT THIS ROLLOUT WENT SMOOTHLY, IT JUST WASN'T THERE, AND, YES, THERE ARE TECHNICAL ISSUES WITH THE WEBSITES AND I THINK EVENTUALLY, HOPEFULLY WITHOUT TOO MANY MORE ADDITIONAL DOLLARS, THOSE WILL BE RESOLVED, BUT I THINK THE BIGGER ISSUES ARE THE UNDERLYING WISHES WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM ITSELF AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP AND THE LEVEL OF SERVICES THAT VERMONTERS ARE USED TO. WHAT DOES IT MEAN, AS HAS BEEN DISCUSSED AT LENGTH FOR THE LAST COUPLE WEEKS, FOR OUR SENIOR CITIZENS AND VETERANS WHO ARE USED TO THEIR CURRENT MEDICARE AND TRICARE PLANS. THE GOVERNOR HAS POINTED OUT THAT HE WANTS TO HAVE THOSE PEOPLE IN THE SINGLE PAYER POOL IN VERMONT.

>> BUT THE GOVERNOR DID RESPOND TO YOUR LETTER, DAVID, AND SAID THAT THEY WOULD BE ALLOWED TO KEEP THAT.

>> BUT HE WANTS THEM IN THE POOL, SO AGAIN, HE HASN'T ANSWERED DIRECTLY, BUT I WOULD INFER FROM THAT, THAT HE MEANS HE WANTS TO ADMINISTER THE MEDICARE AND THE TRICARE PLANS THROUGH THE STATE WHILE THERE WILL STILL BE A -- THROUGH A FEDERAL WAIVER, SO STILL FEDERAL PROGRAMS, BUT ADMINISTERED THROUGH THE STATE. AGAIN, I'M INFERRING THAT BECAUSE IT WASN'T DIRECTLY ANSWERED IN THE LETTER.

>> AND YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT, SO PEOPLE KNOW, YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THE FINAL 2017 PUSH TOWARD A SINGLE PAYOR SYSTEM.

>> SURE, EXACTLY, SO THERE'S GREAT CONCERN ABOUT THAT, WHAT DOES THAT REALLY MEAN AND DOES THAT MEAN THAT THE STATE PROGRAM NOW WILL DEFINE THE LEVEL OF BENEFITS FOR MEDICARE, WILL DEFINE THE COMPENSATION THROUGH THE PROVIDERS. I DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS. I THINK VERMONT SENIOR CITIZENS, VERMONT VETERANS WHO LIKE THEIR TRICARE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS BEFORE WE GET THERE. WE CAN'T AFFORD TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THE WHOLE HEALTHCARE MEANS ONCE IT'S ALREADY IN PLACE. WE'VE SEEN HOW THAT'S WORKING IN WASHINGTON AND IT ISN'T. WE'RE DISCOVERING THINGS ABOUT THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT THAT WE DIDN'T KNOW GOING IN. AND I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT VERMONTERS UNDERSTAND WHAT THIS REALLY MEANS BEFORE WE GET INTO IT. CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY

>> SO WITH VERMONT HEALTH CONNECT, GOVERNOR SHUMLIN SAID WE'RE DOING BETTER ON THIS, AND IT WAS A GOOD DECISION TO BILL OUR OWN WEBSITE AND GO OUR OWN DIRECTION.

>> WE CERTAINLY PAID ZAERLY IN TERMS OF -- DEARLY IN TERMS OF DOLLARS FOR BUILDING OUR OWN SITE AND IT'S WORKING MARGINALLY BETTER THAN THE FEDERAL SITE. BUT THERE ARE STILL CHANGES AND THE GOVERNOR MADE A DECISION TO DO ON IT HIS OWN AND IT SEEMS TO BE WORKING BETTER, BUT NOT WELL AND WE'RE DEEP IN THE HOLE FINANCIALLY FOR THIS WEBSITE THAT CLUNKS ALONG.

>> WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE HAPPEN NEXT?

>> I THINK THAT IT IS APPROPRIATE TO LOOK AT A DELAY. WE NEED TO BE FAIR TO VERMONTERS, WE NEED TO BE FAIR TO THOSE WHO ARE ACCUSTOMED TO THEIR CURRENT HEALTHCARE AND I THINK A DELAY IS APPROPRIATE. I THINK THE DIRECTION --

>> MORE THAN THE THREE MONTHS?

>> I THINK THREE MONTHS IS PROBABLY TOO SHORT GIVEN THE CHALLENGES UM SEEING WITH THE SYSTEM NOW, SO I THINK THERE'S LEGISLATORS WHO HAVE CALLED FOR A ONE-YEAR DELAY. THAT FEELS LIKE A BETTER NUMBER, BUT I THINK THOSE WHO ARE REALLY TURNING THE WRENCHES AND WORKING UNDERNEATH THE HOOD OF THIS SYSTEM CAN BETTER DESCRIBE WHAT AN APPROPRIATE DELAY WOULD BE.

>> OKAY. LET'S TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT OTHER LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES COMING UP THIS SESSION.

>> WELL, I THINK THE BUDGET CRISIS THAT VERMONT IS FACING IS -- NEEDS FURTHER ATTENTION AND I THINK THE REPUBLICANS IN THE LEGISLATURE WILL BE ADDRESSING THAT. WE'RE LOOKING AT A STATE BUDGET THAT'S INCREASING MUCH FASTER THAN OUR GROSS STATE PRODUCT IS INCREASING, AND CERTAINLY FASTER THAN PEOPLE'S PAYCHECK ARE INCREASING, SO THAT'S DEEPLY CONCERNING. THE BOTTOM LINE OF THAT MEANS THAT VERMONT GETS MORE EXPENSIVE FOR WORKING VERMONTERS AND THAT'S A PROBLEM. VERMONT'S ALREADY EXPENSIVE ENOUGH. I THINK WE HAVE A PROBLEM WITH UNFUNDED LIABILITIES WE HAVE IN PENSION SYSTEMS IN VERMONT THAT HAS GROWN SIGNIFICANTLY OVER THE LAST JUST FEW YEARS. THAT IS A PROBLEM BUBBLING UNDERNEATH THE SURFACE THAT IF WE DON'T ADDRESS IT, IS GOING TO GROW INTO A WASHINGTON-STYLE DEFICIT THAT WILL BURDEN FUTURE GENERATIONS OF VERMONTERS. SO I THINK THERE'S A LOT OF WORK TO DO THIS AS WELL.

>> SO HOW DO YOU HELP LAWMAKERS EFFECT CHANGE WHO ARE IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WHEN, AS WE ALREADY DISCUSSED, THERE'S SO MUCH IN THE MINORITY.

>> IT'S A NUMBERS GAME. WE NEED TO GET MORE LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE ELECTED TO THE LEGISLATURE TO HAVE A GREATER VOICE AND INFLUENCE POLICY BETTER. THAT'S OUR JOB AS A STATE PARTY AND THAT'S CERTAINLY MY GOAL.

>> WE'RE GOING TO TALK TO DAVE SUNDERLAND, THE NEWLY ELECTED CHAIR OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, ABOUT MUCH MORE INCLUDING THE NEXT ELECTION CYCLE AFTER THESE NATHAN: And I'm Nathan. NATALIE: We're here to answerquestions about... Vermont Health Connect. NATHAN: Here's one from Chris inBennington. NATALIE: He asks: "I heard I canget health insurance through... Vermont Health Connect. So,where do I start?" NATHAN: Chris - your first stepis to go to the... Vermont Health Connect website. NATHAN: Create an account,compare plans, and... choose the one that's right foryou. NATALIE: We did it - and so canyou! NATHAN: Vermont Health Connect. It's health coverage forVermonters. NATALIE: By Vermonters!

>>> WELCOME BACK. WE'RE TALKING TO DAVID SUNDERLAND, THE NEWLY ELECTED CHAIR OF THE VERMONT REPUBLICAN PARTY. LET'S TALK ABOUT ELECTIONS BECAUSE THAT'S SOMETHING AS A PARTY CHAIR YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON. WHO IS GOING TO RUN FOR GOVERNOR?

>> WE DON'T KNOW YET. I THINK WE'LL FIELD A STRONG SLATE OF CANDIDATES IN THE UPCOMING ELECTION. I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH THOSE CANDIDATES AND DEFINING ISSUES THAT MATTER TO VERMONTERS, BUT I THINK AS WE GO THROUGH THE NEXT WEEKS AND MONTHS, THAT WE'LL FORM THAT SLATE OF CANDIDATES.

>> SLATE. I'M TALKING SPECIFICALLY ABOUT THE GOVERNOR'S SEAT.

>> AND NOBODY HAS STEPPED FORWARD AND TALKED TO ME DIRECTLY ABOUT A POTENTIAL RACE YET. I THINK WE WILL HAVE A CANDIDATE, BUT AT THIS POINT, THEY'RE NOT IDENTIFIED.

>> WHY IS IT HARD FOR REPUBLICANS TO FIND CANDIDATES?

>> WELL, I THINK IN VERMONT IN PARTICULAR, AGAIN, YOU KNOW, WE'VE STRUGGLED WITH THE IMAGE THAT WE HAVE IN VERMONT AND I THINK WE CAN CHANGE THAT AND AS WE CHANGE THAT AND REGAIN THE RESPECT OF VERMONTERS FOR VERMONT REPUBLICANS, I THINK WE'LL SEE MORE AND MORE PEOPLE IDENTIFY AND REALIZE THAT, HEY, WE REALLY DO ALIGN WITH THE CORE ISSUES THAT YOU'RE PROMOTING AND THAT WILL HELP US GROW THE POOL OF PROSPECTIVE CANDIDATES.

>> YOU TALK ABOUT IMAGE. DO YOU THINK THAT IMAGE WAS DESERVED OR IS THIS A MISPERCEPTION ON THE PART OF VERMONT VOTERS?

>> PROBABLY SOME OF BOTH. I THINK WE'VE ALWAYS BEEN THE PARTY WHO'S -- WHO'S BEEN CONCERNED WITH THE FISCAL ISSUES AND THE ISSUES OF AFFORDABILITY AND SMALLER GOVERNMENT AND GOVERNMENT THAT WORKS FOR PEOPLE AND HELPS SMALL BUSINESSES VERSUS HOLDING THEM BACK, SO I THINK WE'VE ALWAYS BEEN THERE, BUT WE'VE MANAGED TO DISENCHANT PEOPLE OVER THE YEARS BY THE TONE THAT WE USE OR THE WORDS THAT WE CHOSE.

>> BUT COULD IT ALSO BE THE POSITIONS THAT YOU HOLD?

>> OH, IN SOME CASES, I'M SURE IT IS, AND THERE'S PEOPLE THAT DISAGREE WITH THAT. THERE'S PEOPLE THAT DISAGREE WITH US ON THOSE ISSUES AND I HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR THAT. PEOPLE THAT LOVE THEIR STATE AS MUCH AS WE DO SEE THINGS DIFFERENTLY, SO THERE'S PEOPLE THAT WE WANT TO WIN OVER AND WE CERTAINLY UNDERSTAND THAT.

>> WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE SOME OF GOVERNOR SHUMLIN'S WEAKNESSES?

>> WELL, I THINK ON A PRACTICAL STANDPOINT, WHERE WE'RE MISSING IS IN THE, THE FAITH IN VERMONTERS THAT I THINK THE REPUBLICANS HAVE. WE BELIEVE THAT AN ENERGETIC PERSON WITH A GREAT IDEA FOR A SMALL BUSINESS IS THE BEST PERSON TO MAKE THOSE DECISIONS FOR THEIR BUSINESSES, FOR THEIR FAMILIES, AND FOR THEIR STATE. I THINK ANYTIME A GOVERNMENT STEPS IN AND THROUGH TAXES OR REGULATIONS, MAKES DECISIONS ON BEHALF OF OTHER PEOPLE, THAT WE LOSE A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF OUR FREEDOM, A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF OUR LIBERTY AND A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF OUR SELF-DETERMINATION AND WE CERTAINLY BELIEVE THAT THOSE DECISIONS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE BE LEFT WITH THE INDIVIDUAL VERMONTERS.

>> I THINK GOVERNOR SHUMLIN WOULD AGREE WITH YOU ON MUCH OF THAT. HE ANGERED MANY MEMBERS OF HIS OWN PARTY IN THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION TRYING TO HOLD THE LINE WHEN IT CAME TO TAX INCREASES, SO IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU'RE ON THE SAME PAGE WITH THE GOVERNOR.

>> I THINK THERE'S BEEN SEVERAL TAX INCREASES THAT HAVE HURT VERMONTERS. WE'VE PASSED A GAS TAX AND WE'RE LOOKING NOW AT ANOTHER PROPERTY TAX INCREASE COMING IN THE NEXT YEAR, SO I AM DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE DIRECTION THAT THE GOVERNOR IS TAKING IN TERMS OF THE STATE BUDGET. WE'RE IN A DEFICIT SITUATION NOW AND THE SITUATION IS GETTING WORSE AND NOT BETTER, SO I WOULD LOVE TO WORK WITH THE GOVERNOR ON WAYS TO REDUCE THAT DEFICIT, TO FULLY FUND OUR PENSIONS, TO REDUCE OUR EDUCATION SPENDING WHILE STILL KEEPING A STRONG EDUCATION SYSTEM IN VERMONT AND I THINK WE CAN DO ALL THAT, BUT I'M NOT SEEING THAT LEADERSHIP COMING FROM MONTPELIER.

>> SO LOOKING AHEAD TO THE ELECTION CYCLE AND THE GOVERNOR'S RACE, THE LAST CYCLE IT WAS RANDY BROCK, SOMEONE WHO HAD PLENTY OF MONEY AND RUN STATEWIDE BEFORE AND WON AS A REPUBLICAN. IF HE CAN'T DEFEAT GOVERNOR SHUMLIN, IS THERE ANYONE IN THE STATE WHO CAN?

>> I THINK THERE IS. I THINK THERE CAN BE, CERTAINLY. IT'S HARD TO BEAT A REPUBLICAN IN VERMONT --

>> A DEMOCRAT.

>> I'M SORRY. IT'S HARD TO --

>> I THINK THAT'S WHAT YOU MEANT. I DON'T KNOW, WHAT DID YOU MEAN?

>> IT'S HARD TO BEAT AN INCUMBENT IN VERMONT. I THINK IT'S BEEN DECADES SINCE AN INCUMBENT HAS BEEN DEFEATED IN THE GOVERNOR'S RACE, SO IT'S A HIGH HURDLE TO CLEAR, BUT I THINK WE CAN DO IT WITH THE RIGHT PERSON. I THINK VERMONTERS ARE MORE CONCERNED THAN EVER IN RECENT MEMORY WITH THE DIRECTION OUR STATE IS HEADING AND I THINK THAT THERE'S MOMENTUM FOR CHANGE.

>> IS BRIAN DUBEY INTERESTED IN RUNNING? HAVE YOU TALKED TO HIM?

>> I HAVE NOT TALKED TO HIM DIRECTLY ABOUT THAT. I THINK BRIAN WOULD BE A STRONG CANDIDATE AND I HOP HE RUNS FOR OFFICE -- HOPE HE RUNS FOR OFFICE AGAIN SOMETIME. I THINK MANY VERMONTERS SHARE THAT SAME SENTIMENT. I LOOK FORWARD TO RE-ENTERING THE POLITICAL DEBATE WITH HIM.

>> DO YOU THINK HE MIGHT?

>> I DON'T KNOW THAT, I DON'T KNOW THAT.

>> IT SOUNDS LIKE AT THIS POINT, YOU MENTIONED THE SLATE OF OFFICES TOP TO BOTTOM, NO ENERGY YET FOR A CANDIDATE IN THE GUBERNATORIAL RACE, SO WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO FOCUS YOUR ENERGY? CONGRESSIONAL, TRYING TO OUST SOME OF THE DEMOCRATS, THE LEGISLATURE? WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO FOCUS THE LIMITED RESOURCES THAT YOU HAVE?

>> DEFINITELY, I THINK WE NEED TO INCREASE OUR NUMBERS IN THE LEGISLATURE TO HAVE A GREATER VOICE AND INFLUENCE IN THE POLICIES BEING MADE AND DEVELOPED THERE. WE'LL FOCUS HEAVILY ON HOUSE AND SENATE RACES IN MONTPELIER AND LOOK FORWARD TO A STRONG SLATE OF STATEWIDE CANDIDATES AS WELL.

>> SO THAT SEEMS LIKE YOU'RE FOCUSING ON BOTH AREAS THEN? ARE YOU GOING TO RUN SOMEONE FOR EVERY RACE? ARE WE GOING TO SEE YOU IN THE TREASURER'S RACE, THE SECRETARY OF STATE, AUDITOR?

>> I THINK TO THE GREATEST EXTENT POSSIBLE, WE'LL STEP FORWARD AND SUPPORT CANDIDATES THAT ARE WILLING TO RUN. I THINK THERE'S MOMENTUM THERE AND STRONG INTEREST FROM VERMONTERS TO LOOK AT A DIFFERENT DIRECTION AND GO IN A DIFFERENT VIEW AND START CHANGE IN VERMONT. SO I THINK AS PEOPLE STEP FORWARD, WE'LL GLADLY SUPPORT STRONG CANDIDATES WHO ARE WILLING TO RUN FOR OFFICE.

>> TALK ABOUT WHEN YOU WERE ELECTED, YOU TALKED TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WHO WAS THERE AND SAID LET'S FOCUS ON UNITING, LET'S FOCUS ON WHAT WE HAVE IN COMMON, AND I'M CURIOUS, IT SEEMS LIKE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR PHIL SCOTT, AGAIN, IS THE ONLY ELECTED STATEWIDE REPUBLICAN AND HE WAS SORT OF BEHIND PART OF THAT PUSH. WHAT IS HIS ROLE IN WORKING WITH THE PARTY MOVING FORWARD?

>> WELL, I THINK BY NATURE, WE'LL WORK TOGETHER ON THE ISSUES THAT ARE AFFECTING VERMONTERS. I THINK THE BEST WAY FOR US TO BE EFFECTIVE IS TO WORK TOGETHER. I THINK THAT THAT'S BEEN A GAP IN OUR PARTY IN THE LAST FEW MONTHS AND CERTAINLY THE -- LAST FEW MONTHS, BUT THE LAST COUPLE YEARS. WE CAN DO A BETTER JOB OF COORDINATING OUR WORK AND COMBINING OUR ENERGIES TOWARDS THE COMMON GOALS THAT WE HAVE. CERTAINLY THERE WILL BE DIFFERENCES AND CERTAINLY THE PARTY WILL BE INDEPENDENT AND TO A CERTAIN EXTENT FROM THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR'S OFFICE, BUT I THINK WE ACHIEVE BETTER RESULTS BY WORKING TOGETHER.

>> WHERE DO YOU THINK PHIL SCOTT WILL GO?

>> GOOD QUESTION. I THINK HE'S A GREAT LEADER AND AN ATTRIBUTE TO OUR STATE GOVERNMENT AND I THINK HE'S A GREAT ASSET. I THINK HE HAS A BRIGHT FUTURE IN VERMONT POLITICS AND I'LL ENCOURAGE HIM TO GO AS FAR AS HE CAN GO.

>> HAVE YOU HAD DISCUSSIONS ABOUT THAT?

>> NOT DIRECTLY, NO.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THE PARTY. MARK SNELLING, A LOT OF PEOPLE REMEMBER HIS FATHER RICHARD SNELLING, WHO WAS GOVERNOR, AND HE HAS RUN FOR STATEWIDE OFFICE AS WELL. THE PARTY ALMOST OUSTED HIM FROM HIS POSITION BY A NARROW VOTE. WHAT WAS HE DOING THAT WASN'T WORKING?

>> WELL, I THINK THE ISSUE WAS THAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN VERMONT WAS JUST READY FOR CHANGE. I THINK THE TONE AND THE DIRECTION OVER THE LAST COUPLE YEARS HAS BEEN SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE WERE GROWING WEARY OF AND I THINK MORE THAN A DIRECT REFLECTION ON MARK, IT WAS MORE ABOUT CHANGE AND ABOUT A NEW DIRECTION AND GOING FORWARD IN A DIFFERENT WAY.

>> WELL, THE VOTE, THOUGH, THEY KEPT HIM IN THE END.

>> SURE, BY A COUPLE OF VOTES, AND AGAIN, I THINK --

>> WHAT DO YOU THINK THE MESSAGE IS THAT MARK SHOULD TAKE AWAY FROM THIS?

>> I THINK MARK WILL BE A GOOD TREASURER FOR OUR PARTY. I THINK HE'LL WORK HARD AND I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING TOGETHER WITH HIM. I THINK THE BEST THING TO TAKE AWAY IS THAT IT'S JUST TIME FOR A CHANGE, TIME FOR A DIFFERENT DIRECTION.

>> ALL RIGHT. THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS TRYING TO RAISE SOME MONEY. THEY'RE GOING TO BRING IN A NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE WHO'S BEEN TALKED ABOUT AS A POSSIBLE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE DOWN THE ROAD. HOW DOES CHRIS CHRISTIE REPRESENT VERMONT REPUBLICANS? WHY IS HE A GOOD FIT TO COME HERE AND RAISE MONEY?

>> WHY HE'S A GOOD FIT TO COME HERE IS BECAUSE HE'S A REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR IN A FAIRLY STRONG DEMOCRAT STATE, SO OBVIOUSLY THERE'S SOME SYNERGIES THERE WITH VERMONT, BUT HE'S ALSO VERY -- OBVIOUSLY VERY CHARISMATIC, HAS HIGH ASPIRATIONS FOR HIS OWN POLITICAL CAREER, AND I THINK HE'LL BE VERY ENGAGING WITH A WIDE RANGE OF VERMONTERS, REPUBLICANS, INDEPENDENTS, AND EVEN MODERATE DEMOCRATS.

>> HOW DO YOU HOPE THEN HIS VISIT MIGHT ENERGIZE THE BASE?

>> I THINK HIS MESSAGE AND THE ISSUES HE IS MOST CONCERNED ON OR CONCERNED ABOUT ARE THOSE THAT VERMONTERS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT AS WELL. YOU KNOW, PARTICULARLY THE FISCAL ISSUES AND, YOU KNOW, HE HAS DEALT WITH A NATURAL DISASTER RECENTLY MUCH LIKE VERMONTERS HAVE GONE THROUGH, SO THERE'S A LOT OF SIMILARITIES THERE THAT I THINK VERMONTERS CAN IDENTIFY WITH.

>> SO WHAT CAN VERMONTERS EXPECT FROM YOU AS PARTY CHAIR?

>> WELL, I THINK VERMONTERS WILL SEE A DIFFERENT TONE, HOPEFULLY A MORE COOPERATIVE AND POSITIVE TONE GOING FORWARD. WE'LL DEFINITELY HOLD OUR GOVERNOR SHUMLIN AND THE DEMOCRATS' FEET TO THE FIRE WHERE WE THINK THEY'RE GOING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION. BUT I HOPE WE CAN DO THAT RESPECTFULLY WITH CIVILITY IN A WAY THAT REFLECTS THE WILLS OF VERMONT.

>> ARE YOU GOING TO BE MORE VOCAL?

>> MORE VOCAL THAN WHAT?

>> I DON'T KNOW. MORE OUT THERE WHEN THINGS DON'T GO WELL. I KNOW MY INBOX CERTAINLY DOES FILL UP WHENEVER -- FROM THE VERMONT DEMOCRATIC PARTY ANYTIME THERE'S ANYTHING, ANY MOVEMENT OR ACTION ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE.

>> WELL, I THINK WE'LL ADDRESS ISSUES THAT WE FEEL NEED TO BE ADDRESSED AND I DON'T WANT TO TURN THIS INTO A CONSTANT NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN AGAINST EVERYTHING THAT COMES OUT OF THE DEMOCRATS' OFFICE. I DON'T THINK THAT'S CONSTRUCTIVE AND I DON'T THINK IT'S MOVING THE STATE FORWARD. BUT I THINK WHERE THERE ARE ISSUES THAT IMPACT VERMONTERS, IMPACT OUR SENIORS, OUR VETERANS LIKE WE TALKED ABOUT ALREADY, I THINK WE'RE OBLIGATED TO DO THAT ON BEHALF OF VERMONTERS AND WE CERTAINLY WILL.

>> I KNOW YOU WERE JUST ELECTED, SO I'M SURE YOU'RE HEARING A LOT OF FEEDBACK, BUT WHEN DO YOU SIT DOWN AND DECIDE WHAT THE CAMPAIGN STRATEGY WILL BE?

>> WE'LL BE WORKING ON THAT OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF MONTHS, PROBABLY. YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE THINGS WE REALLY WANT TO DO IS ENGAGE OUR GROUND FORCES FROM THE COUNTY CHAIR LEVEL AND THE TOWN CHAIR LEVEL TO JUST GET CAUGHT UP TO WHERE THE DEMOCRATS ARE NOW. THEY DO THAT VERY WELL, TO THEIR CREDIT, AND WE'VE LAGGED BEHIND, SO I I THINK ONE OF THE KEYS TO ELECTING PEOPLE IS TO ENGAGE MANY MORE VOLUNTEERS ON A LOCAL LEVEL THAN WE HAVE IN THE PAST AND WE'RE GOING TO BE WORKING OVER THE NEXT COUPLE MONTHS WITH SETTING ALL THAT UP.

>> ALL RIGHT. DAVE SUNDERLAND, THE NEWLY ELECTED CHAIR OF THE VERMONT REPUBLICAN PARTY. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME THIS MORNING.

>> FLURRY BEING HERE. THANKS.

>> AND THANK YOU AT HOME FOR WATCHING, EVERYONE. HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY. TAKE CARE.CAPTIONING PROVIDED BYCAPTION ASSOCIATES, LLCwww.captionassociates.com

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