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Letter to the Editor

Senator’s switch shows virtue and conscience

The column entitled “Election misrepresentation,” published in the June 7 issue of The Oracle, is latent with bad logic and misrepresentation of fact.

It is well-known that Sen. James Jeffords switched party affiliations after becoming disenfranchised in his own party, especially in concerns over the Bush administration’s ridiculous Energy Plan.

The senator has long been known for his environmental concerns and he is extremely knowledgeable on subjects such as conservation and the harmful effects of many compounds that accumulate from the burning of fossil fuels.

Please, anyone, read the report and see how many times the word “conservation” and phrase “alternative energy” are contained therein. You definitely will not need all of your fingers to help you keep track. Never mind the fact that the plan was drafted with help from associates of major energy producers concerned with keeping the status quo intact.

That is the definition of “special interests.” If anything, it should offend one’s sense of decency that more politicians are not making moves to protest that plan.

If the “special interests” that persuaded Jeffords to become independent were his interest in having a more eco-friendly person (i.e. himself) chair the Environmental and Public Works Committee, then I heartily applaud his decision.

With a Senate committee controlled by the same party as the man responsible for such a grossly negligent plan for the future of this country’s energy needs, the country needs such leadership in the Senate?

Yes, the Republican Party helped fund Jeffords’ campaign. But where were they when one of their most respected members needed to voice his concerns on an issue dear to him and his constituents?

It seems to me that the “buying a Ford truck and getting a Chevy” metaphor applies best to Jeffords, not his constituents. Jeffords’ party essentially left him, it was not he who left them.

If the people of Vermont voted strictly on party lines, then shame on them.

The right to vote is too much taken for granted in this country. Anyone who votes should know and understand the position of their candidates, not the blurry “Party Platform.” Aren’t there more than two kinds of people in this country, more than the words Republican or Democrat can ever hope to express?

I would be much more proud of my candidate if he took this stance.

Applying a particular word to the end of Jeffords’ name should in no way change his voting agenda, if it does then shame on him.

So please, give me a politician who is “bribed” on the virtue of his conscience any day.

Jonathan Watt is a junior majoring in environmental science and policy.