Wednesday View | Freyne Land

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bernie Sanders
Wednesday View

Posted By on Wed, Sep 27, 2006 at 8:30 AM

Among the many at Monday’s Barbara Boxer/Bernie Sanders noontime bash at City Hall in Burlap was State Sen. Matt Dunne, the Democrat in the Lite-Gov race. His and Bernie’s were the two alternating ads that ran on this blog page when we started up.

Well, Young Dunne (left), beat Rep. John Tracy, the well-known House Health Care Committee chairman from Burlington, in the primary. He's got a November 7 toughie with Republican incumbent Brian Dubie to his right and Prog physician Marvin Malek to his left.

Meanwhile, the only question in the Sanders-Tarrant U.S. Senate race is whether the Bernie Landslide will cross the 70 percent line.

Matt dropped his Lite-Gov blog ad, but the spot quickly found a replacement.  Not a politician - but  “A safe place to ask the hard questions.”  Yep, a church. Christ Church Presbyterian on UVM’s Redstone campus.


As many of you “Freyne Land” readers now know, I was on the road to the Catholic priesthood as a teenager back in the mid-1960s. Was going to be a Maryknoll Missionary and see the world. Save it, too. It was a nine-year training program after high-school, but I and most of my class of 120 were gone after three years (1966-69).  Only four of my original classmates eventually made it to ordination.

The world has changed and the Catholic Church’s role has diminished greatly in our society. I haven’t been a Mass-goer since 1969. What filled the gap?

Siddhartha and Eastern religions. LSD and marijuana. Gestalt and “Primal Scream” psychotherapy. The normal things of those days. Why even the Vermont House voted to decriminalize marijuana in the 1970s and the young GOP leader from Middlebury - Jim Douglas - supported it!

That’s right. Rep. Jim Douglas voted to decriminalize an ounce of pot on March 17, 1978. The bill passed the Vermont House with 75 votes but died in the state senate.

Twenty-five years passed and Jim Douglas became Vermont’s governor. A medical marijuana bill (lead sponsor Progressive Rep. David Zuckerman) passed the House in 2003 on a 79-48 vote. It passed the Senate 20-7.

But Gov. Jim Douglas didn’t want to go near it with a 10-foot pole. Didn’t want to appear “soft” on drugs. He refused to sign the medical pot bill, allowing it to become law without his signature.

Meanwhile, this posting all began with our noticing the new church ad adjacent. I don’t know about you, but lately, the times have felt heavy. Very heavy. Big picture-wise, a lot of things relating to the current bankrupt, inept leadership at the White House and on Capitol Hill are in flux. But the necessary investigations do not happen unless the Democrats take a majority in one chamber or...just imagine...both!

I want my country back, don’t you?

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About The Author

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne

Peter Freyne, 1949-2009, wrote the weekly political column "Inside Track," which originated in the Vanguard Press in the mid 1980s; he brought it to Seven Days in 1995. He retired it shortly before his death in January, 2009. We all miss him.

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