The One and Only! | Freyne Land
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Monday, December 11, 2006

The One and Only!

Posted By on Mon, Dec 11, 2006 at 8:57 AM

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A truly amazing man is he - 80-something Phil Hoff of Burlington. Philsie was Republican Vermont’s first Democratic governor, elected in the smoking and drinking 1960s - now the long gone “good old days.”

How times change. Neither one of us goes near either anymore.

There’s a shot of Gov. Hoff breaking ground way back when for something we all take for granted today - the Interstate Highway. What would we do without it? What will we do without it?

Bumped into Phil on Main Street in Burlington the other day. He’s still going strong and still battling for what he believes in. Lately you may have seen him in a TV ad for Death With Dignity Vermont. Hoff, along with former Gov. Madeleine Kunin and former Lt. Gov. Barbara Snelling are courageously leading a fight for legislation that will:

    •Guarantee that all adult Vermonters have legal end-of-life choices
    •Assure that mentally-competent persons who are terminally ill have the right to choose the manner and timing of death
    •Avoid the pain of unwanted tubes and machines that merely prolong the dying process

Check out the Death With Dignity website where you can watch the TV spot.

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While we had him, we also wondered what Gov. Hoff thought about global warming. The current governor, Jim Douglas, and GOP legislative leaders say high property taxes to pay for public education is the big issue these days. Where does global warming rank?

Hoff ranks it right at the top, saying “We ignore it at our own peril.”

Yes, indeed.

Also wondered where Ol’ Phil stands on wind energy and the idea of having windmills on some of Vermont’s rural ridge lines.

Hoff told us wind power is “an essential part of the solution” when it comes to meeting Vermont’s energy needs.

“Will it solve it all? "asked Hoff.

“Hell, no!'

“Is it part of the solution?

“Hell, yes!”

Jim Douglas, are you listening?

Look, I’m in my late 50s, and in recent weeks have been experiencing my first post-mid-life crisis. 

Bumping into Phil certainly raised the old spirits!


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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.

More by Peter Freyne


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