Four Mad River Valley residents have formed a state committee with the intent of creating a new political party in Vermont.
Waitsfield residents Neil Johnson, Serena Fox and Seth Hanselmann along with Warren resident Paul Ruetzler are the founding officers of the party’s committee.
“What can your one vote do? Sometimes it can do a lot, sometimes we, as citizens, need to do more. Many in Vermont are frustrated with our nonresponsive, self-serving Montpelier government,” the group wrote in their announcement. They cite frustration with a litany of issues, including Monsanto trying to influence the state’s laws, the 425 lobbyists that inundate the state’s 30 senators, the constant power grab from Montpelier, uncontrolled spending, and the Act 46 program that they say will close local schools and still increase local taxes. (Editor’s Note: Act 46 does not call for closing local schools specifically. It calls for consolidating school boards.)
Their list of issues also includes indiscriminate grant money spent wastefully, frustration with local gas station monopolies controlling gas prices, frustration with a government that serves those with connections while many citizens are homeless as well as frustration with the heroin dealers and pharmaceutical dealers.
“We are frustrated with a nonresponsive, dysfunctional, financially out-of-control government that serves everyone but the people who elect them. To address these frustrations we have formed the Green Mountain Party, a local Vermont political party,” the founders said.
Their party platform calls for controlling big money, limiting the influence of lobbyists, taxing lobbyists, taxing out-of-state funds donated to political parties and candidates and taxing political action committees (PACs). The platform calls for responsibility to the voters, effective use of tax money and common sense solutions plus the repeal of Act 46.
Additionally, the Green Mountain Party will focus on requiring hospitals to post all major rates for procedures, requiring employers to send a copy of health care expenses to employees so people know what health care costs and requiring employers to use pay stubs that show the total of all taxes collected from the employee.
The platform specifically calls for addressing Vermont’s heroin issue and keeping marijuana illegal as well as creating better jobs and more affordable housing.