Meet Matt Dunne – The Issues
by Nathan Empsall, Sat Jul 31, 2010 at 02:05:30 PM EDT
On Wednesday, I introduced you to Matt Dunne. Vermont hasn’t had a progressive Governor since Howard Dean, and Matt’s background makes him the right candidate first for the race and then for the job. Wednesday’s post described his career in technology, dedication to service, and legislative accomplishments. Please support him at ActBlue – absentee ballots have already been mailed out and his first commercial is ready to go on TV, so he needs our support now.
While Matt’s background makes him the candidate who can win, it’s the issues that make him the candidate who should win. He is focusing his campaign on jobs and economic development, and his environmental advocacy has gained national attention. I’ll go into detail about those two issues, but know that his website also offers plans on health care, agriculture, education, civil rights, women’s rights, and government transparency.
Dunne’s top economic priority is bringing broadband Internet to Vermont, which has perhaps the lowest penetration rate of any state. That means Vermont falls further and further behind as the country’s economy moves online. A letter in the Rutland Herald said the author heard “a Windham County businessman [tell Matt] that the day high-speed Internet comes to the town of Dover he’ll hire 15 people.” Matt’s background as an executive with a local software company and now with Google makes him the right person to get this done. In a recent interview with the AP, picked up by MSNBC, he expanded on this vision of economy-by-technology:
"We need to, and I believe have an opportunity to, go from one of the lowest broadband penetration states in the country to the first state that brings fiber-optic high-speed Internet to every home in the state," Dunne said in an interview. "And that's an incredible opportunity for us to move from a state that's not thought of as being a technological center to being a technological center."…
Deploying broadband and improving cell phone service statewide are keys to other issues on which Dunne is focusing his campaign. He wants to streamline and improve education through greater use of distance learning… On energy, Dunne thinks "smart metering," which can tell electric customers moment-to-moment how much power they're using, combined with Vermonters' famed frugality, will enable the state to shave megawatts off its power demand…
"I've heard from business people in the state of Vermont that they have difficulty recruiting engineers, because when they recruit engineers even from the University of Vermont, that engineer finds out that the home they could afford as a first home as a young engineer doesn't have broadband, they go someplace else. When they find out they don't have cell (phone) reception, even at their place of work, they choose to go someplace else."
More below the fold, including a video from climate hero Bill McKibben.
From rural businesses to UVM engineers, that focus on jobs is exactly what’s going to beat the GOP Lieutenant Governor bucking for a promotion this fall. Matt’s detailed jobs plans have the following headlines: broadband, effective and consistent regulation, a thoughtful and equitable system of taxation, higher education and tech transfer, capital, revitalize downtowns, recycle industrial sites, promote Vermont, green jobs, value-added agriculture, open new markets, transportation, revise the business tax credit system, insist on a return on our government’s investments, and pro-economic development appointments.
If jobs are the present, the environment is the future. Matt’s father co-founded the Vermont Land Trust and passed the bug along to his son. Like most of the candidates, he is pushing to close the state’s out-dated Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, and has a detailed plan about how to replace the energy it generates. Environmental protection is another key area on his website, and includes such points as “Encourage environmentally friendly real estate development and redevelopment in downtowns by pre-permitting abandoned industrial sites,” and, “Commit to an effective program for cleaning up Lake Champlain that moves remediation efforts forward while putting in place programs that remediate the impact on farms and communities.”
These positions earned him an early endorsement from scholar-activist Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org and author of the first book about climate change aimed at the general public.
By the way, that environmentalist father? He was once jailed for civil rights activism.
Check out Matt’s webpage for more positions. One thing that I will strike you is the level of local detail he has for each issue. He’s a brilliant guy who knows his state like the back of his hand and loves it as part of his family. Please help progressives and help Vermont by supporting Matt Dunne at the MyDD ActBlue page. This will get his first ad on television and help spread his message before absentee ballots are returned.