Did Vermont Democrats acknowledge the futility of their efforts to take on one on of the nation’s most popular governors by selecting fringe Lt. Governor David Zuckerman as their nominee? Not only has Zuckerman never met a tax he didn’t like; he has embraced extreme stances on issues from public health to public safety that put him outside of even the 2020 Democratic Party mainstream.
The list of taxes that Zuckerman has voted for and supported reads like a dictionary – here are just a few of the ways he’s tried to nickel-and-dime Vermonters over the years:
- A tax on beehives
- A tax for broadband
- A tax on the middle class
- A revised income tax structure
- A statewide property tax
- A tax on recreational vehicles like ATVs and snowmobiles
- A tax on soft drinks
- A tax to pay for solar panels
- A tax on vending machines
All of these taxes would be dwarfed by Zuckerman’s top tax priority: trying to once again force a government-run healthcare system on all Vermont families. If elected, Zuckerman would repeat the failed experiment that wreaked havoc on Vermont’s economy under former Democrat Governor Peter Shumlin, who pulled the plug and admitted that the state “couldn’t pay for it” and that the plan “might hurt our economy.” Zuckerman’s liberal primary opponent Rebecca Holcombe called the ill-fated program a “horrible disaster.” Always willing to put his extreme ideology over ordinary people’s livelihoods, Zuckerman is jazzed to give it another go despite estimates suggesting the plan would cost taxpayers $5 billion annually.
Zuckerman’s dangerous fringe public health positions came to light in the Democratic primary and are a major liability for him in the fall, with his controversial views on vaccines drawing renewed attention and scrutiny amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. Zuckerman has long staked out his position and been called a “hero” by those in the so-called “anti-vaxx” movement, and despite attempts to rewrite his history, Vermonters are not buying his charade:
On the campaign trail this year, Zuckerman has repeatedly asserted that after voting to keep the philosophical exemption, he voted to repeal it later the same day. But an examination of the available evidence, including interviews with Zuckerman’s then-colleagues in the Senate and his own comments after the fact, found little support for the latter claim. Rather, those on either side of the argument said it was clear at the time that Zuckerman strongly opposed strengthening the state’s vaccination requirements.
Perhaps most disturbing of all, Zuckerman was disparaging law enforcement and the military long before the dangerous “Defund the Police” movement was a thing. Zuckerman’s history of appalling attacks on law enforcement officers and military servicemen and women include saying it makes him “cringe” that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are receiving funding, and criticizing the Vermont Air National Guard’s service following the September 11th terrorist attacks. While attending a rally to protest the Guard’s acquisition of the F-35 fighter aircraft, Zuckerman made light of their important work as first responders protecting New York City on 9/11, a mission the unit continued for 122 days:
ZUCKERMAN: “When I look at what our planes did on 9/11, they flew over a sight that was already devastated by a terrorist action. I don’t believe they stopped a single thing from happening. So, let’s not equate their existence with freedom when they’re after the fact.”
The choice for Vermonters is clear: A consensus builder who works across the aisle to put the wellbeing of Vermonters first like Governor Phil Scott, or a fringe socialist like David Zuckerman, who would bury Vermonters under an avalanche of taxes and make communities less affordable and less safe across the state.