Fox 44 "News" - Douglas Doesn't Show to Burlington Debate
Controversy surrounded incumbent Republican Gov. Jim Douglas and his decision not to attend a gubernatorial debate in Burlington Monday.
Vermont Interfaith Action, the coalition that sponsored the debate held at the College Street Congregational Church, said it rescheduled the forum, originally scheduled for Oct. 15, at Douglas' request. VIA said the Douglas campaign informed them of the decision last week.
However, campaign spokesperson Denise Casey categorically denied the accusations. She called the allegation "untrue and not fair or accurate in any way."
Nonetheless, the debate went on with three candidates: the Liberty Union Party's Peter Diamondstone, Democrat Gaye Symington and Independent Anthony Pollina.
The forum centered around four issues: affordable housing, home-heating, environment and green jobs, and healthcare.
On home-heating issues, both Symington and Pollina said they would dip into the state's rainy day fund.
"No Vermonter should go cold," Symington said. "But we need to look beyond the short-term and focus on next winter and three winters from now."
Pollina agreed, but said he doesn't believe the current leadership could get the job done.
"What I explain to people is that all that hot air from Montpelier is not really going to keep anybody warm this winter unless we back it up with some money," Pollina said.